Staying at Home "On Welfare" - Page 19 - Mothering Forums

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#541 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel View Post
I'll be working few enough hours at my part-time job that I'll still be able to get welfare
And the interesting thing is: if I got that part-time job so we could afford the insurance through dh's job -- we'd end up incurring a lot of debt because of the 20% we'd start owing on all medical bills.

THEN we'd be in a situation where we might feel even MORE of a need for food stamps than we do now. But since dh's raise disqualifies us for food stamps as a one-income family -- I imagine we'd be even LESS qualified with me bringing in extra money.

But then, Dh would stop going to the doctor when he needed to and his health would suffer. Then he'd likely become disabled and not be able to work. So we'd qualify for even MORE benefits. Even worse, we might lose dh and become a single-parent family.

I'm not sharing these details to try to vindicate myself to anyone who disagrees with my decisions. It's really no skin off my back if anyone's angry that her dh's taxes are helping to support my family.

I'm just trying to make the point that none of us is qualified to look at someone else's life and say, "If she'd just do this or that, her problems would be solved and she wouldn't need welfare." In MY case, sometimes I've made the judgment that one of my friends could stay home, if she just wanted it badly enough. That's just as wrong.

Even if we know all the details of someone else's situation, we're NOT that other person and we can't understand why they prioritize things differently.

For instance, I place a high value on being available when my toddler wants to nurse throughout the day, or when my 7yo wants to use me as a sounding-board as she works through her ideas about the mysteries of life, or when either girl just wants to sit on my lap for a snuggle.

In contrast, I have some family members who think it's unhealthy for me to be this available to my children. They believe sending children to school is the best way to help them develop independence, confidence, and social skills. One relative thinks my homeschooled children won't get enough opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

I need to accept that these relatives have totally different frames of reference than I do, they certainly don't see an unschooling lifestyle as anything to be valued -- so they're naturally going to make very different decisions than the ones I'm making. And they need to accept that I'm not going to see things their way.

A few years ago, another SAHM in my church shared with me about her plan to get a job in a daycare center very soon -- so she could afford to enroll her toddler in the same daycare: she saw this as the best way to help her toddler gain social skills and prepare for kindergarten.

Obviously, since I'm an unschooler, it would feel ridiculous to me to go to work simply to provide my toddler with the daycare experience and "get her ready for school." But does that give me the right to say someone else is ridiculous, simply because she values something I don't even see as desirable? No!

Should I be angry because "my hubby's taxes" are going to support public schools even though we don't use them for our own children? I guess I have a "right" to get mad about this if I choose -- but I choose to be glad public schools are available for those who need and/or want to use them.

I think it all boils down to respecting one another -- regardless of differences in income, ideology, or lifestyle.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#542 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and we used our food stamps to buy steak (and Starbuck's coffee), too. It's totally cool!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#543 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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I've been following this thread and decided to sign up so I could post.

I'm a sahm to a 2.5yr old dd and a 5 week old dd.
DH works 2 jobs so I can stay home and we still don't make enough money.
He works FT as a manager and PT.
If I went to work most of my check if not all would go to daycare and I don't see how that would be right at all.
I don't see the point in working to pay for daycare when I can stay home and raise my girls.
Time goes way too fast, and I want to spend every moment I can with them.

We are on assistance and I'm grateful for it. Between my husbands two jobs, we still don't have healthcare.
W/out this assistance we wouldn't have any coverage at all.
I worked from the time I was 15 until my 1st dd was born.
I see nothing wrong with using the assistance that is there and we need it, so we use it.

mama to my two girls 12/04 5/07 and #3 due in May/June
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#544 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are right - it is based in the world that could be if we really gave freedom a chance. It is fear that keeps oppression going. (Read Maria Montessori - the priviliged are as much slaves as anyone else - they are not free.) You consistantly make statements about what "will" happen if people are free. I simply disagree with your projections and the analysis of the human spirit that fuels them. It is a mute point to talk about what people are doing now - because we are not free.
I see your point. We're not in a position to know what things would be like -- or how we would all think -- if we'd been raised in total freedom. It's my belief, as an unschooler, that my children will be better able to visualize -- and work toward -- this freedom than I am.

You're right that I don't know for sure what would happen if suddenly, overnight, taxation and all other laws were done away with. My hypothesis is that things would be really crazy for a while, because people aren't used to this degree of freedom.

Then some new system of order would take over: it might even be worse than the one we currently have. I'd much rather we raise our children to be free within themselves, to think for themselves, to pursue -- from day one -- the things they really care about. Raise enough people that way -- and eventually it's bound to affect our political reality.

