Skyemama! You are inspiring! Keep up the good work... The secret to not feeling so helpless is to do what you're doing... talk until you're blue in the face, do your advocacy projects, start chipping away at all of the lies and prejudice until the truth is revealed.
Lila Blue, I found out yesterday that people in my municipality CANNOT change their caseworker. I'm sorry I don't have more knowledge about the systems in the U.S. It's hard enough keeping track of the policy directives of different cities in Ontario. All of Ontario is painted with the same brush, that means someone living in a rural area on a farm has the same "budgetary requirements" as someone living in Toronto in the eyes of Ontario Works (formerly General Welfare). Which of course is ludicrous.
Nanner, of course it's true that there are going to be people who are unwilling to work. After people have been living on welfare for a while it becomes very challenging for them to go out and find work, for various reasons. That's why we need more resources for people in that position. Job banks, clothing banks, counselling, resume help libraries, etc. I won't even get into the pitiful daycare issue. However, I do not believe welfare is a system that is truly meant to help people... it is a system that tries everything to deter people from using it. The same can be said for both the U.S. and Canada. The paradox is that there are not adequate resources to help people get back to self sufficiency. Not everyone can muster the strength to go "out into the world" and start working at a job (which there are not enough of) so they can start getting taxed to death again.
Let's put the blame where it belongs, on the FACT that there are weathly corporations and individuals that use TAX SHELTERS and other devious and unfair ways to get out of their social resposibilities. In Canada, unpaid taxes by corporations and SOARING interest rates account for about 95% of the federal debt. Social programs account for about 5%.