SMOKEY INGRAM (guest column): Gifford spot-on column | Opinion


In the April 9 edition of The Independent Daily, the column by James Gifford was dead on. He did an incredible job of explaining the reality of life.

Very few, if any, of today’s 30-and-under generation would understand the point of Mr. Gifford’s article.

Perhaps even some members of the 40-and-under generation would also fall into this category.

I, too, remember my parents paying their utility bills, gas, groceries, and other household items with “cash” only. They both went through the Great Depression and they learned some hard life lessons during that time. They would pay what they owed and then receive a receipt for their records. It’s just the way most blue-collar working families did business in my day. And I also remember wearing second-hand clothes – not as much as some I went to school with, but enough times that I was embarrassed to go to work, save my money and buy clothes like the best the kids wore.

My dad told me he couldn’t support us and if my brother and I wanted better, we had to figure it out and buy our own clothes, cars, and other wants. And we did. We cut grass, passed papers, caddy at the country club, washed and waxed cars, among other things. We earned our own money and paid our own way. If we wanted a new set of clothes or to ask a girl out on a date, we paid for those things with the money we had earned.

But perhaps the most important point of interest in Mr. Gifford’s article was the question of, and I quote “the federal government creating a welfare system which is one of the most horrific open wounds Of our society”. How true! We now have about the fifth generation of people who have come to believe that the federal government owes them something, that they don’t have to work to survive or to have a better quality of life because the government is supposed to take care of them. How sad that it has become a way of life in the world we now live in.

Even back in the days of the WPA, yes the government created a system for paying people money, but there was a catch – to get your check you had to show up at work and bring a bucket to dinner with you. How many nowadays even know what a dinner pail is? The WPA gave a man dignity and pride. When his check came, he could look his family in the face and know he was earning the money he received. Today, if we tried to get so many of these government aid recipients to get jobs and go to work, we would be branded by the Liberals as cruel and inhumane.

Several governors have tried this and they have all been rejected by the liberals. Quite possibly the biggest employer in our country today is the federal government’s welfare program. How sad.

Thank you Mr. Gifford for your very insightful and truthful article. Unfortunately, too many people who needed to read this article didn’t.

SMOKED INGRAM is an Ashland resident who has contributed a few guest columns for The Daily Independent.


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