Monday, October 3, 2011


My book review post of September 27 presents a pivotal change in Federal government interference representative in persons A, B, C and X. FDR lifted the descriptive term, the Forgotten Man, from Dr. Sumner’s work and wielded it like a TVA shovel.

“Roosevelt offered rhetorical optimism, but pessimism underlay his policies. Though Americans associated Roosevelt with bounty, his insistent emphasis on sharing—rationing, almost—betrayed a conviction that the country had entered a permanent era of scarcity. Both Hoover and Roosevelt overestimated the value of government planning.”

FDR chose to focus on X as pathetic, needy and unable to supply his own needs. FDR saw segments of the business community surviving bad times and pronounced their Depression success as unfair.

Since FDR, X has become caught in an entitlement trap difficult to escape. X sadly accepts the harsh judgment of a Federal and State bureaucracy that  generously builds itself. It speaks a largess language but demands increasing tax payment from C to build more social agencies and lease multilevel office buildings. Meanwhile it denigrates X with its pity and barely subsistent handouts.

I know X and my heart breaks for her. She is Margaret, age 82, diabetic and in rehab recovering from a broken hip. She has been living with her daughter who is herself recovering from a work-related back injury. The Rehab social workers are attempting to find a Home for Margaret. But they are faced with Washington State paying between $50 to $100 per diem for Margaret’s room and board and nursing care.

I know X. Robert is developmentally disabled, age 32, and may well live into his sixties. His aging parents can no longer care for him. His care expenses have almost wiped out their retirement savings. The State will pay $62 per diem to the Home that will take Robert. This paltry sum doesn't pay his nursing care at $12 per hour for 24 hours seven days a week, to say nothing of room and board.

X is also Cindy and Mandy and Bobbie who became pregnant before they were 16. Their mothers have trudged the welfare wheel all their lives and as these women give birth to more children, the cycle seems destined to continue. 

X is Juan and his family trying to extend their visa to stay in Seattle. Their two sons are attending school where the State social workers catch up to them. Juan is told that he can apply for welfare and his wife will not need to look for work. Juan and Sylvia decide not to sign the paperwork and find minimum paying jobs at the same family restaurant. The restaurant owner acts as their benefactor with the bank, their landlord and Immigration. In six months he finds Sylvia a translating position and he promotes Juan at the restaurant.

X is not forgotten. X is celebrated by government that buys their votes and encourages them to continue their sad dependence.

Laudable intentions. Unintended consequences. Tragic results.

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