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Government Assistance: A Moment With Bill Reflection
WALKING ON THIN ICE
I fully expect that this article will upset some people. It is not my intention to do so, but chances are excellent that it will happen.
Let me begin by stating that my political affiliation can best be described as Liberal, although the older I get the more I detest labeling because I believe labeling is at the center of much of the discord we see today. He’s a Liberal so he can’t possibly agree with any Republican. Well, that is just so much hogwash and narrow-minded b.s. in my opinion.
With regards to the subject of government assistance for the needy, I am all for it. There are millions of Americans who simply cannot climb out of the economic hole that they find themselves in, and if it were not for housing assistance, unemployment benefits and food stamps, they would not be able to survive. I know that there are those who believe that people should just strap on some balls and overcome tough times by working harder, but I would submit that those who think that way have never been homeless and have no idea what they are talking about. This writer has been homeless so at least I bring that perspective to the table.
On the other hand, I have never been the recipient of government assistance. I have never received unemployment benefits and never applied for food stamps. I am sixty-four years old and I have had a job for forty-nine of those years. I was a single parent for fourteen years and yes, there were some very tough times, but I have never turned to the government for help.
So what is my point?
I believe the Social Services programs are being abused and that, in turn, is hurting those who truly need their services. In addition, I think…..well, read on and find out what I think.
Food Stamp Program
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) | Food and Nutrition Service
Government site for finding food assistance
AS FOR THE FIRST POINT
I know for a fact that many people in America are using government services and they do not need to do so. I have friends who have scammed the Food Stamp program for years, working under the table and making very good money and still taking Food Stamps monthly. Hell, I remember this program when it was in its infant stage in the 1960’s and there were college kids in our dorm having pizza parties paid for by Food Stamps. They were neither poor nor needy and thought it great fun to use the system for their own benefit.
I have no doubt that most of you have similar stories of people who simply take from the government because it is easy to do so.
And where is the danger in doing that? Why is it so wrong to take from a government that has no problem taking from us?
The Social Service programs have a limited budget each year. When that budget is gone the services are gone. If we are wasting services on people who do not need them, then there will be no services for people who desperately need them. That is a no-brainer!
In addition, people scamming the system give a bad name to anyone who uses the system and that is just wrong on any level. There are people out there in dire straits, people who can barely feed their children, who have lost their homes and jobs and cannot fend for themselves. What are they to do if the government does not help them? Are we to leave them to starve and die of exposure? Is that what a civilized society does? Are we to throw up our hands and declare that anyone who used Food Stamps is worthless and lazy? Please, we are better than that! We must see the fallacy of such a statement….and yet….when millions of us are aware of the scams being played on the system, it is easy to understand why there is bitterness towards anyone who avails themselves of the system.
In summary, Social Services are necessary, but the system needs to be revamped so that only those who need those services will receive them.
Housing and Urban Development Program
BUT WE HAVE A BIGGER PROBLEM THAN THAT
Yes, we do! We have trouble right here in River City, U.S.A.
What follows is simply my observation. I have no facts and figures to support it. I have no government studies to provide to you. I’m just a simple man who has observed my countrymen for six decades now, and I have witnessed a very subtle shift in the way my fellow citizens go about living.
My thoughts go back to the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, a time when men, and women, took great pride in the fact that they worked their jobs and provided for themselves. There was nothing glamorous about the daily grind but there was a very distinct sense of accomplishment in working and doing a job well.
I do not see that as prevalent in this country today. What I see are many people just putting in their time, doing a half-assed job of it, or doing no job at all. The fact that it is easy to scam the government out of assistance doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that we have so many citizens willing to do so.
My grandfather had to accept government assistance in the early 1940’s. He had lost his farm during the Great Depression, and there was a span of two years when the government had to help him. I am told it nearly killed him from the inside out. He wore his shame on his sleeve for those two years until he was finally able to stand on his own again and make a living without help.
What am I trying to say?
One point of view
Do you think stricter guidelines need to be followed in government assistance programs?
WHERE HAS THE PRIDE GONE TO?
For those of you who would cheat the system and take a free ride, I say shame on you. For those of you who are more willing to do nothing rather than earn your own way, I say shame on you.
The subtle shift in society that I mentioned earlier is in the way many Americans have lost their sense of pride. There seems to be a willingness to take first and earn later. There seems to be a growing willingness to reach out a hand for assistance rather than a hand for a paycheck well-earned.
When did that happen? Why did that happen?
Again, I am not talking about people who genuinely need assistance. I understand and I support you and your needs. No, I am talking about able-bodied American citizens who seem to have lost the drive to succeed over the years, or who grew up with a sense of entitlement and believe they are owed a living
I would love to see this country re-discover its pride. I would love to see millions doing a damn good job simply because it is their job and they are being paid to do it. I would love to see millions of my fellow citizens doing everything possible to make it on their own before they ever reach out a hand for help.
I would love to see Americans acting like our ancestors. We come from tough stock and it’s about damn time we act like it.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)