Welfare Moms - Should we be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children? - Page 23 - Mothering Forums
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#661 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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You told me I was included in this group of "takers" because I don't have insurance. 

I did not use the word taker-never did I say that.

 

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 We once did receive public assistance in food stamps and health care for a few years while I was at home with young children and I did not feel it was wrong.  Those benefits didn't raise us out of poverty but took just a bit of the desperation out of our lives.  For me to have been employed during that time would have been a far worse picture for everyone involved.  We would have still been struggling except my children would not have had that one blessing--the continuity of care and my own stability.  My child care would have been subsidized and cost the state MORE than it cost to have me at home with them in benefits.  If I had been working in anything available, I would have made less than the cost of childcare.  That is usually the case.  I also think it is okay to use welfare to help provide greater stability for children in poorer families, and having moms home for a while usually does exactly that.  The emotional struggles and anxiety create some major risks, and those children just might need moms at home the most, and may be the ones most likely to otherwise end up in substandard child care situations as well.  Some families may be able to provide adequate internal stability while still managing 2 lower-income jobs as well, but some may not handle that adequately and those children can be really vulnerable.

 

Now my kids are older and yet because of our "lifestyle choices" we are still poor and I am still juggling around being a SAHM because we homeschool and have an autistic child who did badly in the school system.  We haven't received any assistance in a very long time, though if we had medical problems we would have to seek help with that.

I think it speaks for it self in what you wrote. 

 

 

Clearly when you do have to take the responsibility and take a job (in many cases one you don't like or don't want) in order to provide medical vs someone who does chose not to work but will take a govt run assistance for medical - there clearly is a choice being made.

 

You can call it what ever you want, some clearly do make the choice to work to provide and have feelings much like I do about someone who does not do this. 

 

 

 

 

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 Would you, Serenbat, have taken access to those food stamps away from me if you could?

NO, I would not.

Unless you are elderly, disabled or have a child that you must care for that is disabled, and because of this it prevents you from working...... other wise, no. If you can work, why not! 

 

Others in society (and we are not talking rich or even super rich) in fact DO have to work for food for their children. They have to work long hours, be away from their family- it's not some bed of roses going on with tons and tons of wiggle room.

 

You are making a choice not to work or not to work enough and still stay with your child.

 

How you do not see others are working and think this is fair (or even or what ever term you want to use to justify your situation) so that you can so do what you want?

Why can't food assistance go to those who are unable to work (disability) vs those who choose not?

It's very clear you are making a choice.

 

You seem to have no problem with the fact that those who do have to work and not take assistance have to do the same things as you and have children yet some how it's OK because it's right for you and everyone should just be fine with.  Other people also have many jobs, work over time,work 3rd shift, 12+ hour days,  have to find child care and pay their bills and not ask for help.

 

 

I really think you are looking for others to say it's just wonderful that you stay home because they system can work in your favor- no problem, no one up set, and those who work are just thrilled because they can't  but can help you.


 

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#662 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 11:19 AM
 
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I think it is really sad that some parents have to work 12+ hour days with overtime and holidays just to make ends meet and feed their children. You can say that this teaches the children the importance of hard work and a strong work ethic, but I think that the loudest message that children get when they are away from both parents for such a long time on a regular basis is that they don't matter.

And it is not in any way the fault of the parents who have to choose to make these really tough sacrifices either way--sacrificing income and material wealth, as well as possibly some dignity when accepting assistance, in order to have the ability to actually raise their own children (assuming this is even a choice they are able to make, as some don't even have the choice available to them) VS sacrificing the close parental relationship and ability to raise their own children in order to be financially self sufficient and not feel like a drain on society. It's really just sad that it comes down to this and that our society doesn't support families like it should. Which I suppose is the whole point of this thread. We ought to have a better system in place so that parents have better choices available to them.
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#663 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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I think it is really sad that some parents have to work

you can not also just up and quit and get assistance - I did state this earlier - if you don't take insurance via work, your child can not just go on CHIP in my state, all must take the coverage - same if you just quit - you don't qualify when you qualify for COBRA first

 

there are other things that prevent some from just quitting to get assistance- student loans and they don't go away with bankruptcy - they also garnish ALL wages if you ever have a real job again!

 

there are lots of factors

 

but when you say I am able (able-bodied) to work but choose not to and know you can just get assistance, others who work don't feel 100% supportive when they are doing a 12 hour- 3 day on 4 off shift


 

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#664 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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In a way programs like food stamps allow more big companies to get away with paying lower wages.  They pay starvation wages, but magically their employees don't starve, and they still get workers extra-cheap.  If they had employees' children dying of malnutrition they would be forced to pay better wages.  Thus, food stamps are really subsidizing Walmart and other corporations' bottom lines.   And the  employees get to feel ashamed of their failure in society because of their "dependence" --thus keeping the poor in their proper places--feeling terrible about themselves.

