The Best Social Program Is a Job [OPINION]
It was a bloody weekend in some of America's largest cities. Police in New York City say there was a shooting every hour on Saturday. In Chicago, at least 16 people died from gunfire. At least half of them were kids or teenagers, including a three-year-old boy.
The child was shot in the back on the city's West Side. No one burned a Wendy's or even seemed to care all that much. Where were the CNN news crews?
There were multiple reports of sexual assaults and shootings in Seattle over the weekend and Father's Day weekend in Minneapolis, which was rocked by violent mob rioting several weeks ago, was marred by shootings as well. A shooting inside Seatle's CHOP zone was reportedly captured on a police body camera.
Violence is escalating in our nation's cities. Our outrage to it all is selective. The outrage applies only to those cases that fall within the parameters of the political narrative. Beyond that, no life seems to really matter all that much.
With all of that as a backdrop, the calls to defund the police grow louder on the left. While some want a complete dismantling of the police structure, others insist the movement simply seeks to redirect some police funding to create more social programs in the inner cities.
Ronald Reagan understood that big government social programs simply create a dependency from which the very people they were designed to help cannot escape. During the 1980 campaign, Reagan stated, "The best social program is a job." Truer words were never spoken.
More government programs simply mean a greater dependency on government, whereas employment equals empowerment. Meaningful employment begins with a quality education.
Government school systems all across the land are failing our students. School choice is the answer for parents of children who get swallowed up by the public school system.
More handouts and dependency would only serve to worsen our problems. Access to quality education and opportunities for meaningful employment are the game-changers. "Defund The Police" makes a cute slogan for a t-shirt but slogans don't do much to solve problems.
Remember the words of the Gipper: "The best social program is a job."
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.