Our Authors’ De Facto Claim That America Is Anti-Christian

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solutions
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Our Authors’ De Facto Claim That America Is Anti-Christian

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I have just finished reading “$2.00 a Day” and was SHOCKED AND APPALLED by our authors’ de facto claim that America is Anti-Christian!!!

They begin their “Conclusion” (pp. 157-174) by arguing for what they claim is “a crucial insight: any program so out of synch with American values was doomed to fail.”

[NB: it is true that our authors attribute this idea to an adviser to Bill Clinton when he single-handedly (that is, despite a vote in the House of Representatives that would have vastly exceeded the amount needed to sustain a veto) abolished “welfare as we know it” – the centerpiece of his 1992 campaign that enabled him to squeak into the White House with only 43.0% of the popular vote – George H.W. Bush with 37.4% and Ross Perot 18.9%.]

So yes, it is true that alignment with American values was an excuse originated by a Bill Clinton adviser for “abolishing welfare as we know it,” but it is our authors who claim that this excuse was/is “a crucial insight”!!!

Our authors then elaborate on four “American values” that are “especially important” – one of which was “the virtue of work.”

And then our authors spend virtually all of their “Conclusion” (pp. 157-174) on ideas for how to provide work for the Desperately Poor (i.e., those living on less than $2.00 cash/person/day including Food Stamps aka SNAP).

It’s bad enough that our authors admitted that one of the other four “American values” that are “especially important” is “the primacy of the family” which is impaired, if not destroyed, by the type of work (if any) that is typically available to the Desperately Poor – low-wage retail jobs on evenings and weekends when Americans shop BUT WHEN DESPERATELY POOR CHILDREN ARE HOME FROM SCHOOL!!!

But is that what was so shocking and appalling???

Not by a long shot!!!

The last section of the Suggested Discussion Outline posted in this section, raises the question whether so-called Christian America should follow the examples of Judaism and Islam in requiring adherents to give 10% of their income to the poor.

Instead of relying on America’s so-called Christians to adhere to the second of Christ’s TWO Commandments for “inheriting eternal life” – namely (after loving God) to “love your neighbor as yourself” which is why so many Christian religious orders require a “Vow of Poverty.”

The Outline’s question to “stir the pot”???

The Suggested Discussion Outline then poses an alternative to following the Islamic practice of having its IRS-equivalent collect 10% of income for the poor.

The Outline’s alternative???

Imposing the 1800’s English model of requiring the Desperately Poor to “tramp” across the countryside every 72 hours from one Flop House to the next Flop House.

With the requirement (at least in the new American model) that their children be required to “tramp” with them – in other words, neither the children nor the “tramps” with children should be exempt.

My view of so-called Christian America!!!

They would leap at enacting a national law requiring the Desperately Poor and their children to “tramp” across the countryside every 72 hours!!!

After all, “tramping” is work!!!

And requiring the Desperately Poor and their children to “tramp” together satisfies another of our authors’ “core American values” of keeping families together!!!

solutions
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Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman - Whether Work Must Be Useful

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Would you believe that in only a few hours after posting the foregoing, I received several replies claiming that “tramping” is not “work” because “effort” must be “useful” in order to constitute “work"???

And several replies claiming that “effort” must command a “price” in order to constitute “work"???

Both claims are definitional.

And both answers are philosophical.

Taking the second claim first.

How many of us have exerted great effort requiring many hours to please our children without being paid???

And how many of us have exerted great effort to please ourselves (for example, mountain climbing, hiking, etc.) for which there is no payment???

[Except in terms of the “opportunity cost” of what we might otherwise have done with our time.]

The first claim???

I’ll leave the reader without a philosophical answer by citing a remark usually attributed to Economics Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman, though usually thought to be only his SECOND-most famous remark (behind “there is no free lunch”).

A 5/29/2009 article in the Wall Street Journal reports that the author of the article (a WSJ economics reporter) used to have dinner frequently with Milton Friedman and his wife, and during one such dinner Friedman recalled visiting in the 1960’s a site in Asia where a canal was being constructed -- and was shocked to see that the digging was being done by manual labor rather than steam shovels!!!

Friedman’s governmental host explained: “You don’t understand, this is a jobs program.”

To which Friedman replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these WORKERS spoons, not shovels.” [Emphasis added because no less an authority than Milton Friedman called human beings performing UNNECESSARY TASKS "workers"!!!]

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