Opinion | Hickenlooper advocates for adults unwilling to work | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Hickenlooper advocates for adults unwilling to work

Colorado Springs Gazette
Editorial board

Able-bodied adults who refuse to work cause harm for themselves and those less fortunate.

Senate candidate John Hickenlooper, a mature former businessman, must know this. Yet, he strives to sound like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a 30-year-old socialist media sensation, known as AOC. It is not a good look for him.

Just like Cortez, Hickenlooper advocates for those who choose against work. Taking things further than AOC, he suggests — in writing — the disgusting belief that minorities are especially bothered by expectations of work.

When politicians advocate for people unwilling to work, consider the disabled woman on Social Security who takes public transit to her medical appointments. She arrives at the RTD station only to hear her train is among 100 canceled that day in Denver. Too many able-bodied adults decline $20-an-hour starting wages and the training RTD offers.

Consider children in Colorado Springs missing field trips because unemployed able-bodied adults won’t drive busses.

Think about a young working couple seeking a home in Colorado Springs. Soaring prices dash their hopes. Why don’t builders produce enough homes to meet demand, the couple asks.

A real estate agent shows them a 2019 survey by the Associated General Contractors of America that finds nine in 10 Colorado Contractors cannot fill positions for craft workers. Seven in 10 cannot fill salaried positions.

All over the country, business owners are begging for help and raising wages. We need everyone to work who is able to work — rich and poor, black and white, skilled and unskilled.

Amid worsening labor shortages, the Trump administration announced last week the restoration of work requirements for “able-bodied adults” on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — best known as food stamps.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will restore requirements initiated by former Democratic President Bill Clinton. Childless able-bodied adults between 18 and 49 will receive assistance only for three months in a three-year period unless they work or acquire training for at least 20 hours a week. This demographic probably represents a small percentage of SNAP recipients, but the country needs all the labor it can get.

The new rules are a win for the poor. The requirement might get a few busses running and houses built. Additionally, it will focus benefits on those who need them most. Unlike non-finite free-market resources, government help for one comes at the expense of another. We have social benefits only because able-bodied adults provide for themselves and others by paying taxes and funding charities.

Despite the social safety net’s full reliance on private-sector effort, work is optional in the fantasy world of AOC and Hickenlooper. They seem to view dependence as a virtue and a right. Workers should pay for those who willfully decline good jobs.

“Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” states a promise in the overview of AOC’s Green New Deal.

Her Twitter comments blasting the new SNAP rules include this:

“A person who needs their car to drive to work gets denied food,” AOC tweeted.

How ignorant. People who drive to work likely meet the low-bar work requirement.

Hickenlooper chimed in with a more vacuous tweet:

“This move by the Trump administration would take away food from 33,000 Coloradans — just before the holidays too. It hits children, seniors, people of color, and our most vulnerable the hardest. This is wrong.”

Hickenlooper’s points are 100% false and offensive. Colorado Public Radio ran the numbers and found the requirement will affect hundreds in Colorado, “not the tens of thousands reported by some politicians.”

It hits no one “just before the holidays.” Unless, that is, Hickenlooper worries about California Poppy Day (April 6), Hug a Newsman Day (April 4), or Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day (April 3). The new rules begin April 1, making Hickenlooper’s tweet a premature April Fools joke.

Hickelooper’s claim about the elderly and children is an outright lie. The rule expressly exempts them.

It gets much worse. Hickenlooper’s pander to “people of color” indicates a belief that minorities object to working. This nonsense disparages minorities, who have a rich history of providing for themselves and others, and fighting for the right to do so.

Work is good for individuals and society. Hickenlooper should stop excusing dependence by able-bodied adults. The most vulnerable people need them to produce and stop consuming finite benefits intended for those less fortunate.

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