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Wendybabe
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The L.A. Times ran an article on subsidized housing last week. It revealed that the crime rate went up in proportion to the increased population of families receiving free rent money from the State. (I for one would really be pissed off if I spent my life savings to live in a nice neighborhood only to find a bunch of hoods hanging around because the government was giving-them a free ride.) Does welfare really work? Does it just make problems worse? "Give a mouse a cookie..." Maybe I am wrong? Maybe there are people out there who really have turned their lives into decent responsible working people because the government gave them welfare?

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not everyone on benefit is a wastrel or a thug. It's like saying all people who were molested as a child will be child molestors... there is a link between crime and benefit, but it's largely crooks taking advantage of the system rather than the system engendering crime.

 

In the UK there is a hole in the system that will allow you to fall all the way to the street. Then the only way out, other than Crime, is something like 'The Big Issue', since welfare isn't given to people who have no address... I'm on my 7th Big Issue seller... the last one managed to get him self trained as a North Sea oil fields diver, and now earns more than I did... but for the most part it usually gets them an address and gives them a taste for running a small business, although one can clame Income Support and Tax Credits while selling the Issue... All the people I know who've worked the Issue, and have got off the streets into Welfare assistance are what we Brits call 'Respectable' poor...

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I tend to be a political centrist, and a firm believer in the benefits of welfare. It's a shame that people too damned lazy and immature to want to be responsible for themselves and their lives abuse the system. But, I for one have been on welfare, and it helped me a great deal when I was going through really hard financial times. Back in the mid-1990's, I was unemployed and simply could not find work. I remember having 27 cents to my name, was getting no help from family, had nothing to sell or pawn, had nothing to smoke (I was a smoker at the time) and I had no fucking idea what I was going to do. Welfare enabled me to eat and helped keep me from becoming homeless.

 

Good, responsible people sometimes need a helping hand, and in my opinion they should have help available to them when they need it.

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Good question Wendybabe! To assist in answering it, let's ask another question. Does money care what goods and services it is used to buy? Well in short, no it does not, because in fact it cannot. The only person who decides what money is spent on is the holder of the money, and in general, the harder the money is to come by, the more wisely it will be spent, and vice versa. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that you have reached middle age (say forty or fifty years of age) and that every year of your life your parents have lavished money on you in the naive assumption that you would only spend it on "good" things. Let us further suppose that you have, as a consequence, never had to take any responsibility for your own life or for earning your own living. We may then ask one last question. What sort of person do you think you would have become? I'd lay pretty good odds that you would have turned into what the British used to call an absolute rotter. This of course is no reflection on you or your character; it is merely a consequence of human nature.

 

Now let us take a community of people, put the Government in loco parentis as it were and have the said Government lavish money on that community under the same naive assumption as aforesaid. In the Government's case however, it might be wiser to suppose that they are not as naive as might be thought; they have decided to buy themselves a bloc of voters in the cynical exercise of what is known as "pork barrel politics", but perhaps it is better to let this matter drop for the moment.

 

Well then, let us continue by giving that community a free ride for the same forty or fifty years as you have lived and ask what the consequences will be. I'll warrant they will be these: Firstly the people of that community will have become dependent on the Government, secondly that many of them will have become habitual drunkards or abusers of other substances, and thirdly, that the housing in the area will have over time come to resemble a bombed-out city of the WW2 era. Of course the Government will not take any more responsibility for these consequences than they will take for the consequences of the inflationary monetary policies it has had to put in hand to firstly provide and later to sustain this "welfarism" as it is known. Instead they will blame these consequences on the people of the community themselves, or they will blame them on sellers of alcohol and illicit drugs, or they will simply lay the blame at the door of "greedy landlords and capitalists" in general. Anything rather than admit the truth, for if the truth were known, how long could they expect to remain in office?

Casey

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What people need welfare anyway?

 

The ones with a secure source of income? Very unlikely.

If you have no secure income, will you have lotsa bucks? Umm, no.

If you're dead broke (or at least close to that), might you be tempted to do illegal stuff to get some bucks? Very possible.

