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Solution to poverty is not penalty of law

February 22, 2013

Susan Stamper Brown

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, there’s no shortage of well-meaning people who want the world to be a better place. But, without the willingness to roll up your sleeves and be part of the solution, you run the risk of making the situation worse.

Obamacare is a good example. Its European-styled socialized healthcare system will fail the American people just like Britain’s National Healthcare System (NHS) has failed many of its citizens. When we allow the government in the name of compassion do for us what we should do for ourselves, individuals become numbers, treatments become quotas, and lack of funding sparks rationing.

I learned a similar, albeit much smaller lesson, recently while adopting a sweet little dog from a rescue organization, which I soon found, has more compassion than capability. As is typical with many online advertisements, the dog shown on their website was nothing like the sickly, tartar-mouthed, urine-drenched dog I picked up. As I write, my pup rests in my lap, just happy to have a home. Her first 24-hours included several baths, a vet visit, administering meds, and lots and lots of hugs in between. Although I’ve had to give up time and money, there is peace in my heart that only comes from personal sacrifice.
Arguably, liberals are far more well-known for their love of animals, but that same affection doesn’t extend to those of us walking on two legs. Most liberals actually believe the ill-equipped and incapable federal government is better suited to meet our needs. In Britain, however, some patients are in worse shape than my dog.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, a 2010 report found many “NHS patients were left unattended ‘for unacceptable amounts of time’ in urine-and feces-soaked beds.” The NHS system is in a death spiral. Costs are on the rise and funds that should be used for improving healthcare are reserved for negligence claims, which rose more than 30 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the UK Telegraph. And there’s no reason to believe Obamacare will be any better.

It’s easy to say you care when you see a need, but caring is only half the answer. There must be individual action tied to a bleeding heart. The question is: Do you care enough to do something about it yourself?
Awhile back, Author Arthur Brooks wrote an unbiased book titled, “Who Really Cares,” based on sound research finding conservatives to be 30 percent more generous than liberals and a Google study a few years ago found conservatives were twice as charitable as liberals. Of course, there’s an exception to every rule, so if we searched long enough, we’d find a few tightwad conservatives and a charitable liberal or two.

To be fair, liberals do give liberally, especially with other people’s time and money. Otherwise, the closest many would come to a homeless or hungry person is if they accidentally hit one with their government-subsidized Chevy Volt while texting on their federally-funded Obamaphone.
Statistics prove liberal programs like the war on poverty do much to line the pockets of bureaucratic administrators, but do little to help those most in need. Don’t believe me? Then take a walk around the White House after dark to watch the dumpster diving taking place near the First Family’s organic garden. A few years back, in D.C., my husband and I bought books of McDonald’s gift certificates and spent Christmas Eve walking in the vicinity of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue passing them out to homeless people. We figured we could get away with giving out greasy hamburger gift certificates to the Obama’s next-door neighbors while they were off eating healthy stuff on Hawaiian holiday.

As much as this is going to upset liberals, the only solution to poverty, homelessness and all other social ills affecting this country is charity motivated by courage and conviction, not penalty of law. We each have a responsibility to put feet to Jesus’ words about caring for the least among us.

Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist and motivational speaker he military. Email Susan at

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