Thursday, April 24, 2008

A leg up vs. a hand out

I recently read the biography of blogger who is all for government assistance for people who need it. He said "you see, I believe in the power of the Federal Government to help people help themselves – as it helped me." (See his full post here.)

It struck me that this person and I are very similar in a lot of ways. You see, I received federal government assistance when I needed it. The Basic Education Opportunity Grant paid for a lot of my college for three years (my senior year, I made too much in my part time job to qualify). I've also received government help in other ways that I can't detail here.

But even though he and I have some similarities, we're still different in our approach? What then, is the difference?

My first thought is that I am always willing to give someone a leg up, but don't want to give them a hand-out. But then, the question remains, what's the difference between this other blogger and me?

Well, part of it may center on our definitions, but I'm not sure that's all that different either. I think both of us would want to help those who truly need it and I don't think either of us would want to help those who are just to lazy to work.

I guess the net of this post is that we truly aren't that different. We may have differences in the ways we wish to help, or we may have differences in our priorties. No, I'm not losing my conservative bent and no, I'm not rearranging my priorities. But I do believe we have to work together.

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