An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Ummm...seriously...I thought we didn't want to encourage an entitlement society anymore? Is having a bit of pride and subsequent guilt about taking welfare necessarily a bad thing?
1. With regard to those people who are letting pride get in the way of taking other people's money via the government, are they starving? Are their children starving? If not maybe they really don't need food stamps? Seriously, if they are managing by whatever means without using money that was forcefully taken from strangers (taxes) should we be encouraging them to do otherwise?
2. If we eliminate all notions of self-respect, pride, self-sufficiency, and additionally some embarrassment from having to collect food stamps, what motivation remains to hit the streets and try to find a job...any job?
I really believe that trying to foster an environment in which people feel entitled to government (other people's) money is a huge mistake in the long run. It's good to help people, but it's also good for people who are helped to have a profound sense of appreciation and humility.
The thing that makes no sense at all is that the government has gone out of its way to de-stigmatize food stamps,which can be (and are)easily abused, creating a "debit card" system that's fast and basically inconspicuous. Meanwhile WIC vouchers, which are only given to pregnant women and small children and can only be used for a small number of reasonably-priced healthy foods, are a total hassle, hold up the grocery line and hurt cashiers' average checkout times (possibly getting them in trouble with their boss),broadcasting to everyone around you that you're on WIC.
I've never used WIC or food stamps. However, I support the WIC program wholeheartedly and I think the government should seriously consider going to a card system for it. On the flip side, I agree with you about food stamps. It's messed up that a WIC mother has to be embarrassed/hassled using a complicated baby formula voucher while her neighbor buys $200 worth of Mountain Dew and Snickers with food stamps on a "debit card."
Careful. Things are changing so fast in this economy that you never know who could suddenly view food stamps as a viable option, to stretch that last dollar as far as it could go. I'm seeing a lot of folks in my circle who are in that situation...playing by the rules, paying taxes, etc., and suddenly the rug is pulled out.
You'll always get the "Mountain Dew and Snickers" folks, but that's just part of life in a fallen world. Most of 'em? They're just trying to survive. Let's cut them some slack.
My point is that we ought not to make welfare/food stamps into an attractive offer except to those who REALLY need it.
If pride prevents one from using welfare/food stamps and one survives without it...why on earth would we think this is a bad thing?
They are advertising and marketing food stamps as a right. And the more that we downplay the truth that the check in the mail or the re-upping of a debit card is more than something that just magically happens I think we breed entitlement and dependency - in fact the conspiratorial side of me sees that as part of the plan...but I desist.
I've been on public assistance back in the REAL foodstamps day and it WAS embarrassing for me. But at the time, I counted it as the price to pay and it DID act as an encouragement for me to get off of them.
I don't think anyone is going to starve to death for the sake of pride...so I heartily disagree with the tone and POV of the article. They are in essences advertising: "HEY! You too can get free food!" Selling a product the consumer may not REALLY need.
That said, I'm in no position to judge those who are using the program, and that is certainly not my point. (Though abuse of the program and how to "police" that is an inherent flaw in the system.)
I didn't get the "it's a right" POV. It seemed to me more like a public service announcement. Like, hey, this is available to give you a hand during tough times. I for one have paid far more in state social-service related taxes than my family could ever qualify for in aid.
Would that we still lived in a time when neighbor knew neighbor, and brought over an armful of fresh veggies or a couple of tasty pies. OTOH, we could still live in the era of the poor house.
Listen to me...I sound like a liberal. You know darned well I'm a right-centrist. But sometimes life gives you more perspective. That's not a bad thing.
The point about Mountain Dew and Snickers is that nobody NEEDS those things, ever. In fact, we'd all be better off without them. So why can you buy them with food stamps? We don't have to just accept this particular abuse, because it could be prevented with a few keystrokes if the government chose to do so.