Obama’s Vision For Systemic Poverty

Published by Brian Hershey on

  • 1 in 6 Americans live below the poverty level –
  • that’s 15.1% of our population,
  • or 46.2 million people making less than $22,300/year.

To put that number into perspective, the population of the ten largest cities in America are half that figure at 23.4 million.

America, we have a problem.

The problem, though, is not poverty per say. For even Jesus said that the poor would always be with us (Mark 14:7).

The problem is systemic poverty. By “systemic” I mean the creation of a well-fare and entitlement system that not only encourages poverty but also depends upon it for its survival.

For instance, Obama and his Democratic colleagues have long been seen as the party looking out for the poor and lower class while their Republican counterparts are cast as padding the pockets of the wealthy and upper class.

Appeal To The Masses

Personally, I believe the Republicans have been grossly mischaracterized. What political gain is there in appealing to the wealthy minority? There simply are not enough votes from this constituency. Even stupid politicians know that to win an election, especially a general one, you have to appeal to the masses.

 Ummm…appeal to the masses.

Would it not make more sense to develop a party platform whereby you create the illusion of helping the poor and underclass in order to secure their votes? After all, there are a whole lot more of them than the 1%.

Then, you could continue to secure their votes by increasing government support to the poorest among us through food stamps, reduced home mortgages, school lunch programs, free cell phones and television sets, extended unemployment benefits, and other entitlement programs. Of course the federal cost to running these programs would be exorbitant. But what’s a few hundred billion?

And why not wax eloquent on the dire need for increases in education funding. Yes, it will take years – if not decades – before American education will match our Asian competitors, but it promises greater opportunity for those without access to good education now.

So rather than stimulating the economy now by opening up off shore drilling or approving a pipeline, Obama invests (I mean wastes) hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars on Solyndra and other failed green energy companies.

How many jobs did that create? None, because government didn’t build that. And those shovel-ready jobs weren’t so shovel-ready, were they?

The True Purpose of Obamacare

Now that you think about it, it’s even criminal that the poor should suffer due to lack of proper health care. So the compassionate thing to do is to make health care a human right and force 310 million “free” Americans to purchase health insurance — even if they can’t afford it or don’t want it. No worries, though, the government will take care of that too. They’ll just fund it through the single biggest tax increase ever passed unto the American people – most of whom didn’t want it in the first place. I’m glad we passed it so we could find out what was in it.

What baffles my mind is why passing ObamaCare consumed the first two years of his Presidency. This whole change barely passed through the House and Senate despite Democratic majorities and a whole mess of back door deals, when the economy was so bad – all of which was Bush’s fault, of course. If the economy was as bad as Obama claims it was, then shame on him for making health care, which was the finest in the world despite its problems, a higher priority than jobs.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, a little jaded, or just plain cynical if you like. But whatever you do, don’t call me maybe or undecided.

So, it would seem, given Obama’s record, that he and his comrades depend upon a constituency dependent upon government handouts. That’s what you call an unhealthy co-dependent relationship.

Yeah, that’s real forward movement!

Whose Duty Is It To Care for The Poor?

Seriously, though, I’m all for helping those less fortunate. The Judea-Christian ethic commands us to take care of the orphans and the widows. For that is the essence of true religion, right? Serving those who cannot repay you for acts of kindness.

But is this the role and function of government? I thought the role of government was to 1) ensure the safety and well-being of its people 2) establish the lowest common denominator of acceptable behavior and 3) punish those who fall below that standard.

Since when did it become the government’s job to be surrogate husbands to single mothers and fathers to orphans? Is it not the Church’s job to care for the poor, the widow, and the orphans?

Surely, Obama wouldn’t blur the lines of church and state.

Or would he?

When you get into it, it becomes obvious that America doesn’t just have a problem. We have a host of problems. To put in bluntly, the State of our Union is in bad shape – no matter who’s in office.

So maybe it’s time we seek post-political solutions to our problems. Our world has seen theocracies, democracies, monarchies, and anarchies. We’ve tried every system of government known to political science, yet every single one has failed. Everyone has used, misused, and abused the power entrusted to it. And the people have suffered much because it.

Maybe it’s time we look to a true Messiah who can rescue us from ourselves, a gentle Shepherd who nurtures those under his care. Maybe we ought to put our faith Jesus rather than elected officials.

Some would argue that that’s foolishness.

Perhaps. But considering our options, I’d say we’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

Brian Hershey

Brian Hershey currently serves as the Campus Life Military Senior Advisor for the Greater Omaha Youth For Christ chapter in Omaha, NE. He holds an undergraduate degree in education, a Masters in Theology from Dallas Seminary, and 20 years of youth ministry experience. He and his wife, Bonnie, have been serving military teens and families since 2001 in Bad Aibiling, Wurzburg, Heidelberg, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Kaiserslautern, Germany as well as Naples, Italy.


Rochelle · November 5, 2012 at 6:18 am

Hehe, gee Brian, I’m not sure who you are going to vote for. 🙂 amen, you are preaching to the choir here!

Brian · November 5, 2012 at 7:24 am

Go OHIO! You’re in a huge swing state! Thanks for taking the time to read it. Be sure to share with Stan.

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