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Staying at Home "On Welfare" - Page 15

post #281 of 1188
Hmmm, one thing I'd add about the 'rich' paying more into the system...well, it depends on the type of rich you're talking about. Rags to riches building a biz from scratch or hitting it big individually in the corporate world, yep.

Starting out life with millions/billions in trust funds and investments? Uh...sorry to break it to you, but nope. There's a reason to make trust funds for your trust fund babies, neh?

DH and I pay FAR less in taxes the years we live primarily on investment income than we do when we live primarily on earnings. In fact, we only recently started having to pay any taxes at all, thanks to the nice tax-break we got de facto because of the stock-market tank in the earlier part of this decade. (You can roll over your losses indefinitely until they're used up, in our case it took about 4 or 5 years! Ridiculous. I would venture that people who have more in investments than we do probably might STILL not be paying any taxes.)

I don't think people in general truly understand how the tax system works in this country--if they did, then they certainly wouldn't say that the wealthy pay more in, because only the stupid ones or people who refuse to hire a CPA do. Like if Paris Hilton decided to fire her CPA and do her own taxes one year or something. There are some solid reasons why people who should and do know better keep on pushing that myth though.

The type of ways you can get out of the system are ONLY accessible to people with a certain amount of wealth and investments.

So if you live on investment income (which most of the uber wealthy do, at least on paper, and even a few people who are not uber wealthy, we're certainly not--we're just cheap and can live on a lot less than most people through our investments), then you're not paying even remotely the equivalent in taxes as a middle or lower class person unless you have a really crappy advisor.
post #282 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Yes, and we *all* benefit from living in a society with safety nets...we all benefit from a system where families/the disabled/the elderly/ etc. get welfare, stay afloat, and stay together...for some until they can get back on their feet and contribute again.

The alternatives?

Whole families, whole networks, whole communities, dragged down because they have to pool together and care for someone, or some family, who is in need. My family, and my extended family that I rely on, would fall apart if we had to shoulder the entire financial burden (which then becomes a greater emotional burden as well) of our sons' disabilities. Or your family...how would your family cope if they had to take care of all the needs of extended family? What about if they and you had come from, and still belonged to, the lower class? What if you were institutionally disadvantaged, and so was everyone you knew? Etc. Etc. Etc.

The country benefits from keeping families together, and from keeping people in need from spiraling down into extreme need, despair, and desperation. Study upon study have shown that it's cheaper to invest in a truly good public education, than to pay for the problems a person with a poor education often has as they age. Similarly, it's cheaper to give the homeless free housing, than it is to pay for their emergency room visits, health care needs, shelters, and police/emergency service involvement. Similarly, it's MUCH cheaper for the country to pay for low income mothers to stay with their children (call it welfare if you want, in many societies it's a birthright) than it is for that same society to pay for the problems that can develop when mothers are forced to leave their children and work.

Investing in a strong social network, for all economic levels of our society, is in everyone's best interests. By providing money for social welfare, you give yourself, and your children, a cheaper tax bill in the future. It's not liberal hogwash...it's the result of almost every study that has looked into whether social program A is worth cost X. Prevent the problems, support the families, keep people on the edge from falling further down, and you give yourself a stronger society. Everyone benefits. Do people cheat the system? Heck yeah...but poor people don't do it more than (and certainly not more when you add up the $) other levels of society.

And hey, at least you're not claiming you're self-reliant anymore! I'm not at all hopeful of convincing you of my viewpoint, but we got somewhere!

Just another mama to love here.

I wish I were half as well spoken.
post #283 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
And the more you put into the gov't fund to begin with. Not to say there aren't people out there who are way over paid - but as dh has figured out, if you don't want to work so hard to make Joe CIO so much money so he can take off work and go fishing every Friday, then start your own business.
heh, we did this. DH and I started and own our own business, providing services, ironically, to the US Gov't.

We actually take more money from the gov't than we pay in taxes - it makes paying taxes pretty painless, I gotta say.
; )

Seriously for a second, starting your own business takes a certain level of security that most americans don't have - including access to healthcare. We are on cobra for the moment but in a year, that will expire and we will have to figure out how to afford healthcare that covers the family. because we are a small business, we don't qualify for those nice discounts that big businesses get from health care providers.

And if we were to just pay the costs directly through a Health Savings Account, we'd actually be paying approximately 40% more than someone with health insurance, since those insurance companies negotiate lower rates with providers.

