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Isabelle Warwicke
09-15-2010, 02:34 PM
Just something to think about. I tend to agree with the Doctor on this. I'll support those who truly need the help.


Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture" a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.

Respectfully,
ROGER STARNER JONES, MD

Please don't flame me with the "my mothers-sisters-college roommates-neighbor *DIED* because they couldn't get access to health care" stories. I've heard those tales and those folk are precluded from any & all judgement in my mind. I'm frustrated with the blatant ABUSE of the system that is costing us BILLIONS of dollars every year.

DoņaNina
09-15-2010, 02:44 PM
Whine Ahead:

I was denied health care because I went to counceling for bipolar disorder. Not because of the disorder itself.. because if I had been quiet about it and not sought help, I would have nevr had this on my record. So because of the way the health care system was, I was pretty much screwed. If it wasn't for my husband's job, I wouldn't be able to afford the many medications I need for my asthma. I don't smoke.

So, errr... I'm kinda happy things are changing for those of us who couldn't have health care. Growing up without health insurance was horrible. I had constant allergic reactions and asthma attacks and had to spend hours suffering in the emergency room because I didn't have health insurance. It's a shame. I'd have been content to have the health care system simply change so that rather than deny my coverage, I'd just have to pay a bit more. But apparently, United thought I was too crazy to pay my bills.

/end whine

Meari
09-15-2010, 03:26 PM
I've been seeing this for years. Kids that went to college for free thanks to a program that pays for school if the family is making less than the poverty line. Yet most of these kids seemed to have a closet full of expensive shoes. There are people in my apartment complex on Section 8 (government help) but have a 52 in flat screen....

It's rather sad. Status is worth more than help.

Hell, I'd kill to be eligible for Medicare! I'm tired of being uninsured.

Torra
09-15-2010, 04:09 PM
I agree with that doctor. Yes, there are problems in our health care system, but I'd like to see them try to be fixed in ways that require only an act of legislation and then resort to spending money if we must. But this culture where luxuries are more necessary than needs is obscene. My dad grew up below the poverty line because his parents were farmers. That meant they had food on the table every night, but they had 1 bathroom in the whole house, 1 heating vent for the 900 sq ft house, and each one of the 3 kids got up and did chores before school. Their mom drove the bus they went to school on for supplemental income. None of them had brand-name anything, none of them had jewelry except for family heirlooms/wedding rings. They did have their health problems taken care of, they all had glasses because they needed them to see, they did get school supplies.

I don't understand the motivation moochers have, because when a significant portion of society uses the resources of the system and doesn't feed back into it, the rest of society gets tired of carrying their burden plus others', and this creates people who give up on trying to get ahead and instead try to get by. Sometimes on government help.

I want there to be government aid. I really want a safety net for anyone who needs it. But I want to see that you make efforts to not need it anymore. I want to see people looking for work - you don't have to find it, just show me you don't have a career goal of being unemployed. I want to see people trying to be healthy - you don't have to be skinny or gorgeous, just show me you try to eat something besides high fructose corn syrup and saturated fat. Show me you know how to be an adult, responsible for yourself and your choices, and I will be happy to help you up when you fall down. Adults help each other when need be, but anyone who deserves to be called an adult takes responsibility for their own person without the expectation that a cash cow will show up from thin air.

Lady Hefron
09-15-2010, 04:33 PM
I had to think for a few minutes before I responded to this. Health care and the current attempt to fix it are a real sore spot for me.

We do need an overhaul of this Culture Crisis. There are people out there who definitely need help. There are people out there that are uninsured, under insured and desperate. They are the ones who need help. If you can afford the cigarettes, beer, fast food and bling then you can afford health insurance without assistance.

There is so much Medicare fraud it is ridiculous. I honestly think that if we could clean up the fraud, we would be well on our way to being able to pay for insurance for everyone.

Sorry if this post seems a little disjointed and rambling. I'm not having a wonderful day and the fogginess I get from my Fibromyalgia is fairly bad today.

rosefaeries
09-15-2010, 05:11 PM
I would like to point out that the doctor has no way of knowing when the patient got the tattoos , gold tooth (which by the way is not always done for "bling" reasons) or for that matter how long the patient has been on Medicaid. He is making assumptions without knowing the facts.

As for the cell phone, guess what you can get that free with a two year contract. If you time it right, you can get a pretty good deal. And if the cell is your only phone, it works out to be just about as expensive as having a land line especially when you consider the cost of long distance.

The doctor has no way of knowing how the tattoos were paid for. He is assuming that they were paid for with money and not by some other legitimate means. (E.g. barter, practice for tattoo intern. friend doing the work etc). He is making assumptions. He doesn't have facts to back up his opinion.

The expensive brands of tennis shoes, well, you can get them cheaper at outlet stores. I have seen brand new never been worn expensive designer shoes donated to places like Goodwill and St Vincent de Paul's and the shoes were sold for under $10.00.

Assumptions were being made by that doctor. That being said, it doesn't mean that he wasn't correct but it doesn't mean that he is right either. I have clothes that people assume cost a great deal of money and therefore I must be wasting my financial aid money. They are wrong. Those clothes I have gotten from the clothing stash room at my school, have gotten used or I have made. And guess what, I take care of my clothes so that they last longer and look nice.

I understand where the doctor is coming from, especially about the smoking and eating habits. But he is making assumptions about the woman's life and all of her decision making. His job is to provide health care, not to pass judgment. Does the quality of care that he provides dependent on how the bill is going to be paid? Having worked in a medical setting that is a concern that I have, especially when a doctor is expressing views like this.

Medical care needs to be available to everyone. But it should not be dependent on the persons living their life by your standards and choices. That is not your right. Other than the laws that exist, no one has the right to say how a person shall live their life.


People are told that if they don't have insurance to go to the emergency room to get treatment. They can get treatment and they won't be turned away for not having insurance. This has been told to people for decades. No insurance equals no primary care health provider. Which leads to the emergency room, especially those in the non-profit hospitals, being used as a regular doctor's office. The inappropriate use of the emergency room has been going on for a very long time folks.


The doctor doesn't know if the woman frittered her money immediately or saved her money over a period of time to get the items she wanted. Or if they were even gifts for that matter. The same can be said for people on section 8 that have the expensive items that you object to them having. Maybe they are good with their money, shop wisely and take care of their belongings. Or maybe they got the items for free off of Freecycle or Craigslist. The bottom line is you don't know and you are assuming things in the absence of facts.



Here is the link for the doctor's letter and a response to it. http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/starner.asp


Copied from the page.


On 6 September 2009, the Clarion Ledger published a follow-up letter from another reader under the title "Health Care Reform Is Not 'Us vs. Them'":



I've been stewing about an Aug. 23 letter to the editor ("Why pay for the care of the careless?") in which Dr. Starner Jones questioned the worth of a patient to receive Medicaid because of her gold tooth, tattoos, R&B ring tone on a new cell phone, cigarette-smoking and beer-drinking.

This kind of personal attack is nothing new with the hateful rhetoric of late. But it's a real slippery slope when one questions whether another human merits support for health care because of appearances and choices. There are a lot of folks in this state who make less-than-perfect choices about finances and health. We are the poorest, fattest state, after all.

