Dealing with the Character of Dependency

by Doug Magill

It has often been said that social welfare programs breed dependency, and are destructive to the character of those that they are in tended to help.  This is not a new issue.  Indeed, Abraham Lincoln understood this well:

“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.  You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

We know this.  And yet, those idealists that call themselves liberals still favor feeling morally superior to being morally right.  And, when people are given things that they haven’t earned, their insecurity at the basis of the transaction becomes belligerency, rudeness, and entitlement.

One liberal, when faced with the reality of the world she proposes, discovers that the world is indeed different than the self-satisfied fantasies she previously engaged in.

The Reality of Liberalism in Medicaid


Doug Magill is a freelance writer and voice-over talent.  He can be reached at



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