There are many people that say a person in poverty or in need of welfare need to be self-sufficient. That welfare teaches people not to take care of myself. As a general; tenant, take care of yourself is the way to live your life. However, I think people that hold these beliefs do not take the time to consider if they would do so in the same boat. If they have done so.
Life is too random. A big part of who people are is what happens to them. Events have consequences that reinforce a behavior or causes a negative reinforcement. It causes a behavior to avoid something. Two similar people with all the advantages- intact family, good school, financially secure- may have drastic lives. One person works hard and helps people because they see the result. The other person becomes spoiled and leaches on society. That person bums around and treats people poorly (see recent college kids raping cases).
Two similar people in the projects with a single parent. One person, let’s make them female. Gets pregnant, doesn’t finish high school and goes on welfare. She doesn’t dream of that life, but it is not a big deal. She goes with the flow. However, there is another young girl. She sees what is around her and works hard to go to college and move out of the projects. This is the person we do not hear about as much.
So what send these people in different directions. Interpretations of events. Random events. One person is praised for something. Perhaps another gets away with something. Good parents play a role. But things happen. You cannot predict what will happen or a persons reaction to it.
So we need to give people all the advantages we can. We need safety nets. We need social workers. We need food programs so that children do not go hungry.