My younger daughter appeared at my desk last evening wanting to "borrow" twenty dollars from me to give to one of our "poor" neighbors. For starters, that is a very extended family - recently widowed 45ish 300 pound mother with a 28 year old 300 pound daughter and her inter-racial boyfriend, a 27 year old son and his girlfriend and two little children, an eighteen-year-old son, and a 13 and a twelve. Oh yes, and (now down to) five medium-large (think boxer) dogs. All in a two bedroom house. Not an employed person in the entire bunch.
"Does she smoke?"
"Does she drink?"
"Does she do drugs?"
But my daughter is a touch. Her heart bleeds for people in need. Dad, it's for the children. Now you and I know better, but her heart is still filled with the exuberance and optimism of youth.
I suggested that if the situation is that dire, perhaps we should call DFACS to rescue the children. So she got mad at her mean old dad and stormed off.
She came back later tail between her legs muttering something about why did Dad always have to be right.
What she does not realize is that what will benefit the children is not enabling the parent's bad behavior, but making them confront it and improve the entire situation and that her well-meaning interference will in the long run make things worse.
This apochraphyl incident is as well an analogy to out entire country and its situation.