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Rated: E · Article · Opinion · #2193798
Why am I responsibility for your mistakes?
There were 30 of us in my high school senior class; 15 boys and 15 girls. The school was small and in an upper-middle class community. We all came from productive parents and most of us had a two-parent home. In other words, we were all white-privileged kids with no reasons to fail as adults.

Of the 30, and all through high school, there were at least 5 of us who were cut-ups and never turned in homework, completed assignments, or participated in activities. They did their best to interrupt classes and made it hard for the smarter kids to learn anything. Two of the girls got pregnant during our senior year and dropped out to raise their kids. After graduation, about half went to college and 10 of us eventually received degrees. Those with degrees and some with trade skills have been living successful and productive lives. The two girls who got pregnant have had multiple husbands and other out-of-wedlock children since high school. Both collected food stamps until their children left home. Three of the cut-ups ended up in prison and the other two were killed violently; one in a road-rage incident and the other in a shoot-out with police. I'm not sure what happened to at least 6 of our classmates, because they practically disappeared from the map within the first 10 years after graduation.

I tell this story because there seems to be a consensus in this country that people fail because of their environment and not because of anything they have done. Our society blames it on race, poverty, dysfunctional parenting, or education opportunity. The list goes on and on.

When I look at the lives of my fellow classmates, I see they had exactly the same opportunities I had growing up. Yes, I made mistakes, but learned from them and continued to better myself moving forward. There were many obstacles, but I worked hard to get around them with little or no help. Some of my classmates have been burdens on our society and taxpayers have supplemented their mistakes through food stamps and welfare; not counting what charity organizations have thrown their way.

My point is, "Why are the mistakes of others my responsibility?" Our government has been taxing the productive citizens heavily since the early 60's to create assistance programs. Most of these programs have done little to bring people out of poverty and into lives as productive citizens. The programs encourage young ladies to continue having out-of-wedlock babies and remain unmarried. Politicians win elections by promising more funds will be devoted to programs that have never worked. In other words, they use my money to buy votes.

When productive citizens complain about robing the rich to give to the poor, we are called bigots. It is good to be unselfish and share your wealth with the unfortunate. I do that through my church and sometimes help someone I feel needs it. But when the government takes it away from me to give to someone else, it has taken my choice away and receives credit for the charity. Throwing money at the problem normally solves nothing and produces wasteful spending. It also encourages more poverty because it creates a comfort zone for non-achievers.

In this country, there should be no excuse for someone living in poverty. If I could carve out a decent life growing up, so can anyone else if they work at it. I do take exception to the handicapped, which have a more difficult path to take; however, I have seen countless numbers of people with severe impediments make it too. I think it is all a matter of choice and many take the easy way towards poverty. I do not think their mistakes are my responsibility.

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