The welfare state mentality is close to universal today. Half of Americans are on the dole to one degree or another.
The outlook of this society is one of entitlements. They are deliberately called entitlements by their defenders because “charity” sounds voluntaristic. These handouts are not voluntary, as both the legislators and the recipients know. The recipients of money or non-monetary handouts think of the arrangement as both moral and legal. Because the dole is promised to oldsters, every member of society is taught to look forward to his days of wine and roses, his golden years of automatic monthly money and nearly free medical care.
An attitude of a moral right to other people’s money pervades what used to be called the lower ranks of society. Even where the legal right to other people’s money does not exist, the moral right is thought to. Those who have lived in terms of government handouts expect handouts to continue on at least a part-time basis from anybody who possesses any advantage, earned or not, which they do not possess. It is not just that they want to get their hands into your wallet through the civil government. They want to get their hands into your wallet directly. But this proves more difficult. They cannot use coercion, so they have to use a sob story. They make up effective ones.
This is why there are deacons in churches. This is why there are screening committees in charitable organizations. The donors need people who are skilled in sorting out sob stories of pretended need from real stories of real need.
I used to attend an inner-city church for several years. The secretary knew everybody in the neighborhood. She would warn the pastor when some guy came looking for a handout. She would tell him which people were con artists, and which ones really had a pressing problem. We all need people like this in our lives. Until you get one, operate on this assumption: the person who wants the handout does not really need a helping hand. The person is just working the system, and you are the latest mark.
Charitable organizations are hit so often with sob stories that the screeners can categorize them. They have heard them all before. They know all the reasons offered for personal failure. They become skilled at separating people who need a hand from people who want a handout.
A SOB STORY
I was reminded of this recently when I received the following email.
I was doing a search for my daughter of online accredited colleges and came across your video when trying to look up reviews on Ashworth University. She’s not a social kid and she’s been doing Fisher online college for early childhood and she just informed me that she wants to switch her major to Psychology. She works as a FT nanny, 19, and lives on her own. We have qualified for some financial aid but she says she doesn’t like the curriculum of Fishers. She has looked at Phoenix online and likes them but it’s very expensive, and now she just sprung on me Ashworth Univerisity. She’s a very naive girl and she’s stressing me out. I was excited when you said go to my website for my free report to download and when going there, I saw that you want a fee for it. I can’t afford this. I am a single mother trying to get my daughter to keep at it and pursue college and get a degree. Is this the only way to get your valuable information? I live in Massachusetts and my daughter has social anxieties so she prefers online college only. If you can help me in any way I would value that.
Let me break this down, point by point.
First, Fisher College online charges $325 per semester credit hour. (Note: Fisher College charges over $43,000 a year to parents of its on-campus students. This is about $1,430 per semester credit hour. So, $325 per semester credit hour is a real bargain — one which parents of the on-campus students would be wise to take advantage of. If they don’t, they are dumber than dirt, which in fact most parents are when it comes to the trifecta of after-tax economic loss: “room, board, and tuition.” The really smart ones would pull their kids out, have them use AP exams and CLEP exams to quiz out of college courses, and get the price per semester unit down to about $35 for the first two years. To find out how to do this, click here.)
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)