But to give total freedom when the majority of us don't know how to think and live as free people -- I fear this would result in such out-of-control behavior, that those with more power would use our initial reaction to freedom to justify being way more controlling than they were in the past.

As an example, parents who practice more structured, parent-directed homeschooling will sometimes do a short experiment to see if radical unschooling could work for their family. They often decide, after about a week, that their children can't handle this degree of freedom -- because all they want to do is watch TV or play video games.

The children, who've been used to having their parents structure their days, approach their new freedom with the mentality that, "I'm going to enjoy it while I can," because they fear that any moment, their parents will snatch the freedom away again (and they're often right).

What I'm finding is that, if parents are willing to give their children time to get used to freedom, the children will begin developing their own interests and learning extensively about things they care about. But many parents get antsy waiting for their children to "de-school," and worry they've made a horrible choice that will ruin their children's lives, if they don't step in and do something quick.

Just as many parents find it impossible to sit back and watch their children de-school -- I think politically powerful people would find it impossible to sit back and let the masses get used to living without any external laws or coercion. I agree with the libertarians who think a gradual change is better than a sudden one.

And I agree with thismama that some people seem overly focused on the "coerciveness" of using a fraction of our taxes to help the poor. I actually think welfare programs are the LAST thing we should talking about giving up in our quest for freedom from coercion.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#545 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PinkPantherDiva -- I'm glad you've signed up and value your input!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#546 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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jumping in on the comment: the gov't should NOT collect taxes to give assistance b/c people will give of their own free will.

The irony of this statement is that even with gov't assistance, there are plenty of examples of private charities, foundations, non-profits (past and present) giving assistance to people. The big differences?

* focus on the symptoms, not the underlying problem - getting homeless fed one day is a feel good solution, not a permanent fix. To get to a permanent fix, you need broader solutions looking at mental illness and drug addition treatment, the issues of the working homeless, the lack of affordable housing - none of which one single charity can take on.

* Most charities make their assistance extremely conditional - on being the sort of people they think are "deserving". In the past, this meant the following groups were "undeserving" - blacks, catholics, non-Christians/non-religous, unmarried women, the mentally ill, the disabled, etc. etc. Government assistance, at least, has an obligation to NOT discriminate based on color, creed, or religion.

* no accountability. We can decry lack of accountability for gov't assistance, but I can tell you as someone who ahs worked in non-profits, when they don't receive any gov't funding, most accountability is based on the good intentions of the directors. Whether they spent the money the way intended (i.e. not on fat salaries for the directors or limos and lunches) as well as whether their spending actually achieved the goals of the organization are two key questions that many independent charties do not have to answer to ANYONE. Most donors don't ask - instead the GOVERNMENT asks these questions - as part of a company's continuing non-profit tax exempt status.

The gov't is far from perfect. But a world without government, frankly, is much much worse, in my humble opinion.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#547 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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TY mammal_mama!

mama to my two girls 12/04 5/07 and #3 due in May/June
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#548 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
You're right that I don't know for sure what would happen if suddenly, overnight, taxation and all other laws were done away with.
Ah, but why does it have to be "overnight"? The difference I see is that some want to move gradually toward freedom, while others are afraid of loosing the status quo so put great effort toward defending it.
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#549 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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This is American Libertarianism, right?

I'm not down with that.
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#550 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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I would be surprised if you were "down with that" - you've spent pages promoting socialism. That's alright though - it'd be a pretty boring world if we all thought alike.
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#551 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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Everyone deserves health care and food. The fact that people get angry at providing basic health care just makes me shake my head. I totally support universal health care and wish it was more available.
I totally agree.

I want to live in a society which says that every single member of that society will get a decent meal and access to healthcare without regard to whether they "deserve" it or not. In my mind, just by virtue of being alive, one deserves these basics.

And yes, I am willing to pay for it. I vote for it, after all.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#552 of 1188 Old 07-07-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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I would be surprised if you were "down with that" - you've spent pages promoting socialism.
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#553 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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I have no problem knowing that my tax dollars are helping a family who need food, housing, medical, or any other assisitance.
Whether or not they are citizens, non citizens, single with 5 kids and 5 babies daddies.. I don't care.. I do not want to ever have a feeling that a family or child could have been helped and was not.
Just wanted to register myself as another mama who has no problem with my tax dollars being used for programs to help families of all sorts, whether they need help temporarily, whether they need help permanently, whether one or both adults stay home with young children, or whatever. There probably are some people taking advantage of the system, but who am I to judge? I am proud to contribute to programs that allow parents to stay home with children if that's what works for their family. I've been lucky in life so far, making good money while working considerably less hard than most of the people who helped me get here, most of whom I'll never even get to meet.
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#554 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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Just wanted to register myself as another mama who has no problem with my tax dollars being used for programs to help families of all sorts, whether they need help temporarily, whether they need help permanently, whether one or both adults stay home with young children, or whatever. There probably are some people taking advantage of the system, but who am I to judge? I am proud to contribute to programs that allow parents to stay home with children if that's what works for their family. I've been lucky in life so far, making good money while working considerably less hard than most of the people who helped me get here, most of whom I'll never even get to meet.
:

