This is not directed to any one person in particular, but as the saying goes “If the shoe fits”!
My intent is not to discuss the particulars of the welfare system, but things do need to change. The system needs to incorporate better procedures or at least invest a larger budget to hire more social workers to monitor those who really need it vs. those who can get off their asses and go make a paycheck like the rest of us.
My actual gripe though is with those that use the money they “NEED” and getting it from their state fund but instead using it toward things they don’t. Case in point, let’s call her “Lady T” … (This may or may not be an actual scenario. And I just randomly chose the letter T)…
- Lady T is a single mother, has two lovely kids, and works a job at a medical office. No complaints here.
- Lady T doesn’t pay taxes on this full-time job since she’s “off the books”. I’m not going to judge since some situations that we ourselves may not have ever experienced may call for this desperate option to truly get by. Moving on.
- Lady T sends one of her kids to an out-of-state college and pays for a dorm as well as college fees based on her hidden income. I will catalog this as a probable “need” since paying for higher education is an investment and sacrifice for bettering our future generations. (although I do NOT agree with this type of fraud in its entirety since technically that’s what student loans are there for).
- Lady T has an amazing apartment. I’ll force myself to also catalog this as a probable “need” due to statistics bending toward raising your kids in better neighborhoods contribute to enhancing their outlook and future. (Deep breath. Losing patience since I myself grew up in a shitty neighborhood and made my way out, but I know I cannot expect the same from everyone. Again, moving on.)
- Lady T owns a current year brand new car, buys expensive brand name clothing and goes out to expensive high-end restaurants and clubs. NO! Just an unequivocal, straightforward NO! Logically NO! No if ands or buts about it. Always a NO!
I’m a mid 40’s woman, I’ve worked all my adult life (on the books), I’ve been married and divorced, laid off once, been unemployed, been a single mother while unemployed, been homeless while being a single mother, I’ve even taken care of an ailing mother. If I go further back, I will also admit that I am a child that was raised by a single mother living off of welfare. Not a glorious easy lifestyle to say the least. But one thing I can say about my mother… she didn’t have an amazing apartment. She didn’t have a brand new car. And she definitely never owned anything with a brand name label on it unless you consider Alexanders or Woolworth brand names (throwback to the 70’s and 80’s).
I don’t have the time to analyze the specifics as to the “why” someone is making use of financial help. I am here though to protest the actual using of that help for useless items just because you desire it. Here’s the thing… that money is NOT yours. That money is NOT earned by you. That money is given to you to help you and your children, to better your future, your health and your opportunities… WITHIN your means. This money is NOT to help you go above and beyond your means.
After paying rent, the bills, the groceries, and education, whatever you have “left-over” should and needs to be saved. Why? Because one day you will have an emergency. One day, inevitably you will get old and because you have not accumulated work history and put zero toward your Social Security or any retirement plan, consider the portion you’re stupidly using for the expensive meals and outings as your retirement dollars. The “sacrifice” you are making by sending your kids to college, will be quickly outweighed by the burden you put back on them to have to pay for all of your old age expenses because you did not prepare. (Believe me, I’ve been there. I had to do that for my own mother.)
As clearly stated by the Official website of the City of New York, “Public assistance includes cash benefits and programs that prepare you for self-sufficiency.”
In turn, I looked up the definition of “economic” self-sufficiency: “self-sufficient living is the ability and practice of providing for all of your own needs and the needs of your household without outside aid or resources. It relies on a myriad of knowledge and skills, as well as a spirit of independence and motivation”.
The brand new car, the expensive clothing and outings are not necessary items for self-sufficiency. They aren’t necessary for your children’s path toward learning self-sufficiency. Going back to school just might help. Taking courses to help you increase your value can definitely be a tool. Finding a mentor within your current place of employment can direct you in a positive path, maybe. Researching information that will educate you on how to break out of your financial rut, big time. But putting forth the actual effort to tap in to the ever so needed spirit of independence and motivation is a huge factor. Increasing your knowledge and sharpening your skills a definite.
Stop wasting away your helpful resources. Stop using your financial help for things that have no true long time value. One day you’re going to look back, or down at your Manolo Blahnik’s or Christian Louboutin’s and wonder how they never helped you WALK AWAY from welfare. They’re not to blame. You are!
— The Pretty Platform