 

You're absolutely right, and if I were you, I wouldn't waste any more time or energy trying to explain your experience and point of view to Serenbat. Whenever I read threads where welfare recipients are being bashed, I usually end up feeling compelled to share our story -- but whereas in the past I actually hoped to change the perspectives of those doing the bashing, I am now focused almost solely on providing support for those who are feeling ripped to shreds by insensitive and disrespectful comments.

 

I've learned that in the eyes of some, a welfare recipient who shares her story is always going to be branded as someone who's "proud" to be in a dependent role, "proud" to be taking from the hardworking Americans, and the bashers will oftentimes ignore the testimonies of people who draw some sort of welfare assistance but also work (which, as others have pointed out, is the situation that the majority of welfare recipients are in). At one point earlier in this thread (I don't have time to go back and find it now), someone even put quotation marks around the word "assistance" that I had used, as if in using that word, I were trying to put a pretty face on something that was truly shameful and despicable.

 

It seems like there really are just always going to be some unhappy people who'd rather lay shame and blame on poor people than look at the big picture.

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#665 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 11:43 AM
 
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I think it is really sad that some parents have to work 12+ hour days with overtime and holidays just to make ends meet and feed their children.

 

Serenbat, I think it's misrepresentation to just snip off the above sentence after the word "work," as you did in one of your posts just a few minutes ago. I also think you've noticed that most or all of the welfare recipients that you've been bashing on this thread ARE employed.

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#666 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

you can not also just up and quit and get assistance - I did state this earlier - if you don't take insurance via work, your child can not just go on CHIP in my state, all must take the coverage - same if you just quit - you don't qualify when you qualify for COBRA first

 

there are other things that prevent some from just quitting to get assistance- student loans and they don't go away with bankruptcy - they also garnish ALL wages if you ever have a real job again!

 

there are lots of factors

 

but when you say I am able (able-bodied) to work but choose not to and know you can just get assistance, others who work don't feel 100% supportive when they are doing a 12 hour- 3 day on 4 off shift


Serenbat, I really don't get the way that you selectively quote some people and then respond in a way that really doesn't have much of anything to do with the post you quoted.

 

I never said that it's sad that some parents have to work. You cut my sentence short in the middle, which changed the entire meaning of it! I said I think it is sad when parents have to work long 12+ hour dayss and holidays in order to make ends meet. I work at an elementary school where many of the children go to extended childcare both before and after school, and they suffer some real sadness and separation anxiety from the long long days away from their parents. It truly breaks my heart every day to see the ongoing pain suffered by some of these children, and it has strengthened my resolve to do whatever I am capable of in order to not put my own family through that sort of thing. If that means accepting the assistance that is available to me at the expense of suffering the ire and criticism of people like Serenbat, then I'm ok with that.

 

I never suggested that parents ought to up and quit their jobs and attempt to enroll their children in government-funded health insurance plans, I'm not really sure where you are going with that. I have student loans so I definitely understand the importance of being able to pay those back!

 

Personally, I'm not blaming the parents in either scenario--those who are unable to work a job that offers health insurance and pays a living wage and have NO CHOICE but to accept TANF and food stamps to support their families, OR the parents who do have access to slightly better jobs that offer health insurance but still not a high enough wage to make ends meet without them working really long hours and being away from their families for extended periods of time. I find myself somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I'm not at all dependent on the WIC that my family receives, but it helps and we greatly appreciate it. Even without it, though, I would not be able to work more than part time and still afford child care, nor do I want strangers raising my children. I think families need to have more choices available to them.


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#667 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 11:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

 

Whenever I read threads where welfare recipients are being bashed, I usually end up feeling compelled to share our story -- but whereas in the past I actually hoped to change the perspectives of those doing the bashing, I am now focused almost solely on providing support for those who are feeling ripped to shreds by insensitive and disrespectful comments.

 

I've learned that in the eyes of some, a welfare recipient who shares her story is always going to be branded as someone who's "proud" to be in a dependent role, "proud" to be taking from the hardworking Americans, and the bashers will oftentimes ignore the testimonies of people who draw some sort of welfare assistance but also work (which, as others have pointed out, is the situation that the majority of welfare recipients are in). At one point earlier in this thread (I don't have time to go back and find it now), someone even put quotation marks around the word "assistance" that I had used, as if in using that word, I were trying to put a pretty face on something that was truly shameful and despicable.

 

It seems like there really are just always going to be some unhappy people who'd rather lay shame and blame on poor people than look at the big picture.

 

Yeah, I'm also starting to feel like I'm just wasting my time and annoying the pig, here - and I'm not even receiving welfare!  

But like I said to rightkindofme, please know that I really appreciate you being courageous enough to share your own experiences with us. 

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#668 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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serenbat where do you live that all jobs come with medical coverage?

