- Politics and Social Issues
Google, Keyword Research, and Welfare
What can Google teach us about welfare?
Today I was using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to research principles related to welfare. I learned something I already knew. On this occasion it was taught to me more poignantly than I understood it before. If you've ever used Google's keyword tool, you know that you can type in a search word or phrase, and Google will magically show you some information regarding what people have been searching for related to that term. The tool also gives you an indicator of the amount of competition you'll face if you decide you want to own that keyword term in Google. Usually, the level of competition matches to some degree the volume of searches. However, I found an interesting anomaly today that says something about our capitalistic society and welfare. I searched for the term "welfare" knowing that Google would also suggest other terms related to welfare that would be useful. Here's what I found.
Welfare should mean working hard and being frugal - not free handouts
Welfare: 1.5M searches per month and little competition?
Companies don't market to people who are interested in welfare
How should we interpret this message from Google's keyword tool? Simply like this: Companies apparently don't market to the throngs of people who want handouts. Have you ever seen a line of people with cash form in front of the guy in the Wal-Mart parking lot holding the "Will Work For Food" sign? Neither have I. It is contrary to the better side of human nature for people to desire to take their hard-earned money and donate it to someone who can, in reality, do it for himself, whether or not he is willing to do so. Taking that principle to the political domain, few of us want our government to do that to us either.
With that understanding, it makes sense to back up some and try to get some inspiration of the meaning and purpose of welfare. The term "welfare" itself has become pejorative despite its true meaning, which centers on happiness, satisfaction, and well being. If our society were more inspired in its response to those who really do need assistance, we would look upon welfare much more positively, focusing on the need for individuals to feel a sense of responsibility. We would preach self-sufficiency, hard work, and true compassion for the poor rather promoting the dolefulness that comes from continually giving a man a fish while his character withers away in self-doubt and lack of accomplishment.
What's the right approach to welfare?
It's becoming too easy to find people nowadays whose attitudes towards social welfare deprive recipients of real dignity. The LDS (Mormon) Church has a better way. They focus on gaining and bettering employment, maintaining physical health, developing mental and social stability, managing finances, being prepared for emergencies, and altogether becoming a better person as a means to achieving real welfare.