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Letter: Real solution to poverty is more personal responsibility

Enough already! As I sat down Sunday morning to read your paper, as I have for over 60 years, I am staring at the following front page items: “More than 33,000 live in poverty in Hall” “Working poor face many life obstacles” “Single mom of four working to get out of poverty.” Then on the editorial page, you are telling me how upset some parents of children receiving gifts from local charities are that they can’t afford to buy Christmas for their kids.

Have you or any of your staff ever heard the phrase “individual responsibility”? I have worked and earned money since I was 10 years old (selling Grit newspapers then). I grew up with a mom who would not have thought about taking any type of welfare and didn’t, though we would have certainly qualified, even back then. It was called pride.

Yes, there must be a safety net for children and people who are not capable of working. But when President Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, putting in a work requirement for the able-bodied, the rolls were reduced by 60 percent in the following years. Why can’t this be done now? The takers are outnumbering the producers.

Try writing something about folks who have succeeded in getting out of poverty by working. Employers are begging for workers.

Gene Cobb


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