ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis
It’s not easy being in charge of a country. Can we even imagine the many problems that face a president? But even so, we do need solutions to those problems, and sometimes that might mean thinking WAY outside the box!
Maybe the so-called solutions we come up with will be too late to help those already caught up in poverty, or those who are now losing everything they had or those who have already lost it all, thanks to the unexpected thrust-upon-us devastation of the COVID-19 situation that led to loss of work, or loss of a business, perhaps even the loss of their homes and the ability to support their families, but we must start somewhere and hope that whatever plan we do come up with will eventually be the best for all under whatever circumstances come our way.
I do not know how much this country spends yearly on helping those who need financial aid of some kind, to say nothing of how much it spends on dishing out money to those who are scamming the government and all its various organizations by applying for, and getting, money that they may not only not need, but are not qualified for under the current requirements for such aid.
I am not at all saying that the current requirements are too strict or that they encourage people to lie in order to get benefits that they believe they deserve, but what I am saying is that there obviously are people who need financial assistance and who do not meet the requirements that are necessary to get that assistance and they need it now.
Of course, if that is true, and I think we all know it is, the requirements and the various exceptions to the rules need to be changed or upgraded to better accommodate the need, and to make it harder for those who are scamming the system to not get away with it.
There is almost nothing more despicable in the financial world than those who would make it harder for the ones who truly need help to not get it, while the need-it-nots (the greedy and no-morals scammers) get far more than “their share.”
Regarding the expression of “getting their share,” we may not really know what the amount of “a share” is, but what we do know is that everyone needs a place to sleep, food to eat, and clothes to wear, and if they don’t have those things they will find a way to get them.
Where would you sleep if you didn’t have a home? And what would you eat, or wear if you didn’t have the wherewithal to buy those things?
This is not about putting in a good word for the homeless. And it’s also not to criticize the homeless who one day found themselves without any means to supply their own home, food and clothes. It’s about coming up with a way to supply a need across the board that ends up being cheaper than the amount of money that is now spent on various welfare or other government programs but does more than what the current programs do, as well as allowing the recipients to keep their dignity and removing (hopefully) the scammers who work the various systems to their own advantage, the heck with those who suffer because of what they do.
Here’s a possible plan: Why not take a certain amount of budgeted money for welfare programs and put it into an interest-bearing account to stay put; then every time a natural born US citizen turns 21, they mare given “their share” of that community money pool to start themselves out in life, to rent an apartment or put a down payment on
a house, feed and clothe themselves, and not be a burden on their family or the government. Most will no doubt let that government bank account be the start of good things in their life, bypassing the homeless stage, and allowing them to be prepared to have decent clothes to get a job and food to eat along the way without worrying where their next meal will be coming from.
When the accounts are disbursed to the 21-year-old citizens, it will be known if they are able to work or are incapacitated in some way when they show up to make arrangements to collect their money. The money will be deposited in a bank account in their name, and automatic withdrawals will be made monthly (or as necessary) to pay their rent or mortgage. This should insure living accommodations while they strive to earn the money they will live on for the rest of their lives.
All those young citizens will go on a roster of individuals who are ready and able to work, continuing with their studies, or unable to work for a named and verified reason. If any individual turns 21 and is found to not need the government bank account, they can still have it for their own to spend any way they wish, or voluntarily leave it there for another more needy soul.
Not that such a plan will solve all the welfare problems we have in this country, or the homeless problems, but it may make a big dent in them. And of course it’s a long-range plan, so we won’t see any results from it for many years. But if we believe in making America a great place to live, and alleviating some of the huge homeless situations and welfare fraud that currently exists, while being sure that everyone has a “fighting chance” to start out with something rather than feeling they have to lose their dignity by revealing every little thing about their lives and still not getting enough to live on, it may be worth a try. It certainly can’t be any worse than the state of affairs that many people have already been experiencing in this country for many, many years, what with having no place to live, no food to eat, and no decent clothes to wear to work even if they should be fortunate enough to find a job.
Giving people back their dignity, or not taking it away in the first place is a valuable and noteworthy thing. There’s always some other way to do a thing that isn’t currently working so well. Maybe we need to have a whole new way of making America great again!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.