Friday, October 13, 2006

When Crime Pays For Food And Shelter


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A man who couldn't find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for police. On Wednesday, Timothy J. Bowers told a judge a three-year prison sentence would suit him, and the judge obliged.
This case highlights one of the deepest flaws in the strategy created by those who support survival of the fittest governing. When the entitlement programs are slashed into ineffectiveness and the focus is on catering to those who create jobs (corporations) with the assumption that some of that wealth will trickle down to everyone who deserves it, the criminal justice system will take up the slack.

In this case, the criminal felt prison was his best option and skipped through criminal activity as quickly as he could. In many other cases, crime will seem to be the most viable option and prisons swell as we attempt to deal with many preventable crimes along with the non-preventable crimes.

The safety net isn't just for those directly helped by entitlement programs, it is for all of us. But a good safety net doesn't tangle people into it so their efforts to climb out become futile. Poorly designed safety nets become traps and it isn't the trapped who should be blamed. The blame belongs to ineffective systems and those who fight for absolute cut offs of assistance, including and especially health care.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:40 AM   0 comments links to this post


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