 

You've stated several times if people choose not to work, choose not to take medical coverage but instead just take medicaid that that is wrong...but not all jobs have medical coverage and for those jobs that do offer it, its not always affordable. Try affording family medical coverage while working at a part time job (working at a part time job NOT because you "dont want to work" but because you cant find a fulltime one)....for many families, they simply cannot afford what the medical coverage would cost. Thats why programs like MIChild exist in my state (which allows a higher income cut off than regular medicaid and is for the working poor.) Personally i am fully employed and do not have medical coverage as part of my job. I also do not qualify for medicaid (well apparently i CAN, the letter they sent me was SO difficult to understand but i think if i spend like 200 dollars on medical care, THEN they will cover me after that? i dunno....) I rarely get sick and when i do need to see the doctor i go to the urgent care clinic and pay in cash. What else would you have me do? (Again, please let me stress i am fully employed.)


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#669 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 02:49 PM
 
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I believe any one can choose to leave low income housing but you have to make the choice to make your life better. If you do not have the education already go to school while on assistance. In Michigan you can do this, but a lot do not.

 

 

why do you say this? I got the feeling a lot DO take advantage of enrolling in school. I am in MI also. This is a very very depressed economy and now you are seeing formerly middle class people getting aid. Lots of unemployment.

 

Recently here there was a RIOT when over 4000 people showed up to the local housing authority JUST TO GET ON  A WAITLIST. Yep, thats right, you have to fight to get on a wait list for sec 8. Not to GET sec 8 but to get on the waitlist...which you can be on for YEARS before moving to the top. I dont blame someone for not moving out of low income housing after such a struggle to get IN.


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#670 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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You know...the more i think about it maybe we SHOULD cut ALL forms of aid...no housing, no TANF, no food stamps, no govt cheese, no WIC, no daycare, no Head Start, no school grants....cut it ALL.

 

Let the revolution commence. People will do ALL sorts of things when they are hungry, desperate and watching their children starve or out in the cold.

 

Be careful what you wish for.
 


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 The thought does count, I think, but it doesn't keep baby clothed and warm.

see but they were not thinking. i think that is just plain arse rude to do to someone. here is my junk, you deal with it. here is my old outdated food, you eat it. i am not sure i would be saying thank you for that stuff. or at the very least i would never accept things from them again. of course then you the the risk of looking like a jerk because here you are poor and refusing someone else's junk. it is like it is a no win situation.


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#672 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 03:57 PM
 
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I live in the north east.

 

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#673 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 04:49 PM
 
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I live in the north east.

 

So all jobs up there come with insurance? (even entry level jobs? even part time jobs?) oh by "come with insurance" i mean insurance that a low-income mom could actually afford.

 

I'm really confused by this idea that a low income person who has medicaid is somehow taking advantage. or that someone "chooses not to" take insurance...if you are so low income that you as an adult qualify for medicaid, then you likely cannot afford any insurance you are able to obtain through your job unless you've got a job with GREAT benefits. I know people who pay hundreds of dollars a month for insurance...i cant see that being doable for many low income people.

 

Also with many jobs you have to work there for a certain period of time before you even qualify for benefits.


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#674 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 05:37 PM
 
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So all jobs up there come with insurance? (even entry level jobs? even part time jobs?) oh by "come with insurance" i mean insurance that a low-income mom could actually afford.

ALL do not, many do and cost is subjective but you really don't have that much choice not to take coverage if your employer offers it, you can't just say no and get state aid-even for a child, you can say no if you prove your spouse has insurance and you are covered- the state sets the rules 

 

we have HIPP - the state does offer differential if they feel the employer cost is not correct, this is only if you have one member receiving employer insurance http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/hipp

 

some part time jobs do offer insurance within three months, some would let you buy in prior to having it offered at a reduced rate, some place pay 100%, temp jobs even offer insurance - depending on the industry and that can mean entry level at certain jobs-most let you know right up front with their ad

 

with general welfare - there is a law if you move from another state for 12 months you stay at the rate you were given if the cost is less than the state pay for welfare, it's designed to avoid people moving for benefits and also the state makes rules that do not apply for the whole state, only certain sections


 

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#675 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 06:52 PM
 
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How would subsidized health insurance aka Obamacare fit into this thread? There are millions of people in the middle that are going to have to get insurance next year. These people make too much for medicaid, but don't earn enough to adequately afford private health insurance. Lots of people have full-time jobs and their employer doesn't offer health insurance. We are in this boat. DH is starting a new, full-time job next week. He will be making decent money, has a few benefits, but he won't be offered health insurance. So, we are too rich for medicaid, but too poor for BCBS. We will be one of those families who will have to get subsidized health insurance from our government. I can't predict the future, but we will need it indefinitely. Will we be considered abusers of the system? We'll still be paying for it... through taxes and monthly premiums, but these monthly premiums will be based on income. Someone who makes 30K a year won't have to pay as much as someone who makes 60K a year. Is that fair? Do I have to stress that I will be considered a fraud, or sucking off the system if I have the same insurance as someone who makes several tens of thousand dollars more than my family, but pays less money for it?


