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Why do so many people depend on hand outs rather than to get a job and take care of themselves?
Jokes, Polls & Anything Else / 9:17 AM - Saturday December 26, 2009

Why do so many people depend on hand outs rather than to get a job and take care of themselves?

I have come to the conclusion the our country's welfare system is in a total mess. It just makes me sick when I see people at the grocery store, wearing designer clothes and nice jewelry, driving nice vehicles and paying with food stamps. I realize the economy is bad and there are a lot of people unemployed that need help. I have no problem with that. I think there should be guide lines that will give assistance to people for a year maybe 2 depending on their situation. That is not happening, people are now raising their kids using the welfare system and now those kids are having baby after baby because they know that with each child, comes more food and money. How many of you know people who are abusing the welfare system,
(food, housing, medicaid) and how would you control the use of welfare?

Update: December 27, 2009.
For all of you who responded calling me selfish, greedy, jealous and ignorant, that's fine, think what you want. You obviously did not read the question right. "I realize the economy is bad and there are a lot of people unemployed that need help. I have no problem with that. I think there should be guide lines that will give assistance to people for a year maybe 2" That is what I wrote. I have no problem with the government giving assistance to those who work and NEED it and use it for a temporary means of helping themselves. To all others who answered the question, I'm glad you can see the light. Thanks for your sensible responses.

- Asked by Female, Who Cares?

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I wish it were that simple.

There ARE people abusing the assistance programs, true enough, and there always will be. There's just about no way to make the controls tight enough to prevent fraud without also making them tight enough to prevent truly needy people from getting help. And the poor people you describe are actually at the top of the heap; the homeless poor are about a thousand times worse off. If you don't have a home address, you can't apply for many forms of government assistance. No wonder the folks that get help are better off than many who don't.

According to the theologian and activist Ronald Sider, back in the 60's the average CEO of a company made 40 times the wage of the average worker. By the mid 90's that had risen to around 350 times the wage of the average worker, and presently it's around 450! If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation during all that period, the minimum wage would now be nearly $20 per hour.

THAT'S what makes me sick. There are people who work but can't make enough to live on, while their bosses make more money than a reasonable person can figure out how to spend.

- Response by bugdoc, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Medical / Dental

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Wow. Could you possibly suck more? You are actually jealous of people on welfare?

Shame on you.

- Response by llafsroh, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Boston, Science / Engineering

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Community Rating: Community Star

At the end of the day just look after number 1, because people will always abuse the system.

There are options, like making them work for it, but they could then complain they are getting peanuts for doing the same job as others.

Means testing is another option, but still open to abuse.

It's all about minimising abuse through making the system fool proof.


- Response by bluegenel, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Technical

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One can judge things that they do not have any information

about or appreciate what they have.

Family homelessness in this country has increased measurable

and the family's in shelters had beautiful home's nice car's

and all the amenities of the American way

they lost their jobs, there homes and live in shelters wearing

those designer clothes.

You never know what the real is about people.

- Response by morningdust, A Creative, Female, 56-65, Self-Employed

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Not everyone who uses food stamps is on welfare and you STOP getting welfare after a certain amount of children. It's no longer as easy as it used to be.

- Response by kutie56, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Newark, Other Profession

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Because they are lazy lowlifes who make the taxpayers pay for their illegimate children, who then go out and shoot up and spray graffiti on the same taxpayers house who has been paying for their food the last 16 years. It is sickening.

- Response by A Guy Critical, Male, 36-45

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Living on the government or charity is easier than having to get a job and do actual work. These days it also pays better for many "poor" people.

- Response by greenwind, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, Construction

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You're acting like this is some kind of new development. In truth, it's an old story and it isn't even true anymore. During the Clinton administration, welfare regulations were overhauled, and there is no longer federal aid for an unlimited amount of time. The new system is called "Welfare to Work."

Perhaps *your state* is allowing people to be too lax.

- Response by justpassingthru, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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The local news uncovered a myth about welfare recipients in my area.
Surprisingly, a lot of them are elderly refugees from Southeast Asia, who haven't managed to assimilate into our society.

- Response by chesterdad, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 66 or older, San Francisco

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wow people on here our stupid, the majority of people on welfare are milking it! look at the facts, yes they are living the high life! it makes me sick when I go in a grocery store, espeically around the first, and I have to look at all the prices and conservatively shop, while I have seen people fill up two shopping carts mindlessly without looking at prices, usually tons of junk food, and they are sometimes majorly fat, well who wouldn't be sitting on their ass all their life then they go up to the counter and pay with food stamps! I studied social problems and I learned that only about 15% of people on welfare actually need it! others are perfectly capable of working!

