“Government handouts” that “create dependency”

When some people talk about taxes and government programs for poor people, they often talk in the abstract about “government handouts” that “create dependency.” Having spent about a decade of my life in various forms of ministry and community with poor people and three years working for the state in the public school system, I scratch my head when I hear this talk about “government handouts.” That phrase just doesn’t describe the interactions that I’ve seen between government agencies and the poor people that I’ve known. There are other problems but free handouts are not. So I’d like to share a list of things I’ve either seen or would like to see and perhaps you can tell me which of these constitute “government handouts” that “create dependency.” Continue reading