Replace Detroit with Baltimore or Atlanta or Sacramento. My statement was not about the folks of Detroit, but rather about people that game the system and the exercise (the handout) that was carried out. Personally, I see something far more dangerous happening there (no, not a Detroit-related problem), but that is not fodder for this forum. There are some folks everywhere that game the system. It shouldn't have been anything that was construed as personal toward the citizens of the city in which you reside. I can appreciate your going on the defense. I likely would have regarding the folks of my native city too.

Thank you for your thoughtful response--we do have some common ground on this issue. I'd only like to quickly revisit two items. While yes, the situation in question COULD have happened in any city, the fact is you did single out Detroit in your post and in such a way that, thanks to the inability to express tone or inflection in written posts, it was easy for someone to construe that you were saying/implying that those folks in Detroit clearly had no interest in turning in day's work as long as government handouts were available. Now, you state that was not your intention, and I absolutely accept your explanation and believe you weren't intentionally singling out Detroit. Yes, it is likely I am a bit sensitive about the subject, but it's hard not to be after watching some of the Fox News regular use clips from that huge crowd to do just what I mentioned in my first post, which is mock and belittle everyone that showed up that day for creating a "mob" intent on "getting theirs" from the government. Not to mention I've encountered a ton of like-minded pundits here on the web taking their potshots while the embedded video clips play in the background. Almost all the comments I heard or read were simply deplorable and inexcusable, so yes, I do admit I was almost certainly overly sensitive about your comments, and if that is the case, I apologize.

The other thing I'd like to quickly address is this: You are 100 percent correct that there are "folks everywhere that game the system." That is absolutely true today, and it has been true since the beginning of time, or at least since mankind spawned its first form of government. And, unfortunately, it will likely remain true for the duration of mankind's time on this blue orb unless some massive ideological change occurs in every nation and state.

That said, I think it is always incredibly important when making such a claim to remember--and to take time to remind anyone who might be reading--that just because there are always people out there who will try to scam a system at the expense of even their fellow desperate neighbors, those people are always the exception and definitely not the rule. That the vast majority of people receiving government assistance--or any kind of charitable assistance--are good, hard-working people just like you or I, people who have had a couple bad breaks, or suffered some family tragedy that translated into financial hardship. That same vast majority likely feels mild to extreme shame at having to accept ANY kind of handout, yet at the same time, they are incredibly thankful to the people providing the assistance because it would be almost impossible to survive without it.

The main reason I feel that it is important to always remind folks about the real people out there who receive the government aid and greatly benefit from it is because too often in our society we focus on the negative aspects of any given situation instead of remembering--and celebrating--the positives. When it comes to government aid, be it old-school welfare, modern "workfare," or any other federal or state program designed to use tax dollars to help a disadvantaged segment of society, it is unfortunately very easy for opponents of those types of programs to find plenty of examples of how people have defrauded the program or simply let their greed get the best of them (for example, the widow who continues to cash her husband's social security check when it accidentally keeps coming after his death). Armed with such damning ammunition, these opponents are very vocal and very actively involved in trying to put an end to such programs, or at least get them cut way down in size. On the other side of the battle, there is often little in the way of organized support for such aid programs. As mentioned, those who receive the aid often aren't too proud of needing assistance and thus are in no hurry to talk to any journalists or organize any support rallies.

All I try to do then, and all I ask others to do, is that no matter how strongly you oppose any social program that gives aid to a segment of the American population, always stop for a moment to remember that even as some people are busy defrauding such programs at any given moment, for every one crook there are likely 100, if not 1000, good decent people who are depending on that program more than anyone who hasn't been in their position can every really now. Put even more simply, don't ever forget to let compassion factor into any battle that, on the surface, might appear to be strictly a financial one.

Thanks again for your thoughtful answer.