This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Poverty does not imply laziness or disdain for work

It is often insinuated that those on government programs are there as a means of avoiding work, and that these same persons stay on welfare for years even though they could work if they wished. Statistically, none of these assumptions are justified.[1] Many welfare recipients are mothers who must, or have laudably chosen to, remain home to raise their children. Many are elderly. Others are children. Yet mothers are attacked and it is implied that they must have given birth for no other reason than to maintain eligibility for government hand-outs—as if any clear-thinking person would not realize that it would be much easier to work a conventional job than it is to raise children at home. Moreover, research has shown that the poor show the same desire to work as any other social class. We ought to plead with the American bishops against these misguided opinions:

“We ask everyone to refrain from actions, words or attitudes that stigmatize the poor, that exaggerate the benefits received by the poor, and that inflate the amount of fraud in welfare payments. These are symptoms of a punitive attitude toward the poor.”[2]

The bishops have duly noted the hypocrisy in this attitude by observing that the most substantial subsidies “handed out” by the government go, not to the lower class, but to individuals and corporations who are by no means in poverty. Yet criticism directed at hand-outs to the already-rich is hardly ever mentioned. Through this selective outrage it becomes obvious that the aforementioned opinions do not stem from any real knowledge of foul play on the part of the poor, but rather from negative attitudes—especially fear—in the hearts of those who do not belong to the lowly class.

[1] Ibid.

[2] Economic Justice for All, 194.

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