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November 20, 2012



I qualified for food stamps (or whatever it's called now) right before I got a job. My plan was to go into a fancy grocery store and buy the most expensive steak I could find and dare anyone to say a word while I stared defiantly back at them. I was kind of pissed off at the world - can you tell?

Where I met real poor people was at the unemployment office, where I talked to a guy who was going to get $400 - a month. His wife was on disability. One of his kids was disabled. And that was just the start of the conversation.


i like you when you're funny, and i love you when you get all on your soapbox.

Amy in StL

Ugh, I don't know how you work with people like that. Maybe the biggest perk of my gov't job is being surrounded by middle class working people who are liberal and generally Democrats. I don't think I could eat my lunch around folks like your co-workers.


As one of those coworkers, I was 14 or 15 when my father (the sole breadwinner) became ill with kidney disease. We got food stamps, and when my father died three months before I turned 18, my mother, sister, brother and I were eligible for social security. I was also eligible for pell grants, state grants to go to college.

I don't begrudge helping the poor. I am glad to see some of my taxes go to help families such as mine. My sister is mentally ill and on the dole. Yes. Good. People do NOT want her in the workplace. Trust met.

Welfare is and should be available in a civilized society. Do certain people (who are perfectly capable of working) take advantage of it? You bet. Is it as rampant as conservatives believe? No.

I'm in favor of the welfare state. Can it be made better? Why not? Should we go the way the Republican Party wants to take things? Hell, no.


Magpie - I have an image of me in a coronet on a soapbox.
Amy in StL - Oh, no, they have a point too. I don't ever agree with it, but I see where they're coming from. Unless it's about ObamaCare: I always want to ask them to return the money I spent giving their children a free education.
Marcia - Interesting. If I didn't know you I would assume from what you wrote you were one of the coworkers I was disagreeing with. Do I read this right? Are you just heatedly agreeing with me?


Indeed I am heatedly agreeing with you.


We got in on the welfare when the "welfare state" in California provided free college educations. My husband went to grad school on a NASA scholarship. All free stuff. This is the basis of our personal affluence, along with the SS and Medicare we now have.
I'll bet there is hardly a person in this country that has not had some kind of government benefit. That's why we pay our taxes, to provide benefits to ourselves and our fellow citizens.
Don't know why this simple fact is so hard to grasp.


I was able to go to community college because of Pell, food stamps, free lunch, and Medicaid. It worked. Now I pay taxes and I am very glad to know that some of my taxes go to those programs. You can tell your co-workers you have heard of someone who won the game.
"Gaming the system" makes me think of Bernie Madoff who gamed until he couldn't anymore. Wonder how his theft compares to welfare fraud?


Marcia - I thought so.
Hattie - I think we all need to accept you pay for things you like (in my case, welfare) and things you don't (wars). If my coworkers are happy to pay for the wars and don't want to pay for the aid then we all cancel each other out. The Circle of Life! Karma! Something!
Wendy - Well, they're pretty pissed at Bernie too.

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