Another thing to think about - if you want to see self-reliance, take a look at many developing countries. People do not receive much from the government because the government has little to offer. And the result is that if someone cannot afford to feed their kids, and no kind charity is available to get support from (what does exist is not nearly enough to meet the need), their kids die. Period.
post #284 of 1188
siobhang, thank you for that.. I think starting a small business is a noble ideal... one my husband invested in, and barely makes it by. It DOES take an amount of security, and many idealists out there don't realize exactly what it does entail.
post #285 of 1188
I don't post often and I haven't read all of these posts, but I thought that some of you might be interested in Gwendolyn Mink's "The End of Welfare." It's a paper on how caring for those in the home is a job that should be PAID, which would end "welfare" as we know it.

"The irony for Mink is that while public policy encourages middle class married mothers to stay at home and look after their children, poor single mothers are forced out to work. Why they should they have to work outside the home? asks Mink; welfare policy should not regulate mothers but reward the work they do in the home."

-- Renate Howe "Post Maternalism and The End of Welfare" Page 1
112 AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF AMERICAN STUDIES
http://www.anzasa.arts.usyd.edu.au/a...ate%20Howe.pdf.

You might also be interested in Mink's The Wages Of Motherhood : Inequality In The Welfare State, 1917-1942

Both are very interesting reads.
post #286 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
The entitlement I am referring too is the feeling that you are entitled to having your husband home when you have small kids, feeling that you are entitled to a house of your own,... video games and fast food. We did without these things growing up so that we didn't have to be on gov't assistance. That is where I am coming from. That is how I was raised, and I think it was right.
But in the post just before this, didn't you say your dad left the police force and went to McDonald's, because his boss (at the police force) threatened to fire him if he applied for foodstamps? So, did he or did he not apply for foodstamps while working at McDonald's? --

not that it's my business, but since you're saying how you were raised is somehow superior to dh's and my "decision-making process" -- I thought it applicable. Also, since you say the factory job your dad got later disqualified you for student financial aid -- it kind of sounds like your family would have been okay with you utilizing this welfare program, if you had qualified. Would you have been okay with that, too?

See, I don't think I'm any more deserving of having my husband home than anyone else -- but since the assistance was available, it seemed a better decision to us to get the help, than to have him work extra hours. I also don't think I'm any more deserving than others to be a homeowner -- but with rents going up like crazy, buying a house for a reasonable monthly payment now seemed smarter than continuing to rent, and maybe eventually not being able to afford rent on anyplace decent to raise a family.

Yes, I know it's better to have a good savings before you take on the responsibility of being homeowners. Maybe we "deserved" a kick in the pants for "just doing it," maybe we "deserved" to not qualify for food stamps while being overwhelmed with the last-minute expenses at closing, but we were glad to have the help. We certainly would have fed our children, regardless. Having the help just helped, that's all.

I don't feel entitled -- just very, very blessed. And judging from what you shared in your previous post -- I don't know that your parents would have done things all that differently. (I guess that means I'm just as likely as them to have one of my children grow up to embrace libertarianism ... and tell others it's because we raised her to be self-sufficient. Cool!)
post #287 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
So, did he or did he not apply for foodstamps while working at McDonald's? --
I'm out of this discussion, but since you asked - no we never used foodstamps not one single day. If you re-read what I wrote, we did without a home of our own, my dad worked long hours while we were small children, we did without eating out and expensive toys, my worked numerous dead end jobs, and when Dad left his job (defending public safety and the environment) he tapped out his entire retirement fund while looking for further employment. My parents were fiercely against taking gov't welfare if there was *anything* that could be done to avoid it, and I agree with them.

You may disagree, but I do not consider a grant from the gov't to get an education welfare, because an education enables a person to give back more than they received over the course of a production lifetime. You may not see it that way having received a college education at your parents expense, and yet chosing welfare over working.

So sorry, mammal_mama, whether or not your choices were the right ones, and I guess God is really the only one to judge, they are not the choices my parents would have made and they are not the right choices for me. So if the original question is "why do some people have a problem with women taking welfare in order to SAH?" My answer is "because it is in direct violation to my personal value system". Whether or not you understand any of the arguments I've presented over the last view days, it still boils down to that. Obviously it is not a shared value system.
post #288 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
I'm out of this discussion, but since you asked - no we never used foodstamps not one single day. If you re-read what I wrote, we did without a home of our own, my dad worked long hours while we were small children, we did without eating out and expensive toys, my worked numerous dead end jobs, and when Dad left his job (defending public safety and the environment) he tapped out his entire retirement fund while looking for further employment. My parents were fiercely against taking gov't welfare if there was *anything* that could be done to avoid it, and I agree with them.
I don't think you answered the poster's question... did your dad apply for food stamps or not? It kinda seemed like he did from a previous post. So if they were so fiercely against taking government-funded welfare... why would they apply for food stamps?

