|Helen Bohen O'Bannon|
When Libertarian professor Milton Friedman made his Free to Choose movie in 1980, he spent one of his chapters on the public assistance system. How we treat people who can't take care of themselves. Keep in mind, Professor Friedman is a Libertarian and went into this film with pre-conceive ideas about our public assistance system. But he not only interviewed Libertarians, but Progressives as well as professionals who work in social welfare.
And they talked about the people who collect public assistance and what their lives are like on public assistance. And what's expected from them as they are collecting public assistance. The history of our public assistance system, from when it was created in the 1930s as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal programs. And where we were as far the effects that the War on Poverty that President Johnson created in the 1960s. And the status of where we were as a country as of 1980 when this film was made.
They were talking about what happens when we take people who don't have the skills to be able to take care of themselves. Lack the education to get a good enough job that would allow them to be self-sufficient. Especially low-income low-skilled people who have kids, but lack the ability to make enough money to be able to take care of themselves. As well as the state of our education system, not producing enough people in the country that have the skills to be able to move on to college and more skills and learn a trade. So they will be self-sufficient and not end up on public assistance in the future.
Especially people with kids that they have to obviously look after, but which makes it more difficult to them to go to school. And get the skills that they need, so they can get themselves a good job and to be able to take care of themselves. And their families and not have to return back to public assistance in the future. Professor Friedman's, main point when it comes to public assistance, that I agree with, is that is you give people money, who can't take care of themselves and you expect nothing from the in the future other than spending what little money you give them to be able to take care of themselves, that they'll remain poor.
If you give people more money, to pay for their food and rent, then you are essentially rewarding them for not getting the skills that they need to be successful in life. But if you reward them to go out and get the skills that they need to be able to take care of themselves and even demand that they do, then they'll do that in return.