Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has been getting bludgeoned by a remark he made some months ago comparing people on welfare to feral cats. His metaphor may have been a bit off, but the point he makes is on target. Bauer's point is, if you provide food to stray cats, they will keep coming back for more. Humans are somewhat the same: Keep providing them with free sustenance, after a while they will come to expect it. This action curtails the efforts of providing for oneself. Here Bauer is on point.
As a volunteer with Sav-R-Cats (an animal rescue group), for years working with feral cats, I personally do not find Bauer's remark offensive. Feral cats, when fed every day at the same time and location, will routinely return at the same time and place, as this ritual becomes their main source of food. People basically react in the same way: When continually receiving something free after a while they get accustomed to the handout, thus becoming less motivated and lazy.
Bauer illustrates this point with his parable: Stop giving out mandates, allow people to become productive citizens by getting off the "gravy train" and finding a job. Those who are living off the trough probably can do the jobs the illegal immigrants are doing. Bauer believes his solution will likely save tax dollars, create jobs and improve the economic vitality of the state, county, and municipal governments.
Oftentimes innovative ideas are shot down before getting a chance to survive, materialize or see the light of day. The culprit is the media; with respect to Bauer, it's The Associated Press. The AP has been especially harsh and unfair with critiques and in the reporting of Bauer's plan, referring to it as a heartless attack against people on welfare and scoffing at its similarity to cats. In its bias the AP fails to report Bauer's good deeds towards the poor such as giving out more than 2,500 free pair of shoes, delivering free blankets to seniors and providing other amenities to people on welfare. Also, the AP and media fail to examine or explore the feasibility of Bauer's proposal in ascertaining whether there are merits to it. To outright dismiss an idea without deeply analyzing nor checking its possibilities is poor, lazy and sloppy journalism.
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The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.