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#676 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 10:22 PM
 
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I did not use the word taker-never did I say that.

 

It was NOT an exact quote.  It is completely accurate as far as your meanings that you have repeated often.  Isn't that what "other people provide for you while you're dependent and could be working more" means? 

 

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NO, I would not.

Unless you are elderly, disabled or have a child that you must care for that is disabled, and because of this it prevents you from working...... other wise, no. If you can work, why not! 

 

 

When people explain to you their perfectly good answers to your "why not" you still ask this question. 

 

 

I don't really know what I--as a real person--do that you have a problem with.  Since I work a lot, my husband works a lot, and I don't even use what assistance we are eligible for that seem like it would make us your favorite kind of poor people.  When I stopped receiving food stamps, we were still eligible.  We could have eaten nicer food if we had but we were scraping by and we managed.  I really don't understand the things you say.  Like some people have to suffer and do work they don't like and so on...  What makes you think I have only done work I like?  And if you aren't talking to me then who are you talking to? 

 

I am glad people use the system.  The system was made for people to use.  It's SUPPOSED to work to their advantage.  It's SUPPOSED to help them makes their lives better.

 

 

I might find this thread frustrating because I feel like I am in a useless debate, but it has so many thoughtful comments that have come out of it anyway.  


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#677 of 792 Old 02-02-2013, 10:41 PM
 
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Do I have to stress that I will be considered a fraud, or sucking off the system if I have the same insurance as someone who makes several tens of thousand dollars more than my family, but pays less money for it?

 

I don't think you should feel bad at all, and I'm probably one of the people paying more for the exact same insurance policy. Self-employed/business owners always pay more, for the exact same insurance as big corporations because we lack the leverage to negotiate more appropriate rates. You'll probably be paying the same amount that a 3000 employee business does per employee. And while I think they should offer that rate to everyone, I'm certainly not angry with people who get the better rate! 


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#678 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 01:40 AM
 
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I always kind of felt that welfare should have cut benefits on a 2:1 ratio - earn $2.00, and lose $1.00 in benefits. That means people aren't getting an income and full assistance, but it also means there's some financial incentive to actually go out and earn some money......

 

They lived in dire financial straits. It's just that they would have lived in just as bad a situation if one of them had been working.

 

I don't have the answers, but I don't think penalizing people for getting a job is the answer. It saves a few dollars per cheque, sure - but it ultimately results in a lot more cheques being issued.

 

 

Nail, on the head IMO!

 

Clearly there is a need for a safety net to protect children, I think we all agree to that.

 

What is galling to me is that we set people up to fail and stay on assistance as long as possible for the above reason. Stormbride's example about her ex-husbands family goes to the point that sometimes the government does need to teach even adults how to better themselves if they didn't have an example of such growing up. I like the incentive idea, as punishing people is usually less effective overall.

 

I've read most of this thread, and many times people have stated roughly that they were taking the benefits now and staying home because they didn't want to send their kid off to any old daycare just to make less, or even slightly more than they could on state aid. Or that it makes more sense to take the help now, have the kids they want and then they will work later. Or why work for slave labor, when I can stay home take care of my babies and get an education...and work later. I totally understand all these impulses. 

 

What they are missing, and what the government is enabling, is that employers aren't keen on hiring people with long periods of unemployment. That's just a fact. There may be a good reason to drop out of the workforce, but to most employers hiring someone with a steady work history is a safer bet.

 

Also, in many careers you start at a fairly low rung and build up to a better salary over a matter of years. This can be jarring, when you've built your little family and suddenly need to work 40-60 hours a week at one or more jobs to bring home possibly less than you did before your assistance ran out. We should not build our safety net to allow this to happen.

 

If a persons prospects or skills or interests are such that you may be in a lowish income bracket for a very long time--working early and steadily is really the only way to break free. This is even more important for single mom's, regardless of what one may think of SAHM-ing.

 

**This is an anecdote, but I think helps explain the idea. My friend lost his job, just as the recession was hitting. Went on unemployment, got food stamps, WIC, etc. and started looking for work. All the jobs he found were for worse hours, and slightly lower pay than he was getting on unemployment and so he continued to look.

 

After, I believe 18 months on unemployment, (it was extended at that time) they were out of UE benefits and started to get desperate. Another 18 months later, he gladly took a job at slightly less than half his previous salary with truly terrible hours as it was the only place he could find that would hire a man who had been unemployed for so long. They lost their house and all savings in the meantime.

 

If there would have been some incentive to work as soon as possible, such as a tiered loss of benefits, I am sure he would have jumped at the idea. Living "on the dole" was not a fun experience for him, nor the rest of his family. Instead he did the smart thing, and kept the higher payout and held on to hope for a good job until it was too late. I can't imagine this is an isolated incident.

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#679 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 02:09 AM
 
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I think it is really sad that some parents have to work 12+ hour days with overtime and holidays just to make ends meet and feed their children. You can say that this teaches the children the importance of hard work and a strong work ethic, but I think that the loudest message that children get when they are away from both parents for such a long time on a regular basis is that they don't matter.

