No Shame in being poor

Growing up poor, WAS a motivating factor to work hard, so YOUR kids would not have to endure the lifestyle you had.
Growing up poor, WAS a motivating factor to work hard, so YOUR kids would not have to endure the lifestyle you had.

The least of these vs. the free for these

One of my quests in this life is to try to understand why some people “get it” and some people “don’t get it”. For me, this life is really pretty simple. There is “right” and there is “wrong”. For the most part, things are black and white. At least on many, many issues. I really sometimes do not even know where to begin.

I have found that the terms "fairness" and "common sense" is becoming somewhat an endangered species, so-to-speak. What seems fair to some isn't always fair to others.

I was raised and taught from a very early age that this life is not always “fair”, and if you want to make it in this world, you have to overcome issues that are thrown at you. You just got to learn to deal with them. One thing that I have learned was that "hard work" and being a "good person" promises you nothing, but a good night of sleep.

Couple those characteristics along with "persistence", I have found has always managed to keep my chin up and head above the water. If you truly want to succeed, nothing replaces old fashion blood, sweat and tears, and going after opportunities.

I’m getting to my point, and that is we have so many in this country who have been taught the opposite. Taught by, our very own government. They have convinced a large amount of this population that hard work is a waste of time, that there is no shame in being poor. I don’t mean that in a snobbish or a downgrading way, but at one time, being poor was a motivator to hard work, to take that next step, so that your kids would not have to endure such a lifestyle.

Free for these or the least of theses?
Free for these or the least of theses?

Working the system

Our government has developed the “entitlement” mentality. This, in my opinion is nothing more than a carefully crafted empowerment ploy, by the “progressive” liberal-left. They have deemed it that there is more virtue in allowing others to provide for your livelihood. Judgmental words like "recipients" and "welfare programs" have now been replaced with sanitized words like "clients" and "services". Foodstamps has now been replaced with a credit card named EBT. Now I know that many of these programs have truly helped many, many people since its inception. I am not against citizens helping others who are in need. In fact, most of us have been taught to help the “least of these”. They consisted of the truly down-and-out, the homeless, unemployable, the medically and mentally sick, etc. They also include the working lower middle-class with children who are one paycheck away from being homeless. They are not to be confused with what I refer to as the "free for these".

They are, in my opinion, lower middle-class people "working the system" in order to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. Ironically, and this is just my observation, but they are mostly made up of those who vote democrat. Who have been persuaded that this particular party is there to help them. They are the most vocal for the need of more government "social welfare" programs; uh I mean “entitlement programs”.


Thousands of organizations such as these, who collect billions,collectivly...every year.
Thousands of organizations such as these, who collect billions,collectivly...every year.

Americans ARE the most generous in the world

Now I fully believe that the American people are the most generous people in the world, who freely give millions and millions of dollars every year, be it through their church, work, and social groups, to charitable organizations. Also it seems that you cannot go a day without hearing about a food drive, benefit concert, or other high-profile charitable drives such as Coats for Kids, Toys for Tots, Shop with a Deputy, and Salvation Army's bell ringers. All of this designed to benefit the "least of these".

But, of course, that is not nearly enough.

Therefore, the Federal, State, and Local governments have created hundreds if not thousands of "social welfare" uh, “entitlement programs” to help lift-up the "least of these". Billions of dollars annually are given, loaned, or otherwise "invested" into them by the American taxpayers.


In my mind, this character epitomizes what I am talking about. Hard work!
In my mind, this character epitomizes what I am talking about. Hard work!

There IS a big difference

Yet, that is STILL not enough.

No one is suggesting shutting-down the charitable organizations. I am also quite certain that no government "social welfare" program ever seems to be eliminated. Furthermore, no one, even Republicans, want people to go without food and shelter. However, if someone suggests capping increases in funding those government programs (only Republicans seem to have the nerve) they are labeled as greedy, hateful and mean-spirited.

I say it is time for the government to begin to distinguish the difference between the "least of these" and the "free for these". It is time to cease in demanding more money from those who "Give" and begin demanding more accountability from those who "Receive". Meanwhile, we should encourage Americans to continue to donate money and time to benefit "least of these".

