Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are there any Democrats that will stand up to the 'Welfare Industrial Complex'...

...  like Eisenhower stood up to the Military Industrial Complex?

From 'The social services industrial complex':
In his January 17th, 1961 farewell address President Dwight D. Eisenhower presciently warned of a growing “military-industrial complex,” consisting of an elaborate network of stakeholders in both private industry and government. Their mutually reinforcing interests largely insulated them from the presidents, taxpayers, and voters with alternative designs for the use of public resources. Remarking on the resulting tradeoffs in an April 16, 1953 speech before the Society of Newspaper Editors, Eisenhower observed that, “every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

However, an odd mirror image of this huge complex has emerged in the very “industry” that seeks to feed, clothe and otherwise meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable in our society. It’s a social services-industrial complex, if you will, one that could prove even more difficult to subdue than its military counterpart...

...The dirty little secret of the social sector is that once government money starts flowing, the nonprofits that have advocated for it and/or who are benefitting from it have a vested interest in keeping it going, even as evidence shows “weak or no positive effects.”...

...But there is one attribute that could, in fact, make it easier to bring the social services-industrial complex under control from within: the humane instinct that drives people in this field. The vast majority of nonprofit leaders and staff who advocate for and deliver human services, along with their board members and volunteers, come to this work because they want to make a positive impact in the lives of people in need. While government funding leads many of them to act in predictable ways and defend the status quo, they also hold beliefs and values that could ultimately lead them to disrupt it. As a first step in unleashing the power of these beliefs and values, those working in the social sector could admit that they have a problem – or at least a complex.

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October 9, 2012 at 4:36 PM  

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