I read this word of wisdom from a church leader: "The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement." (Elder Wilford W. Andersen, a member of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
I think how it is also true that the greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more likely the giver is to develop a sense of resentment.
If welfare reform is important -- and I say it is -- perhaps we should revamp it with these principles in mind. I'm not sure how to go about it, but one idea would be this:
After filing your taxes, the government would send you a check from the money you just paid. The check would be payable not to you, but to one of the needy families in your community. You, then, would have the option: You could either personally deliver the check to the needy family, or send it back to the IRS so someone else could deliver it.
I consider on whether this would cost us much administrative overhead. In an age of computer niceties, I think it need not.
So, as I sit here thinking about this idea, I like it. It connects the givers with the receivers. It makes citizens more a part of the process. With many givers likely to express concern for those they contribute to, it inserts love into the program. It also inserts more accountability, as the receivers will be more reflective on their situation and whether they need to remain on the welfare.
I do see a danger: Some givers would take it as a chance to go to the receivers and condemn them. How to avoid that? I'm not sure. For one thing, though, remove them from the program if they do threaten the receivers.