Comments 28 comments

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

There is plenty of good old fashion kindness and charity in America...more than enough to go around. There is enough to argue that the government needs to get out of the business. If taxpayers are the providers, then let the taxpayer direct his/her dollars to the organizations of their choice as opposed to our elected officials using taxpayer money to buy voting blocks with handouts. The message is clear...the people need to come to the government for their needs...the government is the all knowing...the government knows best...the government will shape your life. Our present day government spends far too much time looking for ways to insert itself into our lives and extract power from us in the process. When we become dependent on the government to feed us and take care of our needs, we trade our souls, our freedom, and our future for those crumbs bought with our own money. Thanks for a good write. WB


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks WB, it seems as we are on the same train of thought when it comes to Government.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Fantastic! This article couldn't have been done better. I thoroughly enjoyed your work here. It is savory and succinct. Thank you for making sense.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

James, this truly means alot to me coming from you. I have become a big fan of yours. Writing is very new to me, and I struggle sometimes, with putting my thoughts to words, without rambling on and on. So, I really appreciate your remarks.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

A common sense Hub all around. Or government wants to be God. They are using our money to do achieve their goal. If we don't limit the government...the government will limit us.

As James said, "Thank you for making sense."


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Tom, Common Sense is a rarity in this Nation anymore. At lease to me it seems to be.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

C. Merrit, a well crafted article of truth. I have one child, she is 39 years old, man time flies! It has been almost 20 years since I received a letter from her stating she had found a job and the "best part, was no drug test". It was a job as a maid at a motel, as far as I was concerned a job was a job and I was glad to hear that she was trying. I don't know if she ever went to work there or not. To the best of my knowledge, that is the single time I ever heard her name and job at one time. She ran away at 16 to Illinois

with a man my age due to parental consent not being required for one 16 or older to get married,and that she did. About 4 months later she made me a "grandpa" at 18 she divorced and on this story could go, but I'll just say she is the mother of 7 and only 2 are by the same father. She has a half sister that was blamed on me, but the numbers didn't work out do to my military deployments. The government via my commanding officer took 50% of my pay, $112.00 a month no questions asked until blood tests could be ordered and then they stopped taking my money. I had no hand in raising her, her mother saw to that, I did however pay the court ordered amount that came from a state that I'd never set foot in and didn't complain, her mother divorced me and I was unaware of that as once again I was over seas. The paymaster deducted the proper amount half from each check and paid it to the court, who distributed it holding any and all contact information confidential, I couldn't send the kid a letter or birthday card. After my discharge I had to undergo a payment re-evaluation and payments were still made confidentially through the court. When she married, I was free of support payments. Then she contacted me and informed me she didn't want to exchange mail and that I should send her support checks directly to her and provided a PO Box address for me to send them to. Her mother had 6 more half brothers and sisters and had raised her well, a dependent of poor slobs like me then switching over to what was "welfare" at the time. As far as I know we have those same mindsets being nurtured in abundance, daily. If we add the illegal aliens, it looks to me like we are headed for a break down. My apologies to the system, my vasectomy was one breeder child too late., peace 50


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Dusty for sharing. WOW!

That is a great example of the "free for these". It seems there is a whole generation of folks, whose mentality is to earn a living, without actually "working". With a good lawsuit and a "disability", a person can get by pretty decent, without ever doing a days work.

Our government needs to redesign the system and end the corruption.

Thanks again Dusy.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

I can address this issue from the perspective of a former welfare caseworker. Let me tell ya, I went into that job a California bred tree huggin leftie, and moved center right in a period of six months. Our government's efforts to, 'help the poor,' have created an entire segment of society that is convinced that they are,"entitled" to government assistance. I can't tell you how many of my clients had another child while already on benefits. If you can't afford to support the kids you have, why have more? I would go on, but the subject frustrates me to the level that I must stop.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

A great write and the American people are a generous people. We were poor and spelled it with three "o's" but we never knew we were poor as children. We were taught to work and be self sufficient and to lend a helping hand. I like to be be on the giving end.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

I love to help others; I am a giving person, but I don't want to enable people who make poor choices. I want tp teach the man to fish, not give the fish away. Means tested programs should be for the truly disabled and those in temp need. NOT a way of life.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Babe, thank you for responding. Your personal testamony is exactly what the liberals need to hear and understand. It kind of goes along with my "commons sense" department. That segment of society you mentioned is exactly what socialism creates...a class of folks DEPENDENT upon them.

I too get very frustrated at such stories as the one you shared.

Thanks for stopping by.

