Invest, don’t punish!

How many of you are familiar with Covenant House in NYC? It’s a wonderful haven for children lost on the streets. They take these children in and change their lives. I’m not Catholic, but I contribute to that often. I also give to St. Jude if they are doing a good job. They deserve our support. Don’t let labels control you.

Some time ago, Covenant House sent me a book written by Sister Rose McGeady. It’s called “Sometimes Good Has a Kid’s Face.” It tells stories about some of the kids who have come to Covenant House. It’s the same old story. It doesn’t matter if they are boys or girls. They have been beaten, sexually abused and even put into prostitution, often by stepfathers. It’s unbelievable! Sometimes the parents are on alcohol or drugs. Nobody deserves to live like that! We need more Covenant Houses instead of prisons. These kids need help, not prisons! We need to invest in saving these kids instead of punishing them. Investment, not punishment!

It broke my heart to read these stories. The mothers, of course, didn’t believe their children’s stories, because if they did, they’d have to face some real problems they didn’t want to address. What a mess!

I had a call from a friend of mine who disagreed with what I wrote because some kids don’t have money to pay fines and they have to go to jail. She had a good point, but I was drawing from my own experiences. I hate to wear seatbelts, so I’d take them off. Well, I got picked up and had to go see the judge. He fined me $75! That hurt! Now I buckle up.

I got hit in the wallet and that hurt. Isn’t the idea to solve the problems? Of course, if I didn’t have money, could I be given an opportunity to work off my sentence? Let’s give some time to problem-solving. If we want to be realistic, we must face the problem that prisons are big business! They are political plums. Do you think that these same people who are making big bucks are going to come up with some solutions to get rid of some of the prison population? Hardly. But judges can come up with different sentences. Are you listening, judges? Talk to Judge Drag. He’s got good ideas!

Now let’s look at the job situation. Maybe some prison guards would lose their jobs, but we’ll never know how many jobs will be created by the solution to the problem. I’d rather have a solution to the problem than a few guards. In the long run, we’ll pay fewer tax dollars. That’s right. The taxpayers are footing the bill. You have to look at the whole picture.

Now, I’m going to change the subject. I asked a friend of mine how old do you think the illegal immigrants are? Will they be contributing to social security long enough to cover the money they are going to be receiving? Wouldn’t that be nice? She thought it was a good question. Then I posed the question to a young man. He told me that some immigrants get fake social security numbers and the money is taken out of their checks, but the government never gets it! How do you like those apples? Who is minding the store? Are there records on who comes in and where they go? What they do? Are they self-supporting? How about records on employees? Who’s making the money? Is the employer showing records of how many employees he or she has, and what those workers are paid? How about the profits? Is the employer paying taxes? Where do we go from here? Is there anyone else out there who hates injustice? I don’t have the energy I used to have. If this column could be more helpful, tell me how and I’ll do the best I can.

There’s something else I’m disturbed about. I’d hate to see the hospital in Silver Creek (Lakeshore) close! Here again, if anyone can suggest changes and improvements that can be made, we can use this column for sharing ideas. I’ll keep your identity a secret. So far I’ve had license to write what I want.

There’s so much going on in this country that scares me! The greed for money and power is unbelievable! Have you noticed that when the government gives away money, it’s on a percent basis? Sure, those who have lots get a lot more, and those who have little only get a little. How about giving the same amount to each eligible person?

This has been a serious column. I’d like to leave you with something that will make you laugh. Did you ever notice that Moses started out as a basketcase?

There’s still hope for us!

Have a great life. We can’t do everything, but let’s do what we can. Tell me how I can help.