Written by T. Bird
So, in recent years, politicians around the country have begun to add requirements to be on welfare or adding restrictions on it-whether it be unemployment checks or food stamps. Now, people who are against this claims it’s unfair treatment of the poor, but is it really unfair treatment or is it because that some people in the country actually want to push these people to start working towards a better life for themselves and their families? In this postings, I’ve included a clip from the movie Coach Carter, a movie that is about Ken Carter, a successful sporting goods store owner, accepts the job of basketball coach for his old high school in a poor area of Richmond, CA, where he was a champion athlete. As much dismayed by the poor attitudes of his players as well as their dismal play performance, Carter sets about to change both. He immediately imposes a strict regime typified in written contracts that include stipulations for respectful behavior, a dress code and good grades as requisites to being allowed to participate. The initial resistance from the boys is soon dispelled as the team under Carter’s tutelage becomes a undefeated competitor in the games. However, when the overconfident team’s behavior begins to stray and Carter learns that too many players are doing poorly in class, he takes immediate action. To the outrage of the team, the school and the community, Carter cancels all team activities and locks the court until the team shows acceptable academic improvement. In the ensuing debate, Carter fights to keep his methods, determined to show the boys that they need to rely on more than sports for their futures and eventually finds he has affected them more profoundly than he ever expected.*
We see in this movie a man who is motivated to push the young men under his leadership to their limits of what they can do on and off the basketball court. He sees potential for greatness in each one of them. These boys, however, along with their parents start to push back on the requirements that Coach Carter has instituted for the team. Parents don’t like it because it means hard work for them to keep their kids motivated in following the contracts. In the clip above, Ken Carter makes them a promise that he will do all he can to help them reach their achievements. But it’s conditional upon the fact that the team has to do their part! You see, when people who start putting restrictions and requirements upon the welfare system, they view it as a very lax system of dependency. And the requirements they make really aren’t that unreasonable. In Maine, the government mandated that anyone on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) had to fulfill a certain amount of job-training, part-time, or volunteer hours in order to keep receiving their benefits.** Of course, Democrats in the state howled their usual lines that cried unfair treatment of the poor. But their voices were soon cowed by the results of the requirement-at the end of 2014 there were 12,000 people on this program and within a matter of months of this requirement being instituted, that number dropped from 12,000 to just above the 2,500 line. That’s close to a 20% drop in welfare recipients! And they didn’t just drop off from not wanting to follow the requirements-they dropped off because they didn’t need the program anymore because they were working! Yes, wanting a better life requires a lot of hard work and focus, but at the end you can feel fulfilled in the fact that you gave it your all and it paid off! At my old high school, when I played football, the team had a motto-“Nobody outworks Burke!” The coaches kept pounding it into us that in order to attain the level of playing capability we wanted to be at, it would require us to be work extremely harder than other teams. But it was worth it in the end. I mean, what fulfillment is there in receiving help from the government and just coasting through life thinking that since all the necessities are taken care of, I don’t need to do anymore. That is a poor way of looking at life! More so if you have children-if you have children, that should be more than enough motivation to start pushing yourself beyond what you can do because you want the very, very best for your children! So, please, when you hear about politicians talking about adding restrictions or extra requirements on your welfare assistance, please don’t look at as a negative thing or that somehow, the politicians have something against you. They really don’t. In fact, they see the potential in you to become an upstanding member of the community without continuous assistance from the state!