Welfare Killed The Little Red Hen
March 28, 2012 by John Myers
The yoke that is the welfare state has thoroughly infected America. If voters re-elect President Barack Obama, he will brainwash all Americans into thinking they are entitled to government handouts. Most Americans don’t understand that independent people are losing their way as the President crusades to build his Nanny Nation — a country so transformed that even the oral traditions that were taught for generations have been eradicated.
To be fair, it is not all Obama’s fault. In my lifetime, the United States has been moving away from its ideals of hard work, self-sacrifice and personal responsibility.
Bedtime Stories Our Children Never Hear
Some of you may remember “The Little Red Hen,” the bedtime story of an industrious chicken that lived with an indolent cat, a lazy dog and a mouse that behaved like a sloth.
I can still remember the story from half a century ago. My dad always had a glimmer in his eye, sitting at the head of the dinner table and telling us kids the fable of the cat that slept, the dog that napped and the mouse that snoozed. They only survived, said my dad, because the Little Red Hen worked so very hard.
One day, while busy in the garden, the Little Red Hen found some seeds of wheat. The hen asked her friends the following:
“Who will plant this wheat?”
“Who will cut this wheat?”
“Who will grind this wheat into flour?”
“Who will make a cake from the fine flour?”
To each question, her friends replied: “Not I.”
Finally, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me eat this cake?” The cat, the dog and the mouse all shouted: “I will.”
“No, you won’t,” replied the Little Red Hen, “for I alone did all the work, so I alone will eat the cake.”
When I was a child, The Little Red Hen was a big hit at our house. But when I told the fable to my own children, they just didn’t seem to get it.
“Why wouldn’t the hen share, Daddy?” asked my little girl.
“Because she did all the work,” I replied.
“But my teacher tells us we are supposed to share,” she said.
“Sharing is good,” I told her, “but you can’t be lazy. You have to share in the work too.”
A puzzled look spread over her face. I remember being a bit exasperated, and I asked: “Don’t you read stories like ‘The Little Red Hen’ at school?”
“Not really,” she said. “Most of the stories we read are about helping each other.”
I realized that the values held sacred by my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were not even contemplated by my children or most of their generation.
Obama is accelerating America’s welfare revolution. He is finishing what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt started when he introduced the New Deal 80 years ago. Three generations later, there are fewer Little Red Hens and far too many cats, dogs and mice.
I fear that the welfare creed has become so ingrained in our culture that America will probably never extricate itself from its growing socialist grip. That may have been FDR’s intention from the start.
Roosevelt bragged: “… no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.”
But FDR only engineered the welfare state. Its grand developer was President Lyndon B. Johnson. His “War On Poverty” and his plan for a Great Society have built a welfare system second to none.
An American Thinker article addressed the issue:
As it stands now, Obama appears headed toward an economic legacy that may very well surpass Jimmy Carter in its level of failure.
We have seen under this president an expanding number of citizens who are partially or wholly dependent on the government for their very livelihood, as the data show that the U.S. has become an ever-growing welfare state under Obama.
Government dependence, which is defined as the percentage of persons receiving one or more federal benefit payments, is at a staggering 47%, its highest level in American history, while 21 million households are reliant on food stamps. In fact, government spending on food stamps in 2010 ($68 billion) was double what it was in 2007, with the 2011 figure likely to be even higher.
As the graph below shows, government welfare payments have soared over the past 42 years, from a few billion dollars to $800 billion. If the trend continues, payments will exceed $1 trillion dollars per year. Add in defense and national security spending and immediately the Federal government is spending almost $2 trillion each year. This cannot continue, yet it seems almost impossible to stop until people believe that they need to be industrious, that they should not depend on government to help them make their way.
My dad told me other stories when I was growing up: hard-luck stories about what he and his generation faced during the Great Depression. He graduated from college with a degree in geology in 1930. Yet it took him 12 years to do anything but menial jobs. He worked selling vacuum cleaners and he sold life insurance door to door. He even worked in a slaughter house. The government didn’t help him. Quite frankly, if the help had been offered, I doubt he would have taken it. He didn’t have much time for government, either in getting things from it or paying toward it.
The grandchildren of those who went through the Great Depression don’t think this way. Liberals, from those in the education system to those in the entertainment industry, have convinced most young people that government should do more to make society better. They want to reward the cat, the dog and the mouse while making the Little Red Hen pay for it.
The problem is the Little Red Hens are getting tired of carrying the load for everyone else. Until we wake up to this fact, we will be faced with continued social and economic crises, and the standard of living will fall for all of us.
Yours in good times and bad,
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report