Even the pressing issue of health care in the United States has as its core issue the tension between the need for individual initiative, participation and responsibility, and the compelling social value and obligation to help those less fortunate. A health care system that simply dispenses care without thought of individual initiative is, let’s face it, unaffordable and, given the limitations inherent in the scarcity of resources, therefore unfair, as perhaps everyone may get something but many have too little and quality suffers deplorably. By contrast, a health care system based solely on individual initiative and financial wherewithal isn’t a health care system at all and is both unfair in that many suffer needlessly when even but “reasonable” acts of sharing and compassion would alleviate much suffering.
Jesus Christ said, as if running on the Republican ticket, “To those who have, more will be given, and to those who lack, that which they have will be taken.” Energy attracts success; lack breeds inertia. Only the spark of desire can ignite the fuel of Life Force to drive the engine of self-effort towards fulfillment and self-improvement. Government assistance can spark or enhance self-effort in one but stifle it in another. Entitlement is the necessary legal and social consequence of legislated assistance which tends to dehumanize its recipients and rob them of the opportunity of giving back or of attracting it by merit. This fact alone doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t the obligation of society to render aid to others in need, however.