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November 22, 2010

This Is No Pig-In-A-Poke

Shawn Burns

Most readers of are familiar with the parable about the wild hogs – or at least they should be.


Basically the story goes like this. You find out where the wild hogs are roaming and feeding; and then you put some corn out in the field. Soon they will come to eat the corn. You keep putting out the free corn. More wild hogs keep coming to eat the corn.


After the hogs get used to your free corn, you put up a length of fence along one side of the feeding area.


The hogs get used to it. You keep giving them the corn.


Then, you put up another section of fence at a right angle to the first. You keep giving them the corn. The hogs get used to the second fence. Then you put up another length of fence at a right angle to the second section.


You now have a U-shaped fenced area. The hogs get used to that section of the fence. You keep giving them free corn.


Then, you put another section of fence with a gate in it, making a closed area except for the gate. You keep giving them corn.


Now, the hogs no longer are out in the fields, working to find their own food. They keep coming into the area to eat the free corn. They get used to the fenced area with the open gate.


Then, one day you slam shut the gate when the hogs are inside the fenced area. The wild hogs are caught – they are your prisoners.


The hogs depend on you to feed them, or they will starve. They can't get out into the fields and forests anymore to find their own food. They have probably forgotten how, anyway. They are your servants, your prisoners. They must obey you. Or else they starve.


The hogs were so happy getting free corn that they ignored the building of the fences that would eventually trap them. When the gate slammed shut, it was too late for them to realize to that which they had been blind.


The free corn was enticing, so effortless to obtain, but eventually the cause of their loss of freedom. The fence had been built; the gate had been shut.


Does this sound familiar? It has been, and is, the story of federal government programs in America.


Social and welfare programs are an absolutely great idea as long as they are a “helping hand” and not a “handout.”


There is always a need for help and compassion from the government toward people in need of help. That is something I support. But as these programs are run and managed today, they do a tremendous disservice to the recipients of those programs.


The more that, we the people, accept from the government, and the less we do for ourselves, we are one step closer to having that gate slammed shut on us. And once that gate is shut, it ain’t getting opened back up. More likely, that gate will be welded shut.


Let’s be honest, humans are relatively lazy by nature.


How can you really blame someone who doesn’t have to put forth a whole lot of effort and can get what amounts to a free check from the government every month? Where is the incentive for that person to do anything differently?


Long-term government programs are no different than crack cocaine. At first the checks are “free.”


And then, once you’re addicted to those government checks, it’s hard to kick the habit and stand on your own two feet again.


The real blame for people who are addicted to government checks belongs at the feet of our government.


Sadly, the government has no incentive to change this culture of “free corn.” Rather, the government encourages further expansion of these programs. It’s a game of control.


The more the government subsidizes your housing, food and general well-being, the more control the government possesses over every single aspect of your life.


As is always the case, change has to come about as a result of the people. Not the government.


No one ever surrenders power and control voluntarily.


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