The Failed Welfare System
by Bill Willis

The spirit in which the welfare system was conceived was noble but the implementation left much to be desired.  The idea was to “care for those less fortunate” (a task that had been previously performed by the church).  The system ultimately had the effect of trapping more and more people in poverty and the break-up of families that participated.  Consider for a moment the portion of the welfare population that was content to live their entire life on the public dole.  If the father of welfare children stayed around, the mother could and would lose her benefits.  It would seem that a two-parent home would be of more benefit to the child, but the government didn't seem to see it that way.  So, a single mother raised her children in a welfare environment which the children came to know as normal.

As if this wasn't bad enough, the government encouraged these single, welfare mothers to have five or more children by promising her more money for each child that she had.  Keeping in mind that her children came to see welfare as an acceptable lifestyle, that portion of the population grew much faster than the “middle class” (the ones paying the bill), who averaged two or three children per family.  Of course the “new deal” government that established and perpetuated this failed program saw itself as a Robin Hood - robbing the rich (mostly the not-so-rich middle class) to give to the poor.  The truth is that no matter how many people seem to benefit, theft is theft.  Robin Hood was a criminal and so is the government that has been robbing us for over half a century to finance this failed welfare system.

Fortunately, in recent years, we have begun to see some form of welfare reform.  Programs are being developed to send able-bodied welfare recipients back into the work force.  While that is a good start, the answer does not lie in the realm of government.  The only entity capable of handling the task of helping those in need is the Church.  We can’t expect success overnight, though.  Most of the Church is out of practice.  If we will get to work, though, we will soon see an end to the welfare state as we know it.  It’s time to be about kingdom business.