I’ve talked in the last few weeks about government programs that they call entitlements, and I’ve been learning an awful lot about those things in all the recent talks about government deficits and trying to reduce the budget somehow. There’s also been a lot spoken through the years about giving people a hand up instead of the ever-present hand out.

I was reading about  Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, and I so admired him during his tenure as mayor and still do in all of his work, comments, and advice about government programs. When he came into his first term, he found that there was such an entitlement attitude in New York City, and this was his first major undertaking.

For example, he found out that the entire school system was thought by all to be in existence in order to provide and preserve jobs for as many people as possible. He started a program of changing that attitude and instilled the idea that the purpose of the education department was to educate all the students as well as possible.

He then tackled all of the other entitlement programs and in just the first year, he was able to reduce the welfare numbers from over one million down to less than half of that.  That’s a huge undertaking and accomplishment to cut a government program in half and yet to make it still effective and provide aid to those that really need it is a remarkable accomplishment. He even felt that entitlement, and just the name itself, was cruel to hand over money without expecting anything in return.

That led to people who are on welfare to having to give public service, time and effort in return, which then freed up others to accomplish their jobs better and faster. If you’d like to read his book, it’s titled Leadership, and he sure has it. It’s a very interesting book, filled with not just facts, but narrated for the years that he was in service. He was also TIME’s 2001 person of the year.