We need to turn off our TVs and radios and do our own research on health care reform. All the Fox-fed and MSNBC-led masses are out spewing the same language the pundits are using.

Look at entities who, bottom line, want to raise their ratings and celebrity, not facilitate a meaningful or productive discourse.

This country deserves more. Read the health care reform bill. And learn the real issues of our entire community. We're all Americans.

This is no "us vs. them" issue. We are all in this together.

Jennifer Sigrest

Clinton





I can understand why people have the views they do. But it is a slippery slope. This particular issue causes a knee jerk reaction in people. Most issues that are important do cause that sort of reaction. The solution needs to be carefully thought out and planned , based on facts not assumptions. Just some food for thought.

rosefaeries
09-15-2010, 05:13 PM
Sorry if this post seems a little disjointed and rambling. I'm not having a wonderful day and the fogginess I get from my Fibromyalgia is fairly bad today.


::hug:: You tell that fibro to go to its room and leave you alone. (I know it doesn't work for me either, but it does make me laugh when I tell my fibro to go away and the laugh does help.)

Meari
09-15-2010, 05:37 PM
Medical care needs to be available to everyone. But it should not be dependent on the persons living their life by your standards and choices. That is not your right. Other than the laws that exist, no one has the right to say how a person shall live their life.

The sad thing is that Medicaid isn't available to everyone. I make about $1000 a month, and because I'm not a child, pregnant, disabled or old... and I've been told that I don't qualify.

Lady Hefron
09-15-2010, 05:40 PM
::hug:: You tell that fibro to go to its room and leave you alone. (I know it doesn't work for me either, but it does make me laugh when I tell my fibro to go away and the laugh does help.)

I wish it would be that easy. Thank you for the hug and the laugh.

LdyJhawk
09-15-2010, 05:55 PM
Oh lovely, more people who want to police other people's lives.

I drive a car that is less than 10 years old, MUCH of my clothing and accessories were extremely expensive and I own several necklaces from Tiffany & Co that were personalized and not resellable. I have a 200 dollar headset for my phone and I carry around an iPhone 4 because it was a gift.

I am on Medicaid in Kansas. Why? Because while I USED to make 70 grand a year, guess what I make now? Precisely jack, now that my unemployment ran out.

Unless you personally know the how and why each person acquired an item you feel is just too luxurious for a poor person to own (those dastardly fiends!) seriously? Take a step back and consider if you'd want people eyeballing every step you made just because you needed assistance. Maybe they saved for a LONG time to get one of those nice items just because even poor people need a treat. Maybe they were gifts? Maybe they were second hand, because let me tell you about the ferragamo heels I found at a goodwill. Am I wearing heels that normally cost 600 dollars? yep! Know what I paid for them? Less than 10 bucks.

Seriously? part of our "culture" crisis is that everyone thinks they have the right to know what everyone else is doing

Bean
09-15-2010, 06:05 PM
It's not just health care that is in crisis.... I can't stand when I go to the grocery store and see someone with a cart full of crap: chips, soda, cookies, and they pay for it with FOOD STAMPS!!!!!

WTF people...

LdyJhawk
09-15-2010, 06:34 PM
It's not just health care that is in crisis.... I can't stand when I go to the grocery store and see someone with a cart full of crap: chips, soda, cookies, and they pay for it with FOOD STAMPS!!!!!

WTF people...


Maybe they have kids and that kid is having a birthday? What is acceptable and suitably shamed enough for the broke people to eat?

rosefaeries
09-15-2010, 06:46 PM
It's not just health care that is in crisis.... I can't stand when I go to the grocery store and see someone with a cart full of crap: chips, soda, cookies, and they pay for it with FOOD STAMPS!!!!!

WTF people...


Not your place. You have no right to decide what they can and can not buy with the food stamps. All of those foods are allowed. You can't buy alcohol and hot foods from the deli with food stamps.

Bean
09-15-2010, 07:22 PM
Yes, but you can also buy vegetables, meats, bread, lunch meat, and soups. There wasn't one "good for you" thing in the entire cart. So when the 85 kids that pop out and are supported by welfare and food stamps are so obese that they need diabetes meds and such provided by Medicaid we get to pay for it all.

rosefaeries
09-15-2010, 07:43 PM
You are making assumptions and passing judgment. It is not your place. You don't know what their life is like. 85 kids? Please don't be ridiculous. As for the diabetes meds, you can be fit and thin and still need them.

That was one shopping trip and you don't know what it was for.

It is not your place to decide what they can and can't buy. Furthermore, it is none of your business.

Ever consider that maybe just maybe they have a garden or participate in a gleaners program which once the produce is canned and /or frozen can supply all of the produce needs for a year?

Gellis Indigo
09-15-2010, 07:52 PM
I would like to point out that the doctor has no way of knowing when the patient got the tattoos , gold tooth (which by the way is not always done for "bling" reasons) or for that matter how long the patient has been on Medicaid. He is making assumptions without knowing the facts.


The fact of the matter was that this patient admitted to smoking a pack a day, eating nothing but fast food, etc. There were no assumptions made about how she cares for herself.

The part about what the patient looked like, wore, etc...those weren't assumptions either. They were observations made by the doctor while the patient was in his care.

Had the doctor stated that this patient was obviously uneducated and lazy because of her appearance, then he would have been making assumptions.

And if my hard earned money is going to help people use food stamps to buy junk food instead of nutritious food, leading them and their families to require even more government assistance, you bet your ass I'm going to take notice.

LdyJhawk
09-15-2010, 08:14 PM
The fact of the matter was that this patient admitted to smoking a pack a day, eating nothing but fast food, etc. There were no assumptions made about how she cares for herself.

The part about what the patient looked like, wore, etc...those weren't assumptions either. They were observations made by the doctor while the patient was in his care.

Had the doctor stated that this patient was obviously uneducated and lazy because of her appearance, then he would have been making assumptions.

And if my hard earned money is going to help people use food stamps to buy junk food instead of nutritious food, leading them and their families to require even more government assistance, you bet your ass I'm going to take notice.

Your hard earned money going to foodstamps amounts around 1 dollar per paycheck. If that much is what's standing between you and ruin, and you feel it entitles you to make determinations about an individual's ability to live their life, please send me your address and I'll make sure to start sending you money so you can feel better. If you pay 8 grand a year in taxes you are dropping about 56 dollars ANNUALLY out of your taxes to feed people on vision/SNAP/foodstamp benefits.

You'd have better luck being outraged at the elderly and the department of defense as they get more of your money than the poor do. I mean, out of that 8000* you pay 1500 to the department of defense...and 150 to the entire department of health and human services for ALL of their aid. Man..that has to be tough.

LdyJhawk
09-15-2010, 08:18 PM
Yes, but you can also buy vegetables, meats, bread, lunch meat, and soups. There wasn't one "good for you" thing in the entire cart. So when the 85 kids that pop out and are supported by welfare and food stamps are so obese that they need diabetes meds and such provided by Medicaid we get to pay for it all.

What many people buy, they buy because it's cheap and it goes further to feed people. Fresh fruits, vegetables, lunch meats, meats and soups can all be extremely expensive and thus don't stretch as far when people need to eat. Additionally, many of those soups and breads are just as terrible for someone as a bag of chips when you look in the ingredients.

