If You’re on Welfare, Put the Blahniks Down!

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)

  1. Lady T is a single mother, has two lovely kids, and works a job at a medical office. No complaints here.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.)
  5. 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


10 thoughts

  1. You have me very curious as to what welfare rates are in your community. I’ve yet to see, in any community across Canada anyway, welfare that pays enough out to cover people’s rent or all the food they need; or the medications they may need – and most do because they suffer from some sort of disability; or the transportation they may need; or any other essentials. Notice all those ‘ors’? Because those are the choices that have to be made regularly by anyone unlucky enough to have to depend on social assistance. Blahniks? No one around here on welfare gets enough in a month to pay for a single pair of those.
    The system around you seems to be quite wealthy by comparison. Do you know what the rates are for monthly disbursements?

    1. Oh, 100% Agreed, no one SOLELY on welfare would be able to afford such luxuries. Impossible. And I know that first hand because I myself was raised on welfare as a kid. My mother hardly had anything left over after all the essentials. But the article is about people who have both welfare income AND a job of which they are not paying taxes on and hence no record of their working history. And I agree that certain hardships may indeed call for these desperate measures. But the article is about those that take in both financial incomes AND do not need it. The welfare system here is lacking true supervision and many folks take advantage.

  2. I know that this sort of thing truly exists and agree that its ridiculous. I think the deep shallowness and lack of values that is more an more evident in people today has a lot to do with this type of thing. People really believe they are “intitled” to whatever they want, whether they can afford it or not. The mentality to do whatever it takes to get what “I” want permeates their minds; if they have to cheat, steal, lie, sell their bodies or starve their kids they are willing to do it for whever they deem important enough. When I was a kid there were people like this. I remember hearing the older folks talk about women who were doing certain unmentionable things to get the stuff they had since their welfare funds weren’t gonna cut it. I have seen welfare mothers make sure they to themselves looking good and in the latest, but when you looked at their children they look like refuge outcasts from parts unknown! The practice of being “kept” has not died out.

    On the other hand, I have seen individuals who knew how to shop, sew, etc… They had welfare resources but they were just savvy. The knew how to work money to get the best benefit, and they knew the best areas for yard sales and such. Their hair always looked good but they did it themselves. Their car looked great, but upon closer review it was an older model but just well kept (some had relatives who did their mechanic work for free etc…). One lady I knew had wealthy family members who would send her stuff they were no longer using because they shopped all the time; oftentimes these items looked or were brand new. So you could very well see her with a very expensive purse and outfit that she didn’t have to pay a dime for.
    I am sharing this to say that one cannot always tell just by looking. There are those who abuse the system, and I do not agree with that at all; I think it is a sin and shame. I believe we have to be careful not to pass swift judgement on the majority based on the unethical and downright stupid practices of some.

    1. I agree with you, which is why I mentioned that I wholeheartedly understood certain situations of hardship. Being a kid raised on welfare myself, I know firsthand the two sides of that token. Those that needed it and budgeted beautifully to keep all things going and still looked great at it. But I knew and still know many up close and personal that are from the group of which my article is directed at…the Lady Ts of the system. They break the system for those that are on a long waiting line for the needed help. They knowingly siphon money from the state that should be allocated to others when they truly dont need it themselves. These are the people I judge.

  3. I agree that there are people who misuse the system, but Lady T is actually more an example of tax evasion, correct (unless I misunderstood and she is also collecting welfare, which if she is, just wow). I totally agree with what you said about saving the money for emergencies and building up that fund. I am also a single mother (with two kids ironically), and I drive a car that is paid off (and I’ll stay in that car until it breaks down), have a college fund for my kids, and am building up my savings. I do live in a fantastic neighborhood where we can walk to school and restaurants and parks, but I am very budget-conscious in every other way so we can afford that splurge. I do have high-end and nice clothing, but that is because I know when and how to shop the sales and I buy a lot of my clothing second-hand (and as gifts)! I do have a full-time job where I do pay taxes, and it is frustrating when others try to beat the system. Welfare does need more oversight, but there are definitely people who use it for a short amount of time and then get back on their feet, so it is not a useless system, just a broken one. No matter what the system, there are going to be people who take advantage (look at the people who get disability and then are very active in day to day life).

    1. I agree with you on all points. Yes, Lady T is guilty of tax evasion and taking money from the state. But my point was that although I can try, very very hard to understand why some folks work off the books and accept welfare due to hardship, what I dont accept is that if this person is truly in need of both these financial outlets, then they should NOT be wasting the money on useless items. Welfare is not a supplement for stylish dressing. Welfare is a supplement where it’s truly needed. So when Lady T gets 2 incomes and frivilously uses them, then it makes matters that much worse. Hardworking folks like yourself that are responsible toward the state and pay their taxes, and allocated their money wisely, then more power to you and all that you’ve earned and accumulated. And I do believe in the foundation of a welfare system. It just needs a whole lot of tweaking.

  4. Well said. We have worked hard all our lives and have earned everything we have. There was no luck involved as some people tell us how lucky we are. Just darn hard work. Welfare system is abused by so many and some are double dipping from two states. We see it all the time where we live.

    1. Omg!!! Double dipping the help from two states? I didnt even know that was possible. I’m definitely looking that up. And agreed, we’ve worked hard to get what we have. Luck has nothing to do with it.

  5. These boots were made for walking… LOL Exactly what popped into my head…the fact people never walk away from these situations. Unfortunately the popularized group in this category is minorities. They keep themselves entrapped and then have the gall to claim social injustice. I agree whole heartedly that there are those who benefit from welfare system but the over abuse takes away from those who not only need it but it’s theft from those who contribute to the system via taxes. Some of the best thieves are within our own neighborhoods. Thanks for posting this truth!

    1. Agreed!!! I get infuriated knowing that some or many folks living within the welfare system have made it a career to live off of the state. They know the loopholes to get accepted to all of the different programs out there when they dont really need it.

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