I heard something interesting on the radio today as I ran my errands. A man who lived north of the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina talked about the waves of refugees pouring into his community after the storm, both refugees from rural Mississippi and urban New Orleans. The man was part of the disaster relief operation and worked closely with the refugees when they arrived. He was quick to contrast the difference between the majority of those who came out of rural Mississippi and New Orleans, a difference that cut across racial and color lines. He said that the people from Mississippi arrived first, having had the common sense and foresight to evacuate ahead of the storm. These people were grateful for the shelter and the financial help they received, but most of them wanted only to get back to their homes and businesses as quickly as possible and get everything repaired and rebuilt.
Most of the New Orleans refugees, by contrast, were deposited in his town by government transport after they were rescued post-storm. They hadn't heeded the evacuation warnings and had literally sat around doing nothing until it was too late, at which point they descended on the Superdome en masse, expecting the government to just take car of them. When that place quickly became uninhabitable, the government moved them out to communities like the one where this speaker lived and placed them in the local schools and churches. But unlike the refugees from Mississippi, these new arrivals weren't terribly concerned with getting back home. They were content to just live in the schools and churches for as long as they could, and they were a lot less grateful than the Mississippians--in fact many of them were downright demanding when it came to getting food, clothing, money and other things. These people were accustomed to getting everything from the government by way of entitlement, and in their eyes, they had all this stuff coming by right. And when the government could not meet their demands, they got upset, they acted out, they stole, and they verbally and sometimes physically abused the local people who were volunteering to help them. Many of these people were still around long after the last Mississippian was back fixing up his or her home or business, because they were waiting for the government to "do something" for them. They had no plans, because they had no plan. Period.
The point that the speaker was trying to make--and I wish that I'd caught his name before I lost the station--was that these refugees from New Orleans had grown up dependent on government programs and government assistance all their lives; they didn't know how to get by without the government, and when it suddenly wasn't able to provide for them like they were used to being provided for, they got very ugly very fast.
These days, there are a lot of people who are dependent on the government for their daily bread and the roof over their head. And the numbers of such people are growing even as the government is beginning to show signs of faltering and eventually not being able to sustain all of the people who have come to rely on it to such a degree that they can't get by without it. Come the day that the government is no longer able to hand cash and food stamps to every no-job-having lay-about, we may quickly see more than angry letters to the editors or scattered protests in the street--we may see riots and anarchy and all-out attacks on those who have things by mobs of those who don't. At that point, it'll be too late to do anything other than respond with buck-and-ball and use massive amounts of (government and private) force to restore order. That being clear, wouldn't it make sense to start reducing the numbers of people dependent on government instead of increasing them? Shouldn't our government be focusing on ways to get people off of the welfare rolls instead of trying to make more people eligible? Shouldn't we be focusing on removing unskilled illegal aliens from our communities rather than trying to give them citizenship and making them eligible for welfare benefits as well? Shouldn't our government be reducing taxes and regulations on businesses and getting out of the way of investment and job creation?
And shouldn't the fact that the Obama Administration is currently doing none of these things give us all cause to worry?
The parasites from New Orleans that made live miserable in so many host communities after Katrina were just a small segment of the non-producer and nanny-state recipient population of our country. If just those from one city caused so much trouble, how much trouble can we expect them all to cause if our current government doesn't get a handle on the problem instead of trying to exploit it for political gain?
While you're thinking about that, I'm off to the ammo store. Gotta stock up.