Quote:
You may disagree, but I do not consider a grant from the gov't to get an education welfare, because an education enables a person to give back more than they received over the course of a production lifetime. You may not see it that way having received a college education at your parents expense, and yet chosing welfare over working.
That does not make any sense to me at all. Many welfare programs have this same premise. And, in fact, the value of a mother being able to stay home while her children are young is something that will pay itself back to society in many ways because she'll be able to spend more time with him, be able to pass along her values to them, and possibly even be able to educate them.

So I guess you're against welfare because... you didn't qualify for it?

Quote:
So sorry, mammal_mama, whether or not your choices were the right ones, and I guess God is really the only one to judge, they are not the choices my parents would have made and they are not the right choices for me. So if the original question is "why do some people have a problem with women taking welfare in order to SAH?" My answer is "because it is in direct violation to my personal value system". Whether or not you understand any of the arguments I've presented over the last view days, it still boils down to that. Obviously it is not a shared value system.
Well, by sharing your story, both you and your family have shown a willingness to apply for aid when needed. I think it's sad and not right that your dad had to spend his retirement looking for a different job. : Perhaps if there had been a better safety net for him, he wouldn't have had to do that.
post #289 of 1188
I don't know if they still teach Emerson in our public schools or if he is still considered one of our great American minds, but here is an excerpt from his essay "Self Reliance" - he has put far more elequently what I have wanted to say than I have:

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood [humanity] of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company in which the members agree for better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs. Whoso would be a man [human] must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness."
post #290 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowMom View Post
I don't think you answered the poster's question... did your dad apply for food stamps or not?
Pardon me - no he did not apply for food stamps - he told his former employer that we qualified in order to try to get a raise (not because he actually intended to apply) - but he was told if he applied he would be fired (embarrassing to have the state's law enforcement officers feeding their families on food stamps) - he quit to better provide for his family.

But I'm sure you'll read whatever you want into my story to feel better about yourself and your position.
post #291 of 1188
And, in fact, the value of a mother being able to stay home while her children are young is something that will pay itself back to society in many ways because she'll be able to spend more time with him, be able to pass along her values to them, and possibly even be able to educate them.

But sadly, if that mother is on long-term welfare/assistance, passing her values on to them is not necessarily a social good, since they are statistically much more likely to end up on welfare themselves.
post #292 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
But I'm sure you'll read whatever you want into my story to feel better about yourself and your position.
Don't we all read into other people's stories to feel better about ourselves and our positions...
post #293 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNosBest View Post
But sadly, if that mother is on long-term welfare/assistance, passing her values on to them is not necessarily a social good, since they are statistically much more likely to end up on welfare themselves.
This is not becoz the mother stayed on assistance. : This is becoz of social circumstances that put families in the position of being either on assistance or in crappy jobs.

Love how it all gets laid at the feet of mamas. Quel surpris.
post #294 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNosBest View Post
But sadly, if that mother is on long-term welfare/assistance, passing her values on to them is not necessarily a social good, since they are statistically much more likely to end up on welfare themselves.
Amen and amen.
post #295 of 1188
This is not becoz the mother stayed on assistance. : This is becoz of social circumstances that put families in the position

Social circumstances, sure, but I'm sure there's plenty of room for debate about what, exactly, those circumstances are and who/what is responsible for them.

Love how it all gets laid at the feet of mamas. Quel surpris.


Well, SAHM mothers on welfare/assistance is who we're talking about, the subject of the thread, isn't it? If the papa isn't trying to support his family, it's on him, too, of course, but that's not what we've been discussing.
post #296 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNosBest View Post
Social circumstances, sure, but I'm sure there's plenty of room for debate about what, exactly, those circumstances are and who/what is responsible for them.
The fact is that the capitalist system depends on the poor to turn. Without a large underclass the system would collapse in on itself.