when you think about it, our tax dollars go to a lot of stuff we aren't all that happy about. I'd much rather see it going to these things than, oh, say a war I don't agree with, for example.

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#555 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, but why does it have to be "overnight"? The difference I see is that some want to move gradually toward freedom, while others are afraid of loosing the status quo so put great effort toward defending it.
I see unschooling my kids as the best way for me to move toward freedom. I think that as (or if) more and more children are raised in freedom, and are able to pursue their own interests and learn things that matter to them -- we'll see a shift in the big picture.

More people will find ways to live "off the grid" (if that's what they choose, though I'm not sure I'd personally want to) -- and eventually I think that'll affect government, the tax system, and everything.

But I see absolutely no good in focusing on social welfare programs as an example of how taxpayers are "coerced" into giving. Of course, I'm not saying that's where your focus is: I realize you've said you don't just object to welfare, but to all taxation, period.

I realize a true libertarian would probably not avail herself of public assistance as I'm doing -- so I have to say my focus is on raising free children, not promoting any particular political philosophy. I believe HOME is the place to be revolutionary -- while governmental/societal change works best when it flows at an evolutionary pace.

2bluefish, I think the important thing is to realize that someone else's gradual move toward freedom might look entirely different than yours. Of course, since you realize how boring it would be if we all thought alike, I don't think you're saying we all need to move toward freedom in the same way.

Personally, I think my decision to utilize some forms of public assistance, has absolutely no detrimental affect on my children's ability to grow up as free individuals. Some parents may choose not to go this route, and I respect their decision. Some of my friends are really into Rush Limbaugh, and would be horrified to even let their husbands draw an unemployment check if he lost his job.

One such friend has continued to be a friend to me, and not criticized at all when we lived for a while on dh's unemployment checks, or when we got food stamps. In the same way, I've respected her decision to not get any public assistance when her dh was unemployed for a while and they lost their home.

I have tremendous respect for this young couple, who has been working hard to restore their credit and has just purchased a home again, after a few years of renting.

I think the measure of how free we are, is how freely we can accept one another, even when our individual paths toward freedom are very different.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#556 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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About healthcare costs: I think our healthcare system needs some major improvement: I see the high cost as a major obstacle to freedom as things now stand.

I don't know if socialization of healthcare is the answer -- but it's the only one I can think of. If only there were some other way to make it affordable to everyone.

Any ideas?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#557 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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I believe HOME is the place to be revolutionary -- while governmental/societal change works best when it flows at an evolutionary pace.

2bluefish, I think the important thing is to realize that someone else's gradual move toward freedom might look entirely different than yours.
I think these are excellent points.
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#558 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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Any ideas?
I'm on the fringe of this issue too. I think our focus on disease management, rather than healthy lifestyle costs us alot of money. If we could get people less dependent on the medical system, there would be more money for medicine for those who truly need it. Another kind of change that has to happen at home at the revolutionary pace. If we are going to make policy changes, I would like to see access to alternative medicine increased as well as conventional. I dream of my daughter getting regular massage throughout pregnancy - a health supporting measure that used to be every woman's birthright.
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#559 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm on the fringe of this issue too. I think our focus on disease management, rather than healthy lifestyle costs us alot of money. If we could get people less dependent on the medical system, there would be more money for medicine for those who truly need it. Another kind of change that has to happen at home at the revolutionary pace. If we are going to make policy changes, I would like to see access to alternative medicine increased as well as conventional. I dream of my daughter getting regular massage throughout pregnancy - a health supporting measure that used to be every woman's birthright.
That would be lovely, but most people can not afford alternative health care. I often have given in to antibiotics or other western meds because I can't afford the alternative supplements, and going through my state care is free for me. I hope to see non-profit(and non-profit does not mean no one earns money, everyone can still recieve a living wage) medical care accross the board, including alternative medicine. Everyone deserves the baic right to be healthy reguardless of economic status.

