January 14, 2015 1:18 am ET
Sun columnist and radio host falls short in defense of “freeloaders”
Source: Rodricks’ Radical Reality
Photo credit the Baltimore Sun
When Anne Arundel councilman John Grasso referred to people who seek government assistance as “freeloaders,” his remarks on the subject drew applause from the audience.
Well, not everyone in the audience.
There was no such hand clapping from Sun Columnist and radio talk show host Dan Rodricks, who took issue with Mr. Grasso’s “insulting stuff.” At first I thought Mr. Rodrick’s was referring to members of Congress, but that was wishful thinking. Rodricks spewed his venom toward the remark when he wrote, “It shows profound ignorance of what life is like for millions of Americans including many of Grasso’s constituents.”
But now, folks, here is the rest of the story (credit: Paul Harvey)…
As also reported in the Sun, Mr. Grasso stated, “I was raised in a family that says live within your means.” He also said, “It is unfair for people to turn around and dump their way of living on top of people that have already earned their way of living.”
To that I say, “Bravo.”
I, and many other baby boomers, can identify with Mr. Grasso’s statements. My brother and I worked from an early age—it started with delivering newspapers (like the one that employs Mr. Rodricks), and that work ethic continued throughout our lives. My parents both worked full- and part-time jobs to make ends meet. There was no such thing as “government assistance” in our household.
Yet, Mr. Rodricks cites study after study in an attempt to bolster his attack on Mr. Grasso’s remarks. However, many of those studies are flawed.
I always look of the source of who is making the argument and their track record of previous statements, not to mention how the statements hold up to the scrutiny of REALITY.
I wrote about Mr. Rodricks’ column about the release of convicted murders following a recent court decision that looked back at cases over the past 32 years. Needless to say, Mr. Rodricks and I disagreed about the purpose of the criminal justice system.
To be blunt, after 39 years of criminal justice, my experience has been that the system is, at best, a schizophrenic one that is mired in technicalities where the truth has no bearing or relevance.
More importantly, Mr. Rodricks’ short sighted viewpoint was that age is a key factor in applying justice.
But think for a moment, folks—would a reasonable person apply Rodricks’ logic to today’s current events involving the Muslim Jihadists who are committing some of the worst atrocities the world has seen?
I would think that any rational person would ignore age and focus on the crime itself. Otherwise, by Mr. Rodricks’ reasoning (as well as the courts’ reasoning), someone who wants to commit a crime simply should wait until he/she is a senior citizen.
I could point out that 7% of all murders in this country are committed by people over the age of 50, but I am sure that certain journalists/talk show hosts would not approve.
But let’s leave the past in the past and focus on Mr. Rodricks’ newest bit of reasoning. He is offended by the word freeloader, which is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “a person who has the advantage of something given, such as money, food, or a place to stay, without offering anything in exchange.”
By that standard, I think there are more than a few people who will not hesitate to term many of the people getting government assistance as freeloaders.
The reality is that I see it every day when I go to the grocery store. I talk to clerks and managers. They have the same story—half of their business is paid for in food stamps. And do some people really need those food stamps? You bet. But, on the flip side, there are plenty who get those food stamps simply because they can, or because they believe that they are owed something by the government.
I still remember the story on one of the news channels from last year that showed a woman—a mother of three—who insisted that she and her husband could not work full-time jobs because they would lose their government assistance. This woman had a smartphone, as did her husband, and her cart was full of food items that I would term “non-essential.” And it was all getting paid for with your tax dollars.
That’s the funny thing about many of those who use food stamps—they have cell phones, they get pedicures, they drive nice cars, and their wallets are full of credit cards. I see a lot of young couples with children who have multiple tattoos (which are NOT cheap) and so many piercings that they could become the target of metal thieves.
So, Mr. Rodricks, let me give you a little dose of my reality.
The bottom line is that we now have a large portion of our society that has become dependent upon the government to survive. Also, our government has spent $15 trillion to fight the war on poverty, an effort that began 50 years ago and has lead us nowhere.
I could go on and on about this issue of government boondoggles—unfunded pensions, illegal immigration, failed investments, wars, corruption, trade deficits, etc.—but the real truth lies in the following quote:
The War on Poverty will not be won until work is rewarded and the poorest Americans acquire the skills necessary to compete in an economy that is so different from the economy of 50 years ago.
In that category, the United States is languishing in the 36th position in the world rankings regarding education.
I think the following story will sum up the problem and explain why there are freeloaders:
And yet, Mr. Rodricks cries over and loathes the truth, just as a certain President does regarding another war we are losing.
By the way, Mr. Rodricks, only 20% of those living in Glen Burnie have a college education. Yet, people will complain about not being able to get jobs that allow them to make more money.
Mr. Rodricks, could it be that Councilman Grasso has a point, even though the words he used might pierce your liberal heart?
This country needs a wake-up call…