 

Depending on just how much welfare money people get, they may or may not be "forced" to do illegal stuff to get by. As I don't know how much welfare people get in the US, I can't tell for sure... but this line of reasoning doesn't seem too implausible to me. :shrug:

 

(Whether you really need illegal money to live is of course another question. Some are content with a roof where rain doesn't leak through, some warm clothes, and enough to eat so they don't starve... others will think they just can't exist without a nice suburban home, a sportscar and whathaveyou. :Hmm: )

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It revealed that the crime rate went up in proportion to the increased population of families receiving free rent money from the State.

 

It's a dubious claim that crime rates are correlated to welfare. It would be more accurate to say that there is a strong correlation between poverty and crime. I did a study on this in college that found this correlation.

 

In other words, it's unfair to say that welfare causes crime. Rather poor people have higher rates of crime and poor people are more often on welfare, welfare is not the cause. Poverty is.

 

Now they need to do a study on whether or not welfare causes poverty.

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Does welfare really work? Does it just make problems worse? "Give a mouse a cookie..." Maybe I am wrong? Maybe there are people out there who really have turned their lives into decent responsible working people because the government gave them welfare?

 

The Urban Institute is a non-partisan group that tracks welfare stats in the U.S.

 

Current Work Status of TANF Caseload, 2002

Receiving government benefits after leaving welfare can tide families over crises that would otherwise lead them to return to TANF. The percentage of recent leavers returning to welfare is lower among those who obtained help with child care or health insurance. The rates of return were not significantly different among those who received government help with expenses or who received job search assistance or training. Former recipients who received more than one type of government assistance were also significantly less likely to return to TANF. This shows that non cash government benefits are playing a positive role in helping families make the transition from welfare to work.

 

Welfare checks obviously aren't the only solution to poverty, but if people on welfare are provided with social services that can get them off of aid it seems like most will take it. The Urban Institute site is a great resource for information regarding welfare.

 

The people who abuse the system could be exploiting some barrier to work, but how likely is it that ALL the people who don’t work found a way to cheat the system and are living the good life? I could think of a few reasons why a physically able person would not work. Family circumstances, poorly or untreated mental disorders, living in an economically depressed part of the country all seem like explanations. Some people just can’t find a job, or leave their sick parents at home by themselves, or get the crazy voices out of their heads.

 

Of course, the aid recipients who do work could be spinning their wheels in a trap that promotes dependence. If you’re truly concerned about the well being of recipients, you can look into the statistics on the average length of time people are on welfare (typically 2-5 years). I was going to post a link to that fact but I lost it somewhere. I’ll get back to you on that if it’s truly necessary. The point is that most people do not milk the system for a long time. I’m not trying to paint a rosy picture. Welfare doesn’t churn out one success story after the next, but after the big reform in the mid 90’s the focus of welfare has shifted to provide employment support for people while on welfare, and additional aid while making the transition from TANF to working non-poor status. The change after welfare reform isn’t visible from suburbia, but I’d say it’s a lot more fair than just cutting an aid check.

 

TANF on Wikipedia

 

The purposes of the TANF program as described in section 401 of the Social Security Act are as follows:

1. provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives;

2. end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage;

3. prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and

reducing the incidence of these pregnancies

4. encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

 

TANF sets forward the following work requirements necessary for benefits:

1. Recipients (with few exceptions) must work as soon as they are job ready or no later than two years after coming on

assistance

2. Single parents are required to participate in work activities for at least 30 hours per week. Two-parent families must

participate in work activities 35 or 55 hours a week, depending upon circumstances.

3. Failure to participate in work requirements can result in a reduction or termination of benefits to the family.

4. States, in FY 2004, have to ensure that 50 percent of all families and 90 percent of two-parent families are participating in

work activities. If a state reduces its caseload, without restricting eligibility, it can receive a caseload reduction credit. This

credit reduces the minimum participation rates the state must achieve.

 

The most obvious alternative to aid is no aid, which would solve nothing. What it would do is make life worse for those who should be on welfare. But c’mon, that’s the standard tear-jerking bullshit answer that should come out of the Vaseline coated mouth of a beauty queen.