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#560 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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That would be lovely, but most people can not afford alternative health care.
Exactly my point. Reliance on "disease care" cost us more long term, but that's what we get stuck with because short term the funding is there for it. I myself often end up having to go the antibiotic route, because I don't have an homeopathic or naturopath to go to for advice - I'm not going to let my kids suffer while I experiment on them with herbs and homeopathics. Even then when I've had convential doctors prescribe supplements for me, I have not been able to take them at the reccomended dosages or continue with them because they were so cost prohibitive. IMHO if a MD tells me I need X supplement, that should be covered the same as a drug.
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#561 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 08:45 PM
 
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<snip>
I do NOT think there should be some sense of shame. I think that if the people who are on public assistance deserve the help, they should not be ashamed of that. I think the people who should be ashamed are the ones who know they don't deserve it, and only use it to buy drugs and stuff.
Okay, but earlier, you said:
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...It is so common in their families to be on public assistance that they don't think of it as any sort of embarrassment.
... as though they should. As though 'normal', morally upright folks who have all their ducks in a row and made the right choices in life and have no other contributing factors like depression, mental illness, imbalance, ptsd from the way they were raised or any of that would be embarassed... And that is what I was responding to... as though because what you assume their motivations and circumstances to be is not as noble as you'd prefer, they ought to feel embarassed by their behavior.

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I am embittered against them because I am angry about the conditions in which they keep their children. And it is all out of selfishness. There was no reason they couldn't try for better. I watched most of these people from childhood, where they had the same opportunities as me. I worked hard in school, and they said "why bother, I can just get public assistance." They don't want help. This is the life they consciously chose. This is how they prefer to live, and the government makes it possible. Great for them that they are happy! Not so great for their neglected children.
You don't know that there are no reasons that these people didn't try for better. You don't know that they had the strength of character you had or the moral focus you had... just because you went in the same circles as children does NOT mean you had all the same opportunities. And they DO want help, they get it from the gov't. That's the point. They want help... they (for whatever reason, be it the alrtuistic hope to provide the best for their children by staying home, or the 'immoral' pursuit of emtional escapism via drug use however recreational and laziness) are chosing to seek help from the gov't agencies that exist to provide suppot in the form of cash assistance, food stamp benfits, state health care, etc. It is no skin off your nose that this is happening... You say it's your concern for their children that drives your perception of them... so do something for their children... Act in the positive rather than deriding them in the negative. These programs cost very little to tax-payers.

What about $ for chemical weapons research? What about $ to support a war the majority no longer stands behind? What about $ that COULD go to land-use and education but instead goes to pay for the upkeep of U.S. military bases abroad?

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I am not concerned for my personal financial burden in supporting these people. I am more concerned from a general societal standpoint. Are we MANUFACTURING needy people by making them aware their whole life that they need not make any effort to be self-sufficient? Does a guarantee of a payout no matter how they behave encourage more people to behave in a self-destructive way? I am concerned that it is just one more societal condition that contributes to the increase of poverty.
Do you really think it's people like this that fuel the poverty machine... looking for a pay-out rather than just "trying for something better?" Do you really think that the, what, 5-10? women that you're exemplifying can be a standard by which SAHMs who draw on assistance should be judged? Do they represent a majority?

If you're socially concerned, as to how these children are being treated and you fear abuse/neglect of the order that her little ones are being left in the same diaper for days, or left unattended for hours while Mom goes to get high, then HELLO... call CPS, and report her... take action... show up with a bag of diapers and tell her that the next time you personally hear about or see that her child is being abused/neglected in that fashion, you will call the authorities.

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(My sister can't stand to see her friends' children like that, so she ends up cleaning them and feeding them. Her friends realize that she will do this, and take advantage of her goodness by using her to take care of their lives more and more. About 3 months ago, her friend C, the one in the example above, invited her over supposedly to hang out, and it turned out she really just wanted my sister to help her clean out a dresser she was getting rid of. To C, help=do. So, my sister cleaned out the dresser for her, and since then has been avoiding going over there. She is just tired of feeling used.)
Experience teaches that if one offers help, and that offer is accepted, one has no place suddenly being put out by that help being needed again. You know the saying "Give a man a fish and he is fed for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for his whole life"... Your sister is doing an amazing thing each time she extends her help, and models how easy it can be to take care of business... Maybe your sister needs better boundaries. Maybe she needs to remind her friend that she is happy to help when she can, but that her friend needs to take care of her children. Maybe you or she could offer to provide baby-sitting while this mom goes to see a state-agency case-worker to determine if she needs some therapy, some rehab, some classes, and/or some medication, or at least get on a path to rahabil;itaing her sense of self and her self-worth...

