Critque Of "A Social Conservative Credo"

1089 words - 4 pages

During the fall of 1995 an article entitled "A Social Conservative Credo" appeared in the journal Public Interest. Written by Charles Krauthammer, a conservative who studied politics at Oxford and medicine at Harvard Medical School, argues that reforming welfare can not be solved by merely abolishing it. Instead government must look at how welfare has created incentives for the people who receive it. For example, "Every teenage girl in the country is told: Have a child, make sure it is out of wedlock, make sure you have no job or prospects, and Washington will then guarantee you a monthly check . . .". Such incentives of welfare have caused the vicious cycle that people get trapped in and never come out of. So what's the solution? Liberals argue for more social programs but are flustered by the fact more programs are associated with such social breakdowns as violence, teen pregnancies, drug abuse and suicide. Krauthammer believes that government needs to enact less programs and instead look at the rapid growth of the welfare state and the effects it has had on society. By doing so government, in his opinion, can get down to the bare essentials of what shapes the attitudes of welfare recipients. He [Krauthammer] has commented that the welfare check from the government lets people realize the aforementioned example but through the shaping of these peoples attitudes from decay of culture, medicalization of vice and absence of religion. The word welfare scares a lot of people when it is mentioned. For some it is seen as help from the government when times get rough. For others it's their tax dollars going towards someone who is lazy while they work hard all day long. Krauthammer believes that society not government has shaped the attitudes of people who receive welfare. That seems logical, these welfare recipients learn their attitudes from parental role models. Or maybe television or the music they listen to shaped their minds into thinking it's okay to do whatever you want just as long as the government is there to pay for you. Yet it is an American ideology to put the blame on somebody or something else. Why blame yourself when it is society's fault? Krauthammer seems to suggest that welfare recipients are created by the society in which they live in. To a certain extent this is true but how far can the finger be pointed on society when it really needs to be turned around to the people who are on welfare. The first argument Krauthammer makes is that a decay in culture is one of the many catalysts in the welfare equation. Kids who listen to "gangsta rap" and watch violent movies are all learning disintegratory social trends according to Krauthammer. He even goes further and attacks the everyday sitcom that our youth watches today. He states, "[Our] youthful consciousness [is] almost literally hardwired to the most extreme and corrupting cultural influences [today]." Yes as time goes on what is considered acceptable today has...

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