- Response by idontsugarcoat, An Alternative Girl, Female, 29-35

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I pay a lot of money in taxes and it irks me that some are abusing the system. A person who has a drug or alcohol problem and wont get help but plays the taxpayer for a handout is not the best use of they system.

On the other hand, I know an executive who lost everything in the meltdown and is living in a homeless shelter. But that is temporary and when he lands on his feet he will become self supporting once again.

Its not an easy issue to deal with and no matter how you answer it someone is going to get rubbed the wrong way

- Response by A Career Man, Male, 46-55, New York, Who Cares?

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because they are lazy and want to sit on their ass and make babies while we pay for them. welfare should be completely abolished

- Response by earlpark62, A Guy Critical, Male, 36-45

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I also have seen people at the grocery store paying with food stamps while wearing designer clothes, expensive gold jewelry, and driving off in late model expensive cars. They have somehow learned how to work the system and are taking full advantage of our taxpayer dollars. However, there are others, such as people who are elderly or have disabilities, who truly need these services and sometimes can't get them for one reason or another. As far jobs, they aren't real plentiful right now, and many people have had to resort to applying for welfare and food stamps because of it. I don't mind as long as a person has a legitimate need and is willing to work, but I hate the deadbeats that make a career of living off the government.

- Response by experience101, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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I don't deny that there are some people who find away to cheat and defraud the welfare system but there are rich people who cheat and defraud the tax system.

For every cheater are there are likely hundred even thousands of people who legitimately need the help. My family needed food stamps growing up. My mom was embarrassed as hell but did what she needed to do to take care of her family. She always made sure we were clean and presentable. Most people never knew, hell I never knew how poor we were until I got to college.

I am pretty sure you will get the idiot crowd blaming poor people. Just remember most need the help.

- Response by atticus, A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Atlanta, Managerial

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There are several reasons. Yes, there are plenty of able-bodied people who have no intention of going to work each day, and they would rather live a sub-standard life and receive welfare and hand-outs than work for a higher standard of living.
There are those who have no choice; they are either mentally or physically impaired and cannot work, or can only work limited hours. And then there are those who are temporarily receiving benefits; those who have lost their full-time job and have depleted their savings.
I personally would hate to think I had to depend on some government hand-out program run by a bunch of local morons who abuse their "power". But sometimes I think the government wants us all to be in their palm.

- Response by hearmenow, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Other Profession

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For the sake of the debate here I want to add another position...not my own perhaps but instead some things that I have read, discussed in some depth that I think are worth consideration.

Welfare of any kind removes both conseqence to individuals and to societies as a whole. It removes the impetus to find another way for those at the bottom and it also covertly removes the potential for rebellion towards those who hoard the those CEO's and top executives drawing off that 450x salary over the average worker. That's one of the reasons why welfare is instituted and why social work is instituted as well. It is to keep the impoverished, down on their luck masses from revolting.
But Welfare also creates multigenerational dependency. when you remove the consequences of homelessness, hunger, lack of medical care and all else you eliminate the impetus to work.
Welfare results in apathy. Apathy in turn results in behaviors that destroy the potential of future generations like drug and alcohol use for example. You destroy the brain power of the next generation by what you do in your lethargy and apathy and they too perpetuate the welfare state. They become incapbable of
much else.
The welfare state is also perpetuated by the most wealthy in this country as they choose to further exacerbate it by taking labor into countries where they have found sub groups of even further impoverished persons who they can exploit for labor.
So the wealthiest exploit and encourage poverty and they make it so the right kinds and amounts of aid doesn't find it's way to a subgroup they need for labor exploitation.

- Response by joybird, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Therapist

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I know a lot of people that abuse the system and while I have no problem helping those that need it I feel a lot of them abusing the system should be jailed and the fact that welfare people have medical care while working people do not really gets to me

- Response by bigcurt, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Pittsburgh, Self-Employed

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I tend to respond before reading other people's answers, but I don't think this question was posted in a selfish, jealous-filled, greedy, or ignorant manner! Those who responded with such thoughts are most likely the ones you're referencing as abusers of 'The System'! I, too, think that there's a HUGE flaw in the system when people are on it for so long that they use it as a means of income & such, instead of a temporary means until better comes along! Those people who you've seen wearing designer clothes, driving nice cars, & a bunch of jewelry have become a nuisance to a lot of people (whether they admit it or not) because it's our taxes that's supporting them! Here's something for some FYI: the Bahamas does NOT have a welfare system in place! If someone gets fired/layed off, they have to hustle to find another job! Can you imagine if the US never implemented a welfare system?! EVERYONE would have to provide for themselves and be their own welfare system!!!

- Response by Veronica71276, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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The welfare system is there for those who need it, not those who are too lazy to get off their asses to take care of their kids. I do believe that every child should qualify for state insurance because of the cost through employment. Many parents would work just to pay for insurance.

