Government’s Responsibility & Self-Sufficiency

From Sojourners, this quote:

“To be poor in America was to be invisible, but not after this week, not after those images of the bedraggled masses at the Superdome, convention center and airport. No one can claim that the post-Reagan orthodoxy of low taxes and small government, which does wonders for the extremely rich, also inevitably does wonders for the extremely poor. What was that about a rising tide lifting all boats? What if you don’t have a boat?”
– Eugene Robinson, columnist.
Source: The Washington Post

I don’t know whether it is post-Reagan orthodoxy or not, but I will always say that the best route for the prosperity of people is to help them be self-sufficient, not dependent on the government. Katrina shows us that it is dangerous to depend on government. If Mr. Robinson advocates a return to the Great Society programs that lead to 1970’s style welfare system, then I will say he is absolutely wrong.
Teach a person to fish, rather than simply giving them fish. Big government will get us no where and give us nothing much more than dependence, corruption, waste, and graft. Smaller government that focuses on the constitutionally given responsibility of protecting the people will encompass helping the poor to have equal opportunity to be as self-sufficient as anyone else. (Self-sufficiency, I believe, incorporates community. Self-sufficiency is not about not needing anyone else.)