When we manage to somehow make it financially viable to eat fresh, non-overprocessed crap on a day to day basis, more people probably would choose to use their benefits on that. Unfortunately it's not not that easy. I buy from the outer ring of the grocery store and really try to avoid the interior as that's where all the filler/junk food is. I can get about 8 plastic bags of groceries to feed two people for two weeks..and it's about 200 dollars.

Gellis Indigo
09-15-2010, 09:16 PM
Your hard earned money going to foodstamps amounts around 1 dollar per paycheck. If that much is what's standing between you and ruin, and you feel it entitles you to make determinations about an individual's ability to live their life, please send me your address and I'll make sure to start sending you money so you can feel better. If you pay 8 grand a year in taxes you are dropping about 56 dollars ANNUALLY out of your taxes to feed people on vision/SNAP/foodstamp benefits.

Believe me, if I only paid 8 grand a year in taxes I'd be doing cartwheels and handsprings. And I'm not one of the "evil rich", nor am I a Fox News watcher (except for this past Sunday when Dr. Kaboom was on Fox and Friends). But my husband and I do work hard for what we make, and we have every right to form thoughts and opinions about how our tax money is spent by our government. Even if those opinions don't agree with yours, or the vast majority of people on this forum. You have little to no idea what things the government spends money on that outrage me, and where I feel the government should spend more money. This has nothing to do with anything standing between me and ruin, it has to do with my own personal views. So, thanks, but I'll keep my address private and you can keep your money.


You'd have better luck being outraged at the elderly and the department of defense as they get more of your money than the poor do. I mean, out of that 8000* you pay 1500 to the department of defense...and 150 to the entire department of health and human services for ALL of their aid. Man..that has to be tough.

So, you can be outraged and snarky that I have an opinion about how my tax dollars are spent?
But I'm not allowed to form my own opinions about how my tax dollars are spent; I should be outraged at the things that you tell me I should be outraged about, because they are the things that outrage you and your personal views?
Again, thanks, but I prefer to think for myself and form my own views, even if they aren't popular here.

Margaret
09-15-2010, 09:17 PM
You are making assumptions and passing judgment. It is not your place. You don't know what their life is like. 85 kids? Please don't be ridiculous. As for the diabetes meds, you can be fit and thin and still need them.

That was one shopping trip and you don't know what it was for.

It is not your place to decide what they can and can't buy. Furthermore, it is none of your business.

Ever consider that maybe just maybe they have a garden or participate in a gleaners program which once the produce is canned and /or frozen can supply all of the produce needs for a year?

OK - you want a more personal example?

Growing up, my dad worked as a forman in a copper mine. Mom was a stay at home mom. She was diagnosed with lupus when she was 26. Our neighbors had a mom a dad and 7 kids. The dad was on permanent disability due to a back injury he had received at work.

My dad worked hard. Left the house at 5 am and got home at 5 pm. We got new school clothes every year and had good Christmases. We held on to our stuff and took care of it, because it had to last. Bikes got stored in the back porch, toys were picked up and well taken care of. We ate hamburger, pork chops, spaghetti and other 'frugal' meals. Stuff like steak did happen in our house, but it was once a month. We had stuff, but the TV that Sher and I had in our room was a small black and white and our stereo came from the neighbor across the street. It was a turn table.

The neighbors got new bikes every year because they trashed the bikes that they had. They had a boat, a camping trailer and several hunting rifles. They had new clothes all the time that did not look new within a week. Mom and Dad did nothing except sit around, smoke cigs and yell at the kids. What did they have on their grill? T bone steak that they would leave on to burn. Oh - and the guy's "disability". Yeah - not so much. When you have a 'permanent back injury' bad enough to claim a permanent disability you really shouldn't be able to pick up the back of my mom's car to get it back in the tracks when she got stuck in the snow. :unamused:

Do I have a right to say what they should have purchased or how they should have lived? No, but I sure as hell have an opinion about it and it isn't good.

Social assistance should be a way to help make it for a short amount of time but it has become a way of life for too many people. They abuse it and become dependent on it. They are able to work but chose not to because getting the food stamps are so much easier to get. It's MY tax dollars paying for them. My husband and I are the ones who drag our butts off to work every day. It's us who scrimp and save and teach our daughter that you must work to get your "stuff" - no one just gets something for free.

Do I have a right to tell someone with food stamps what do get, no. However, I do have the right to contact my senators and representitves and discuss changes in laws and guidelines that govern how people get food stamps and other assistiance. You bet I do.

LdyJhawk
09-15-2010, 09:20 PM
Believe me, if I only paid 8 grand a year in taxes I'd be doing cartwheels and handsprings. And I'm not one of the "evil rich". Far from it. But my husband and I do work hard for what we make, and we have every right to form thoughts and opinions about how our tax money is spent by our government. Even if those opinions don't agree with yours. You have little to no idea what things the government spends money on that outrage me, and where I feel the government should spend more money. This has nothing to do with anything standing between me and ruin, it has to do with my own personal views. So, thanks, but I'll keep my address private and you can keep your money.



Let me see if I'm getting this...you can be outraged and snarky that I have an opinion about how my tax dollars are spent.
But I'm not allowed to form my own opinions about how my tax dollars are spent; I should be outraged at the things that you tell me I should be outraged about, because they are the things that outrage you and your personal views?
Again, thanks, but I prefer to think for myself and form my own views.

My disbelief in your opinion comes from the fact that you seem to feel your tax dollar contribution extends you the right to pass judgment on the types of food purchased by people using supplemental nutrition benefits.

You don't have to like that they're getting it, but you honestly have no "right" to judge them just because some minor portion of your income went to the funding of their card balance. My tax dollars go to building roads and schools but it doesn't mean I get the right to feel morally superior if someone drives a car I don't think they should

LdyJhawk
09-15-2010, 09:24 PM
I dislike the assumption (implied anyway) coming across that anyone who currently uses assistance is someone who sits around unemployed. I know lots of people who bust their ass every day and get paid crap wages, but it's all they can get...so they get assistance with food stamps. Their tax dollars are going to the funding as well.

Sadly right now, with the way our economy is running, lots of people who had great jobs and made great money before are the people who you see with foodstamps and medicaid. They're the people who roll up in nice cars with nice clothes to get their stuff because what should they do? Sell all they own and get acceptable poor people stuff if they could afford it anyway?

It's a reaaaaally bad time to go about casting out determinations on why a person must be on assistance

rosefaeries
09-15-2010, 09:30 PM
The doctor is making the assumption that she made her appearance look that way while on Medicaid. He doesn't know that. He does not know the time frame nor the circumstances that it happened in. Do you know how long that woman was on Medicaid? DO you know when she started using it? No you don't and neither did he.

He also doesn't know her living situation. For that matter, neither do you. Do you know if she had a way to shop and cook food at home? Perhaps she lives where there is a communal kitchen and it is not always possible to keep your own food from being eaten by someone else.

Yes she admitted to those habits. That is not disputed. What is disputed is the assumptions that the doctor is making.

As for the purchases being made with food stamps, it is no one's business except for the person making the purchase. Just because someone is receiving assistance does not give the right to anyone else to control how they live their life. Buying junk food does not lead to needing more medical care. Can too much junk food lead to weight gain, yes it can. Can it lead to other health issues? Yes it can, but there is no guarantee or certainty that it will. But it still is not any of your business what a someone else buys with their food stamps.

