Published: Thursday, 30 October 2003 16:25
There is an important difference between broke and poor. If you’re broke, you have a temporary cash flow problem. You anticipate having money flowing again in very short order and you are willing to do anything legal to do so. Being poor is a mental state that says you can’t do any better. So, you don’t try to change the situation because you believe there is nothing you can do to make things better.
This article, HUD Orders Public Housing Tenants to Volunteer asks for eight hours a month in community service.
“This is not volunteer,” Tanner said. “This is mandatory work and we really shouldn’t try to confuse the two. This is very much like workfare.”
I have always held the belief that you should be worked like a dog if you’re on welfare.
If you have a job, you’re working as hard as you can and still can’t make ends meet, that’s one thing. I commend you for it and don’t mind supplementing your income to help out. That should be the definition of welfare.
If you are physically or mentally disabled (myself included) and are unable to work, I have no problem with my tax dollars supporting you. * (see note below)
If you’re stupid on purpose because you dropped out of school, or you didn’t pass your classes, if you have had two kids before you turned 18, I want to work you like there is no tomorrow. I want to work you 60-80 hours a week so you think a regular job is easy.
Once you apply for welfare, you have 6 months of no work, because your job will be to find a job. If you don’t have at least a GED, you get 6 months of intense schooling before that, and/or job training. If you are still on assistance at the end of your free time, then you start working for welfare, 40 hours a week. Heavy, menial, backbreaking work. You work on the weekends so you have two days off during the week to look for a job. After a year of that, you start working 60 hour weeks, wearing an orange jumpsuit. If that isn’t enough, you start pulling 80 hour weeks. If you aren’t going to work for yourself, you’re going to work off what you owe the taxpayers. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Period.
I don’t mind welfare being a safety net, but I do mind it being a safety hammock. To get paid for not working when you can work just boils my blood. It runs counter of everything I was brought up to believe in. Between my military and civilian job careers, I put in 20 years of hard work. I was never unemployed for more than 3 weeks, because when I looked for a job, I went through the want ads like Godzilla did Tokyo.
When I got out of the military, I actually made the Navy Times. That’s a weekly military newspaper. They had an insert on transiting to the civilian sector, with several people and their stories profiled. I made the cut because I told them exactly what I told you with the Godzilla crack. When I looked for a job here in Memphis, I went through the Yellow Pages and wrote down the name and address of every computer related company in town. I made a resume for each of my listings. I then started at the top and worked my way down. It just so happens the third place on my list hired me on the spot.
I have always been extremely aggressive when it comes to job searches, and I will never understand anybody who isn’t. If you don’t want to invest in yourself so you can get better jobs with more pay, then you’re exactly where you deserve to be. I plan on starting to take advanced computer classes in the near future so I can solidify my resume. I got most of my jobs because I was already working at those levels, so the lack of training was made up for by real-world experience.
* I wanted to explain this without interrupting the flow of what I was saying. I receive a fair amount of Social Security Disability, because of what I made before I was sick, the fact that I’m married, and that I have a child. I work as much as I can, because if I got paid any more than what I get paid now, I lose my disability. In order to have the same amount of take home pay as I do now, I would have to have a job that pays about $48,000 a year, about what I made before I got sick. I can’t just jump into such a high level job like that, not with a 5 year gap in my resume. So, I am stuck in my situation with very little options. I know that $48K sounds like a lot, but remember that’s pre-tax, plus health care and supporting two households. There is very little fat in our budgets.
UPDATE: I am sorry to say that while I included my income from my part time job, I didn’t tell you I did. I realize it sounds like I am getting paid an obscene amount of disability, but it really isn’t.