I'm often harangued for proposing the social equivalent of Scipio's Golden Bridge as the most efficacious means to alleviate the problems in the hood or those of the oppressed.
Most people want to rely on social programs and financial entitlements as the final and complete answer.
But now it seems that some institutions are waking up the the fact that they are creating and cultivating bigger problems by their misguided efforts to solve a more manageable problem.
Some would say that we need to invest in ways to solve the problems of others who may not have the means to solve these problems on their own.
Okay, I agree with that.
But how do we go about this?
Let's say that you're doing alright (financially speaking).
You have a cousin who is on crack, hasn't had a job in years and who lacks any formal job training or education.
This cousin asks you to pay his bills for one year in order for him to get his life in order.
You feel bad for the cat's situation and decide to give him a chance at a better life.
After the year is up - this cousin still has made no effort to improve his situation.
But now this cousin has had a couple of kids.
You now feel that maybe you haven't done enough to help your struggling cousin.
You now pay their bills, pay for day care and enroll your cousin in the local J.C. for remediation and to help them towards getting some kind of degree.
After another year has passed - one of the children has developed Asthma and needs medical treatment.
How could you overlook a simple necessity like health care?
You now decide to pay your cousins bills, pay for their schooling, pay for their children's day care and pay for their health care (You also decide to give your cousin a little extra money to pay for a little fun every once in a while.).
After a few years of doing this - your cousin tells you that the life on the streets was too much for him to overcome on his own.
That the influence of those around him was too much to resist.
He is still on crack, has contracted AIDS, now has four children and still has made little progress towards independence.
What went wrong?
Did you not do enough?
The problem was that you failed to add stipulations to the assistance. (i.e. - Get off crack, you'll pay some bills. Stay healthy, you'll pay for school. Do well in school - you'll buy their groceries. Etc.)
Or did you forget the essential concept of one first being prepared to manage and maintain any assistance given them?
IMO - Many people are not qualified to benefit from the assistance given - it just becomes another level of dependence.