 

Ending welfare would negatively impact those who should receive aid and tax payers who pay into it. Those who depended on welfare to keep them off the street would lose a home. Some of the people who are considered temporarily homeless could end up becoming part of what Malcolm Gladwell calls the chronically homeless class. Last year Gladwell talked on NPR about the impact of chronic homelessness. This is off a blog that summarizes his piece:

District 5 Diary

 

He found out that the reality was that 10% of the chronically homeless were the ones commonly seen on the streets and, more importantly, costing cities the most, as they cycled in and out of emergency rooms and city jails. New York was spending $62 million on 2500 hardcore homeless every year. Boston tracked 119 chronically homeless and found that, over a five-year period, they accounted for 18,834 emergency room visits at $1000 a visit.

 

Here’s the link to the NPR story:

A Scientific Approach to Helping the Homeless

 

Here’s how I see it: as a taxpayer, I would rather my money go into housing, providing for preventative health care and employment assistance, and free childcare than see the money being flushed down the toilet on the effects of cutting welfare. The major problem, as I see it, is that people can’t get over the fact that the poor are receiving freebies. Honestly, do you know a welfare recipient that you are jealous of? Would you swap lives with them because the rent in their shit hole apartment is paid for by the government? And calling it a free ride is ridiculous. Do you want to live the life of someone who has been reduced to depending on welfare?

 

The L.A. Times ran an article on subsidized housing last week. It revealed that the crime rate went up in proportion to the increased population of families receiving free rent money from the State. (I for one would really be pissed off if I spent my life savings to live in a nice neighborhood only to find a bunch of hoods hanging around because the government was giving-them a free ride.)

 

If that’s your problem, you can move to Chicago! We have a great way of avoiding the ugliness of poverty: just ship the poor off to the surrounding suburbs! It’s their problem now.

 

Welfare is as imperfect as human nature itself. You can’t just punch in a few numbers and expect the same results every time. It seems like it’s easier for you to believe that people abuse aid than it is to believe that there are people who benefit from it. Why?

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Dianka and the rest who spoke for the humane need for welfare, THANK YOU. When living on "the right side of the tracks," it is easy to feel guilty for being so lucky. Telling oneself that the poor are poor because they deserve it is an easy way to deal with the guilt and continue to enjoy one's prosperity.

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Dianka and the rest who spoke for the humane need for welfare, THANK YOU. When living on "the right side of the tracks," it is easy to feel guilty for being so lucky. Telling oneself that the poor are poor because they deserve it is an easy way to deal with the guilt and continue to enjoy one's prosperity.

 

To amplify a point you made...

 

The 'deserving' poor is a very Victorian idea... :)

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It seems like it’s easier for you to believe that people abuse aid than it is to believe that there are people who benefit from it. Why?

 

 

I guess it is the stereo type welfare abuser I read about and see on T.V. I never read or see anyone who is a positive model. Instead the ignorant, uneducated, drug abuser, pregnet with 5 toddlers running around her feet woman who is complaining about her deadbeat husband etc.... is all over the news.

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It seems like it's easier for you to believe that people abuse aid than it is to believe that there are people who benefit from it. Why?

 

 

I guess it is the stereo type welfare abuser I read about and see on T.V. I never read or see anyone who is a positive model. Instead the ignorant, uneducated, drug abuser, pregnet with 5 toddlers running around her feet woman who is complaining about her deadbeat husband etc.... is all over the news.

 

I don't know what you would consider a "positive model." Jeff talked about his experience. I may have no choice but to be on welfare temporarily due to circumstances totally beyond my control. I don't expect the general public I meet on the street and in the grocery store to know about it. Just a few people close to me whom it concerns. I guess that won't make sensational headlines in newspapers and magazines. The dead-beats are more sensational to write about. That it unjustly stereotypes the lowest and most vulnerable classes of our society does not matter to the newsmakers.

 

When I took my introductory social work course I learned how many of the social benefits such as welfare were put into place. And the reason they got put into place was that people were literally starving and freezing and dying of preventable causes--all because life had not been kind to them material wise. But this kind of stuff doesn't make sensational headlines so it doesn't sell newspapers and magazines.

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Many years ago, I wound up unable to find work.

I had to go on welfare.

I spent 6 months on the public tit, And its no free ride. Its hell.

Welfare is humiliating and degrading. It brutalizes people.

