In the years since I jumped into the political arena, I have noticed a common tactic used by the left...sympathy. Like Yoda's light saber, progressives wield sympathy with deadly precision for the sole purpose of manipulating your emotions, and ultimately your wallet. The reigning champion in the competition for our sympathies is undoubtedly "the poor". Be ye a minority, a female, a homeless person (bum), or immigrant (legal or otherwise), the one common denominator in your list of exploited "plights" is probably going to be "poverty".
Realizing this, I have decided to submit for your approval my plan to end poverty. If for no other reason than to take it off the table once and for all so it can no longer be used as a distraction in substantive issue debate. But before we examine my plan to end poverty, we will first need to define poverty.
If you possess any of the following, you are not poor:
flat screen TV
case of beer
pack of cigarettes
You see, "poverty" is when you have nothing...including options. But in America, does that really apply to you, or anyone else? Does a poor person in America really have no way to get by without their government giving them money that's been taken from those who choose to work for a living? In an age where it actually pays to not work, I think I have found a more practical and motivating answer to poverty in America.
Benjamin Franklin once said that the best way to help the poor, is to make them uncomfortable in their poverty. With that in mind, I submit the following solution.
Step one would be to end all forms of government sponsored welfare. This would include unemployment compensation, food stamps, W.I.C., etc. etc. After all, without welfare, there can be no welfare fraud or dependency.
In the place of welfare programs, I suggest we bring back the concept of "poor houses". Because we are a prosperous and generous nation, I do believe in the concept of a safety net for those who fall on hard times. But there is a difference between a "safety net" and a king-size, Sleep Number bed with satin sheets, feather pillows, and accompanying personal masseuse. The purpose of a safety net is to do nothing more than save your life, not enhance and indulge it's every demand. A safety net is not supposed to be comfortable, let alone evolve into a lifestyle. When a trapeze artist falls off the wire and hits the safety net, he doesn't make himself at home, order a pizza, and fire up his X-Box on that net. No, he immediately gets off the net, climbs back up the ladder and tries the stunt again.
I assert that a "poor house" is the perfect safety net for those who's lives have hit the skids. You see, my poor house would cost the tax payer a fraction to operate compared to the bottomless pit our current welfare system has become. That's because people would only go there if they absolutely had no other option in life. And when they got there, they would bend over backwards to get back out. Here's why.
Once registered at your local poorhouse, you would have access to three healthy meals a day, but they would be bland, without variety, and washed down with water only. You would have access to medical care, but only the same no-frills care given to prison inmates, and no elective procedures at all. On the up-side, you would also have access to a library specifically stocked with self-help and vocational books, thus helping you to be a more attractive candidate to a prospective employer, as well as a better citizen in general.
You will also have access to our grooming department where you will be issued all things essential to making a good impression. A grooming consultant will be on hand to assist you. Your consultant will be advised to ridicule you for the following; baggy pants, backward hats, body piercings, tattoos above the collar bone, sagging pants, and wearing women's jeans if you're a male.
This facility will be safe, efficient and maintained at the highest standards of cleanliness. Our staff will be trained to the highest standards of professionalism. As part of their training, they will be taught to do everything in their power to assist you in your attempt to get back on your feet, but in a short, snarky manner. This is due to the idea that being in a poorhouse is supposed to be an unpleasant and humiliating experience, therefore motivating you to make sure you never need to return. In keeping with that theme, your bed will be automated to shorten by one inch for every day you stay following your first six weeks there. At that point, your food will then be served cold, as will be your showers.
The facility's ambient air temperature will vary at random, but always ten degrees away from the standard 70 degree "room temp".
In conjunction with the introduction of these regional poor houses, I suggest we start a national campaign to re-associate shame and humiliation with being poor. Particularly if your poverty is simply a result of your own laziness and bad decisions. Part of the problem with poverty today is that there is no longer a stigma attached to it. Today, it is assumed that if you are poor, it is probably the result of someone else making you that way, making you the victim by default. In reality, it was probably some decision you made that brought you to the steps of my "facility".
My advice...get a job, keep it, and don't spend beyond what that job provides. Stick with that, and you'll never experience the splendor of a poor house.