In 1989, a bill passed through the House of Commons, easily adopted by all of the major political parties. Its aim was a noble one; to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. While I say this was a noble cause, it was also a foolish one, one that, short of the government dictating how everyone should live and behave, was doomed to failure.
If I were to go to work tomorrow and quit my job, my income would freefall to zero until I got another job. If I were to commit a crime, and be judged and incarcerated, my income would also fall to zero. If I should pass away, yep, my income would drop to zero. Anyone of these scenarios would result in my children suddenly living in poverty. What on earth is the government supposed to do about that? It is not their job, (them in fact, being you), to take care of everyone. It is up to parents, family, and the church.
As long as I remain a free person, I can choose to quit my job whenever I decide to. I can sit at home and be a sloth, or I can search for employment and a means to feed my children, or I can try to find someone dumb enough to do it for me. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not against charity, for sure, my faith commands it of me. We must never stop helping those who cannot help themselves.
That is where my point lies. One who takes the easy road and allows society to feed his children is not one of those who cannot help themselves, but is one who in fact chooses not to help himself. Society cannot sustain itself if it constantly tries to carry those too lazy to walk. This used to be a relatively simple concept, but it has been exploited by socialist groups who only exist because of government funding. They must have a climate of tragedy and uncertainty to continue to exist.
Child poverty has been called a national disgrace, but I feel that this term was used to promote even more funding for these special interest organizations. Sure, some children live below the poverty line, perhaps even the million that some figures state, but when does some of the responsibility for that problem fall on the parents? Why is it always the fault of the rich corporations, or the rest of society?
I don’t know what the solution is, and I don’t believe there is a simple one. I do know, however, that we have to stop blaming government for everything. It is ridiculous to think that we are a failed country because some children go hungry. The parents must start to do more for their own children. I grew up on hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, and you know what? It wasn’t your fault.
So as long as we are free to create children with unresponsible partners, free to quit school and squander our youth, free to begin using illicit drugs and alcohol and to become dependant on them, free to sit on our behinds and not work, free to reject the wisdom of our parents and grandparents, we will have child poverty.
Unless we become a socialist state and do everything we are told to, we will always have child poverty. Speaking from experience, I’ll gladly accept this and hold on to the freedom. Now if only we could teach our citizens responsibility.