Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

A friend of mine shared something Desire Street Ministries had posted to Facebook:

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.

Mother Teresa said that. It’s not something you’re likely to hear from the “Occupy Wall Street” protestors. From what I’ve heard, they tend to say that people are in poverty because of big, greedy corporations . . . or government not taking care of them. Mother Teresa was closer to a better explanation. After all, those of us eating and sleeping well weren’t handed bread and a front door key by the government or a corporation.

A deeper poverty lurks behind persistent financial poverty. Sometimes the problem is neglect or abuse, drug addiction or alcoholism. Love can conquer all, but the Department of Social Services and the DEA don’t dispense love very effectively.

My Facebook friend commented, “Non-profits do so much better of a job of helping the poor than big government can/will do.”

Why is that? It isn’t because social workers don’t care. It’s that government bureaucracies are ill-equipped to address individual needs, which go far beyond a bowl of soup and a bed or even a monthly check.

More training, regulations and new laws are hardly the solution.

We are the solution. But we won’t be if we hand the task to government and declare “I gave at the IRS.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Jimmy Cook says:

    I hope everything is going great for you and your family Paul. You’re still one of my heroes.

  2. Paul Jacob says:

    Thanks, Jimmy.

    BTW, one key message in Mother Teresa’s statement was not dealt with above. That message is that man does not live by bread alone and that things like loneliness are more pervasive and devastating than poverty. Even more obviously than in regard to poverty or drug addiction, a problem like loneliness can only be overcome on an individual basis. There is no “society” to reach out and touch someone hurting; there are only individuals. Let me be a person that reaches out.

  3. Steve Trinward says:

    The greatest poverty is poverty of spirit. if you truly believe there is nothing you can do to help yourself rise above lack of something (material or otherwise), then — guess what? — you’re right!

    I refuse to believe that most of us human beings cannot find ways — through family, friends, churches, community and just plain our own creative selves — to get past pretty much anything that stands in our way, as long as we are willing to dream, and to see what’s there around us!

    I know too many people who have suffered lost homes (the Nashville 2010 flood, etc.?), major illnesses, layoffs and firings, and other tragic events, only to pick themselves up and move along, often ending up happier and better off than before!

  4. MoreFreedom says:

    Government welfare is immoral simply because it uses force to take from some and then give to others. If you or I did this, we’d be sent to jail for theft. That government does it in our name doesn’t make it moral.

    Not only that, taking this money means it won’t be used privately to help others. And what help it does will be far less than if done by the voluntary sector of the economy instead of the coercive government sector (where the real winners are the bureaucrats) and their political bosses.

  5. A. Mark Hunt says:

    Beautiful column except “I gave at the IRS”. There is no giving here — it is taken, literally at the point of a gun. What is truly remarkable is how much Americans give to charity IN SPIT OF THE IRS.

  6. Paul Jacob says:

    Point well taken, Mark. But my point was about giving, not the IRS taking.

  7. Pat says:

    The most juvenile complaint I heard from an OWS protestor was that government was depriving him of his civil rights – by not providing protestors access to a port-a-potty.

  8. Jay says:

    RE: Addictions- why is that anyone’s problem, but that of the addicted?


    Who forced the alcoholic to keep drinking?

    Why should i apy for them?

    Why are they considered disabled?

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