There are rules about what you can and cannot buy with food stamps. No alcohol, hot foods from the deli and no tobacco. Seeds for the garden used to be able to be purchased. I am unsure if they can still be.

Bean
09-15-2010, 09:35 PM
snip


You are making assumptions and passing judgment. It is not your place.

Well when the world is perfect and nobody passes judgement on anyone else I'll be sure to let you know. psssst.... just in case you didn't notice, you are passing judgement on me.

rosefaeries
09-15-2010, 09:41 PM
psst it was an observation.

Holly
09-15-2010, 11:06 PM
snip



Well when the world is perfect and nobody passes judgement on anyone else I'll be sure to let you know. psssst.... just in case you didn't notice, you are passing judgement on me.

I knew I loved you...

Seriously, there are many people who abuse the social service system. Because I am a donator to the system I do have a right to have both an opinion and to voice that opinion. I think that there needs to be more education about the options and the effect of the choices one makes.

Another thought I had as I read this is that sometimes, stereotypes can be true. They are afterall based on collective perception. We might not like it, and as an organization we fight them daily, but they exist and sometimes they are true.

If I ask for help, I have no right to abuse that help.

Bean
09-15-2010, 11:19 PM
Holly = girlcrush.

RaevynCait
09-15-2010, 11:42 PM
In my opinion, government assistance should be a safety net, NOT a way of life.

I have tried to navigate the assistance program for over a year, since I lost my job last year in May. I have learned that because I am 1. single, 2. childless, and 3. not pregnant, I do not qualify for Medicaid, TANF, or housing assistance, and I only qualify for 3 months of food stamps EVERY 3 YEARS if I am unemployed.

Yes, that's right. I have worked for 25 years or better, always paid my taxes (which fund these services). I have chosen not to have children knowing that I have not found someone with whom I want to have a family. I have been RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF, keeping a roof over my head and food in my belly since I was 18 years old.

Yeah, my "safety net" amounted to 3 months of food stamps, that it took 6 or 7 applications, and multiple phone calls and trips to DHHS offices before I FINALLY managed to get an appointment with a counselor, and after an hour of tears and begging, I was approved for that "temporary" fix.

Fortunately, I have since started working, and my wage is low enough that I can probably keep at least part of that benefit, since my net pay, minus rent/utilities, phone, car payment, fuel, and insurance equals about $12, but I am waiting to get the results from the re-evaluation.

It IS frustrating to me that hardworking, responsible folks, who have fallen on hard times can't get access to the assistance, yet there seems to be an entire generation that is driving a fancy car, plenty of bling, hair extensions, and whatever else while my tax dollars (and yours) pay or offset their rent, pay for their medical care, and buy their food.

Ravin' Raven
09-16-2010, 12:06 AM
Since we originally were talking about culture here, let me give my recent example...

Family of four at Wallyworld in front of me. Folks have a cart about half full. They had not paid attention to the value of the content while they shopped so now they were taking things out. They had a state aid card to pay with. Mother practically had to beg father to let the DVD stay in because it was a birthday present ($15) for one the kids and she promised him he could have the DVD. The waffles got taken out of the cart as did a few other food items. The cheaper products stayed in. they finally figured it out. oh did I mention that not once did either parent consider removing one of the FOUR cartons of cigarettes they had!!!!!!

To me this paints a major cultural shift. MY mom would do without if it meant something for one of us. My mom clipped coupons and we went on triple the value day after she got off work to be able to get the most for our dollar. Nowadays the parents are selfish and create selfish children. Hey I don't have a jacket for school but dad's entitled to his cigarettes!

I used to have a second job teaching at a secretarial school in the evenings. 99% of my students were forced to be there by the state to show they were "trying to get off welfare" by getting an education that the state was paying for. I couldn't get them to show up half the time. In the meantime I had two students who were paying their own way and one of them almost had to drop out because she couldn't make the scheduled classes because she was working her ass off to afford the course in the first place! And one of those "welfare" students always had on new clothes, bragged about how she had figured out how to get even more funds from the state (she was on child number 3 at the age of 19 and one of them was 5).

The fact is that we all have experienced the types of people who really do abuse the system so it does tend to stick in the crawl to see these people in action. Let's face it - Holly is right - stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason - because they do prove themselves to be true more often than not. I know there are folks who have minor and even major setbacks and for them there should be a system to help. sad truth, like Raevyn, those are the types of folks who can't seem to get the help.

So, yes, I am human, I will tend to judge people who "appear" to be abusing a system. I may be wrong on a few occassions but I'm pretty sure these people are judging me for being "well off" and keeping it all to myself. And yeah, I pay more in taxes than many people earn. I've worked hard to be able to do that, I also donate things regularly and it does piss me the fuck off that after busting my ass for the last 25 years to get where I am that I know there are people abusing these systems. :unamused:

Gemdrite
09-16-2010, 01:53 AM
I dislike the assumption (implied anyway) coming across that anyone who currently uses assistance is someone who sits around unemployed. I know lots of people who bust their ass every day and get paid crap wages, but it's all they can get...so they get assistance with food stamps. Their tax dollars are going to the funding as well.

Sadly right now, with the way our economy is running, lots of people who had great jobs and made great money before are the people who you see with foodstamps and medicaid. They're the people who roll up in nice cars with nice clothes to get their stuff because what should they do? Sell all they own and get acceptable poor people stuff if they could afford it anyway?

It's a reaaaaally bad time to go about casting out determinations on why a person must be on assistance
The thing is, this discussion has been occurring since long before the economy tanked. People have been pissed off about the abuses to our system for years, and there *still* isn't anything being done about it. And now we are adding a new healthcare system, when we still haven't fixed the problems in our other support systems. So yeah, people (and I include myself in this) are already wary about just how the new healthcare system is going to be used, and abused, in the future.

Nobody, not one person here, has said that all people on welfare or using any kind of government assistance is lazy, ill-bred, or whatever. We are fully aware that there are many people who can't get the help they need, or that are getting help from the systems they paid into. But we are also fully aware that there are people abusing the systems, the systems that we pay for, and they aren't even secret about it. They flaunt it. We have every right to be pissed off about it.

daBaroness
09-16-2010, 04:23 AM
Yes, we're making assumptions - ALL of us. Honestly, I like Dr. Phil's philosophy that past behavior is generally a pretty good indicator of future behavior. I'll add mine - if it quacks, has a bill, webbed feet and flies - it's probably a good assumption that it's a duck. Not always - but I'm guessing about 95% of the time.

And because the rules for receiving AFDC, food stamps and other government assistance are pretty strict - those who make a life living off the system know exactly how to cheat the system. They make a job out of cheating the system. And need I remind anyone that "we" ARE the system.

I don't fault anyone who's working hard to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and maintain a modicum of health for disliking the system. The government is notorious for perpetuating give-away programs that clearly don't work. Welfare is a prime example - never intended to be an intergenerational lifestyle - welfare started out as aide to widows and children of WWII veterans so women could stay in the home and raise their children. But as time has gone on - it's become a hand-out program for people whose only claim to fame is their ability to spit out children and work the system.

