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Response to okieinpain (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

73. Easy - one happy family, one bad situation, and a single parent is left.

First, define "Welfare" - WIC and Medicaid are not welfare; unemployment, disability, and survivor's supplimentals are not welfare, Section 8, Head Start, School Lunch programs are not welfare, most of the social safety net programs are not welfare; in fact, "Welfare", even with all the above subsidy additions may pay enough to survive, but still pays barely enough to thrive.

When people complain about "generational" welfare - which is only 5 - 10% of those who take government subsidies to survive on, they ignore the other factors that contribute to generational welfare - which is a serious lack of jobs that pay at least a living wage and a high cost of safe and reliable sustenance in the area that family is living in.

Modern "War on Poverty" welfare as we know it only came about in the 1960's - when it was recognized that there were too many widows/widowers or divorcees with dead-beat former spouses left taking care of what was once a happy family with a socially acceptable "lot of kids" that were falling through the cracks. Even into the early 1960's, when a spouse died, families were often broken up and the children sent off to relatives or given up to orphanages for adoption because there was no way for the remaining parent to take care of them. Welfare allowed that parent to keep the family together and attempt to create a stable household.

I've met far more under-graduate students, wait-staff, lower-level (including military families) and "part-time" workers who were on some form of welfare or subsidized service for the few years it took them to get their kids past the daycare stage and themselves into decent wage status than I have a "welfare queen". Most of the time, the few non-working caretakers of children on welfare I have met are the grandparents on social security who have already retired from an average job that didn't pay enough to save on, not some Reaganesque stereotype of a drug-abuser who sits on her ass with her six kids from different fathers who are all in jail or on probation. (I've only met two drug-abuser welfare types in the 45 years I've been aware of "welfare", and they were not custodial parents and on welfare for very long...)

The so-called "generational welfare" of the projects probably only consists of perhaps two actual welfare-dependent generations, and that, again, is due to the families that are trapped by living in areas where there is not enough opportunity for the people who live there to advance out of poverty/welfare and not enough resources to move out.
Before WWII, the families of the extremely or chronically poor used to just live in the shadows and alleys, often sterilized for "their own good", and have their children taken from them to be raised by charity and sent off to labor in farms and rural work camps (again, "for their own good" or in most cases, thrown out on the street when they got too old to stay at the orphanage where they had gotten a very minimal training on how to survive without turning to begging or crime. Now, these poor were warehoused into projects, still with no way to make a living beyond the walls of the apartment they were given to live in.

Oddly enough, in the 1990's, the focus was on the increasing amount of working middle class (often formerly union) families with severely disabled children divorcing because the health care benefits that used to be taken for granted were being eroded (along with the pensions and other benefits) in the name of corporate profits; getting divorced and going on welfare while whichever parent had the job paid minimal child support guaranteed that your child would be treated and you could all still live at home - while not doing so guaranteed that you were faced with a grim choice, your family would go bankrupt and lose the house, or your disabled child will either die or have to be turned over to the state.

So if they're trying to get on their feet, there's a lot of good reasons for a single parent to go on some sort of welfare or subsidy. In fact, over the past fifty years or so, a good 90% of applicants are still only on "welfare" for an average of six years while they get on their feet, get a little ahead and start paying taxes again.

So let's just use that bright neon paint reflecting the very few who, for whatever reason, can't get their act together at all, to brush over all of the people who need assistance - those who would rather be dealing with the cost of living via the living-wage jobs and benefits that Corporate America is not otherwised prepared to bring to their community. Companies aren't charities, and have no reason to actually spend profits they made off their workforce to invest in the communities they operate in, right?

After all, other righteous, hard-working Americans who haven't fallen down(yet) need some excuse to hold up when talking about how all those "lazy poor people" shouldn't be coddled for all the mistakes they must have made to get them into that situation.

Tough love, baby, that's what they all need - tough love. Just like during the Gilded Age...

Haele

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