:)


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Fiddleman YOU make another great point....about "giving"....it should be from individuals and from the heart.......NOT from a government agency by money collected from taxes.

Being poor is the greatest motivator to hard work and the desire to get ahead...at least it should be.


pcoach 5 years ago

Well said! It saddens me that not everyone thinks this way. Indeed, that's why you felt the need to write it. My wife and I know absolutely how fortunate we are that our three adult children are conservative and fair-minded productive individuals with good hearts for those with less than they have and undoubtedly because they didn't have everything handed to them.

I've been hearing a phrase thrown around news shows in the past year (not nearly enough to my thinking!) and it goes, "The poor are not poor because the rich are rich." Liberals should definitely give this a ponder!

Wonderful hub! And to show my rebellion against the gov't, Merry Christmas!


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks for reading and commenting pcoach...I too, have five children, two who are adults now, and they are fantastic, conservatives with great hearts.

and I will rebel right back at you with a MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU TOO!

:)

Chris


WayneDave profile image

WayneDave 4 years ago from Leeds, England

Very interesting post. I think I agree with just about everything you have said. I think you sum it up perfectly with it being a simple 'right or wrong', couldn't agree more with that. Have really enjoyed reading, thanks for sharing.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thank YOU WayneDave


WayneDave profile image

WayneDave 4 years ago from Leeds, England

My pleasure, really enjoyed it.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

A lot to think about here. Reading over my long winded comment I deleted that one because I sounded like Ebeneezer Scrooge. Suffice it to say I believe the Government's job is to protect our country and enact laws, not try to "fix" poverty by taking from its contributors (taxpayers) and giving to those who don't, won't or can't contribute. That is called a charity, non profit organization or church. They are supposed to be separate entities.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

PegCole,

YOU, friend, are spot on correct.

I appreciate your response.

Chris


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

I agree that there's certainly no sin in being poor. It is awful to be in a 'class system' based on money. But I also agree that those who can help themselves need to be out doing exactly that. There should be a balance between support systems, and accountability. It should not be left entirely up to the churches, either. There's no way churches or non-profit groups can fund high medical costs for someone who is completely disabled and legitimately cannot work.

I'm glad you pointed out that being poor is not a crime.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Hi Marcy, I as very pleased to see you....my main point is accountability....to those who NEED help, and those who are milking the system. I am not against forms of federal assistance.

I appreciate your comments.

Chris


EstellaGrace profile image

EstellaGrace 4 years ago from New York

I lived a funny...but not so funny...story around 19 years old. Essentially I was working with a bunch of welfare recipients, but at 19 years old from a middle class family, I didn't know what that meant, until I went out in the real world, and got my own apartment. I started paying for myself at 19, by choice, and that is how I finally understood welfare. They were paying 1/3 of what it was costing me to live, just because they cried poor, meanwhile they all had 2 year olds with another on the way. I wrote about it. It's kinda funny, read it if you'd like.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Estella, I will drop by and read your hub.

I appreciate you dropping by and leaving your comment.

Chris


Sara 4 years ago

I think what the writer of this article "doesn't get" is that there are loafers at all income levels. There is corporate welfare, where corporations get all the breaks while small business owners are regulated to death and struggle to make it. It's funny that he failed to mention bank bailouts for the filthy rich and tax havens for the elite. I acknowledge that there are some with that "sense of entitlement" but it occurs at all income levels - not just the poor and disadvantages. I find it sad that so many have little compassion for those that are struggling to survive while the filthy rich get richer and many by not really working that hard at all. It could be as simple as playing the stock market or owning oil wells, keeping anything being done about climate change.

And I say all this as a white female, having put myself through college (going part-time) while working a full-time job and starting a family. And I don't think people should just expect handouts, but at the same time, I acknowledge that many started out disadvantaged, such as minorities.

Have people lost all sense of humanity? If you're going to point finger at those in the lower income levels, you should also point fingers at the lazy rich, and there ARE some lazy rich people out there. I hardly doubt that every rich person made it through blood, sweat and tears.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Sara, though I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by, I question the fact if you actually READ my hub.

You are way off base, and clearly do not understand my point. I think I was pretty precise on my point.

But, I respect your enthusiasm and vigor. You put yourself through colleg, while working a full-time job, with a family........is really the meat and potatos of my hub.

Chris


denden mangubat profile image

denden mangubat 3 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

what is that obama injectables


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 3 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Huh?

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