A Contract is a Two Way Street

I have been hearing “social contract” bandied about the news and tubz – usually in an effort to make us feel bad for the poor downtrodden members of society. We just MUST support them (forever)! It is the right and moral thing to do.
Hmph. I will not go into the Lockes, Hobbes or Rousseau theories- as that information is readily accessible. Here is a wikilink if you need the bare bones.

Let me just for a moment run with this (incorrect) notion that a social ‘contract’ implies we must take care of people from cradle to grave. Let’s define ‘contract.’


An agreement between two or more competent parties in which an offer is made and accepted, and each party benefits. The agreement can be formal, informal, written, oral or just plain understood. Some contracts are required to be in writing in order to be enforced. (2) An agreement between two or more parties which creates obligations to do or not do the specific things that are the subject of that agreement. Examples of a contract are a lease, a promissory note, or a rental agreement.

EACH PARTY BENEFITS. A contract is a two way street. You want your roof repaired, you hire a roofer. The roofer offers her skills for your benefit. You offer your money (or other bartered item you have agreed upon) to her benefit. Two parties. Each giving and receiving. Same with getting your vehicle repaired, hiring a neighbor kid to mow your lawn or shovel your driveway. Even going to a restaurant or the grocery store. Each party benefits.

As I stated at the beginning, there is a distressing tendency for pundits to toss around “social contract.” What they really mean is Welfare. And Food Stamps. And Housing Assistance. And on and on and on.

Unfortunately those poverty programs are NOT contracts. Nothing is expected from the recipients. When one goes in to the local assistance center (they are known by so many different acronyms) and asks for help there are forms to fill out. Documenting name, address, social security number, names of children etc. Provide birth certificates (AND ID for the adult applying)

Thank you very much. You can expect to receive your first check in a couple of weeks. Did you need immediate food? Here you go. Housing? Well there is a LONG waiting list for that.

So the recipient is receiving a benefit. What are we, the taxpayers, receiving? Is the applicant required to set goals to achieve independence? To get their life on track to self sufficiency? Is there a community service component? Must the recipient take classes on how to budget? How to get the most bang out of OUR buck at the grocery store?

The answer is NO! A resounding NO! Should we not be expecting recipients to GIVE as well as receive? Should not the expectation be that the recipient will join the ranks of taxpayers at some defined point?

That my friends is NOT a contract. It is entrapment.

Been there, done that. It is a TRAP. Designed to keep people down and dependent. Shame and determination got me out. Oh- and a sense that as a citizen I need to contribute to society as much as possible. Not a sense of entitlement. Yes I believe we should help the less fortunate.  We should give them a hand up- not a hand out.


40 Responses

  1. The listeria outbreak that killed 25 people has been traced back to unsanitary conditions at Jensen Farms.
    In other words these pigs are killers. They should go to jail right now and be forced to eat nothing but their own recalled cantaloupes. Incidentally, they also grow corn, watermelons, wheat, pumpkins and alfalfa—so they will get plenty more chances to kill people, because we all know they will never be prosecuted like they should be.
    Over at their facebook page you will read this:

    I’ve never heard of Jensen Farms, but as a fruit grower myself, I will tell you that this Listeria outbreak wasn’t necessarily caused by avoidable negligence on the part of Jensen Farms. Just gonna guess that you know absolutely nothing about the farm business, but you just enjoy kickin’ a company while they’re down eh?

    Well geeze, you A Hole, you’re so so right! We should instead be kicking the 25 people they killed eh? I would love to know what YOU grow so I can avoid it.

    Stop by and say hi and tell them how grateful you are that they didn’t kill a member or your family. But since companies like this just keep going after a slap on the wrist, we will never know.


    When is our government going to start prosecuting these Big Agra people who are killing Americans, getting fines and going right back to doing what they always do? And cutting funding down for the FDA, well isn’t that just a great idea, Republicans? I guess your own families have been lucky about listeria. So far, otherwise you would Get It.

  2. Yes Uppity- disgusting. They bought used equipment. Old, used equipment that could not or was not properly cleaned and sanitized. Nasty.
    Pretty much sucks that we have to bathe our fruit and vegetables in bleach to avoid suicide.

  3. Here is an article about the conditions in the packing plant

    In a six-page assessment of the conditions at the farm based on investigators’ visits in September, the FDA said Jensen Farms had recently purchased used equipment that was corroded, dirty and hard to clean. The packing facility floors were also constructed so they were hard to clean, so pools of water potentially harboring the bacteria formed close to the packing equipment.

    The thing with the floors will get a restaurant in big trouble. Same with equipment that is hard to clean.
    Big Ag is killing us.

  4. The hallucinating guy at the neighbor’s place…he’s coming unglued this morning.

    Btw Mom, great post.

    We get all our veggies delivered, in a weekly box, from a lovely organic farm in the area.

  5. NES- thanks- was hoping I got the gist of “contract” correct lol.
    And good on you for getting your vegetables locally. It would be a lovely thing for me to be able to use my little piece of land thusly- but the legal hoops to jump through? Who the hell can afford it? Seriously thinking of leasing out small sections for friends to come grow their own.