I have first-hand knowledge of the "typical" woman on public assistance - how she gets there, stays there and supplements her lifestyle by some illegals means or another. Because no politician has the balls to suggest, muchless campaign for legislation that would require the recipient of public funds be held accountable for how they spend and manage their resources and require all recipients to either attend school with proof of decent grades and earnest efforts to improve their own earning capacity. I think receipients should also be required to work for their money. The problem with the current welfare system is that the moment a woman on assistance betters herself by going to school or getting a job - their funds are cut off. That is SO bass-akwards! They should have to work and plan for the time when they can get off the public dole and provide for themselves and their families. If the gov't paid or even subsidized the cost of decent childcare; offered decent subsidized housing and food stamps while the woman works or goes to school - there would be more people in the workforce and off the public dole. As it stands - they're paid to do nothing and punished for doing anything. How messed up is that?

I for one am not going to be a hypocrit pretending to be all touchy-feely, open minded and politically correct when I know it irks me no end to see single welfare mothers continue to have babies and then not care for them. I am very fortunately because though I wasn't married, my parents were always very supportive of me as I muddled through my child-rearing years. I couldn't have raised my sons without their love, support and occasional financial assistance. I admit I was somewhat spoiled by them by knowing I had a safety net if I failed. But I know I wouldn't have failed. And I never once sought public assistance because I was a healthy, responsible mother who believed I had to bear the responsibility of my own (bad) choices and no taxpayer should have to foot the bit for my youthful and wreckless decision-making. I went without - my kids went without all of the luxury items our friends had and I managed to make a pretty decent home. The only government program I took advantage of was WIC which supplied formula for my sons during the first years of their lives without charge. It was a Godsend.

I'm sorry if it offends some people's sensibilities - but I do resent having to support the lifestyles of otherwise healthy, able-bodied people who've chosen to make a life out of sponging off the community and expecting everyone else to cottle them along. I've heard every argument in the book - and frankly - I don't buy any of them. I'm sick of excuses about education or a difficult childhood, etc. I've watched women start with nothing and work themselves into good jobs, nice homes and self-sufficiency. I give no quarter for anyone who has so little integrity and such laziness that they'd rather fight for their piece of the pie. I don't sleep easily knowing that somewhere, not too far from me, there's a lazy, neglectful woman whose children live in squalor, without food or other basic necessities because their mommy chooses to sell her food stamps or otherwise appropriate funds meant to care for their children for a new tattoo, a gold tooth (which IS a status symbol in parts of the Black community) or a night out clubbing.

I'm not making assumptions - my statements are based in fact and are borne out statistically. Individuals who live on public funds for more than a year or two are making it a lifestyle - one that was never meant to be. Those who don't abuse the system aren't part of the system for long - they work to gain their independence and self respect. Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course there are. But our main problems in this country stem from the reluctance of good people to stand up and call out the abusers of the system for fear of being labeled bigots or worse by the loud-mouth jerks who just pander to "their own people" essentially living off the misery and ignorance of others.

Damn skippy I'm resentful that I've worked my tail off while others are satisfied and even boastful that they're living off the fruits of the labor of others. I used to be one of the bleeding heart liberals who drank the excuse Kool-Aid, but there's something about being responsible for the lives and well-being of your family that makes you open your eyes to the reality of making excuses for people who choose to be ignorant and lazy. Sorry - but I'll never apologize for being resentful of the fact my kids are eating Aldi Mac & Cheese while the welfare kid in the next building is having McDonald's for the fourth time this week because his Mama can't be bothered to cook him a nutritious and economical meal.

Finally - government programs are nothing short of slavery. Once hooked into the system - recipients lose the motivation to better themselves and so by the nature of the beast become slaves to the system. Stevie Wonder said it best, "Give them just enough, just enough for the city."

Torra
09-16-2010, 07:46 AM
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to daBaroness again.

Darn it. daB, thank you for your thoughts. Either you actually sit there and think, write and edit posts for at least an hour, or you have one heckuva mind that lets you put all that together so coherently. Whatever way it is, you rock.

Gellis Indigo
09-16-2010, 08:25 AM
Hey Torra, I took care of the Rep for daB for you! :hi:

Lady Hefron
09-16-2010, 11:14 AM
I started a post clipping parts from daB to agree with, then I realized I was clipping 90% of her post.

This is exactly what I think, only stated much more eloquently than I could.

daB, thank you for taking the time and thought to post this. It wouldn't let me give you any rep points, but when I can I will. I really wish I could meet you, have lunch and a long talk.

LdyJhawk
09-16-2010, 05:08 PM
What about the women who don't have the support net they can fall back on? Or the young families who thought they were secure and then had everything ripped out from under them when the economy fell?
Which people are ok to ask for assistance?

Yes, there are people who abuse it but honestly the people who seem to insist that it's the majority rather than the minority are buying into hysterics and then they write out long, classist and thinly veiled racist diatribes and mail them off to the president and newspapers so they can pat themselves on the back and talk about how THEY finally took a stand for their tax dollars.

Richard Lionheart
09-16-2010, 06:00 PM
First post; sorry it's here.


Yes, there are people who abuse it but honestly the people who seem to insist that it's the majority rather than the minority are buying into hysterics and then they write out long, classist and thinly veiled racist diatribes and mail them off to the president and newspapers so they can pat themselves on the back and talk about how THEY finally took a stand for their tax dollars.

What part of anything anyone in this thread has said is remotely prejudiced against social strata or race? The more I watch MSNBC and CNN, the more I realize that this is what our country has come to. Is this really what comforts you at the end of the day? Anyone who doesn't accept your irrational "everyone is judging me" mentality must be a bigot? Anyone who doesn't believe that they should help every "sad" case out there is simply rationalizing their hate for other people? Really?

The simple fact is that there is a lot of waste in our welfare programs. The perception may be that the majority of the people in these programs are abusing it, but how about instead of attacking the perception you attack the cause of it? In 1996, nearly 40% of black children were born to single mothers. Of those single mothers, nearly 60% of them were on public assistance. [Unfortunately, I can't find more recent numbers because our government outright refuses to quantify the waste in welfare programs.] Of those single black mothers on welfare, only 30% of them (for children born in 1996) received welfare for the first time. Does any of that help lead you to a feeling of an entrenched welfare class?

Try this on for size: For 2010, the USDA estimate that 39.68M (nearly 1 in 8) people in the USA will be on food stamps. Compare that to 2008 when 31.78M people were on food stamps and an estimated 43.3 for 2011.

How about this: The Tax Policy Center (an organization that analyzes Tax data from the IRS) reported that 47% of American households had zero income tax liability for the 2009 Tax year. That means that not only did I have 35% of my salary stolen from my to pay for many programs I don't agree with ethically, much less morally, 1 in 2 of every person around me got to get out of paying for any of it themselves. Worse than that, 12% of Americans received an overall tax benefit (received a check back for more than they paid) from the 2009 income tax season. Are you kidding me? I paid people to not pay taxes?