I was so happy when I finaly found someone who would hire me, I phoned the welfare office and told them I found a job. And the following week welfare investigated me to see how long I had been working.

 

The welfare system screws honest people. And it makes no secret of the fact that it would rather see the poor in brothels and prisons.

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I guess it is the stereo type welfare abuser I read about and see on T.V. I never read or see anyone who is a positive model. Instead the ignorant, uneducated, drug abuser, pregnet with 5 toddlers running around her feet woman who is complaining about her deadbeat husband etc.... is all over the news.

 

Wendy, be honest. Do you really read about welfare abusers in the papers, or do you have a vision in your mind of the type of people who receive aid every time the word 'welfare' is in print? And who's airing special reports on welfare abuse? I did a google search on welfare abuse and found a short Sean Hannity piece. I guess if you count anything on FOX as news, you've got one on me. But just one? Where are all the different stereotypes we as a nation are being bombarded with? They're all in the heads of those who feed into the idea of a welfare stereotype. It's a meme that passes from one ignorant person to the next.

 

Ruby is exactly right when she says that people on welfare will only tell those who need to know, or are very close (for the most part). Personally, I blame the government. If they gave everyone a WIC t-shirt and LINK card tattoos on their foreheads, we might get a better picture of who exactly is on welfare (laugh track). Over the years I've known a few people on welfare, and there was no similarity from one to the next. Their situations range from shitty circumstances, to unplanned pregnancies, to being smack addicts.

 

As far as positive examples of people who are on welfare, many of the women I go to school with were at one time on welfare. I'm not saying that welfare helped pay for school (in fact I think that was a loop-hole that was taken care of years ago), but welfare probably kept them from homelessness or starvation. It probably tipped the scales in their favor when they were dangerously close to drowning in poverty for many more years or permanently. If all welfare does is keep people afloat, I'd consider that a positive model of welfare.

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Dianka, Here is part of the article. It is three pages and can be found by typing subsidized housing L.A. Times. I really don't know where you are going with your position? Are you saying I am making this up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIMES SPECIAL REPORT

 

 

A not-so-welcome mat

 

Antelope Valley neighbors are behind a crackdown on subsidized housing

 

By Jessica Garrison and Ted Rohrlich, Times Staff Writers

June 17, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

'My neighbors are little white old ladies. I couldn't hide a 6-foot-6 black man.'

 

 Cecily Williams, who lost her Section 8 subsidy when her adult son, who she says wasn't living with her, was arrested for robbery

 

 

 

Photo Gallery

 

Housing Trouble in Antelope Valley

 

 

 

Graphic

 

Seeing a link

 

click to enlarge

 

 

THE anonymous tip came in over a special hotline: Someone was smoking marijuana on the balcony of Rachel Baker's government-subsidized apartment.

 

On a recent morning, Lee D'Errico, a Los Angeles County Housing Authority investigator, bounded up the stairs of the sprawling two-story complex in Lancaster, half a dozen armed sheriff's deputies on his heels.

 

D'Errico rapped on the door of Baker, a 28-year-old single mother of three. She took one look at the group on her stairs, ordered her children into a bedroom and moved aside.

 

Then the officers, who had no warrant, searched the home. Within minutes, they discovered a half-smoked marijuana cigarette under a couch cushion  enough, D'Errico told Baker, to terminate her subsidy under the federal Section 8 program.

 

"What?" Baker said, sobbing. "I didn't know it was there. Otherwise, I wouldn't have let you in."

 

It was another fruitful investigation for the housing authority in the Antelope Valley, where officials have launched one of the most aggressive campaigns in the nation to stamp out unauthorized or illegal behavior in federally subsidized housing.

 

Baker's boyfriend, who said he was there to watch the children while she went to work, admitted that the marijuana was his. But the Section 8 program has zero tolerance for drug use.

 

The crackdown, initiated by local political leaders with the support of county Supervisor Mike Antonovich in mid-2004, has been fueled by the anger and fear of homeowners in the Antelope Valley. Many associate rising crime, gang violence and declining property values with an influx of poor and mostly black Section 8 tenants from South Los Angeles.

