A POWERFUL VIEW ON RESPONSIBILITY
"ENTITLEMENT:"You Owe It To Me Because I'm Breathing!" Beliefs we've learned:"I am entitled to good health/to a well-paying job/to have a great relationship/a healthy child." Why? Because "I am human & breathing." If accurate, we'd all have it.Entitlement limits our vision/subdues our self-empowerment/kills off gratitude. How about: no one, not God or the universe, owes us anything? It's about what we create!"
Barry Neill Kaufman, an extraordinary leader into sound philosophy and psychology.
DEPENDENCY AS A START, THEN DEVELOPING OUR OWN POWER
As a child we are completely dependent because we do not have sufficient power to feed and shelter ourselves.
An essential part to "growing up" and developing our own sense of personal power is the confidence developed as we cope with "problems" or situations where we put effort into them and then get results that indicate that we are capable. We also learn, gradually, how to cope better, besides having confidence from the past. As we cope better, we, in turn, gain even more confidence.
People who have not done that have only the alternative of depending on another.
HOW DO WE BREAK THE CYCLE?
Only by having them go through the "growing up" education. Obviously, we cannot have them go back to childhood to do this, so we are stuck with giving them challenges now that will have them see that they can succeed. We do, however, have to teach them that mistakes or the lack of ability to solve a problem right now don't indicate hopelessness - and that we can gain competence over time.
Accordingly, essential to the solution would be "training" in the psychology of power and competence.
This would mostly be done by computer learning/tutoring, complete with videos. Where they would start would be a question, so testing of basic knowledge and of their learned values would be necessary.
Imagine the belief of hopelessness and how that feels. Imagine the thinking of "I can't, therefore I won't. I need to seek others to take care of me. I give up on myself." Imagine being around others who reinforce that either due to culture and/or through being the same way. Imagine only being able to seek distractions from one's own pain of incompetence or anxiety - tv, food, drugs - all the short term chemical changes that don't get us to the long term and which usually conflict with our long term happiness. We keep getting results that prove we are incompetent - weight gain, lack of productivity, feeling bad about watching tv, drinking alcohol, etd. and etc. and etc.
It feels like "no way out".
THERE IS A WAY OUT
Of course, there is a way out, but it takes work.
The relevant question is "What skills and knowledge are missing, which would solve the problem?"
Of course, reading, writing, and 'rithmetic.
An understanding of what works in life, from earning a living to how basic psychology works. An understanding of values.
And a way to get into the workforce, developing some skill that can be used.
The cost of this is not small. But the cost of not doing it is huge:
A wasted life
A lot of money to support that person over the years
A lot of money for health care due to preventable problems.
The problems lie in
Paying for it and getting the dollars up front to finance the program
Motivating the person to do it.
Doing it quickly enough.
The benefit is enormous!
See discussion below.
WHAT IS THE PRIORITY?
After the necessities for survival and decent health and regular education programs and safety from harm physically and retirement-wise, I think this is next. It is not an option.
Yes, it will have a failure rate, but as we get on top of it and results are seen and publicized, the failure rate will decline and the success rate will mushroom, not only in the percentage who succeed but the level of improvement they experience on average. The potential participants will be skeptical and have their normal cultural and subcultural viewpoints.
GETTING THE DOLLARS FOR IT
I think we cannot afford to NOT get the dollars for it. So we have to have it in our budget, and if there is a deficit, we have to think of the long term benefit.
We need to lobby for it, market for it, publicize it. But the "we" I am talking about has to have some financial power, so we'll need to rely on at least some substantial help from such organizations as The Gates Foundation. This would essentially be part of the overall program I proposed for Education.
THE PAYOFF IS IMMENSE
Yes, we will not succeed with all or maybe not even with most (though we should), but for every person saved there is a life saved, and, financially, there is a contributing citizen rather than a financial drag on the rest of us. For each person who is fully trained and accepts the ideas and gets into gear, the savings to the US and the states would be in excess of $300,000 or much more. Given that benefit, we can have a 1 out of 6 success rate and still break even, assuming the costs are less than $50,000 a person.
The greatest motivation is the loss of the benefits, though, of course, we would do the maximum "marketing" to the participants of the great benefits of completing the program and no longer being dependent. Any week they do not complete the educational requirements or other communication, without adequate excuse, causes a loss of benefits the next week - but have a provision where you can get it back by progressing further in the program.
STOP THE FLOW OF DEPENDENT, UNSKILLED PEOPLE
Though, of course, we could have a documented guest workforce, allowing illegal immigration exacerbates the education problem and pulls down the prosperity of all.
See Immigration, especially the solutions for illegal immigration.