News & Politics

When Did It Become Offensive to Expect People to Earn?

At first glance, this story from the Associated Press might make you cringe:

A state representative told a Mississippi woman she should earn money for the insulin and insulin pump supplies that her diabetic 8-year-old daughter needs to survive instead of asking for state help.

Nicole Nichols of Richland told The Clarion-Ledger ( she was “flabbergasted” by the email from Ocean Springs Republican Rep. Jeffrey Guice.

Nichols said she emailed all 122 state representatives after calling 23 suppliers without finding one covered by Medicaid and in the approved network for the Medicaid-covered supply company she has used for the past three years.

She wrote, “Is there someone in the legislature that can and will help these children stay healthy? They must have these medications and supplies which administer the medications to stay healthy and, quite honestly, alive!”

Guice’s response, which Nichols posted on her Facebook page, said, “I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?”

Predictably, Guice’s response triggered righteous indignation from all corners. The legislator walked back his comments and issued an apology.

Certainly, there were more sensitive ways to respond to Nichols’ inquiry. However, the premise underscoring Guice’s question remains.

How is it offensive for Guice to suggest that Nichols pay for her own child’s needs with money that Nichols earns, yet not offensive for Nichols to suggest that others should pay for her daughter’s needs with money that they earned? That’s a fair question, is it not? When did it become so horrible to suggest that people should provide for themselves, particularly in a context where they insist others provide for them?

Watch Ayn Rand Institute President Yaron Brook address the fundamental issue in the video below.