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Why is it so hard to embarrass people these days?

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I’d Rather Not Be on Relief

I’d rather not be on the rolls of relief,
Or work on the W. P. A.,
We’d rather work for the farmer
If the farmer could raise the pay;
Then the farmer could plant more cotton
And he’d get more money for spuds,
Instead of wearing patches,
We’d dress up in new duds.

Voices from the Dust Bowl
1938

Caught this in the news.

One Mr. Fick won $2 million in the lottery.  But still uses food stamps at the tax payers expense.

According to Mr. Fick

“If you’re going to … try to make me feel bad, you aren’t going to do it. It ain’t going to happen,” he said.

What happened to people who were embarrassed to be “on relief” or on “assistance”? 

In Steinbeck’s novel Grapes of Wrath written during the Dust Bowl era the Joad family would rather have a job than take relief.  It was below the dignity of the family to be on relief; they kept searching for a job all the way to California.

These days it seems that some people’s highest ambition is to get on some part of the American welfare system perhaps forgetting that it is simply a transfer of wealth from their (unwilling) neighbors to them mediated by the government.  Their conscience does not seem to bother them.

If you want to know why we have so many laws it’s because of people like this and their judgement.  Legislating “good behavior” is not the way to go.  I think what we see here is a failure to socialize people into a community.  “Every man for himself”, Mr. Fick wants to say.

It’s a sort of “guiltlessness” that Martha Stout Ph.D wrote about:

This condition of missing conscience is called by other names, too, most often “sociopathy,” or the somewhat more familiar term psychopathy.  Guiltlessness was in fact the first personality disorder to be recognized by psychiatry, and terms that have been used at times over the past century include manie sans délire, psychopathic inferiority, moral insanity, and moral imbecility.

Maybe that’s a little harsh.

Read about those who lack a conscience (1 in 25 people according to Stout)   –  The Sociopath Next Door

Check out some stories about Mr. Fick

http://www.lotterypost.com/news/231681
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_localdtw/20110518/ts_yblog_localdtw/2m-michigan-lottery-winner-defends-use-of-food-stamps

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Written by frrl

May 19, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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