Skip to main content

American Generosity

So there I was, watching TV on a Sunday afternoon, when a news item crawled along the bottom of the screen. It said that a 49ers fan who crashed the Seahawks post-Superbowl party turned out to be a 15-year old ward of the state who lives in an homeless shelter. It also said a GoFundMe page had been set up for him. GoFundMe is a fundraising site. So I started thinking, Americans are so generous when a poor person manages to make himself stand out from the rest. Waitress got stiffed by obnoxious guests, we raised money for her. When a bus monitor was insulted by her students, we raised a LOT of money for her. A homeless man with a great voice enthralled us all a few years ago and we all came to his aid.

The point is we Americans are very generous when it comes to this kinds of one-on-one giving. But what if we decide that in addition to helping poor people on an individual basis, we come up with a systematic way to raise ALL poor people? I am talking about social welfare programs. For some reason those never really get the generous side of Americans. Instead we make all sorts of excuses. We say there's fraud involved in the process even though the level of fraud in food stamp program is less than 3%. Meanwhile, that waitress that was insulted by her guests? Turns out she lied about everything. So why is it that fraud in individual giving (i.e. funding people one at a time) doesn't discourage us from coming to the aid of the next waitress but we use the relatively low level of fraud and waste in govt programs for the poor as an excuse to cut those programs?

Americans are generous people. I just wish we would extend that to ALL the less fortunate. It'll be cheaper and way more effective. So next time a politician wants to cut a social welfare program, say Head Start to provide pre-school for poor children, why not imagine the back story behind all the beneficiaries of the program: the single mom trying to make ends meet; the precocious 3-year old whose parents can't afford pre-school; the ex-drug addict trying to keep it together for his son because the mom is dead from a drug overdose. So instead of thinking of those abusing the system (i.e. Ronald Reagan's infamous welfare queens and young bucks), let's personify these programs and maybe we'll find it easier to advocate for those programs. After all, how many of us will refuse to give to a hungry child?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Teenage Years Cometh

If you're lucky, a few days after your twins are born, the hospital just let's you walk out with them. In fact, they insist you take them with you. No training, no classes, no probation...they really just let you walk out with 2 humans. #fatherhood — Tundey A. (@realtundey) November 28, 2021 This was me 12 years ago: And now look at them. In a little over 6 months, they'll be teenagers!   Every time I look at them, I am reminded of Obama's quote on being a parent:  "One of my favorite sayings about having children is it's like having your heart walking around outside your body." — @POTUS — White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) October 21, 2015

Does InfoPath (still) suck?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post titled "InfoPath & SharePoint (Part 1)". Back then I had just started working on a project using InfoPath 2007. So, expectedly, the post wasn't very complimentary to InfoPath (or SharePoint). In fact, I said: InfoPath sucks and SharePoint is the most expensive piece of crap ever. InfoPath, as a development environment, has absolutely no redeeming value. It's worthless.... ( more ) Since then my opinion of InfoPath has changed slightly. It still suffers from all the flaws I pointed out in that post. However, I think when used right, InfoPath can be an OK tool. I think it's well suited for designing one off forms and not for anything that requires complex logic or multiple iterations (like most software development requires). Alas, most CTOs fall in love with its point & click simplicity and integration with SharePoint that they try to use it to replace more developed technologies like ASP.NET. What do you get? A h

InfoPath & SharePoint (Part 1)

A departure from sports and politics. This one is about technology. InfoPath sucks and SharePoint is the most expensive piece of crap ever. InfoPath, as a development environment , has absolutely no redeeming value. It's worthless and if your boss ever thinks of using it, you have three options: convince him not to (not easy once he's been brainwashed by the Microsoft marketing presentations) use one of Al Gore 's lockboxes to store away your sanity 'cos you'll lose it. Also, pad your estimates very generously . You'll need every bit of time you can get. quit immediately while you still have your sanity First, InfoPath: To me InfoPath is like programming in assembly language . Sure it makes it easy (too easy in fact) to bind data to controls. But it doesn't provide you with easy access to your controls. Why is this important? Say you want to disable a button : in most technology: buttonA.enabled = false (or something similar). In InfoPath, you simply