Entitlement vs Sustainability

Today’s conversations with the general public of Mason City was filled with comments from several buyers and sellers who were a bit heated over what they believe is the abuse of the State of Iowa’s and our Federal Government’s programs to help the needy. One of buyers who is from southern Minnesota spoke about how he and his seven brothers and two sisters had to work odd jobs as well as work for area farmers in the fields to help with the expenses at home. He said his parents would never have considered asking for handouts from the government. He said they just learned to watch their expenses and made do with what they had. He said he was even a bit thankful that he came from a family that had to make sacrifices because it helped him to learn and adapt. Getting to know him more now that I have been showing him houses, I can say he really is a worker and knows much about construction. He is about 45 years old and at a glance you would think him ten years younger because instead of exercising like so many people do now, he actually works a very physical job.

When he was telling me his story, I couldn’t help but think back to several years ago when I sold a duplex that had Section 8 tenants in it. It was an older converted home that was what I would consider in minimal condition at best. Both units were not sanitary. There were multiple cats running around as well as bags of garbage that should have been taken to the curb for removal. One of the tenants who was likely in his late 20’s asked me, “I hope the new buyer doesn’t kick me out and then I will possibly loose my Section 8 money.” What I was the most shocked about was his next comment. He said, “I love HUD, I don’t know what I would do without it.” It made me sad. To think that there are people living in the USA that believe the entitlement programs are a sort of Deus Ex Machina for anyone who has a bump in the road in the job of living. Like someone once said, “Don’t give anyone fish, but rather give them a fishing pole so that they can learn to fish for themselves.” My vote goes for those that believe in self sustainability. For me, anytime I do something that is above and beyond what is expected of me in society, it gives me a greater feeling of self worth. I have always believed that the world doesn’t owe us, but rather we owe the world.

Joe Chodur

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