One thing that I have learned over the years is that all families are not equal, all support systems are not the same; the safety nets provided by the government are more important for some than for others. In my family if I or another family member were to get laid off then the family would be able to assist. But there are some families where extended employment benefits are the difference between being homeless and having a roof over their head. In some communities that may very well be the norm rather than the exception.
In my human resources role, I have seen people who have worked every day since reaching working age be leveled by a medical emergency. I have seen people who have been doing the same thing all of their lives be left behind when new technology outgrew their skill set. I have seen families destroyed because a person that once made $25 an hour had to start over at a new company on a job paying significantly less. I have seen women with children to support in virtually equal jobs doing equal work but being paid significantly less. What’s the excuse—they are not working close enough to the value stream but then you look around and men working just as far away from the value stream are making huge dollars. I wish I could say that these situations are anomalies, but these things happen every day. And sometimes it is government programs that make the difference between recovery, survival or destruction.
More often than not, families and churches take on a part of the burden as well. Someone once said “It takes a village,” and Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, the government is a part of that village.
I am so sick of hearing about the 47 percent and their taking while ignoring the discussions regarding the loopholes…or tax credits for retraining, tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed and the military (things you would think would not require a tax credit to do), or rich young men who do not have to worry about really being drafted in the military--even if there was a draft. I’m tired of the government having to regulate companies in order to do the right thing—those regulatory agencies would not exist if companies operated safely, hired fairly, respected our environment on their own volition, and of course this list could go on for days. Most government agencies were developed as a direct result of some corporation or other entity doing something that was collectively harmful to society.
No one wants to waste money and no one wants unnecessary government—and ours is certainly not perfect. But let’s have a fair conversation…not a conveniently constructed one.