Another issue, instead of offering food stamps and cash assistance perhaps states should be more willing to offer child care assistance. Many mothers choose to live off the state because child care is so costly. I have two girls, one is 2 1/2 and the other is 11 months. I have chosen to go back to school to get a degree to be able to provide better for them because the cost of daycare was nearly $300 per week for the two girls. Insane I tell ya! The waiting list for child care assistance in Maryland is 18 months, I am still on it for my oldest and am being told it could be another 2 years....What will I need it for then? She'll be in school.

So while I understand your frustrations, not everyone is a self help person who is willing or able to go to school for a degree to not live off the state.

- Response by bonniebaby4307, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Baltimore, Who Cares?

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Apparently, you remember what your mother of father said back in the 70s. Maybe you are not aware that the great "liberal" president Clinton eradicated the type of welfare you are talking about a long time ago.

Also, you don't know what people's situation is by looking at the surface. My mother is on a fixed income (social security) and takes home $734 a month. But she has a computer, a printer, a flat screen TV, and a very nice set of dining rooms chairs. You would probably call her a poverty pimp. The reality is...I bought all those things FOR her.

Also, in case you didn't know, we have 10% unemployment in this country, much higher in some places.

- Response by tomtomcat, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, New York, Teaching

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Of all the times people like you can be stingy bitches, you choose to show your ugliness on Christmas at a time when so many Americans are out of work. Seriously, shame on you!!

- Response by A Trendsetter, Female, 22-25

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There are guidelines as far as any of the food stamps and medicaid go. In order to receive them you have to make less than 1000-1500 a month. Medicaid if accepted is to pay the remainder of what your primary insurance will not pay. Specific amounts are given out depending on the house hold yet you are only allowed to have the benefits till the children are of a certain age without working. On food stamps and medicaid the child can be of 5-6 before you have to have a job even if it is volunteering 30 hours a week to receive those benefits. With TANF if anyone receives that the child will be a year old before you have to start working to receive that. There are also numbers you can call if you think someone is abusing the system and turn them in. This will then start an investigation and then if found true the person turned in will have charges of fraud brought against them.

- Response by staceym2112, A Cool Mom, Female, 26-28, Medical / Dental

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Several years ago, I went down to Social Services to apply for assistance while I was out of work and I ran out of unemployment. I was one of those who was actually trying to work. But even while working, times were always tough for me, I lived paycheck to paycheck, wore hand me downs, didn't go out, etc. So it was so discouraging to be there only to be told of the hoops I'd have to jump through to get assistance, because I was a single woman WITHOUT kids! Because I made an effort not to go out and get myself knocked up with a bunch of kids I couldn't afford to raise, I'd have to go through all of that, while others just sailed through the system. And I looked around at all the other people there while I was in line. I actually saw a family that appeared to have just arrived in this country from somewhere in Europe. The entire family was dressed in fur coats, hi-end sneakers and jeans, and other expensive clothes! I always did everything right, worked my butt off, paid my taxes, didn't go out and have a bunch of kids I couldn't afford, gave to charity, etc, and I was being treated like something was wrong with me and I didn't deserve help the one time I needed it, while others were just handed everything and anything! Now, I believe NY state does have a 2 year limit on welfare, because there have been so many people taking advantage of the system. I think also that people getting assistance should have to get drug tested in order to keep receiving it, because just the other day my friend told me how his father's tennent traded his food stamps to buy crack! I mean, c'mon! Is that insane or what! I also remember a family down my street when I was growing up who got assistance, but it was more important for them to have beer and pot, instead of food and diapers for their kids! I remember having to put a t-shirt on the baby as a diaper cuz they didn't have any actual diapers! They had the beer and pot though! So, I totally hear what you are saying! You shouldn't have all those fancy things and get assistance! I have a used car, live in a crappy, old, small apartment, wear my sister's old clothes, don't have cable, don't go out, don't own a big screen tv, etc. The only reason I even have the internet is cuz that the way you job search these days, so I can look for a job, email my resume, research companies, etc. Otherwise I'd be spending just as much on gas for my car going somewhere else to use a computer. I've been unemployed since April, but I'm avoiding going for assistance because of the hell I was put through before.

- Response by A Creative, Female, 36-45, Buffalo, Administrative

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Do you want the elderly to have to go dumpster diving to eat?

It's what I've seen here, because the country I'm in has very little social welfare, even for the elderly who worked.

I can not count the number of times I have seen the elderly searching in the trash for food, newspapers, bottles to turn in. It's really sad, it breaks my heart. It happens because there is no social net here.

