08 December 2008

Two thoughts...

Thought 1:

Incredibly for this time of year, snow has fallen 20 of the past 23 days. That total will probably become 21 of 24 after tomorrow, though the storm that will start as snow is forecast to turn to ice and, eventually, rain.

Also incredibly, during those past 23 days, we have only received 22 centimeters (about 9 inches) of snow. Almost all of that came during a week-long stretch in mid-to-late November. Though it has snowed 11 of the last 13 days, we've only had 4 centimeters (less than 2 inches) during that time. (and I was VERY generous with the totals) There has not been complete snow cover since November 29, and it appears that the next 10 days will be the warmest in a month. Are we heading toward our fifth consecutive brown Christmas?

Thought 2:

My sister-in-law was over this past weekend, and she made a passing comment that got under my skin. We were discussing this story when she threw in the old, "We have to bring in [illegal immigrants] because no one else will work those jobs." At the time I told her that I disagreed and simply left it at that. However, as I thought about it later, the comment began to irritate me even more.

It is my opinion that people who need to work will (1) take any job they can get and (2) work hard to keep that job. In the state of New York, people do not need to work. Why? Welfare. Low-income residents in New York are often eligible for one or more of the following benefits: welfare payments, unemployment payments, WIC (food stamps for women, infants, and children), food stamps (conventional), HEAP (home energy assistance program = free or reduced home heating), HUD rental assistance (federal program), medicaid (free healthcare). I am aware of single-parent families that subsist entirely on public benefits. Since their needs are completely met by the government, they do not need to work. The result? Many impoverished citizens choose not to take menial jobs. Often, those jobs are filled by illegal immigrants...

So, we've established what's happening, but what about what to do about it? It is my opinion that a significant reduction in spending on public benefits could rectify the problem. Stop redistributing money to those who made poor choices with their lives. Start forcing those people to choose between working at eating and not working and starving. I would be willing to bet that those previously undesireable jobs would become hot commodities. Yes, there would be people that choose to starve to death. That is their choice. Perhaps then our children would begin to understand why they need to do well in school. Perhaps our workers would begin to understand that work is for working, not sitting on your duff and looking at pornography online.

Maybe I'm an idiot for thinking that significantly reducing public benefits would be a "magic bullet" against our society's ills. I know it wouldn't cure all of our problems, but maybe it would be a start. At this point, that's all you can hope for.


Gardenista said...

I totally understand the sentiment about work. In our community (northern and therefore less desirable location) a couple businesses have closed due to lack of employees. The remaining businesses struggle to keep employees. All this we have more young and employable people than many towns in the province! Ironically, these non-working folks seem to have more cell phones and electronic toys than I have (with a job). Frustrating!

the Red Scot said...

I definitely understand the sentiment. Thanks for commenting!