Friday, November 6, 2009

On the Handicapped

While helping an associate of mine seek employment I came across many wonderful
not-for-profit organizations, including several that assist the handicapped.

This brought up one of the reasons why I harbor strong reservations about the size and scope of the welfare state. Funds are limited and to give to one group is to take away from another. Hence, we must make difficult decisions about the most just way to allocate painfully limited resources. Or, like Obama we can avoid prioritization and seek to simultaneously fulfill the desires of all parties, which of course is a recipe for national bankruptcy.

The funds we direct towards welfare diminish funds that could towards assisting the handicapped. The public funds that provide housing, food and health care for someone who has chosen to have four children out of wedlock could and should go towards helping a young man with autism enjoy quality assisted living. The funds that go towards paying people not to work, could be directed towards programs that help the mentally retarded obtain socially and economically fulfilling employment. The funds that go towards those who have developed diabetes and cardiovascular disorders through their lifestyle choices could go towards addressing the congenital health issues that a young lady with Downs Syndrome faces.

In a perfect world we could fund each group, but in the real world we must make painful choices. And as a society we must choose to direct as much of our limited resources as possible towards those who suffer because of innate physical and mental disabilities rather than those who suffer largely through the consequences of their own choices.

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