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So, in short, I don't mean the term "loser" as a derogatory name, but as a descriptor of a choice of attitude towards life. So to me, saying that I think these losers should take better care of their children is the same sort of judgment as saying that most people I know who became bottle-blondes I thought looked best in their natural hair color. It is a comment about their behavior, and my belief about which behaviors are better, and not a comment about who they are. It is about their choices.
So, if these people are losers, then who are the winners? I dislike the term because I think it is derrogatory not only to the people you project it onto, but also to YOU... it is just not a kindly way to reperesent others, and putting that kind of ill-tempered dogma out there serves little purpose but to create more ill-tempered dogma. That kind of judgement always comes back...

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Bad things happen, and sometimes you need help. That is the reason public assistance exists. I am the first person to advise someone to go on public assistance if they fall on hard times. I have seen many people use it to get back on their feet.
Lady Lilya, I hear ya about choices. It's about choice isn't it? Always. It really is. And some folks don't have to "fall on hard times" to seek assistance. We didn't. If I worked, we would not need assistance. If I worked we'd pull in just short of $70K. BUT our dd would not have the benefits of her mom at home. And the cost of (GOOD) daycare/pre-school/private-school, etc would eat up a good % of that income. Plus we would lose medical, and have to pay $400/month for coverage we dobn't need all the time. Foodstamps and medical are not getting us through a hard time... they're getting us by, during a transitional time. So that I may stay home with dd.

These two just bear repeating:
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Our government has made choice after choice, dozens of them, that have decimated our working class. There is no real working class any more. Maybe you're too young to remember the days when people who worked in factories made enough to easily support their families and have a good life. Things were good, and then our government got involved and changed things - mainly by sending all of our jobs overseas so work that was done for a living wage by an American worker in a safe environment is now done in another country, often by a child, in an unsafe environment for pennies an hour. People who used to work in factories where I live now deliver pizza for tips. There is no working class - there are the poor, and the working poor, and those two groups are in the exact same financial situation. This is not their fault. Our government made choices to ruin the working class. Now, in the absence of the jobs they took away, our government can provide them with assistance. Very little of your tax money goes to assistance anyway. If you want to make a dent in the tax budget, go after the war or something else that is more fiscally significant.

The best chance the children of the former working class have to rise above this government-created tragedy is to grow up in a strong family. For many people, that involves having a stay-at-home parent. It is next to impossible to have a strong family when each parent is working two jobs to try to make enough money to make ends meet, which some people I know do. Families with money can have a strong family while both working because they each can work just one job and they have enough money to have safe and beneficial child care. Families without money are IMO probably better off keeping a parent home, unless they have a way of providing for safe and beneficial child care that doesn't cost more than keeping a parent home. And I personally would never put the stresses on my marriage associated with working the opposite schedule of my husband. My children need my marriage to remain strong.


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Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
<snip>
However, for two-WOH families without the advantages of wealth and education, the quality of available childcare is significantly worse. The difference between high quality and low quality care is tremendous. I can't blame a mama for not wanting to put her child in substandard care. I sure wouldn't do it myself, and I think high quality daycare can be a really positive experience for the entire family. But for a family that's barely struggling on two incomes, I think keeping a parent home makes a lot of sense. If that was the choice I faced, you can bet that would never have returned to work from SAH.


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Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
jumping in on the comment: the gov't should NOT collect taxes to give assistance b/c people will give of their own free will.

The irony of this statement is that even with gov't assistance, there are plenty of examples of private charities, foundations, non-profits (past and present) giving assistance to people. The big differences?

* focus on the symptoms, not the underlying problem - getting homeless fed one day is a feel good solution, not a permanent fix. To get to a permanent fix, you need broader solutions looking at mental illness and drug addition treatment, the issues of the working homeless, the lack of affordable housing - none of which one single charity can take on.

* Most charities make their assistance extremely conditional - on being the sort of people they think are "deserving". In the past, this meant the following groups were "undeserving" - blacks, catholics, non-Christians/non-religous, unmarried women, the mentally ill, the disabled, etc. etc. Government assistance, at least, has an obligation to NOT discriminate based on color, creed, or religion.

* no accountability. We can decry lack of accountability for gov't assistance, but I can tell you as someone who ahs worked in non-profits, when they don't receive any gov't funding, most accountability is based on the good intentions of the directors. Whether they spent the money the way intended (i.e. not on fat salaries for the directors or limos and lunches) as well as whether their spending actually achieved the goals of the organization are two key questions that many independent charties do not have to answer to ANYONE. Most donors don't ask - instead the GOVERNMENT asks these questions - as part of a company's continuing non-profit tax exempt status.