Quote:
Well, SAHM mothers on welfare/assistance is who we're talking about, the subject of the thread, isn't it? If the papa isn't trying to support his family, it's on him, too, of course, but that's not what we've been discussing.
My point is that individual people get blamed for their role in what is a systemic issue. If the system requires poor people to continue as it is, than we can hardly blame poor people for the fact that they are filling the role of... poor people.
post #297 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
I'm out of this discussion, but since you asked - no we never used foodstamps not one single day. If you re-read what I wrote, we did without a home of our own, my dad worked long hours while we were small children, we did without eating out and expensive toys, my worked numerous dead end jobs, and when Dad left his job (defending public safety and the environment) he tapped out his entire retirement fund while looking for further employment. My parents were fiercely against taking gov't welfare if there was *anything* that could be done to avoid it, and I agree with them..
No one should have to do this in our country....you can call it pride on the part of your father, and perhaps you feel his actions were a good thing. In your family's case, perhaps they were. BUT, you must realize, that your family depended heavily on one parent to work long hours in order to "make it" without government assistance. AND your father cashed out what should have been his savings for retirement.... You must realize that your entire family was one catastrophic illness away from disaster, one emergency surgery away from bankruptcy, one unplanned disability away from welfare. To look down on others who DO use aid simply because your family had the good fortune not to fall through the cracks is sad, in my opinion. (And it IS good fortune, not skill or pride, that keeps you from illness/disability/etc.).

Perhaps some of the "welfare moms" on this board don't want their family to hover so close to the edge...perhaps, unlike your father, they value the long term safety and well-being of their families more than they value their pride. Perhaps they want a safety net, deserve a safety net, and benefit society by preserving their family with a safety net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
You may disagree, but I do not consider a grant from the gov't to get an education welfare, because an education enables a person to give back more than they received over the course of a production lifetime. You may not see it that way having received a college education at your parents expense, and yet chosing welfare over working..
Welfare enables people to give back more, too. I'm a perfect example. I and my family could have suffocated under the emotional and financial stress of having two severely disabled children, or we could rely on our government for a while, get our feet back underneath us, STAY TOGETHER, and eventually both get back into full-time work. I'm going to be making a very good salary when I return to work...trust me, I'm going to be paying back my share and then some. Had we not had government help (not to mention the luck of good educations, family support, and growing up in middle class America), we would be much more likely to crumble under the weight of our needs and become extremely heavy burdens to society.

And government loans, scholarships, and grants for college education? Yeah, that's government welfare (!) it's just given one of those "pretty" middle class names so that we can feel superior to those low, miserable underlings that leech off the system. What else is the FAFSA system, and government grants for education, but an attempt to invest in the "needy" by the government? When you fill out your income to fill out the FAFSA, do you think it's so different than filling out your income for a food stamp application? Just like welfare, those grants invest in the people who need it and pay off by giving people a better opportunity to make a better life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
So if the original question is "why do some people have a problem with women taking welfare in order to SAH?" My answer is "because it is in direct violation to my personal value system". Obviously it is not a shared value system.
Ah, now see? Here's the honesty. If that's your value system, fine. But your value system is about pride...and pride always goes before the fall.
post #298 of 1188
Actually

Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
post #299 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNosBest View Post
Actually Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Even more applicable to the situation I was talking about--thanks!
post #300 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Pardon me - no he did not apply for food stamps - he told his former employer that we qualified in order to try to get a raise (not because he actually intended to apply) - but he was told if he applied he would be fired (embarrassing to have the state's law enforcement officers feeding their families on food stamps) - he quit to better provide for his family.

But I'm sure you'll read whatever you want into my story to feel better about yourself and your position.
I'm sorry I misunderstood your original post about this. I can't speak for other posters, but I wouldn't "feel better about myself and my position" if I learned your family HAD applied for foodstamps, and I don't think anyone else would, either. That's because I base decisions on my personal value system: if I feel good about a choice I've made, it really doesn't matter how many people are making the same choice.

I questioned you about your dad's decision, to clear up a seeming discrepancy between what appeared to be your family's willingness to apply for assistance with food and education, followed by your assertions about how you were raised.

I see your point about government grants for education being an investment, because the educated person may end up contributing more as a result of the education. I highly value the creativity, critical thinking skills, and increased reading/writing/verbal ability I developed in college; I believe these are a help to me as I unschool my own children -- and I endeavor to contribute to the world through my freelance writing as well.

(That said, I certainly don't think a college education is the only way to fine-tune these abilities and beautify the world.)

I agree with ShadowMom that helping a mother stay home is also an investment. I believe what dh and I are pouring into our children -- added to their own uniquenesses -- is going to benefit the world in many ways.

Of course, all parents invest in their children: I'm not saying my contribution's any greater than that of a working mama, or than that of public school parents. We all "organize" our contributions in different ways, based on personal circumstances, personalities, and preferences.

As I've already shared, I paid taxes, without drawing public assistance, for many many years as a single woman. When my children are grown, it's likely I'll either resume being a taxpayer, or contribute more in volunteer work than I do right now.

Just as a young woman who gets a government grant to attend college, pours that support back into the community whether she works and pays taxes for the next fifty years, or marries soon after college and spends many years as a sahm pouring herself into her family -- so does a mom who draws public assistance and stays home with her children.
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