And it is not in any way the fault of the parents who have to choose to make these really tough sacrifices either way--sacrificing income and material wealth, as well as possibly some dignity when accepting assistance, in order to have the ability to actually raise their own children (assuming this is even a choice they are able to make, as some don't even have the choice available to them) VS sacrificing the close parental relationship and ability to raise their own children in order to be financially self sufficient and not feel like a drain on society. It's really just sad that it comes down to this and that our society doesn't support families like it should. Which I suppose is the whole point of this thread. We ought to have a better system in place so that parents have better choices available to them.

Wow. I've lived the life of a parent working a ton, actually 14 hours/day 6-7 days a week. I would in no way say that I ever thought that I didn't matter. My Momma taught me to be proud of my Daddy who worked had to work so very hard, because he chose manual labor rather than a college education and regular job.

 

It may be a matter of perspective, but none of us ever felt sorry for ourselves or not valued. And he did indeed raise me, even if it was only for a few hours each day.

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#680 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 04:00 AM
 
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I've read most of this thread, and many times people have stated roughly that they were taking the benefits now and staying home because they didn't want to send their kid off to any old daycare just to make less, or even slightly more than they could on state aid. Or that it makes more sense to take the help now, have the kids they want and then they will work later. Or why work for slave labor, when I can stay home take care of my babies and get an education...and work later. I totally understand all these impulses. 

 

Really? I haven't seen that here at all. One woman said she wasn't insured because she has a child on the autism spectrum who wasn't getting adequate education in the public school. Another said that she left a job because a coworker was threatening to kill her and the management refused to do anything about it. Another said her husband is disabled and she is working from home in order to be available to her children. 

 

 

It struck me that we have laws to protect the parents of children with disabilities from having to quit their jobs to educate their children--or worse, having to watch their children go uneducated--but in order to get those laws enforced, a family has to have money. 

 

There are certainly laws and policies in place that should protect workers against workplace threats, but in order to get those laws enforced, a family has to have money. 

 

We have a special social safety net for adults with disabilities, but in order to get on it you have to sacrifice your right to work and you have to go through a long process of proving the disability. Also, disability ssi payments won't really support a family. 

 

Essentially, we have people who have to make choices that we know they shouldn't have to make, that we even have laws to stop them from having to make. This is a social issue. If there were more federal funding for educating children with disabilities, or for EEOC enforcement, or even legal aid, those folks wouldn't have had to make those choices. Sometimes the things that make people poor are the repercussions of social policies you wouldn't expect to have that impact. 

 

Your story about the family that chose to wait until unemployment insurance was about to expire to take a job that paid less--I don't know. You think people are rational enough to reject jobs that pay less than state aid but too irrational to realize that state aid is time-limited? That's nice. You must be an economist! Seriously.   


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Okay, so I've read the whole thread--wowsers that took a few days!

 

I stated above my views on how assistance should work, so I won't again.

 

I just wanted to ask: What do you all think about this issue of an "entitlement mentality", and is this maybe truly the heart of the debate?

 

I am reading anything from "you should never take/need any help if you planned or carried through with a pregnancy" to "you should take all you can get, as you've paid your share and deserve it". It seems we are very divided at the extremes, and yet we all basically agree that kids should be fed!

 

As an American who has lived in Japan for seven years, and now in Germany for two years I feel a bit divorced from my home culture. We have one car, and DH bikes to work when there's no snow but  I still almost never drive as we just walk or bike everywhere. And before you assume I am talking about a 5-10 minute walk in a magically planned out town, I will say that I haul three kids in a trailer and baby-seat and the eldest bikes alongside for 45 minute errands at least once/week. Most of our walks are 15-20 minutes and for the last two months we have been doing so in a foot of snow, and wind and rain sometimes. It would be much easier to drive, but it's great exercise and I don't believe in driving when you can walk. Even with public transportation, and fantastically laid out villages people do still need to venture a bit outside their wee little towns for shopping on occasion. So this idea of "food desserts" strikes me as a bit like the idea of welfare queens driving caddy's. I am sure it does happen, but it's not the norm for our country at large.

 

I am not a super fit woman, and yet biking with kids is still very doable. (My bike and baby-seat came from Goodwill, and I pieced the trailer together from some that were being trashed--so I spent $50 on my vehicle of choice). Before I had my bike the bigger kids walked and we had a stroller for the baby and groceries--I do remember crying on the way home sometimes, but that just made be shop more often and for less. I biked to town three years ago when on an extended trip to the states and almost everyone thought I was insane! I made hour-long weekly trips to town for about six weeks and had four hecklers, and at least a dozen people pull over to express awe at the idea of biking into town, it was very surreal. In Germany I have seen a woman who has to weigh around 400 lbs biking in the town over to get groceries, and the frailest looking old woman in my village walks everyday to do errands--I truly do think Americans have a skewed picture of what is "possible" to do.