The gov't is far from perfect. But a world without government, frankly, is much much worse, in my humble opinion.
I think these are important points. There is A LOT of non-gov't assistance to find out there already, and if you're savvy enough to seek it out and secure it, good for you! But there is little regulation of many of these institutions, and there is a lot of discrimination that goes on.

We may not like the way the current regime runs things, and I HOPE we gradually continue to move in a direction of fully manifesting humankind's potential for harmony and peace with mutually available assistance for all via the individual's conscientious efforts (2BlueFish: I heartily applaud your optimism and belief; work that Law of Atrraction, girl! I'm right there with you!)... BUT, what we have now is not that, yet. What we have now is a big rusty machine that cranks out have-nots and programs to assist it's have-nots, and blind(ish) beauracratic blanket standards for everyone who meets a few lowly crap-criteria (thankfully) having little to do with race, creed, religion, or region. I believe the current machine is winding down to its death. A new cycle is on the up-swing, a new world order; a globally minded, morally sound, spiritually aware, learned, educated and educating, united community is banding together... Right now, we bide our time dealing with the old machine in the old ways, get what we can from it, and keep pressing forward, steadfast in our efforts to affect change.

The revolution DOES start at home... and I intend to be there for every march, fight, protest, demonstration, treaty, movement, and victory. At home. Workin it. Teaching my child about the importance of global awareness, virute, and universal justice. Drawing from the pond my husband and I poured into from the ages of 15 to the present day, until I/we reach a station in this life where we no longer need the support of our gov't in order to enjoy our life...

I buy organic, fresh, creative food and ice-cream with our food stamps, and I don't feel guilty.

When I provide counseling, group meetings and high-needs parenting education to those on public assistance, and those not, my low-oncome clients will not need to feel guilty, either.

The SAME benefits, services, education, and opportunites MUST be available to everyone. Universally.

The Smiths should not get better healthcare, better docs, better servises just because they are in a higher $ eschelon.

Everyone should feel safe and nurtured by their society, just like we want our children to feel.

So if public assistance is the means to secure that, for now. awesome! Now, let's keep working better and better ways...
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#562 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Using the OP's argument regarding public school, one could argue that roads, bridges, police and fire services are all welfare too.

I think an important distinction is being lost between those government services that are available to all generally (subject to certain regulatory restrictions) and those that are available only subject to income qualifiers.

Here, the OP chooses not to avail herself of certain services that are available to her (public school), just as others may choose not to, for example, call the police when they are robbed. This is distinctly different than, for example, Medicare, which she could only access if she met the income restrictions.
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#563 of 1188 Old 07-08-2007, 11:53 PM
 
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I know this has been said, but just as a reminder:

-We need healthcare across the board. Medicare for All! Medicaid should not be considered "welfare".

-"Workfare" is a joke. It costs the gov't more than traditional welfare.

-The U.S. needs to get on the effing stick with regard to maternity leave. There would be a lot fewer temporary "welfare moms" if we just did this one thing.

"Welfare to work" is the main reason that I'm voting Obama in the Democratic primaries. It was, IMHO, the worst thing Bill Clinton did as president, and yes, I'm holding against Hillary. (Riding a legacy? You get the good with the bad.) If you want to get people off welfare, start by implementing universal healthcare, giving real maternity/paternity leave, instituting a guaranteed minimum income or a negative income tax, and doing a structural and funding overhaul for higher education. THAT will get people off of welfare.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#564 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
I know this has been said, but just as a reminder:

-We need healthcare across the board. Medicare for All! Medicaid should not be considered "welfare".

-"Workfare" is a joke. It costs the gov't more than traditional welfare.

-The U.S. needs to get on the effing stick with regard to maternity leave. There would be a lot fewer temporary "welfare moms" if we just did this one thing.

"Welfare to work" is the main reason that I'm voting Obama in the Democratic primaries. It was, IMHO, the worst thing Bill Clinton did as president, and yes, I'm holding against Hillary. (Riding a legacy? You get the good with the bad.) If you want to get people off welfare, start by implementing universal healthcare, giving real maternity/paternity leave, instituting a guaranteed minimum income or a negative income tax, and doing a structural and funding overhaul for higher education. THAT will get people off of welfare.

and how about penalties for companies for out sourcing? And taking the profit out of medical care?

