Okay, maybe that’s a harsh title. So I want you to keep an open mind while reading this, no matter what your stance is on the position.
This all started in my mind about eight months ago. I was working as a server in a local restaurant, surrounded by students working their way through school, and parents struggling to make ends meet. I’ve never met so many dedicated and hard-working people. But a new girl started. She was 20 and had just had a new baby. One day I mentioned that I thought she was brave to get a job to support her family while her boyfriend stayed home with the baby. What she said next, I’ll never forget. Welfare paid for everything she needed. She had a trailer home paid for. She was only working so she could pay the cable bill and have extra spending money. She told me she had no intentions of getting off welfare. For the first time, I’d met someone who just blatantly did not care. Meanwhile, I was picking up extra shifts, and therefore, paying higher taxes. All so she could wear designer glasses and have freshly manicured nails every week.
The United States is facing a crisis. A real crisis. It’s one that’s easy to ignore, but someone needs to start paying attention. Now. This crisis is poverty and population in America. And it is crucial that we be proactive rather than reactive.
As a background for my argument, here are some breathtaking statistics compiled from the Census Bureau and USAD.
- Between 2000-2013, population increased by 31,515,000
- There are now approximately 313,900,000 people living in America
- Life expectancy is up to 78.7 years (which is only 26th in the world, by the way)
- Taking into account births, deaths, and immigration, one person joins the American population every 12 seconds
- 22% of American children live below poverty level
- 23.1% of Americans were receiving welfare in 2011, reaching an all time high
- 38% of children under five were receiving some sort of welfare in 2011. Add 35% of kids 6-10 and 32% of kids 11-15
- In 2013, 47,636,000 people received food stamps (≈20% of households). That cost SNAP about $79,641,880,000 in 2013
Okay, wow. So that’s crazy, huh?
In 2009, 41.8% of new mothers had a high school education or less. Therefore, they probably aren’t going to get as well paying of a job, and will be more easily susceptible to falling into poverty.
What’s my point? Well my point is that the United States is facing a crisis. Our population is increasing, but so is our welfare. And children are living this harsh reality. Our government is providing the money for families to live, but consequently allowing them to have more children than they may otherwise have had. Please don’t get me wrong, no family should be denied a child if they want. No person should go hungry. But something needs to be done. I kid you not, I stood behind a lady in Walmart a few months back. She had seven children, none of which could be more than nine years old. They were screaming and breaking things while she was arguing with customer service about why she couldn’t purchase something with food stamps.
It’s disheartening to see these situations when so many hardworking families need and deserve welfare. I’m so blessed to be apart of a country that is so dedicated to taking care of it’s people. We can’t keep going, not when poverty, population, and the nation’s debt are all increasing as such amazing rates.
What if we offered incentives for not having children? What if we promised to cut back on the government aid families would receive as they have more children? I’m not suggesting that we should limit how many kids a family can have. I am suggesting that we limit how much aid we provide based on family sizes. We shouldn’t be handing money over to people who aren’t working hard for it. Get a job, it might not be glamorous, but it’s a job. Don’t have more children than you can afford. It’s not fair to us, and it definitely isn’t fair to them.
Most importantly, I’m not suggesting anything radical. Right now, we can take steps to fix this problem. I f we wait too long, that might not be the case anymore. Don’t just agree or disagree with me. Do your own research. Look at the statistics, look at the debt, look at the people around you. What do you see? Let’s be proactive, rather than reactive.