The argument for the strength of America's opportunistic system continually neglects to include government paternalism, which is the foremost cause of poverty in America. Whenever the government intrudes into the private lives of its citizens with no clear-cut plan to eliminate poverty, but only as a means to address a crisis, the result is usually poverty for the victim.
The government bureaucracies involved in family and individual lives are the ones that contribute to poverty in the country. Family law courts, the welfare system, the social services system, and the child support system, are all bureaucracies that take on the responsibility of regulating a household instead of the family itself having complete control.
When a man and a woman decide to end a marriage, the family courts find it necessary to decide the fate and future of that family instead of the man and woman. When children are born to impoverished young men and women, the welfare system intervenes as to what it would cost to clothe, feed, and shelter that child and from there takes that responsibility, leaving little to individual effort.
When a family becomes dysfunctional by any means, the bureaucracy of the social services bares the job of dismantling that family and determining the rest of their lives, and when a father or mother neglects to support their child, again, the federal government foots the obligation and bill.
Though each of the above are social issues that need addressing, the way the United States government has decided to handle these issues suggest that the government become the parent, guardian, or ultimate moderator in the matter. But because the government is too large of an entity to play parent, many people fall victims to a system of red tape and indifference.
Once the problem is addressed and the government solution is applied, there is little chance of recourse. The laws and policies are set in stone and change is unlikely. Therefore, despite the efforts of people to make better on whatever the case, they may remain under the guidance and paternalism of the government until their case completes the entire cycle.
For instance, once a judge has decreed that the wife gets the house and the kids, the law makes it final, even if the wife has other plans, or even if the wife trashes the house and abuses the kids. Once the name of a welfare recipient is entered into the database of the welfare system, that name is guaranteed assistance as long as it needs it, regardless of any other means of financial prosperity.
Once a father or mother is deemed unfit to support their child or children by the child support system, there is no getting out of that system because the court has ruled, regardless if the non-custodial parent ever meant to support the child or not. And once the state has taken a child into custody from their parent, that child is a ward of the state for as long as the state deems the parent unfit.
Not only does the government rule based on assumption, as in the mother deserves the kids or someone else is better fit to raise a child than the actual parent, they inflict monetary value on lives, which in turn imposes a financial burden and a burden of proof on the victim they have ruled against. This indifference and bias rarely changes as times change and never conforms to the stigma of "individual responsibility or ability" as the current trends would suggest, thus it becomes outdated and opens a door to judicial challenge.
Court rulings affect the ability of how people are to survive and if those rulings are based on assumption and are not assessed annually to determine change, then the victim is left to the compounding financial and or emotional punishment of that ruling. Even children suffer from those rulings because children grow and their relationships with parents and views about life changes. However, as stated earlier, court rulings rarely change.
Many people improve themselves over time, but the government only assumes they will not and leave no room for change in their policies. Parents change and get better and welfare recipients take responsibility. Criminals go straight and drug addicts get clean. Time goes on and trends and values change with time but the government is continually stuck in the consistent world of guesswork and red tape. Therefore, poverty in always inevitable and continues as a cycle.
© Aug. 2018
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