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Chuck Chadwick, Published October 05 2012

Chadwick: Stronger business essential

In response to the insightful piece on the 47 percent of us who have no federal tax obligations (“Cynicism twists the truth,” Lane Filler, Forum, Sept. 20), I agree with the highlighting of the children, as it is a terrible situation and, of course, requires immediate and thoughtful action. However, the group given a pass are the parents of these kids who are not acting responsibly for caring of their own, described as “loony parents and their party pals.” Filler is spot-on identifying the root cause of Jimmy’s challenges.

Rightly so, he mentions that Jimmy’s family is poor and dysfunctional, meth heads and/or crackheads, but states that it does not matter because these individuals and parents will always be. It is at this point, we part ways because family life does matter, and it may just be the most important component in the equation.

According to numerous reports, this group of citizens and parents have grown over the years to become quite problematic to a well-functioning society. Entitlement payments have increased exponentially, but the problem continues to grow. Why is this?

In my limited experience and involvement with social institutions and organizations, “we worked with the parents until the children got better.” The point is that we have many societal issues that seem to be increasing in scope and seriousness and require a holistic approach and solution.

For example, what part does personal responsibility play in our solution? Are we relying too much on the government and not enough on ourselves? Has the minimum “safety net” become too broad and fiscally difficult to maintain? The question of what is the function of a social safety net begs yet another question: What is an acceptable standard of living in America?

Reasonable people certainly can agree on what poor means and what an acceptable standard for our citizens is. This is the discussion we must have in order to get to the root of the problem and improve the lives of those who are less fortunate. If we don’t improve the home life, we are just treating the symptoms. Treat the parents until the kids get better!

The Moorhead Business Association recognizes the seriousness of the issues and wishes to be a part of the solution. One solution is to strengthen the business community that provides us with individual opportunity, entrepreneurship and self-reliance. Free enterprise will lift up the poorest in society by rewarding those for their hard work and personal responsibility. Employment is not just a source of money but a ticket to earned success.


Chadwick is executive director, Moorhead Business Association.