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Entitlements and the Surfer Dude

This article explores the question of whether Jason Greenslate or any surfer deserves SNAP (food stamps) and other assistance from our government. The author gives a compelling argument for assistance.

This article explores the question of whether Jason Greenslate or any surfer deserves SNAP (food stamps) and other assistance from our government. The author gives a compelling argument for assistance.

Fox News discovered a surfer dude using SNAP (food stamps). Jason Greenslate is the kind of young man who, by his own admission sleeps late, doesn’t want a job, and hits on chicks. Just to goad us, I think, he uses his SNAP money to buy gourmet food (including lobster tails.) Bret Baier of Fox News seems to think Jason is doing something wrong. Baier thinks Greenslate deserves no help from taxpayers.

Another surfer dude, Richie Rich, wouldn’t attract the ire of Fox News. Richie may sleep late, have no job, and hit on girls; but Fox News will not complain. Richie’s father made some good investments that brought him and his family wealth, so Richie Rich deserves to live the good life. The father may have had help from government subsidies, but that another story. Richie Rich benefits from good investments.

Guess what? Jason Greenslate also deserves to benefit from good investments. These investments were made for him by his government.

Jason probably isn’t old enough to know how our economy has changed for working people. There are fewer good-paying jobs because we are so much more productive than in the past. Technology has destroyed millions of jobs, and we must give our government much of the blame (or credit). The role of our government has been obscured by endless corporate hype, but the information that follows can be easily verified using Google.

The U.S. Army built the first electronic general-purpose computer, ENIAC, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, a U.S. Department of Defense creation, developed the Internet. Our government developed the rockets and technology for communication satellites with help from German scientists after World War II (Google “Operation Paperclip“).

A major portion of the development of semiconductors came from Bell Labs under research sponsored by the Department of Defense and NASA. Cell phones were made possible by semiconductors and World War II Walkie Talkies. Other technology from NASA includes lithium ion batteries, flash drives, medical scanning technologies, computer microprocessors/operating software (The technologies exploited by Intel and Bill Gates.), digital camera technology, composite materials, micro-lasers, and infrared technology.

It is extremely ironic that we and our forebears, through our government, are largely responsible for increased productivity and fewer jobs. By promoting old attitudes toward welfare or government help we are hurting those who follow us. In this economy, there is nothing shameful about taking help from your community — your government.

Our forebears also gave us the gift of freedom. Our fathers and grandfathers did not fight and die on Iwo Jima so that 99% of us could become debt slaves.

We all need to accept the truth that, as the poet Max Ehrmann wrote, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” It follows that you have a right to the gifts your parents and grandparents gave you: a life of abundance. You simply have to claim it.

As more people begin to live the life they deserve, more government revenues will be needed. We can offset some of the costs by cutting corporate welfare such as the billions of dollars in farm subsidies to big farm owning corporations. Certainly we can reduce the size of our military. We don’t really need military establishments in 150 foreign countries. Additional revenues can come from increasing taxes on the wealthy. Duh!

Yes, by god, Surfer Dude is entitled to “food stamps,” housing assistance, and more. Our economy will adjust by paying better wages for those who want to work, and those who want more leisure will have that too. To Jason and all surfers, “surfs up, man.”

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