Don’t forget to enter my $25 Amazon Giveaway before Feb 6th, 2011!

You may have heard there is a football game being played on Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will play Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, TX this Sunday. This game is simply the biggest sporting and television event of the year. Tickets sell for thousands of dollars a seat, and only the richest/luckiest 100,000 people in the world get to attend.

Speaking of lucky people, a homeless couple in Wisconsin won an all-expenses paid trip to Dallas for the Super Bowl! (video embedded below)

Good for them! If someone is gonna get something for nothing, it’s nice to see it go to someone who could truly use a break. However, it raises an obvious question. The least expensive ticket on Stubhub is selling for $2,600, so we can assume they could sell their pair of tickets for at least $5,000.

Homeless Superbowl Tickets

This guy seems legit. Let's give him a couple thousand bucks.

Should this couple go to the game or sell the tickets?

The great thing about the package is that they could sell the tickets and still enjoy an all-expenses paid vacation to Dallas. Even without game tickets, they’ll still be put up in a nice hotel when they can spend the whole weekend, as Ouida says, “spooning”. $5,000 is probably enough money to pay for a year long lease at an apartment and buy some nice clothes. Having a permanent address and being clean and presentable are two of the hardest things for homeless job seekers. This money could be the first step in getting them off the streets forever.

On the other hand, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience. They could sell the tickets, turn their lives around, become productive taxpaying members of society, and still probably never have the chance to go to any Super Bowl, much less one with their favorite team. This will almost certainly be the greatest weekend of their lives, and it would be a shame to throw it away for a few dollars.

Call me crazy, but I think they should keep the tickets and go to the game.

Sure, I’d like for them to sell the tickets and use that money to get their lives on track and stop burdening taxpayers and charities for basic necessities. But who am I to tell them what to do with their tickets?

I have a feeling that the social services are so “good” where they live that their standard of living probably wouldn’t improve much if they did get their own apartment. They’ve declined a free pass out of poverty in exchange for a single weekend experience. It doesn’t seem like they are in any hurry to get out of poverty.

Here’s where it gets controversial. I think the social services and charities are doing a disservice to the impoverished people of that city by providing them with such a high standard of living. They have trained the poor to suck on the teet of government assistance forever.

My eighth grade choir teacher once posed the question, “Why settle for mediocrity when you can strive for extraordinary?” My friend Kevin responded comically, “Because it’s easier.” After the laughter died down, Mr. Buske sighed, “That was supposed to be rhetorical.”

We laughed because his response was so ridiculous. We were bright-eyed, bushy-tailed eighth graders, ready to take on the world! Easier” wasn’t in our vocabulary.

Now apply that same question to someone who has been living in a homeless shelter for ten years. “Because it’s easier,” to them is not only devoid of humor; it’s their life. A life that was thrust upon them by a nanny state that stripped them of their independence by taking away their ability to provide for themselves.

We shouldn’t be giving the poor what they need; we should be providing them the opportunity to earn it for themselves. I’ll get off my soapbox and leave you with quotes from two American presidents.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald Ford

“The worst thing you can do for those you love is the things they could and should do themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

Don’t forget to enter my $25 Amazon Giveaway before Feb 6th, 2011!

This post was featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance at Creditcards.com