One Third of a Nation

Those words come down to us from FDR’s ’37 Inaugural Address: “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.”  In those days America was in the transition from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy.  The South had been abandoned after 1876 except for its potential to be exploited.  Appalachia was the poster child, followed closely by the Dust Bowl of the Great Plains.  One third of a Nation, more or less, really was not participating in the American industrial economy.  Through successive Democrat – and Republican – administrations from FDR to Nixon, the goal of American domestic policy was to do something about the plight of both Black and White rural farm labor.  I know about it first hand because my family owned one of those sorry-assed farms that wouldn’t even support us and from which we tried to support several other Black and White families.  In one of the few intelligent things my hide-bound rural Southern parents ever did, they quit farming in ’62 and subdivided those worn out cotton fields so that Yankee plant managers could have houses better than we had.

Fast forward fifty years.  We still have one third of a Nation that isn’t really participating in the American economy.  They’re on welfare, they’re on extended unemployment benefits, they’re on farm subsidies, they’re livin’ the life in prison – yeah most of them like it, they’re working for the government – and, yes, I made a career of it, so I know exactly what most government employees do.

So, Jaded’s piece got me thinking along these lines.  We’ve spent trillions of Other Peoples’ Money (OPM) trying to lift that “one third of a nation.”  Maybe we should just stop lifting.  If you couldn’t have a flat screen, a cell phone, and a pimped out ride on welfare, maybe you’d do something to get that stuff on your own.  This has to start at how we define those who society has some obligation to help and though I’m not a Christian, I take a Biblical view of that; I’ll willingly help the widows, orphans, and the lame, blind, and halt.  The rest need to fend for themselves.  And, I feel absolutely no guilt that I live better than someone else; I worked for it.  That encapsulates the most insiduous thing the Left and the Poverty Pimps have done.  They have convinced that third of a nation that I live better than they because I was either born with advantage or cheated and stole from them.  Hey, ain’t no poor person ever given me a job and no poor person has ever had anything that I wanted to cheat them out of or steal from them.  That third of a nation needs to get off the dole and go to work.  Comrade Obama wants to keep them from having to work for a lttle while longer, but American really isn’t rich enough for that.  If you confiscate all the wealth from those of us who actually work and produce, there isn’t enough left to give the parasites their flat screens, cell phones, and pimped rides.