In My Opinion
Hand Up Or Handout
Steak Dinner, Wine, and Cigarettes.
This isn’t the tile to the newest Miranda Lambert song. It was what the person in front of me purchased after buying the rest of their groceries with state assistance. They paid around $70 and I was told the steak and wine must have been cheap because the cigarettes are expensive.
I asked my Facebook community “should I be mad?” I was surprised that the majority said, “No. They have a right to those things.”
A right. The welfare system was created to help people. It was created for people like my fan Ms. Aspiazu Johnson. It, however, was not created to give people a “right” to use money on frivolous things that could be used on food. Yes, I view wine, steak and cigarettes as non-necessities. If you have $70 for those things then you should give $70 back to the system to help someone who doesn’t have it.
I especially view them as such when I work 15 hours a day to put food on my table and 30% of my income leaves for taxes that fund the government. Yes, Madame and Sir, the government is fully funded by the taxpayers.
When did we as Americans become entitled? I do not recall my grandparents saying it is my right to have that. If you wanted something, you worked. If you could not get a job because of medical conditions, assistance was provided. If you fell on bad times, you worked your bottom off to get out of a bad situation and you used assistance for a limited amount of time. If people spent as much time trying to cheat the system as they did to find a way not to need the system, we would all be better off.
The frightening thing is that there aren’t unlimited resources. What happens when we have taxed our working people so badly that it no longer makes sense to work? What are we teaching the youth in this country by allowing the abuse of the welfare system to continue?
When I was a teacher we always filled out the “all about me ” book with the students. We would get to the part about what do you want to do when you grow up? The child would say be like my mom or dad. I would say great! “What do they do?” Then there was a pause and they would say “Nothing?” I would reply, “What do you mean?” Then the answer that you really do not want to hear comes spilling forth, “ They stay home all day and watch TV." This is when it gets hard to be a teacher. It is a slippery slope between ethics and education.
Is it okay to say to the child, is there anything else you're interested in besides couch sitting? Do you dream of helping animals or solving crimes or how about building houses, or designing computers? What are your dreams? I was a skier so I pushed to find something that inspired the child. I found their dream and documented it.
I am sure that every person had a dream at some point and it didn’t pan out. I am certain most people do not want to be on public assistance. The question I have is, what are they doing to get off? Are they working like Ms. Apiazu Johnson to change their situation. Or are they sitting on their front porch with a cigarette, glass of wine and munching on steak laughing at all of us that work for every penny we have and can’t afford the steak.