 

"We work hard for what we've earned," said John Alvarez, who said his house was burglarized by teenagers on Section 8. "And we don't want that mentality in our neighborhood."

 

More than 350 families have lost their subsidies in the last two years, which is more than 10% of the rolls in the Antelope Valley. Some have been left homeless.

 

Section 8 recipients and their attorneys say that civil rights are being violated as housing authority investigators team with law enforcement to conduct unannounced searches without warrants. People who see deputies massed at their door are effectively coerced into letting them in, the lawyers argue. Adding to the show of force, sometimes, are masked officers with guns drawn, looking for felons in violation of their parole. The various agencies work together.

 

Critics say the campaign is unfair because it is selective: The Antelope Valley is home to only about 15% of Section 8 recipients managed by the housing authority, but 60% of the agency's subsidy terminations occur there, according to a Times analysis.

 

The crackdown has set off a sometimes dramatic social conflict, pitting neighbor against neighbor, tenant against homeowner, and, often, blacks against whites. Charges of lawlessness have been met with countercharges of racism and vigilantism.

 

Antonovich says race has nothing to do with it: It is aimed only at criminals and rule breakers and will make room for honest people who have waited years for a subsidy. His office, which has allocated $284,000 to match local government contributions, contends that officials are taking a judicious approach: Only half of the families investigated this year have actually lost their subsidies.

 

Other civic leaders acknowledge that innocent people might be harmed in the effort but see it as an unfortunate consequence of a crucial undertaking.

 

"Our community is dying," said R. Rex Parris, a local lawyer and civic leader who organized an anti-crime meeting this spring. "The reality is we're going to have to suffer a certain amount of injustice to fix this."

 

To Sylvia Franklin, a black single mother of three who says she lost her subsidy unfairly, the message is simple. "They don't want us here," she said.

 

 

 

Lots of housing, cheap

 

Compared with the Los Angeles Basin, housing in the Antelope Valley is plentiful and cheap. Walled-off new developments of stucco houses and spindly trees rise out of the desert scrub and stretch to the horizon.

 

The dusty desert towns are among the few places in Los Angeles County where people without great means can buy a new house. The trade-off for many is a brutal commute of 140 miles round trip to jobs in Los Angeles  one measure of their desire for a piece of suburbia.

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You are making it up. :grin:

 

Ok fine before I dig myself into a deeper hole I'll just stop right there. It just occurred to me that I haven't read or watched mainstream media news for about 5 years. We're all ignorant in our own darling little ways. What do I know, there's probably an exploited stereotype every few pages.

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Section 8 isn't the same thing as welfare and it's not public housing. Yes, it's for the poor, but it's a very hard program to even get on. They only open applications for it every couple of years and those who apply to it have to wait literally years to be approved. It's more of a rent subsidy or vouchers and there are only so many per area. Most people who are in public housing try to get on it to get out of public housing.

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Yes I did assume welfare and section 8 were the same thing. To be honest I really don't know a lot about the system. At one time I was faced with having to get a job and support myself. I was 18 and had no where to go. I had no idea all of the programs I could have applied for. I found a minimum wage job and went to community college until I could get a better job. After saving my money I went to a University and now have a career job. So here I am, proud that I didn't get help to get where I am at. O.K. I am NOT critisizing people who do get help but I wonder if we keep people from acheiving their true potential by giving them help they may not really need?

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Sean Hannity Discussion Forum

 

I can't help be feel good about being an American when I read how regular Joes and Janes would reform welfare:

 

There are several things that would make that system better.

 

First and foremost: Find both parents of children and make them be responsible.

It takes 2 people to make a baby. Too many loopholes to get out of supporting your children.

Seems pricey...

 

 

I especially like this one. It was posted by a member named ManOfFaith :scratch:

Perhaps create a member site for them, that show their photos*. Shame them into a better life.

 

* after a predefined period of time, and where they also have no psychological or physical impairments that prevent them from working. Transparency is the best weapon in most cases.

 

 

They need to sterilize those that have children and are on welfare. Or DO NOT give them any extra money for "extra" babies.

 

 

:twitch:

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Wendy,

 

When you have three kids you have to support and feed, your pride pretty much goes out the window. I never expected to be divorced with three kids to support and an asshole for an ex, but shit happens. Lots of people, like I did, need it to survive, not live, survive. Life doesn't always work out for people. Shit happens.