 

Two generations ago, my maternal Grandma raised six kids and ran a business after her husband died with no insurance. She worked at least 60 hours a week for many years, and actually did at least the same before he died. She batched-cooked on the weekends and had the oldest look after the younger ones, they all turned out great and love each other and our proud of their parents. It was what you did back then, and I am very proud of them all. Honestly what would her life had been like if she abandoned the business, stayed home on welfare for a few years and then tried to rebuild?

 

I guess I am just sad at what we are accepting as reality for people. Almost all people, save the severely handicapped or mentally ill, can do so many different things that would bring them self-confidence and self-sufficiency. Even if it's just working very hard at two menial jobs to provide for your family, there is a lot of pride in that if we give value to it. I personally find it very offensive to assume that the vast majority of people on aid just can't do any better--I think they can, but haven't been given the tools, or incentive, or even just moral imperative to do so.

 

I also would say, that unless we at MDC are just an over-paid section of society--it can't be true that most people who have posted on this thread have paid "their fair share" and should feel like they are drawing down from what they paid into assistance funds. TANF is not the same as unemployment insurance, unless you actually pay federal taxes you are not funding TANF. Look at our federal tax structure, also we don't spend 2/3 of the federal budget on defense as I saw go unchallenged many pages ago.  My family makes over the median level and with four kids we get back all federal taxes plus $800 extra. Cha-ching, that's a form of income redistribution folks.

 

Our family doesn't pay federal taxes, much like 50% of the US population. It is federal taxes that make up almost all of these programs, so it truly doesn't matter if you paid sales taxes, or real estate taxes, or new car taxes, or boat docking taxes, or whatever else we get taxed for these days in the US--all that money is earmarked for other things and has nothing to do with TANF or WIC or food stamps.

 

Please take the time to digest the difference between a $20,000 tax write off and a $2,000 cash benefit....I will wait 

 

One consists of money you worked for being exempted from taxation by law, and one is money other people earned being given to you--much like my family's $800 tax refund this year. The government isn't actually "giving" that horrid rich person $20,000, they are just letting them declare less taxable income  and are therefore letting them keep more of the cash they worked hard to earn, because we as a society value fueling the real estate business. That's an entirely different debate, but letting people write things off their income does not in any way equate to whole-sale charity and I am sorry that some still insist on thinking so.

 

One last thing, the continued push to make the minimum wage a "living wage" is vastly misguided and such a red-herring. Minimum wage is a small amount for a very good reason. Please research it, on the surface it can seem so unfair, but the reality of paying an inflated wage for a job that could be effectively done by a part time 16 year-old cheaply, at a level needed to sustain a 2 person household, with 2.25 kids is staggering and a very serious job killer. We would have a few happy people, and even more pissed off un-employed folks. There would be no sixteen-year-olds slinging burgers to pay for their first cars ;-) No one is actually meant to live on minimum wage their entire lives, it should be a resume builder and a way to earn cash when you are young, or if you really only want to work part time. I find it incredibly demeaning to suggest that entry level work is all the "poor" should ever aspire to. If we keep pushing for this, we will end up with more people out of work with less chances to climb out of poverty and learn valuable skills.

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#682 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 04:24 AM
 
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Really? I haven't seen that here at all. One woman said she wasn't insured because she has a child on the autism spectrum who wasn't getting adequate education in the public school. Another said that she left a job because a coworker was threatening to kill her and the management refused to do anything about it. Another said her husband is disabled and she is working from home in order to be available to her children. 

 

 

It struck me that we have laws to protect the parents of children with disabilities from having to quit their jobs to educate their children--or worse, having to watch their children go uneducated--but in order to get those laws enforced, a family has to have money. 

 

There are certainly laws and policies in place that should protect workers against workplace threats, but in order to get those laws enforced, a family has to have money. 

 

We have a special social safety net for adults with disabilities, but in order to get on it you have to sacrifice your right to work and you have to go through a long process of proving the disability. Also, disability ssi payments won't really support a family. 

 

Essentially, we have people who have to make choices that we know they shouldn't have to make, that we even have laws to stop them from having to make. This is a social issue. If there were more federal funding for educating children with disabilities, or for EEOC enforcement, or even legal aid, those folks wouldn't have had to make those choices. Sometimes the things that make people poor are the repercussions of social policies you wouldn't expect to have that impact. 

 

Your story about the family that chose to wait until unemployment insurance was about to expire to take a job that paid less--I don't know. You think people are rational enough to reject jobs that pay less than state aid but too irrational to realize that state aid is time-limited? That's nice. You must be an economist! Seriously.   

If you want me to go back and quote I will, I don't dispute what struck you, I remember them also. The ones you are referencing  had outlying reasons, IMO. I was summarizing a number of different posts and opinions. 

 

The woman who quit due to the threats, could have threatened to sue when her HR department didn't respond and I am sure she would have prevailed with just the threat--but I don't fault her for not doing so with the pregnancy and high blood pressure--I would have just walked as well in her place.

