"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson
In his State of the Union speech in 1935, Franklin Roosevelt said, "The lessons of history ... show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit." Roosevelt then proceeded to become one of the most proficient pushers the country has ever known.
As time marches on, that proclivity becomes more boldly and arrogantly pronounced, as if the purveyors no longer are concerned about the exposure of their agenda. Just as the pusher begins as a "friend", giving out the drugs for nothing, once the recipient can no longer do without, the pusher reveals himself as a fiend. By that time the addict no longer cares so long as the medication is still administered, and at any price.
There are far too many people in America today who have been conditioned to accept failure and - subsequently - the assistance "offered" by the government. Worse, they have come to expect and demand it. Free stuff to them has become something to which they have felt entitled. Once the mind set of society was sufficiently numbed to the stigma formerly associated with, say, food stamps, the floodgates opened.
The Progressives of government successfully convinced the masses of their philanthropic intent, somehow managing to leave out of the equation that it was being exercised through theft from those who would not be the recipients. The recipients, meanwhile, were unaware that there would eventually be a price to pay, albeit not monetary, for their care. Until now.
The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, and the governor of the state, David Paterson, recently sought permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ban sugary drinks from being purchased with food stamps. Their reason was part of an obesity-fighting proposal the pair is working up, claiming the right to decide what people dependent on government assistance may consume.
The notion of limiting food stamp purchases has caused quite an uproar, even from Conservative commentators such as Steve Malzberg of WOR radio in New York. While I can appreciate the knee-jerk reaction from people I normally agree with, Mr. Malzberg and others have missed what Barack Hussein Obama would call a "teachable moment". There are definitely lessons to be learned, here.
To revisit FDR's words, "To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit." Yet in 2008, when Maine attempted what Bloomberg and Paterson are now proposing, the plan was criticized by advocates for the poor because, as they feared, it would scare people into avoiding food stamps. And in 2004, when Minnesota tried to ban junk foods like soda and candy from food stamp purchases, the USDA turned down the state's plan because they said it would violate the Food Stamp Act's definition of food. They were also concerned that it would embarrass food stamp recipients at the checkout line.
There's that whole "removal of the stigma" thing again. The fact is that the Progressives want more people to move toward dependency. That much should be obvious by now. The original concept of assistance was a hand up, not a hand out, but that notion has long been abandoned, as it should be noted that they are trying to not only keep people dependent, but they want to lure more into the trap.
In March I wrote Not Under My Roof to show the attitude being cultivated by the governing elites today. The whole idea is that as long as the government is paying your way, you will do as they say. New York has basically declared that they feel that as long as they are buying your food, they can tell you what to buy and eat. After all, they are trying to control obesity.
The question must then be asked, why? Does the government hate fat people? Of course not, so there must be another reason that they are concerned with the girth of the citizens. That reason is health care costs. Once Universal Health Care kicks in, nutrition won't be the only area the government will seek to control.
While some are outraged by the New York proposal regarding food stamps - and while I share some of that outrage - I am more grateful for the lesson it lends. Sphere: Related Content