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You know on second thought, I am kinda curious to see other stories about degenerates who milk the system. Are there any other news items you could link that shows welfare recipients in this light? Seriously, am I doing something wrong? I can't find shit.

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I was about to complain about how so much focus goes toward the welfare budget as perhaps a red herring to distract from military spending. I decided I better do a fact check first and was surprised to learn that welfare spending far outstrips military spending. And note that the Fed budget here does not include SS in the welfare category. I'm a little shocked tbh. I'm all for lending a helping hand, but do I really want 2/3 of my tax bill to head toward public assistance?

 

Let me put this in real terms. This means that, baring tax deductions, a family that earns $100k per year is contributing more than $18,000 per year toward SS (which they will likely themselves never benefit from) and public assistance (38% Fed tax bracket/3 +6.2% FICA - does not include state tax, property tax, sales tax, etc). Either every family that earns $100k/year is supporting more than one welfare recipient, or the system is highly inefficient. Either way, the numbers are not pretty to look at.

 

chart.gif

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To be honest I really don't know a lot about the system. At one time I was faced with having to get a job and support myself.

 

See the high-lighted part. I want to scream. Here we've got a woman who once at the age of eighteen was so unfortunate as having to find a job and support herself.

 

Wendy, you have not seen real life. You have no right to talk about abuse of the system. It's not your fault that you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth but the way you act toward people who are less fortunate is your responsibility.

 

You don't know a thing about scrounging and skimping so as to have the basics of life--I'm talking about food, a place to live, healthcare, and clothing. Having to get a job to support yourself--Wendy, that is normal life. That is the way life works. ALL of us have to do that. Who do you think you are anyway?

 

And that article--I know a thing or two about evaluating the legitimacy of information. That article was written to entertain, to sell a magazine, NOT to accuately report the facts of life. Who reads Times? The wealthy. What do the wealthy want to read? About how their tax dollars are used to support "dead-beats" as you call them. Who has the strongest voice in politics? The wealthy. It's their money that supports the politians.

 

People like you (who has once had the misfortune of having to find a job and support herself, only ONCE) have power like some of us can't even dream of. When people like you make a stink about us undeserving poor, the government listens because it's your money that keeps them in office. And makes life hell for those of us who only want to survive a crisis until we can find some low-paying job to pay the bills.

 

And you're throwing around the word "uneducated" as though that makes a person of less value. Wendy, listen to yourself. Education costs--you guessed it--it costs MONEY. Who, coming from a family that barely had the money to cover basic life costs, can afford to get an education? So we have the person who entered the workforce at age 16 in order to survive, and worked all his/her life at minimum wage or below, and then gets laid off because the company down-sized, or relocated, or........a dozen other threats to survival that low-income workers face every day of their lives. (This raises the level of anxiety, which can impact sleep, performance, relationships.) And you put down that person for needing welfare? For being "uneducated"? I'll bet that person can live on the food and clothing you throw out. They could probably live very comfortable in one of your closets.

 

And you're crying about having once been so unfortunate as having to find a job and supporting yourself........

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I guess it is the stereo type welfare abuser I read about and see on T.V. I never read or see anyone who is a positive model. Instead the ignorant, uneducated, drug abuser, pregnet with 5 toddlers running around her feet woman who is complaining about her deadbeat husband etc.... is all over the news.

 

Same here in Germany. Yes there are fuckfaces out there who abuse our welfare system. There are many others, however, who really need the bucks, are honestly thankful for them and do their best to get a decent job so that they don't have to rely on this for the rest of their lifes. Guess who gets the publicity? Exactly.

 

Not too long ago, referring not to welfare recipients (in the sense that we Germans usually have in mind when we speak the word "Sozialhilfe") but to unemployed people, laws have even been passed to - I'm paraphrasing - "force the unemployed to work". Yeah right - the only reason why people might be unemployed is that they're too fucking lazy to get a job. :vent:

 

As one who was unemployed for years, without much guilt on my part, let me just describe my feelings about this with the word AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGH! and the lovely sound of a head being banged on a desk...

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