Our welfare system is hurting the very people it’s supposed to help. And I believe, I’m ashamed to say, that most of us know it.

We’re raising another generation of people who think we owe them whatever they want (not need). The result is that they are being cheated out of self-respect, dignity and the opportunity to become independent, contributing citizens.

Our feeding them money and benefits is the same as giving them drugs. Why would they want to help themselves? We give them plenty and require nothing for it. Those who really need help should get it, and they should be provided the opportunity, and required, to do whatever they can in exchange.

When I was a kid, people went to wherever work could be found because welfare was virtually nonexistent. They did whatever jobs they had to in order to survive. They were poor but independent, proud and respectful.

We need something like the old Civilian Conservation Corps, where people who didn’t have a job or saleable skills lived in establishments where they earned their keep, basic care and skills to become independent and contribute to society.

If I robbed someone of their house or money, I would be made to pay restitution and jailed. By just throwing money at people, we rob them of their self-respect while we busily ignore them.

We’re capable of creating a system that supports independence rather than dependence, so let’s get up the courage and the will and get it done.

James R. Rogers, Chelsea

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