What you are seeing as bigotry is the part of the country that actually pays for these things wanting to know what is going on. Do I have a right to know what someone on food stamps is buying for dinner? Let me as you this: when you give your kids money to buy something do you pay even the slightest bit attention to what they spend it on? I realize the poor are not my children by any stretch of the imagination, but they are accepting and spending my money, which (by the way) I have no choice in giving to them. We (the people who actually pay taxes) deserve to know how every dollar of that is spent and we deserve measures to make sure it isn't squandered on hopeless endeavors. Letting anyone (without a demonstrable, permanent disability) live off the government is just as hopeless as the Iraqi War... neither will ever end and the respective beneficiaries will keep bleeding me dry until I'm dead... and even then the government will take nearly 60% of my estate... so they have one last jab at me.

One last comment: The day it becomes possible for me to live comfortably off the government without a job is they day I quit paying taxes. If I get no benefit out of working as hard as I can over the people who sit on their asses eating Cheetos all day long... I might as well stop trying.

Rowen
09-16-2010, 07:13 PM
Darn it. daB, thank you for your thoughts. Either you actually sit there and think, write and edit posts for at least an hour, or you have one heckuva mind that lets you put all that together so coherently. Whatever way it is, you rock.

She got a point from me too ;-)

Torra
09-16-2010, 07:23 PM
Thanks Gellis and Rowan!

LdyJhawk
09-16-2010, 08:24 PM
Richard, I didn't indicate anyone here was racist. Classist? Oh there's been some of that exhibited but that happens.

Also? The day you stop paying taxes I expect you will also stop using public roads, utilities, schools, libraries and all civil services, yes? My tax dollars pay for those and by your logic if you aren't contributing you shouldn't be allowed to use it without expressed permission of the taxpayers

Richard Lionheart
09-16-2010, 09:06 PM
Richard, I didn't indicate anyone here was racist. Classist? Oh there's been some of that exhibited but that happens.

Also? The day you stop paying taxes I expect you will also stop using public roads, utilities, schools, libraries and all civil services, yes? My tax dollars pay for those and by your logic if you aren't contributing you shouldn't be allowed to use it without expressed permission of the taxpayers
I think you intentionally missed the point of my comment. What I meant to say is if I can lead a similar life to what I have now on welfare, I'll choose not to have a job.

Also, as it happens, pretty much everyone on welfare is in the 47% that has no tax liability... so I guess they shouldn't be able to use any public services?

Gellis Indigo
09-16-2010, 09:25 PM
Also? The day you stop paying taxes I expect you will also stop using public roads, utilities, schools, libraries and all civil services, yes? My tax dollars pay for those and by your logic if you aren't contributing you shouldn't be allowed to use it without expressed permission of the taxpayers

So, in essence, are you saying that you subscribe to the, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs," theory? I'm just trying to understand your stance on this.

LdyJhawk
09-16-2010, 09:34 PM
I think you intentionally missed the point of my comment. What I meant to say is if I can lead a similar life to what I have now on welfare, I'll choose not to have a job.

Also, as it happens, pretty much everyone on welfare is in the 47% that has no tax liability... so I guess they shouldn't be able to use any public services?



Only if we go by your idea that if you don't pay in, you should have people allowed to determine what you should and shouldn't have

Richard Lionheart
09-16-2010, 10:18 PM
Only if we go by your idea that if you don't pay in, you should have people allowed to determine what you should and shouldn't have
Again, you're intentionally misunderstanding what I said. I said the taxpayers deserve to know if their money is being wasted. If that means while on welfare I have to buy from an approved list of items or have to otherwise demonstrate I'm fulfilling a need and not a desire with public money, so be it. If you live your entire life on welfare, the I guess that does mean other people get to decide what you have... but the point of welfare isn't to live off of it. Its to be a safety net when you have no where else to turn for help. So if I buy big expensive things before and after being on welfare, that is no one's business but mine.

Margaret
09-16-2010, 10:43 PM
If that means while on welfare I have to buy from an approved list of items or have to otherwise demonstrate I'm fulfilling a need and not a desire with public money, so be it.

Which is not an outrageous request.

I work for an organization that receives it's funding from mostly medicade dollars. We are accountable and required by law to prove that the services we are providing our clients are rational and goal based. Our units of service are broken down in to 15 min. incriments. If the services we provide are found NOT to fall within Medicade guidelines, we would need to repay all the monies we had collected and I, personally, could go to jail for fraud.

If my company, and many others like it who receive tax dollars, can be held to standars like that, why not individuals who received services that stem from tax dollars.

Annabella St. Clair
09-16-2010, 11:46 PM
I'm a social worker in the foster care field. I deal with parents daily, men and women, who lack the skills to make healthy and logical decisions about what to spend money on. They are not delayed either. They look at me like I have three heads when I suggest cutting out and using coupons.They don't want to shop at a thrift store. They buy cigarettes but don't get their child a gift for Christmas.

daBaroness
09-17-2010, 01:07 AM
I know we're all supposed to be politcally correct and stand up for the underdog and all that. I used to be that way - a smug, self-righteous and ignorant youngen who believed that if we'd all just love one another, not judge one another and trust everyone emphatically the would would be paradise.

Yeah, about that. Truth is - very few people these days have any integrity, respect for others, or love for anyone. Reality bites. So does the realization that for every person who has the best of intentions of saving the world and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt - there are probably at least two who hope they run across that clueless sap so they can rob 'em blind and mock them (or worse) as they leave.

I do believe there are very good people in the world, but I no longer believe in pretending there aren't classes of people; that everyone has it within to be a decent person or that adults who had a tough childhood are somehow absolved of their actions and deeds. To be perfectly blunt - those who would label others as racist or classist or a dozen other "ists" don't have a clue as to what led some of us to the beliefs and opinions we have. And shocking as it may sound to some - I'm proud to say that I'm a classist. I judge people on their behavior towards me and the level of integrity they demonstrate.

I don't care how much money you make, your sexual preference, the color of your skin or to which diety (or not) to whom you pray - if you prove your words hollow and demonstrate your true nature through your actions - I'm done with you. And if you're benefiting by breaking the law - in letter or in spirit - then I'm going to judge you as beneath me. Everyone has to earn the respect and trust of others in this life. If all I do is make promises, deny responsibility and expect others to take care of me - I don't deserve the trust and respect of others. Fool me once - shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.

Now I'm not trying to hold myself up as a model of piety, perfection and unquestioned honor - far from it. I've made more than my share of mistakes; denied my share of responsibility when things go wrong and still get some kind of perverse pleasure when people I'm not particularly fond of get their own comeuppances. I love it when the righteous (not self-righteous) people win and the "bad guy" is made to be responsible for their choices and actions. Do I think people of any particular group, e.g., "the poor," "Muslims," "women or men," "wealthy," etc., be lumped together and judged as a whole? Heck no! But I am realistic enough to know that (sadly) stereotypes exist for a reason, that we're "known by the company we keep," and there are a whole lotta people floatin' down that River Denial.

In my book - it takes great courage to admit when you're wrong or when you've wronged another. I have the utmost respect for anyone who admits and accepts responsibility (and sometimes the consequences) of their intentions and actions. Do I have compassion for someone who never had the advantages I did; who truly doesn't know the difference between right and wrong because it was never modeled for him? Most certainly. But at some point in our lives, if we want to live in truth and integrity - we have to rise above all the crap and purpose to do better - to become better people and to demonstrate that by our own choices and behavior. At some point we have to quit going along with the crowd when we know for a certainty that what the crowd is doing is fundamentally wrong. And we have to quit blaming every one and every thing around us for our miserable situation.