  6. Save a small section for me, Mom. When Obama sends our world to hell in a hand-basket, I’m moving to bitter-clinger country.

    You got the letter, spirit and sense of contracts down pat! But, then again, I’d expect no less from the commonsensegram.

  7. I don’t remember signing any contract.

  8. Why thank you NES. Believe it or not my community college AS in Hotel and Restaurant Management required two basic courses on law. lol Hospitality Law and one that dealt with basic law. It was quite fun.
    You are welcome here in bitter clinger country at any time! I think this land could support all the Uppityites and then some lol!

  9. LOL Uppity. The talking heads – and I include politicians in that- KNOW (or should know) Hobbes, Locke etc. The average citizen does not. The pols and pundits have willfully used the phrase as cover for supporting a dependency state. We must support x,y,z because of the social contract. Uhm. No. Social safety net and social contract are two different things. And social safety net is more and more like the dreaded “drift nets” that catch everything and do untold amounts of damage and deal death to species not “intended” as the target of the net.
    Someday I will call one of the buggers out on it.

  10. That Jensen Farms story is terrible! If you go to their website, you get the impression that the farm is so clean! How do those people sleep at night knowing that they killed so many innocent people?

  11. Breaking news out of Libya- Ghadafhi violently raptured.Will wait for confirmation.

  12. If you don’t support the social contract you are a racist.

    Melissa Harris-Perry says so.

  13. Myiq- lol- do the race baiters realize they are losing all credibility?

  14. In NYC in grade school we were taught basic civics. In 7th and 8th grade we had Social Studies. In college Sociology was core to most degrees. I preferred math, chemistry, biology over the more philosophical courses because often they just “made shit up” as they went along and we spent hours dithering about society and social ills and got absolutely nowhere.

    That whole nature vs nurture thing rubbed me the wrong way. I kept pointing out that the female teacher had ignored women’s lib and was using a text book right out of 1950s thought process. She gave me an A. I at least did pay attention and participate… even if I felt the course was reinforcing negative female stereotypes.

    We have a contract? Everywhere you look people are either on their computers or cell phones. Everyone has a machine to interact with. Nobody wants to stop texting long enough to actually do some work. My co-workers live on their cell phones – mostly playing games on them. Portable game systems with TV sets blaring. So even if people do have jobs it does not mean they actually DO anything while there…

  15. Mkay PMM, looks like your bitter clinger place will be the place to go to. Are you ready?

  16. PMM, there is no evidence of the race card taking a break from our daily lives. It was ushered to the front page with the arrival of barky, the race card player, and it won’t go away till he goes back into the hole he crawled out of. He has a one card deck.

    The funny part is the Tea Party accusations. I guess Cain is some other kind of black? Maybe he is mocha black, or because he actually was a self made man he doesn’t count. Too authentic black therefore The Tea Party wants to lynch obama, as Sean Penn just said. We said that barky would set back race relations – and he has.

  17. McNorman, there are a hell of a lot of civilians with guns in PA. I don’t know what the statistics are nationally for gun ownership by state but I’d wager PA will not be found lacking in that dept. Sort of like the armed guard around here. They take that “end of the world” stuff seriously and are prepared for invaders.

  18. Mcnorman- oh I am ready and getting readier by the day. We might be a bit squeezed here- but we won’t be camping outside lol.
    Sorry to say the kitchen will not be serving five star restaurant items- we can grow beets- but I am not milking any sheep! (Check this post out on the eats available at OWS in NY)
    The liquor cabinet IS well stocked though.

  19. No problem PMM, I have a truckload of liquor which can be shipped at a moment’s notice if you run low. 😉

  20. Hey karen, we have tons of guns here too, but no one is going to salvage the southern border.

  21. My objection to the system is that once you get a toe hold on the way up the mountain you get cut off. It is often better to stay down. At least you know your kids have a place to live and a roof over their heads.
    Jesus said the poor will be with us always. Maybe their part of the bargain is to be the poor so that others do not have to be. Where would this country be without migrant farm workers, just for instance? Our vegetables and fruit would never get picked without them. Or we could be paying five bucks a cucumber.
    Farm work is seasonal and there are other seasons where the workers collect “welfare”.
    Would you have preferred to have been left to live under a bridge and starve? Since Bill Clinton’s welfare reform, which is so hated by the leftists, there is a component called welfare to work. You are expected to get educated, some sort of training to get off of welfare. The only exception is if you are disabled.
    I would agree that the system doesn’t always work well. But I also think that corporate and/or rich people welfare is a much bigger problem. The rich never have to lose. They are too big to fail. Bad investments are for the little guy.
    That giant sucking sound you hear is the sound of the top 1 percent sucking all profit out of the system for themselves. Socialism for them, crony capitalism for the rest of us. And they are brilliant. They get the rest of us snarling and hissing at each other, sure that we are all taking advantage of the other one. In the mean time we are not looking up to see where the real rip off is happening.
    Banks and Wall street have virtually broken this country and if not for the programs put in place by FDR and LBJ, the conditions in this country would be as bad or worse than the great depression. But what happened after all the criminal behavior of the last 10 years or so? No one went to jail. Big business and finance got bailed out and some of them got to run the white house. Now they are making more money than ever and sending lots of it to Obama and the DNC to keep them in charge so they can continue to do what they are doing at the expense of the rest of us.
    I love you guys. You are my peeps. Sometimes though I wonder if we on the same page at all. I wonder why you tolerate me when it must seem like I am always lecturing.

