Political Editors / January 24, 2022

In Brief: Don’t Work for a Living?

Ending the expectation for adults to work erases human dignity.

Democrats have long been the party of the so-called “safety net.” Ever since FDR and the New Deal, they’ve fostered the notion that government should benevolently provide. And ever since the “Great Society,” they’ve devalued work itself.

Patrick Garry, professor of law at the University of South Dakota, says that’s a deep problem.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the most crippling form of poverty was seen as the poverty of dignity. To read all the letters and diaries and recollections of the time is to see that the severe economic hardship caused by the loss of a job was often considered temporary and survivable. But what destroyed the human spirit — what petrified people the most — was a loss of dignity caused by the loss of work.

The generation of the Great Depression demonstrated that economic poverty did not permanently cripple, as long as human dignity survived. That kept alive a spirit of hope and will. When a person lost dignity, however, he lost everything. A loss of money is recoverable; a loss of dignity often is not.

The word dignity seems to have gone out of favor. Politicians, educators, and media commentators rarely use that word very much. They talk about income and rights and inequality and discrimination, but almost never dignity.

Work and dignity have historically gone together. Yet Democrats are undermining both.

Once seen as the party of working people, the Democratic Party has evolved into a party that considers work to be a burden, inconvenient, and even degrading. Such attitudes come out in the party’s shifted economic and social agendas.

That agenda includes the universal child tax credit payments last year that Democrats want to continue in perpetuity, untethered to work.

[Democrats’] dismissive attitude toward work perhaps explains why Democrats now struggle with the blue-collar and working-class vote. Democrats of course claim that these voters have become racist, but perhaps a more accurate reason they have left the party is because of Democrats’ degrading view of work.

The current leftist view of work has been solidifying for decades. Expanding the opportunities for work has increasingly taken a back seat to finding new protected categories of people and undermining social traditions. Indeed, the left’s focus seems to be on government benefit programs rather than job creation.

Perhaps, Garry says, that’s because Democrats want more and more people “ultimately dependent on government.” He concludes:

What is most troubling about the Democratic agenda and the liberal outlook is not the price tag of their social and economic programs. What is most troubling is how the left continually seeks to fundamentally transform American society and culture.

At the very center of society is the individual, but the left wants to remove the individual from that role; the left wants government at the center. One way to do that is to remove the ability of the individual to serve as an independent foundation of government and society.

Degrading the dignity of work will certainly achieve that goal. Then, once dignity is removed, and then work degraded, all individuals will indeed be alike — they will all be dependent on the government to tell them what “rights” they have and what “benefits” they will receive. Once that occurs, will there even be any questions as to how those government beneficiaries are to vote?

Read the whole thing here.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.