Fact is - if we don't care enough as individuals to live within our own integrity - no matter the consequences - then no one should give you the time of day; a second chance or have any pity on your for what you could, but choose not to acknowledge and change. My person belief is the purpose of my life is to become a better person - to be more loving and grateful - to live each moment to its fullest and to understand that wherever I am in my life at this moment is completely mine to love or loathe. I'm working on loving it and choosing to waste as few of the moments I have left in anger, fear, hatred or any other negative place.

So how does that jibe with not having pity for people who won't help themselves and who choose a miserable existence? Very well actually - for me. I finally realize the only person I have control over is me and that maybe, just maybe if I work each moment to be a better person - someone will notice and purpose to be a better person themselves. And THAT is what I think is wrong with the world. A lack of self-respect; a lack of holding ourselves and others to certain standards of behavior and an overwhelming focus on material riches (or lack thereof). A society who values its things above its people has lost its way.

Kathryn Blakeley
09-17-2010, 02:11 AM
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to daBaroness again.


Dangit! Someone hit her up for me?

Phoenix McHeit
09-17-2010, 08:49 AM
Dangit! Someone hit her up for me?
Gotcha covered.

And daB - I quite literally stood up and yelled "YES!!!!" at my computer screen while reading that. ::clappin:::clappin:



Spooked the dog, I did. :-)

May I quote you elsewhere? With proper credit, of course. Especially these paragraphs:

I don't care how much money you make, your sexual preference, the color of your skin or to which diety (or not) to whom you pray - if you prove your words hollow and demonstrate your true nature through your actions - I'm done with you. And if you're benefiting by breaking the law - in letter or in spirit - then I'm going to judge you as beneath me. Everyone has to earn the respect and trust of others in this life. If all I do is make promises, deny responsibility and expect others to take care of me - I don't deserve the trust and respect of others. Fool me once - shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.
In my book - it takes great courage to admit when you're wrong or when you've wronged another. I have the utmost respect for anyone who admits and accepts responsibility (and sometimes the consequences) of their intentions and actions. Do I have compassion for someone who never had the advantages I did; who truly doesn't know the difference between right and wrong because it was never modeled for him? Most certainly. But at some point in our lives, if we want to live in truth and integrity - we have to rise above all the crap and purpose to do better - to become better people and to demonstrate that by our own choices and behavior. At some point we have to quit going along with the crowd when we know for a certainty that what the crowd is doing is fundamentally wrong. And we have to quit blaming every one and every thing around us for our miserable situation.

I have a favorite saying - "There comes a time when 'reasons why' stop being reasons and start becoming excuses."

Margaret
09-17-2010, 10:13 AM
Exactly. And, that is where the "Culture Crisis" that began this thread comes in.

For the most part, kids model their lives and their expectations on their parten(s) and caregivers. I know people who have raised their kids as single parents, working 3 jobs to make sure their kids have the basic needs. What and where are their kids now? One is in her medical residency one is in college studying to be an accountant and the other is in his last year of high school. All of them are good, respectful kids who want more from life and are willing to work for it. Why? Because that is what Sheila taught them. You love, fear and respect your mother. You do your homework. You follow the rules of the house and the laws of the land. What you get, you need to work for. Education is good and necessary. Be kind and polite to others.

Many kids who see their folks sit around, rely on the govenrment, only hear things like; I stopped looking for a job long time ago. Just not worth it. They don't give me enough money! Work ethics do not get established. TV is always flashing videos featuring blinged out guys and girls. The lure of easy money is always there in the form of drug hustlers. Soon kids are sucked in to the drug dealing or stealing the expensive stuff they want.

Does that happen to every "poor kid" or every kid who's family is on welfare? No. However, it happens more than enough.

Now the question is, how can we stop it? How do we get to these high risk kids? What do we DO? Laws can be changed to restrict abuse of the system, but it is an entire belief system that has got to be remolded before anything can really be differnet for any length of time.

Phoenix McHeit
09-17-2010, 11:04 AM
If that means while on welfare I have to buy from an approved list of items or have to otherwise demonstrate I'm fulfilling a need and not a desire with public money, so be it.

But see, that's what does happen. I honestly have no idea how people stay on welfare for years. The gals here know my story but you're new, so I'll give you some background.

I became a single mom of four boys when the eldest was 5 and the youngest was 9 months old. I thought I had done everything right - get married first, THEN have the children, live happily ever after, white picket fence, the whole bit. Evidently Life had other plans in store for me.
I applied for welfare to help while I got a job - any job - that would support me and my kids. I had no skills other than being a Mom. All my office skills were rusty and technology had passed me by. Besides which, office jobs that I could manage to get didn't pay squat. I eventually got a job in a factory, third shift, to support us.

When I applied for welfare, I needed to show proof that I needed the assistance. They wanted rent receipts, bank statements, utility bills (not phone, cableTV or internet, just shelter necessities like power, water, etc.) child-care receipts, things like that. They took what I was bringing in, minus the basic necessities of shelter, figured some dollar amount for food and decided whether I qualified or not. Oh - I also had to prove that I could not have more children - how's THAT for delving into your private life? I was appalled, but I see the reasoning behind it.

When I did get food stamps, it came with a laundry list of things NOT approved. Yes, cookies are approved. But y'know what? I didn't think it was all that awful to give my kids a treat now and then.

I guess what I'm saying is, there are those things in place that you ask for. An approved list of things available to buy. Proof that you need the help is required. I've jumped through more hoops than a circus performer and still been denied at times. I've let total strangers into my private, personal life - my bank accounts, my rent, etc - all to get a bit of help when I fell down. I have no idea how people manage to stay on welfare for so long. Yes, evidently they do, but that's not the fault of those who use it for it's intended purpose.

The rules are there, are in place. Actually enforcing them is where the problem lies.

Lady Hefron
09-17-2010, 12:12 PM
Now the question is, how can we stop it? How do we get to these high risk kids? What do we DO? Laws can be changed to restrict abuse of the system, but it is an entire belief system that has got to be remolded before anything can really be differnet for any length of time.

This is exactly it. And to quote Phee "The rules are there, are in place. Actually enforcing them is where the problem lies."

We need to enforce what rules are in place. We need to prosecute fraud. Where there are not rules we need to put some in place.

Understand me, I'm not saying that everyone who is on welfare/food stamps/disability are lazy. What I'm saying is there is abuse and we all suffer for it. Those of us who need disability have a horrid time getting it because of the abuse. Those who need food stamps have a hard time then get looked down on because of the abuse.

It's time to take a look, overhaul that needs it and see if we can stop the waste. I'm not sure how to do this, but talking to your state reps and senators might be a way to start.

daBaroness
09-17-2010, 04:58 PM
Now THIS is a discussion. Bravo ladies and gentlemen!

As I said before, I've long felt if the system were restructured to be a supplemental, stop-gap program that provided financial and other assistance to individuals and families for a specific period of time based on whether they needed education, retraining or other help finding gainful employment. The assistance would cover food stamps, child care, salary replacement or supplementation (for those who chose to work a low-paying job while they attend some short of schooling), subsidized housing, health care, etc. Benefits wouldn't be cut if someone gets a raise or a promotion, etc., until a certain cap was reached. Conversely, if recipients chose not to "do" for themselves, there would be some sort of penalty.