  22. I guess it probably wasn’t a good idea for 94 year old Gordan to be driving.

  23. I see where they are now pimping beer as an osteoporosis preventative for women. I wonder if the beer industry sponsored the study. Just kidding. Not. In any event, if this is so, I’m dead. I hate that shit.

  24. “The congressional super committee tasked with reshaping the social contract between the government and the American people has not had a public meeting since the middle of last month. ”

    They are on the job! They put a few hours into the national problems already. The rest of the time the 6 grey haired businessmen politicians are spending your tax dollars on hookers and steak. No wonder they meet in secret behind closed doors. They don’t want us to know how much they spend on themselves for their three hours a month meet up. I’m sure it involves planes, hotels, cuban cigars, limo service and silver and china service for 6 with all the trimmings.


  25. “because we all know they will never be prosecuted like they should be.”
    Capital Murder would be a good place to start.

  26. upps, i hate beer too. Drank it last when I was a teen-ager – around the time when all you heard on TV ads was “coors… colorado springs” and it was ugly going down but even worse coming back out hovered over some bushes in the neighborhood park!

  27. teresa- you bring something to the table. My point is not that we should not help the poor- it is that we ARE NOT helping them by keeping them locked in the system. Welfare to work was a great idea- one that unfortunately did not live up to expectations.
    For example- there is absolutely no required classes on nutrition and how to feed a family on food stamps. Food stamps allow people to buy junk. Why not make food stamps more like the WIC program? No junk- only nutritious food.
    We need to offer not just checks and housing and food stamp. We need to give life skills.

  28. Yuck- not a beer drinker. Though I do recall a study a few years back- detailed all the estrogen in beer. Explains moobs.

  29. give them a hand up- not a hand out. good advise 🙂

  30. I am allergic to beer.every time I drink it I break out in drunks 😆

  31. The problem with “help” is it isn’t help at all. It becomes and Expectation. What should happen is, hey! Thanks for the leg up! I am trying to get off on my own as soon as I can! Can you help me to that too?

    And then the answer should be Yes.

    Our program is obviously very Christian then, because it GUARANTEES the poor will always be with us.

  32. SHV I agree. It’s murder. Period. When you KNOW you are processing food in filth, you are a potential killer.

  33. Karen I did find it ironic that the “Deficit Reduction Committee” was demanding an increase in their budget. Pigs.

  34. LOL if beer is the answer to osteoporosis, then I am going to be bent over like the Letter C.

  35. teresa- sorry I did not give your comment the attention it deserved while trying to open a new thread for the libyan madmen. But I do want to address some things.

    Our vegetables and fruit would never get picked without them. Or we could be paying five bucks a cucumber.
    Farm work is seasonal and there are other seasons where the workers collect “welfare”.
    Would you have preferred to have been left to live under a bridge and starve?

    There is a prime example. Why are those in or near agricultural areas who are receiving benefits not working in those fields? Or at the very least doing community service? Clean parks, help at food pantries etc? Yes I realize they are low paying jobs. But it is WORK.
    As for left under a bridge to starve? I am most blessed and have family that would not allow that to happen. Yes I had to move back in with my parents- temporarily- VERY temporarily as my parents were not going to let me sit around and feel sorry for myself. Yes I helped in the community. I worked a crappy minimum wage job pressing slacks in dry cleaners, I waited tables, I volunteered at church and with the women’s groups at the local community college.
    Five bucks a cucumber? Maybe more people would get the hell away from big ag that is killing us. How many empty lots are there in meancheldas food deserts? Why not put the recipients to work growing their own food?

    The whole premise of the post is that “social contract” is NOT the same as a “social safety net.”
    It makes me sick that the govt traps people. Because in this you are correct

    once you get a toe hold on the way up the mountain you get cut off. It is often better to stay down. At least you know your kids have a place to live and a roof over their heads.

    And there in lies the problem. The system is broken. It goes back to that old saw- “Teach a person to fish”
    We just keep giving fish away- and it is tainted and creates and entitlement attitude. We need to create American Can Do attitudes.

  36. I love beer.

  37. mcnorman- unfortunately I do not have beer on hand. I use it only a couple times a year in some recipes. lol. It is supposed to be fairly simple to make though. People were doing it long before the mechanized age and refrigeration. It is supposed to be much easier to make than wine.
    So if we all come together and occupy the farm here who will be in charge of brewing beer?

  38. I like beer. Beer doesn’t like me.

  39. New “Up all night wondering if my ass will be raptured” post up.

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