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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Learning from the Amish

by Paul Jacob

I don't think I could do without certain modern conveniences, like the Amish do. I need my Blackberry.

But we can still learn from the kind of self-sufficiency the Amish practice. Namely, their habit of doing entirely without government help of any kind. When somebody in the Amish community needs help, guess who helps them?

That's right, other Amish people. Voluntarily.

But instead of applauding their independence, we seem to regard it as some kind of problem.

Or at least the state of Ohio does. They're ordering counties in the state to do more to promote food stamps to the group. But county officials say that no matter what they do, the Amish won't sign up, danged ornery cusses.

It's also been reported that social workers have for years had a tough time persuading Latino immigrants to accept food stamps. Seems many struggling breadwinners are too proud to do that. This too is regarded as a "problem."

For whom is not clear. Taxpayers are saving money, aren't they? And a sense of pride is good, not something to be circumvented by bureaucrats. Who knows, maybe if people see that others can make it on their own, we won’t need so much welfare.

Maybe that's the real problem. The recipients of food stamps aren't the only constituency for welfare programs. We've also got the politicians and bureaucrats who administer them. To keep their own jobs, they need other folks to stay on the dole.

Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at

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