I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Plantation

Article by:

Star Parker - Syndicated Columnist

Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam’s Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it. I said in that book that indeed there are twoAmericas - a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.

I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps. A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty. A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems - the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others. The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.

Through God’s grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican Congress and signed 50 percent. I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producing American capitalism. But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poorAmerica on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, richAmerica on capitalism is becoming like poorAmerica on socialism. Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash. There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus. "This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending - it's a strategy forAmerica ’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and education."

Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place "with unprecedented transparency and accountability."

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education. Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 - The War on Poverty - which President Johnson said "...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done.. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births.

It's not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama’s invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom. Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

1 comment:

richcountry said...

I completely agree with this blog. But let me add a "Caucasion" view to it. It hasn't only hurt people of color. In the late 60's I moved from Mississippi to Florida and my new school was mostly black students. I had no problem with that. I'd always known in our home it was intolerable to treat another human being as any less than we were. Imagine my astonishment when I got harrassed and roughed up by them because of my color and where I was from. It got bad enough that we were forced to moved after 17 days in that school.
In the 70's I was passed over for jobs I was far more qualified for and told that they didn't have enough black people on their payroll so they had to give the job to one of them.
I have relatives who have decided to live on the plantation (the government programs) instead of trying to make something of themselves. People who think having more babies is so the checks get bigger. It shames me that we have taught any of our people, regardless of color, that this is acceptable. Yes, there should be assistance programs. I myself had to resort to that in severe times years ago. But I also worked hard to make my tenure there a short one. And I was grateful that it was there. The programs should be for emergency situations, but should only be for limited times. We have turned this great nation into something I would imagine would have our forefathers turning over in their graves, were it possible.

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