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Why Not A Community Service Requirement For The Use Of Welfare Schools?

After all, while we want to maintain the safety net, we also want to discourage harmful reliance upon it...

LAST WEEK THE MICHIGAN SENATE passed a bill requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, be in school or be getting job-training in order to qualify for the welfare. This is the latest in a decades-long effort by Michigan and many other states to discourage reliance on the crutch of public assistance, which becomes practically a life-style choice for some when allowed to be too painless an option.

I have an idea for the good senators (and those of the other states) for an extension of this reasoning into a previously untouched area, and one which I think does more harm to society than any other aspect of the "safety net". I think beneficiaries of welfare ("public") schools should be required to "give back" with community service, such as picking up trash on roads within the school district; or perhaps light road-repair labor, or janitorial and gardening work at public facilities.

I KNOW THIS WILL SEEM TO BE RATHER A 'MODEST PROPOSAL'. But the fact that welfare schooling-- publicly-supported provision of a desirable, if not necessary, service like any other safety-net element-- has not previously come under this sort of analysis doesn't mean it shouldn't. And I think that thoughtful consideration will make clear that welfare schools are a safety-net element that society most seriously wants to discourage.

Welfare schooling, though perhaps impossible to do entirely without, does a great deal of long-lasting and cascading harm. In the first instance it produces poorly-educated citizen as definitively proven not just by the consistently poor American education scores compared to the rest of the world, but by the decisive spanking delivered to government school kids when compared to home-schoolers, or even just decent American private schools.

Worse, welfare-school "graduates" are not just lacking appropriate skills and knowledge for worthy participation in American civic society. Their minds are bent with destructive conditioning and deeply-embedded propaganda serving the interests of whatever ideology was ascendant during the school years, in lieu of critical-thinking skills and fundamental knowledge of bedrock American principles.

V.I. Lenin, an expert in such matters, said this in regard to government schooling: "Give me a child for ten years and I will give you a communist for life." Statist welfare schooling is no different.

“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

-Thomas Jefferson

In the second tier of the pathology, these ill-educated, propaganda-ridden welfare-school victims then become voters and parents, perpetuating, spreading and magnifying the ill effects of their own disabilities. Certainly, as a society and a civic body, we don't want this to go on, and recognize it as in our best interest to use every possible means to minimize the affliction.

"It ain't what ya don't know that hurts ya. What really puts a hurtin' on ya is what ya knows for sure, that just ain't so."

-Uncle Remus

FURTHER, OF COURSE, as a society and a civic body we also want to do everything possible to encourage self-sufficiency generally and a reflexive eschewing of welfare of any kind. The area of welfare schooling has had a very harmful effect on the health of these desirable traits, acting as a powerful norming-- even a celebration-- of exactly what we wish to discourage.

Think about how effectively local schools and their beneficiaries insinuate themselves into the lives of parents and children alike. It's positively creepy.

The bureaucrats who are paid to staff and operate these government institutions are disturbingly successful at creating the impression that it is perfectly natural and even a positive good that vulnerable little children at an impressionable age be handed over to them for conditioning to the government's satisfaction. It's the pod creatures from 'Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers' setting up shop with the help of Madison Avenue, and deluded parents bringing their kids in by the millions for nap-time.

SO DISCOURAGEMENT OF WELFARE SCHOOLING is the program of and for a sound society-- first to protect the rest of us from the social pathologies of what will otherwise be vast hordes of ill-educated and propagandized statists and snowflakes; and second, to appropriately balance the receipt of public benefits with compensatory public service.

Obviously, it is the parents of the welfare-schooled kids that need to be discouraged (which means, be encouraged to switch to sounder alternatives) and it is they who owe the debt. Therefore, it is the parents who should be required to deliver the public service.

I have no real idea of what would be an appropriate pay-back and discouragement burden. Perhaps 20 hours a week of public service throughout the school year, per kid? With two-parent families splitting the work between both parents, of course.

Again, I don't know what would be right. Each state legislature would be responsible for working out such details. The variety that would arise state-to-state will subject the whole to a convenient leveling feedback, as parents who are committed to the welfare schools seek out low burden states to reside in.

The low-burden states will suffer the highest demand for expensive welfare schools. They will quickly learn that the solution is to the resulting budgetary woes is to raise the cost of welfare schooling.

In time (and not too much time, I suspect), welfare schools will only be used by the truly needy. Simultaneously, America will end up wealthier, better-educated, and with litter-free, well-maintained roadways and beautifully-manicured public spaces.

I call it a win-win proposition.

(P.S. For more on home-schooling, the best option for our kids and the best option for our society, see this page.)

(P.P.S. No one should take anything above as a knock on public school teachers. My darling Doreen was a public school teacher when I met her and when I married her.)