Americans Love A Tragedy

In 1887, numerous droughts hit Texas farmers, destroying most of the cattle grazing land. That year, over 85% of Texas cattle died.

Congress wanted to help, and proposed a bill that would send aid to the devastated Texas region. But then-President Grover Cleveland vetoed the bill, giving one reason for doing so.

He believed that -if given a chance -the American people would help the Texas farmers. He said, “…the friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied on to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune.” And he was absolutely right.  In less than a year, American citizens across the country raised more than $100,000 for grain for the Texas farmers -more than the $10,000 Congress had proposed.

Cleveland believed that, once on the government dole, people would never get off. It was far better to have individuals, and private organizations help the down-trodden.

So. Why the history lesson? Because as George Santayana said, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And unfortunately, we’re in the ‘doomed repetition’ stage right now.

Everyone stumbles sometimes; there’s no fault in that. But we live in a country where almost 36% of its citizens are on some sort of social welfare program -36% of people who will never get off the government dole.

Even as early as the fifties, people depended on two sources for help when things went south: their neighbors, and the church. But because nobody would continue to support someone who was making no effort to help themselves, these financially-needy people would pull themselves back on their feet as soon as possible. That is how things are supposed to be. You fall, you pull yourself back up. You get over it, and you move on.

You don’t sit on government welfare for the rest of your life.


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