One of my academic concentrations is Criminology. Therefore, I feel that it is my duty to approach social issues in today's time, from as much of a Sociological perspective as I can. I am going to start by looking at the issue of welfare and the perceptions of liberals and conservatives regarding this.
As a college student, I have been well-versed in the liberal rhetoric regarding the reasons why we should have a welfare system. Here are a few: There are constraints that do not allow lower class people, especially minorities, to break the bonds of being limited to tertiary jobs where they are limited to less than $21,000 a year. Poor educations in minority neighborhoods combine with a lack of economic opportunities to cause this. Therefore, there needs to be something to help these people along in order for them to survive.
These arguments are liberal 101 when it comes to this issue.
What they fail to account for is the fact that dependency is not going to solve any of the problems they cite as being the cause of this poverty. The only way to get out of poverty is to better yourself through means of education and jobs. In order to get these things, it may take minorities moving out of urban ghettos, much like some have.
Coupled with this, the institution of family must be restored in America. This means we should get rid of programs that reward being single and having multiple children. We must promote the family structure. By doing this, we will be providing positive role models for the youth of America.
Crime is glorified in this culture as well. This needs to stop. I realize that urban culture is unique, but if these people ever want to better their situations they need to stop embracing these things. Crime being viewed as legitimate in lower class areas is merely the result of a culture that doesn't want to work for what it has.
I often hear liberals bash others for stereotyping minorities, but many of these stereotypes have been born from the findings of Sociologists themselves, most of which are liberal in nature. I once read a book entitled "Slim's Table." It is by a sociologist named Mitchell Duneier, and studies a restaurant setting of Valois, where older Black patrons spend much of their time. They are of a lower class, but hold the same stereotypes that others do about the youth in their neighborhood. They are not sympathetic to Republican leaders, but hold many conservative views when it comes to their beliefs about the youth.
My overarching point here, though it may be lost, is that we need to stop compounding problems with methods that seem to be in the best interest of the targets, but really only perpetuate a culture of poverty and violence. Jason Lewis, a local talk radio host put this best for me. He said something to the effect that if Dairy Queen started handing out free hamburgers and shakes to everyone in a neighborhood, people would start believing that they needed them. This is how the welfare system is in America. It does not provide any better benefits than the tertiary sector of jobs, but also provides just enough to where people don't feel the need to rid themselves of it. There has to be a better way.
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