If it makes sense to mobilze the army and everyone else to come to the aid of the poor and unfortunate after a natural disaster (like Katrina), why doesn’t it make sense to mobilze this level of support for “them” the rest of the time? Is it because, barring a natural disaster, it’s their own fault and so they don’t deserve any help? Is it that we would really rather not help at all, but what with all the images on TV it would be political suicide not to help? Seems rather duplicitous to be helping now. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying we shouldn’t be helping now. I’m saying we should be helping more often. Helping, of course, is what open education is all about.

2 thoughts on “If…”

  1. David, that’s an awesome observation! Why is it only worth helping the less fortunate when they are televised, or when yet another event outside of their control broadsides them… The help quickly fades away when the All Seeing Eye of Sauron (er, CNN) is trained on another microfocus event…

  2. Actually, a LOT of help goes to the disadvantaged all the time. It’s usually called “charity.” It’s not a government program, though, it’s citizen-to-citizen, church-to-church.

    Part of the problem, though, is institutionalized poverty, engendered by a welfare system that for decades encouraged young women to not seek job training, to have children out of wedlock, to raise them in fatherless homes, to believe that they were incapable victims.

    That created a culture of dependency and learned helplessness, which resulted in people living below sea level who were not prepared to take care of themselves or their neighbors when the waters inevitably overtopped the levees.

    Open-ness is about peer-to-peer and community, right? Why should we who value those things expect government – especially the federal government – to solve our local problems?

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