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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#565 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
I'm not going to let my kids suffer while I experiment on them with herbs and homeopathics.
A bit off-topic, but:As a homeopath I can tell you that an investment of maybe 30-40 hours over a few months, learning the basics, can save you a lot of money in the long run. Treating complex chronic cases can take years of experience, but it can be fairly straightforward for a parent to treat acute cases. I work with a lot of mothers and children and can tell you unequivocally that every mother is a doctor. Finding the correct homeopathic remedy involves discerning from the normal state of the child, and for most children there is no better judge of that than their mother.
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#566 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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Could you reccomend some books for me avent? PM me if you want - I would *love* to know what I'm doing with homeopathics. I was reccomended Sepia for pregnancy mood swings and went on to figure out that it is my constitutional remedy - the effect on me was quite dramatic. I'm a believer - I just don't know what I'm doing
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#567 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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PrennaMama, I can understand the confusion about the idea of shame. I think those who use public assistance as an excuse to be lazy and negligent with their lives and to be parasitic because it is less work than being self-sufficient should be ashamed. But, those who have legitimately fallen on hard times should not be ashamed to use public assistance. Those are the people it exists for, and they could have more resources dedicated to them if there weren't so many people who are taking from others for bad reasons.

Re: Strength of character or moral focus:
I don't think that is an excuse. I can understand a desire to have everyone in society contribute to helping those who have bad luck. But, I can't approve of forcing my fellow citizens to dedicate a portion of their hard-earned income to support people who have weak characters.

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And they DO want help, they get it from the gov't. That's the point. They want help... they (for whatever reason, be it the alrtuistic hope to provide the best for their children by staying home, or the 'immoral' pursuit of emtional escapism via drug use however recreational and laziness) are chosing to seek help from the gov't agencies that exist to provide suppot in the form of cash assistance, food stamp benfits, state health care, etc.
They don't want help to be on their feet. They don't want to be self-sufficient members of society. That is what I meant by them not wanting help. They don't want the fishing rod -- they want someone else to provide them with fish for all eternity.

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You say it's your concern for their children that drives your perception of them... so do something for their children... Act in the positive rather than deriding them in the negative.
So, your problem is not that I think negatively of them, but that I said so to all of you on this forum? If it makes a difference to you, I don't say anything negative to them. I am a big believer in being positive and encouraging. Here on this thread is the first time I have ever vented at all about this issue.

I DO give to them, more than by just taxes. But, the more I give, the more they want from me, and the more dependent they get on me. I have learned, very recently, to stop enabling them. They would take from me until I had nothing left for my own family.

Re: CPS or offering to baby-sit while she goes to a councilor
Other people have called CPS on her before, and nothing came of it. I am hoping she will do something about the filth for the sake of her 18mo old's asthma pretty soon. If not, I may make a call. As for a councilor, I don't believe she has any interest in that sort of thing. She is very happy with her life. She has very little that she has to be responsible for (in her eyes, i think the children are a lot to be responsible for) and has a lot of time for fun all day. She doesn't see anything wrong with her lifestyle, because it is the same one as all the people around her. She has no reason to want a change. She is able to buy most of what she wants, since she has developed an extensive network of family and friends to buy things for her, in addition to government payouts.

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What about $ for chemical weapons research? What about $ to support a war the majority no longer stands behind? What about $ that COULD go to land-use and education but instead goes to pay for the upkeep of U.S. military bases abroad?
I don't approve of those either.

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So, if these people are losers, then who are the winners?
The vast, vast majority of people.

I am really impressed, over and over, with the extreme good qualities that exist in humans. We are capable of so much. I am really proud to be part of our species.

Quote:
Lady Lilya, I hear ya about choices. It's about choice isn't it? Always. It really is. And some folks don't have to "fall on hard times" to seek assistance. We didn't. If I worked, we would not need assistance. If I worked we'd pull in just short of $70K. BUT our dd would not have the benefits of her mom at home. And the cost of (GOOD) daycare/pre-school/private-school, etc would eat up a good % of that income. Plus we would lose medical, and have to pay $400/month for coverage we dobn't need all the time. Foodstamps and medical are not getting us through a hard time... they're getting us by, during a transitional time. So that I may stay home with dd.
You don't have to make excuses about your choices to me. Please don't feel insecure about it so that you need external approval from any of us here. You KNOW you made your choices based on concern for what is best for your family. You KNOW you are at home taking care of your family, not selfishly goofing off and neglecting your dd all day. I don't need to know these things, you do, and that is what matters.

--------

Avent, I am interested too in learning more about homeopathic methods. I am not sure where to start looking for good info.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#568 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
I think an important distinction is being lost between those government services that are available to all generally (subject to certain regulatory restrictions) and those that are available only subject to income qualifiers.
What is the "important distinction" you're getting at?