I've asked my husband about it and he said it's because the social pension is so low that even if they get it, they could barely pay rent on a tiny room (the cheapest single room rent I've seen) and have about $60/MONTH left over for food and transport-possibly less with utilities. Lucky if a married couple has both the husband and wife alive, at least then after rent they have more left for food-if they move from their lifelong home to some tiny sublet (if anyone can take them).

You could blame them for poor planning, but they believed that paying into the pension plan would be enough. It should be, and we should not reduce our elderly to beggars.

The other day, I saw a well dressed elderly lady walk up to the dumpster. She unpacked her little shopping bag and proceeded to go through the grocery store trash-pulling out vegetables and dirty fruit amongst the boxes. She was this frail old lady, literally picking through the trash to eat. It was so sad. It really put our life into perspective. I was waiting in the car with our baby while my husband ran in to get the groceries for us, while we had a bunch of bread and pizza in the car-which we buy and take for granted-sometimes not even eating it all. When my husband got back to the car and could keep an eye on our baby, I walked up to her and gave her the things I had bought from the bakery and some other groceries. Her face lit up as she warmly said thank you. She was an educated woman, she was refined and respectably dressed-her hair was brushed and clean and she even had lipstick on. Her nice clothes were probably from when she was younger and worked-now she is an elderly woman who is poor and although no one would hire a 75 year old, she still presented herself with grace-even though the lack of social welfare reduced her to ignore her dignity and search through the dumpster to eat. She looked refined, she clearly needed food though.

Things like that happen when we get rid of welfare, food stamps and housing assistance. If you want to live in a society where the elderly, disabled or people otherwise unable to work are ignored-then I would beg you to find a heart and consider what the consequences are.

- Response by milla, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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I completely agree with you. The welfare system in this country has gotten out of control. Now, I say this as someone who was recently unemployed for over a year - yes, I have been on unemployment. Not at welfare stage yet. Just recently I got a part-time temporary position that pays crap, but at least it's a little bit of something coming in.

The people who say things like "there are plenty of jobs out there with decent pay" apparently don't realize that there are hundreds - possibly thousands - of people applying for those same jobs. So it's very easy for people who are already employed to look at those who are not and say "well, you're just not trying hard enough" and accuse us of leeching off the system. Would the people who say that also be willing to take those same jobs they say we're supposed to jump at the chance for? You know, the low-paying retail and customer service jobs, where they will be treated like crap by their managers and customers?

I doubt it.

The thing is, there are still those of us who actually feel the shame and embarassment about getting any type of "assistance" because we are perfectly able to work. We WANT to work.

Then, you have those people who really are "living off the system" because they aren't interested in working at all, and they just keep popping out kids in order to keep the welfare checks coming. THAT is where things need to stop.

- Response by A Creative, Female, 36-45, Cincinnati, Other Profession

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Sorry for the double Post. I just see this EBT, WIC, Food Stamps and really any form of Government assistance is widely abused and needs some. I am just curious how many people share that opinion or oppose it.

- Response by jjrdean1, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 36-45, Atlanta

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don't bitch about it.. they could have had all the luxuries before they hit hard times,, saying goes if you can't beat them , then join them.. not everyone takes advantage.. i'm sure someone in your family down the line, get's maedical foodstamps..

- Response by mburgos, A Cool Mom, Female, 46-55, Philadelphia, Who Cares?

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I agree shame on you for being jealous. Appreciate your life and pursue the things you want, and that type of bitterness will disappear.Be the best you you can be and stop comparing. In life your free to do what you want and if you are weighting options it's very likely that your not living to be the best you you can be (in your heart not based on society standards). Please yourself and happiness comes.

- Response by atonement, A Creative, Female, 26-28, New York, Home Maker

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In the state I live in, a lot of people who used to have middle and upper middle class incomes don't anymore. They have not yet sold all their clothing and their car, although quite a few have lost their homes. It probably doesn't occur to them that they have to dress in beggars rags when they go to the grocery store with their food stamps or to the food bank in order to keep from making people like you "sick."

- Response by pandorasfault, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Teaching

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I agree shame on you for being jealous. Appreciate your life and pursue the things you want, and that type of bitterness will disappear.Be the best you you can be and stop comparing. In life your free to do what you want and if you are weighting options it's very likely that your not living to be the best you you can be (in your heart not based on society standards). Please yourself and happiness comes.

- Response by atonement, A Creative, Female, 26-28, New York, Home Maker

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I agree shame on you for being jealous. Appreciate your life and pursue the things you want, and that type of bitterness will disappear.Be the best you you can be and stop comparing. In life your free to do what you want and if you are weighting options it's very likely that your not living to be the best you you can be (in your heart not based on society standards). Please yourself and happiness comes.

- Response by atonement, A Creative, Female, 26-28, New York, Home Maker

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