Writing my previous post, Does Charlie Baker Care About People More Than Dollars?, finally gave me the incentive to look up a Charlie Baker quote that I had read, but had forgotten where I read it.
I found it in the September 30, 2014 The Boston Globe article Baker embraces housing program that requires work or studies. To make my point let me change the order of some excerpts from that article.
“I’ve never met anybody who’s been in public housing or on public assistance who wanted to be there,” Baker told Worcester Housing Authority officials during a roundtable discussion about the program.
With Baker’s compassionate care for people rather than dollars, he is obviously preparing to spend money to make life more bearable in public housing. Isn’t that what you would do if you saw such a problem, and it affected you to the core?
Charlie Baker, a Republican who has made welfare reform a central issue in his campaign for governor, promoted a controversial program Tuesday that limits how long residents can remain in public housing if they are not working or enrolled in school.
Under the program, called A Better Life, residents in Worcester public housing face eviction after three years if they or another adult in their household is not employed or enrolled in school full-time. Residents over 55 and those with a disability are exempt.
So, Baker is essentially saying that “since you don’t want to be in public housing, we’ll cater to your wishes and throw you out after three years. Did I read your wishes correctly? Do I have a heart, or what?”
Sometimes people don’t need any more negative incentives to change their lives. What they need is the means to change their lives. I wonder if Charlie Baker ever considered that providing the means to people who don’t have it might be a better option than punishing people for not doing what they cannot do. I wonder if he ever stopped to consider what people might need that they don’t have.