 

In regards to my friend, I think you are missing the point that taking a job that pays less that "state aid" should not cost you all the benefits you are getting--hence the idea of a graduated scale to lessen aid. It's entirely rational when you support your family to take all you can, and hope to earn at least that and to hold on until you find a job that will let you make the most you can. People tend to wish for the best, but perhaps we should encourage "good enough" and we will help with the difference in the meantime?

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#683 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 06:40 AM
 
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The woman who quit due to the threats, could have threatened to sue when her HR department didn't respond and I am sure she would have prevailed with just the threat--but I don't fault her for not doing so with the pregnancy and high blood pressure--I would have just walked as well in her place.

 

 

There are a couple other issues with this: let's be real, in the United States, most lawsuits come down to who can afford the better lawyer.  (My spouse also points out that every state has different employment laws for this kind of thing, and every circuit court in every state interprets them differently.) I'm sure you can point me to exceptions, and I'm equally sure that many of them would prove the rule. 

 

Also, assuming this woman did win the lawsuit; with that as a matter of public record, do you think she'd ever be able to get another job in her field again?  It's perfectly legal for employers to Google your name during the hiring process.  If they throw her resume in the trash because they think she's "litigious", a "troublemaker", etc etc - as long as they're smart enough not to come out and SAY it - again, it's all perfectly legal. 

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#684 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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Two generations ago, my maternal Grandma raised six kids and ran a business after her husband died with no insurance. She worked at least 60 hours a week for many years, and actually did at least the same before he died. She batched-cooked on the weekends and had the oldest look after the younger ones, they all turned out great and love each other and our proud of their parents. It was what you did back then, and I am very proud of them all. Honestly what would her life had been like if she abandoned the business, stayed home on welfare for a few years and then tried to rebuild?

 

I doubt her basic work ethics and values would have changed from being on welfare for a short term when her husband died.  She still would have been a great person, and she would have rebuilt.

 

 

One last thing, the continued push to make the minimum wage a "living wage" is vastly misguided and such a red-herring. Minimum wage is a small amount for a very good reason. Please research it, on the surface it can seem so unfair, but the reality of paying an inflated wage for a job that could be effectively done by a part time 16 year-old cheaply, at a level needed to sustain a 2 person household, with 2.25 kids is staggering and a very serious job killer. We would have a few happy people, and even more pissed off un-employed folks. There would be no sixteen-year-olds slinging burgers to pay for their first cars ;-) No one is actually meant to live on minimum wage their entire lives, it should be a resume builder and a way to earn cash when you are young, or if you really only want to work part time. I find it incredibly demeaning to suggest that entry level work is all the "poor" should ever aspire to. If we keep pushing for this, we will end up with more people out of work with less chances to climb out of poverty and learn valuable skills.

 

That is the ideal.  People make minimum wage as teens or then move on.  That is not the reality.

 

A few stats from a link I posted upthread:

 

#7 Half of all American workers earn $505 or less per week.

#8 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#9 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

 

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#685 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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 I'm sure you can point me to exceptions, and I'm equally sure that many of them would prove the rule. 

this is OT - but if one only files a complaint with their company - they have no chance of anything happening - you must in 99% of all cases file with your employer, duel file with your state and the EEOC per their guidelines-within the mandated time frames and most cases many settlements are reached that are not via a law suite and this is often private, it's it illegal for the company to promote this and make it public, give a bad reference, etc You have no chance of suing and any reputable lawyer would tell you that (and MOST do consolations for free since they work on a percentage) unless you have won (meaning the state and or federal govt agency ruled in your favor- most lawyers will not take a case unless you have won) going through the state and federal system and that is not suing, it is filing paper work, attending arbitration and have a verdict rendered, in most cases. I can tell you, YOU can quit a job over harassment, win unemployment and win a judgement via the EEOC- it does happen- I am proof of that and it's cost $150.00 only because I took a lawyer to the EEOC, I didn't need to. I did this way pre-internet and had to travel 2 hours each way just to file. I was granted unemployment after waiting two cycles due to the nature of my claim. I never have taken any assistance, employment only once, this time and I had to meet the requirements of working prior to doing so. 

 

how to protect yourself, know your rights and how and where to file is something as a society we don't seem to want to make public and I have found most people simply want to complain and not even look into what they need to do

I frankly feel nothing for those who can not find this info now- it is super easy compared to years ago!

 

 

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How would subsidized health insurance aka Obamacare fit into this thread?

I see this as OT- I do know IRL- that those who I know who are denied insurance because of preexisting condition, are ones that are making payments vs those who are in the middle section you mentioned - with no insurance but not because of preexisting conditions. It seems only on here that what I have mentioned about this group that used ER's is just not really happening in most minds, but IRL I do see it. I see the ACA as mandating that those will have to pay towards their care unlike what is happening now. I understand the ACA as not all about the preexisting condition but the cost of ER care as primary care. I don't think that should be a factor as a SHAM regarding this thread. I see SHAM choice here.