There would be thousands of jobs created just by "my" program. Child-care, property management, etc. Even if these jobs just allowed the program to run in a self-sustaining manner and provided a decent living wage for participants/recipients - it would be a win-win. My program would also require accountability by recipients - including taking, passing and demonstrating child-rearing, personal finance and budgeting, literacy and computer literacy, nutrition, meal-planning and cooking, etc. Basic life skills.

My program would have LOTS of inspectors and facilitators who would help keep recipients accountable and responsible. There would be regular, unannounced inspections of subsidized housing and some sort of co-op or sweat equity program where people would learn to do routine household maintenance and repair and be required to keep their housing clean and repaired with the assistance and guidance of program monitors.

Training programs could offer hands-on learning for people to do the administration of the program itself, along with its various components. There would be local boards of directors and citizen/recipient participation required in the administration, maintenance and governance of programs falling under the umbrella.

The goal of the program would always be to "graduate" recipients out of the system and into society with the tools they need to procure gainful employment, find and pay for decent housing and just generally providing for their families by themselves. I also think a long-term, post-program component that provided ongoing support, counsel and certain resources to help program graduates stay successful.

I have a lot of other thoughts on what might best serve the needs of everyone and I know some of them are completely fantasy. I only wish our society, government, communities and families could be united in making something like this a reality. It's obvious to just about everyone that the systems we currently have in place came to be through dumb luck and happenstance - not any cohesive, unified and forward-thinking design and plan. And we also know it's sadly human nature to understand no one plan or program with make everyone happy - there will always be bitchers and complainers and naysays who through their own negativity undermine even the best of plans. Unfortunately - in too many circumstances, it is the handful of the chronically unhappy, bitter and negative people who ruin it for everyone else.

How does anything remotely like this happen? If I knew the answer to that, I'd jump on the bandwagon with wreckless abandon and joy.

But hey - a girl can always dare to dream, right?

Lady Hefron
09-17-2010, 06:18 PM
daB for President.

Seriously, something like that would work. The problem is that it would require the government to help then take their hands off. This won't happen. We have gotten into a "cradle to grave" mentality. The government is supposed to take care of us.

Anyway, it is a great idea.

Gellis Indigo
09-17-2010, 07:04 PM
Many kids who see their folks sit around, rely on the govenrment, only hear things like; I stopped looking for a job long time ago. Just not worth it. They don't give me enough money! Work ethics do not get established.


And it starts at such a young age. Many, many, many years ago, when I was a brand new teacher, I was shocked to hear parents at Open House or Parent Teacher Conferences say , "I'm not good at math either. He'll be fine without it." They would say this in front of the child, essentially making it ok for the kid to not even try to learn basic math. Little did I know, that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Then I started working with the high school kids, and started hearing things like, "my parents are on welfare and they do fine, so that's what I'm gonna do." I would ask them if they wanted a better life than their parents, and 9 times out of 10 they would look at me as if I had 2 heads. It had never crossed their minds that they could have a better life, because no one at home was encouraging it.

And my personal favorite, the parents who demand that their child be tested to qualify for Special Ed. services because they "heard they could get an SSI check if their kid is special ed."

Lady Hefron
09-17-2010, 09:42 PM
And my personal favorite, the parents who demand that their child be tested to qualify for Special Ed. services because they "heard they could get an SSI check if their kid is special ed."

This made me want to vomit.

Gemdrite
09-17-2010, 10:35 PM
And it starts at such a young age. Many, many, many years ago, when I was a brand new teacher, I was shocked to hear parents at Open House or Parent Teacher Conferences say , "I'm not good at math either. He'll be fine without it." They would say this in front of the child, essentially making it ok for the kid to not even try to learn basic math. Little did I know, that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Then I started working with the high school kids, and started hearing things like, "my parents are on welfare and they do fine, so that's what I'm gonna do." I would ask them if they wanted a better life than their parents, and 9 times out of 10 they would look at me as if I had 2 heads. It had never crossed their minds that they could have a better life, because no one at home was encouraging it.

And my personal favorite, the parents who demand that their child be tested to qualify for Special Ed. services because they "heard they could get an SSI check if their kid is special ed."
Even before I was a student teacher, I was volunteering in a reading center in a school. One of the girls told me she didn't need to know how to read. She was just going to be a prostitute when she grew up anyways.

Annabella St. Clair
09-18-2010, 01:32 AM
Because I work with a certain population of kids, foster kids, I see probably the worst case scenarios. One thing I do try to do is encourage the kids but in underhanded ways. I drive them through the more affluent neighborhoods around Detroit and when they ask how the people in the houses got the cars and big house, I tell them they went to school, graduated college, and got a good job. They didn't break laws, cheat, or steal.

I also will just say to the kids that you'll need such and such skill when you go off to college. Many blink and ask why I would think they are going to college. I blink back and ask them why wouldn't I think it? I find that if you set a bar for a child, they will usually strive to reach what you expect them to reach. Whether they go or not, I start early putting the idea in their heads. Much better than letting them think the only way to get a big house is to be a rapper. Better odds if they go to college to achieve their goals/dreams.

daBaroness
09-18-2010, 04:00 AM
Even before I was a student teacher, I was volunteering in a reading center in a school. One of the girls told me she didn't need to know how to read. She was just going to be a prostitute when she grew up anyways.

Now this? This makes me incredibly sad and sick at the same time! There's a great and sad irony to me that people who couldn't care less about their own children are able to spit them out with so little effort. Meanwhile, people who would be amazing parents spent their entire life savings trying to have a child. It just seems such a cruel twist of fate.

Would that somehow all the parties in these scenarios could get together so that all children would have parents who want and adore them ...

Torra
09-18-2010, 07:13 AM
Even before I was a student teacher, I was volunteering in a reading center in a school. One of the girls told me she didn't need to know how to read. She was just going to be a prostitute when she grew up anyways.

Oh Gem...how sad. I hope she was at least old enough to understand what it was she was saying - imagining an elementary school girl saying something like that because she doesn't know better or her parents don't want better for her, or whatever reason, is heartbreaking.

Margaret
09-18-2010, 08:35 AM
I find that if you set a bar for a child, they will usually strive to reach what you expect them to reach.

BadaBig! There it is. You NEED to have expictations for your kids. Even if it's just that they will make their bed and do their homework.

Stopping this circle of underachieving (or whatever you want to call it) with the kids, but you also need to also help the parents understand that it is possible for their kids to achieve MORE.

Lady Hefron
09-18-2010, 10:35 AM
BadaBig! There it is. You NEED to have expictations for your kids. Even if it's just that they will make their bed and do their homework.

Stopping this circle of underachieving (or whatever you want to call it) with the kids, but you also need to also help the parents understand that it is possible for their kids to achieve MORE.

This is very true. I don't think we can fix the older generation. We need to start with the kids. Let's start explaining to children that this isn't acceptable and we expect more from them.

Gemdrite
09-18-2010, 02:53 PM
Oh Gem...how sad. I hope she was at least old enough to understand what it was she was saying - imagining an elementary school girl saying something like that because she doesn't know better or her parents don't want better for her, or whatever reason, is heartbreaking.
She was in fifth or sixth grade, I can't remember which. Old enough to know exactly what she was saying.