By The Tribune-Review
Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Why do we countenance such silliness?
The push is on in Harrisburg to change the name of the state Department of Welfare to the state Department of Human Services. A gaggle of former governors is pushing the switch. Legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly.
Despite its dictionary meaning — from the original 1303 definition of a “condition of being or doing well,” to the first 20th-century usage of a “modern sense of social concern or provision for the well-being of children” — “welfare” these days is, to many, a pejorative right up there with — GASP! — “liberal” (the latter word regularly eschewed by liberals these days for “progressive.” That, after “progressives” thoroughly perverted the original meaning of “liberalism.”)
And so it has come to this — “human services” — a politically correct term sounding quite Orwellian. After all, “welfare” sends the wrong message, some gobbledygooksters go. Please. “Welfare” is a quite precise and accurate word, then and now, whose shelf life has not expired.
Now, if Harrisburg really wants to do Pennsylvanians a public service, it will change the name of, say, the state Department of Economic and Community Development to the state Department of Pickers of Winners and Losers and Unaccountability. Now, that's a name change reality truly supports.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Saturday essay: The gardeners’ etiquette
- Fixing Ford City’s water leaks: Time is money
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- 2014 Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce Awards: In service to their community
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Corbett’s fortunes: Troubling truths
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- The Thursday wrap
- Common Core: Garbage in, garbage out
- The Adegbile nomination: Rejecting race-baiting