Welcome to 'Middle Ground View' where we seek to find reason, common sense and clarity in all matters of life. It is our firm belief that no matter how muddled a topic is or how emotionally charged, with a bit of investigation a sensible Middle Ground position can always be found.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Steve and I

Good day, let me introduce myself. I am a thirty something professional with a wife,

kids, mortgage and a nine to five job. Well, it's meant to be nine to five if not for the

deadlines, performance targets, my boss's idiosyncratic moods... but I am getting

sidetracked. After all, this story isn't just about me. It is also about another man, let's call

him Steve. Steve lives in a ramshackle hut with leaking roof and broken windows. He

doesn't have a job and spends most of his time on the couch watching TV with a stubby

in his hand. When he is not drunk, he is on drugs, or at the pub, or explaining his latest

misdemeanor to a Magistrate. The problem is, for reasons I don't understand the

Government likes Steve much more then me. Let me explain. I work hard paying the

mortgage, bills and school fees but every year at tax time I get a shock realizing just how

much of my hard-earned money the Government has taken away. And not a small

amount of that money seems to end up in Steve's pocket. Since he doesn't work, he gets

the unemployment benefits, rent assistance, free doctors' visits and cheap public transport

tickets. Whenever he gets in trouble with the law, the Government helpfully offers him a

lawyer, a social worker and a councilor, all free of charge of course. If during one of his

drunken escapades Steve were to sire a unwanted child in whose life he will take no

interest, the Government will kindly step in with free childcare, schooling and parenting

payments. At no point in all this will Steve be asked to grow up, start acting like an adult

and take responsibility for himself. Which brings me to the following request: Dear

Government, I don't know what I have done to offend you and why you treat me so

poorly. I also don't know what it is Steve has done to get into your good books, but

please, please forgive me for whatever it is I have done and let's start afresh. Surely

whatever it is Steve is doing for you, I could do too.


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