I think everyone here realizes that services like food stamps and Medicaid are only available to people who qualify based on income and family-size. But, in a sense, they're there for everyone -- because no one knows their own future -- and even higher-income people can fall on hard times.

True, some people will never need, or qualify for, these benefits. My family no longer qualifies for food stamps -- but I'm still glad they're there for people who need them.

We do still qualify for Medicaid for our girls, and for dh's medical discount. But if something happens that we no longer qualify, I'm still not going to look down on, or resent, those who get this kind of help.

What I'm saying is -- I think the world would be a better place if distinctions like the one you are making, were permanently lost.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#569 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lady Lilya View Post
You don't have to make excuses about your choices to me. Please don't feel insecure about it so that you need external approval from any of us here. You KNOW you made your choices based on concern for what is best for your family. You KNOW you are at home taking care of your family, not selfishly goofing off and neglecting your dd all day. I don't need to know these things, you do, and that is what matters.
I really don't think the pp is trying to make excuses. I know I haven't been.

I think the reason many of us are sharing some specific things about our situations, is to provoke deeper thought in those expressing anger, or critical attitudes, toward (or about) stay-at-home-moms who draw public assistance.

We're (or at least I'm) not seeking (or needing) vindication from these people, who have no more right to judge us than we have to judge them.

I would just really like for people to respect one another, regardless of differences in income or lifestyle. Just as I should respect another mom enough to refrain from telling her, " You really COULD stay home if you'd just make some lifestyle changes, or if you were willing to go on assistance."

I used to really judge one of my friends -- a single mama who worked two jobs to keep her daughter in private school. This woman worked with me in the same childcare center where her daughter came for before-and-after-school care.

After my friend finished work at the daycare center, she usually dropped her daughter off at her mom's for the evening, while she went to her evening cleaning job. She was sad having so little time for her daughter, but couldn't see any other way.

I tried to get her to apply for food stamps, but she couldn't take the "shame." Her ex had a great income, but she wouldn't go after him for child support because he was abusive and might come after her.

And she just couldn't bear the thought of putting her daughter in public school, even though the private school tuition was the main reason she had to be away from her daughter so much, working.

And what was even weirder -- practically every time we went out for lunch or a pop, she'd try to pay for my food as well as hers -- and I was single, with no kids, living with my parents!:

I just really, really judged her as someone who had her priorities seriously mixed up: it seemed like she was so busy working and trying to survive from one day to the next, that she'd abandoned all critical thought. And her daughter was suffering.

And seriously, when this girl came to our house and played with my niece who was her age, she (the little girl) commented on how "different" she was from my niece, because she went to "private school" and my niece was in public. So I don't know if she was getting that great of an education, she seemed to be mainly learning how to be a snob.

I'm just sharing this as an example of how we're all capable of looking down on others. My judgment didn't help my friend, even though I felt my opinions were totally sound, in the same way that someone who's "angry about welfare moms" feels their opinions are sound.

The thing about being a low-income sah mom who uses assistance -- there are always some people who think you need their unsolicited advice. Just as working mamas aren't asking me to tell them what they could do to be able to stay home -- sah mamas on assistance aren't asking anyone to tell them how they could "just get a part-time job and get off welfare."

Respect. Respect. Respect: can ya' dig it?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#570 of 1188 Old 07-09-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
The thing about being a low-income sah mom who uses assistance -- there are always some people who think you need their unsolicited advice. Just as working mamas aren't asking me to tell them what they could do to be able to stay home -- sah mamas on assistance aren't asking anyone to tell them how they could "just get a part-time job and get off welfare."
I guess the thing about this thread is you *asked* why some people feel the way they do - so some people told you! But that doesn't mean those people who answered your question honestly are the people out there in the world attacking you. It's one thing to answer the question with "I don't share your priorities" and another to go around spouting opinions and judgement at people who don't ask. The thread is kind of passive-aggressive, you know? It's off putting to me, because when someone asks me a question - I assume they want to know the answer - not that they want a lead in to telling me why I shouldn't think the way I do. YWIM? You don't want unsolicited advice - why would others on the other side of the fence? Why would you assume that those who disagree with your priorities don't think deep thoughts about the subject and need you to provoke them to deeper thought? Your example is excellent - you think completely different from your friend - she obviously felt very strongly about her choice and had put alot of thought into it - you may never understand. You may also never understand that person who feels that welfare does *not* help people - you may spend your whole life looking from your POV and never be able to see from the other - we all view things through our own lenses. I guess what I'm trying to say is this just goes around and around in circles - the only way to stop it is to say "I could be wrong, you could be wrong, maybe we are both wrong, maybe we are both right." : I don't know if this makes any sense...
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