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For years now, my conservative friends have asked me, “Do you really want to live in a welfare state?”
I’ve thought about it and I’ve decided:
Yes, I do. I want to live in a welfare state!
If we define “welfare” in the original meaning of the word, “the condition of being or getting along well; to fare well,” then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that my well-being and the well-being of everyone else means that we all have healthy food, clean water, clean air, proper housing, an affordable (if not totally free) education, and full access to complete health care throughout our lives, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that we take care of the Earth, end the destructive practices that are poisoning the planet we are blessed to share, and begin to implement policies and practices that support and sustain our lives and the lives of generations to come, the yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that people, and not corporations and corporate profits, are the primary concern of our politicians and our national and international policies, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that the rights of all people to live in safety are protected by sensible laws that protect the citizens and children against violence and those who would place personal freedom over the good of all people—then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that all people regardless of their color, spiritual or ethical beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or political views are afforded the same rights and privileges as everyone else, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that all people without exception are given the right to vote without fear of harm, reprisal, or discrimination, and that money plays no part in whether a person can run for and hold office, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that our justice system does not favor corporations or one part of society over any other, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that our prison system is one that is not run by for—profit corporations, that its purpose is restorative and not retributive or punitive, and one that sees the humanity in all people—difficult as that may be at times—then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means having an economic system that is not exploitative of workers and does not perpetuate an oppressive class system, one that ensures that all people have the dignity of work and a fair and livable wage, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that our system of taxation is fair, progressive, and free of loopholes that favor the wealthy and corporations over all others, then yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
If welfare means that each of us care for the other, that “the least among you” is cared for and loved as much as everyone else, that racism, sexism, ageism and all negative and harmful “ism’s “ become a thing of the past, that we all support each other in living our lives to their fullest potential and that we are all “faring well”, than yes, I want to live in a welfare state.
In fact, I want to live in a welfare world.
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Last updated on Thursday, February 20, 2014.
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