 

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That's an entirely different debate, but letting people write things off their income does not in any way equate to whole-sale charity and I am sorry that some still insist on thinking so.

and also my family does pay federal taxes and we just looked at what military goodie we contributed to this year

 

 

 

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One last thing, the continued push to make the minimum wage a "living wage" is vastly misguided and such a red-herring.

I totally agree. I did also point out that some states pay welfare above minimum wage.

 

 

 

 

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Honestly what would her life had been like if she abandoned the business, stayed home on welfare for a few years and then tried to rebuild?

 

 

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I've read most of this thread, and many times people have stated roughly that they were taking the benefits now and staying home because they didn't want to send their kid off to any old daycare just to make less, or even slightly more than they could on state aid. Or that it makes more sense to take the help now, have the kids they want and then they will work later. Or why work for slave labor, when I can stay home take care of my babies and get an education...and work later. I totally understand all these impulses. 

 

you only mentioned two generations ago (your relative) - what about longer? Some of the spin justifications I have read here really make my head spin! Not only did past generations do it, the did it large numbers and in shorter time frames and some would argue with much harder conditions as well. Obstacles that I have read on here really make me wonder how others overcame -IMO much greater one, how could they have when now we don't seem to be able to? desire?

 

 

 

 

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What do you all think about this issue of an "entitlement mentality", and is this maybe truly the heart of the debate?

Shouldn't it be!? But I don't see it here- how can it be when if you are not gung-ho, you just want children to starve?

We can't even broach that as a society (and in ALL wages brackets) we are getting lazier and lazier in many areas. So much here seem to be federal related when in facts states play a big role but we have low, super low voting in this country. Most have no clue who their local reps even are, let alone that they make the state laws that greatly effect them, regarding the issues discussed here. There are many other areas as well, even given not working most still do not want whole foods, they want easy. Easy in many ways. 

 

I feel so much of what is missing is acknowledgement that motivation (and the dirty word responsibility) is a huge factor and there seems to be a lack their of. You have to keep a steady work history, you have to show up on time, you have to have the desire and I just see the opposite. I see many did not answer the question that was posed about if there was no safety net and I see that as very telling and so what, they don't have to because it's not a real possibility. 


 

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At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

 

there are many factors here as for the reason

 

I do know that MANY have no clue why all those papers hang up at work places (the ones that do say what the laws are, the ones required to be posted) or how they even became laws, I think this does factor into things-IMO


 

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#687 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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there are many factors here as for the reason

 

I do know that MANY have no clue why all those papers hang up at work places (the ones that do say what the laws are, the ones required to be posted) or how they even became laws, I think this does factor into things-IMO

I am a little confused - are you saying illiteracy plays a factor or being law abiding - or both?

 

I would certainly agree both can play a role in poverty - low literacy or education in particular. 

 

Most people who are poor or on welfare are law abiding.  One mistake can follow you for a long time, however.  I was talking to a man yesterday who was looking for work driving a truck.  I suggested school bus drivers, as they are always looking for them around here, and he could get in fairly quickly. It turns out he can't apply as a bus driver (or numerous other jobs) due to criminal record.  He says he was gotten his act together since then (and I have no reason to disbelieve him) but according to him it would cost 3000-6000 to get have his criminal record removed.  This is money he does not have.

 

The USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

 


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#688 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 09:15 AM
 
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are you saying illiteracy

NO! more along the line of I just don't give a ____ (and many other words could be added here!!)

 

no desire to know, no desire to care, no idea this effects a person, not only lack of understanding as to what the work paper documents are but why we have the laws, not knowing how they came into being and like who fought to get them to be laws (I feel this is a major factor but not for this thread) - like YEARS ago when someone got their first paycheck (a real paper stub) and they would stare and have no idea why things were taken out- along those line if you know what I mean


 

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again - years (long ago) many more people were not "educated" for having to have to drop out as in supporting a family, yet they still had the desire to be educated and literacy did work it's way in there regardless that they had to leave school and at a VERY young age, not even talking 16- my grandfather had to leave school at 11

 

I know someone who only went to 6th grade and managed to get a Ph.D - he also survived in two concentration camps along the way


 

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#690 of 792 Old 02-03-2013, 09:54 AM
 
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Serenbat…..I sense you are mad over the lack of personal responsibility and work ethic you see (as well as fraud, using the system, etc).  That is Ok.  You have undoubtably seen things I have not seen, and you have every right to your feelings.

 

That being said - anger at those on welfare who do not behave as you like is not going to move people off welfare (which I think everyone agrees is a good goal).  Best practices around poverty management are the way to go. Truthfully, I would look at states and countries that have low amounts of people on welfare or living in poverty and figure out what they are doing right.  I do not think we can eradicate all poverty - but I do believe the USA (and Canada for that matter) can do better than they are doing.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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