Replicating Poverty

There has been something that has disturbed me about this nation since I’ve grown up and began supporting myself and my family.  Many will read this article in disgust or disbelief, but realize that we all have our own opinions, ethics, and morals.

I tend to believe that I am a very good upstanding citizen, just like many other millions of Americans.  We live within our means – only affording what we can ascertain by working and contributing to society.  We all have to work in order to support a living – paying our mortgages/rent on time, taking care of our transportation, only purchasing food that we can afford, and having clothing that meets our lifestyles.

I completely understand that times are extroadinarily tough for many members of society – finding that they are not able to obtain employment in order to pay for the basic necessities in life.  Many individuals and families have been without a job for over a year now.  Things in America are definitely tough – and my question is – what is next for these families?  The government already extended unemployment benefits for many families that couldn’t find work in a timely manner.  But, the majority of these individuals that are currently unemployed actually do want to work – they want to feel like they are contributing to society – making a difference if you will.  However, there is a darker side of society that boils my water – and a lot of other individuals as well.

The government – both federal and state – spend billions of dollars every year to help out families in need.  But, when is it time to ween people off this kind of assistance?  When times are tough, no one can find work, and the unemployment rate climbs, the government has done a good job with stepping in and helping during those times.  However, what about some members of society that simply don’t think the rules apply to them – and continue to live on the welfare system their whole lives?

Our retirement – Social Security – and other “entitlements” that us working-class citizens pay into – are depleting rapidly – because the funding that is supposed to fund Social Security is going elsewhere – such as feeding and providing for the “needs” of those living on the welfare system.

I live in a town where it seems that at least 25% or more of the population live off of the welfare system.  And I’m not talking a short period of time – but on a very long-term basis.  One of our state representatives overseeing our county once proposed that those receiving any kind of state assistance must be able to pass random drug tests – and that they could frivolously spend food stamps on candy, soda pop, and other “luxuries” that are not really food at all – but are contributing to the obesity of our population.  I still don’t understand it, but his bill never even made it for a vote.  Ridiculous.  If we – as working American citizens – have to be able to pass drug tests in order to even get a job, then these leaches should be required to go through the same process.  Of course, what are the repercussions of someone on the welfare system not being able to pass a drug test?  Is it the kids’ fault, and what will happen?  Should the state fully cut them off?  If that is the case, where are these able-bodied individuals going to turn to for help?  This is a key ingredient that I don’t have answer for.

Personally, I’m sick and tired of our taxes continuing to go up.  Our state raised the tax rate in 2011 from 3% up to 5% of our income.  Why?  Because we are a democratic state that believes everyone asking for a handout should receive one – but only if you fall within a certain bracket – for an indefinite period of time.  The state is over $11+ billion in debt.

The fact of the matter is this – the government replicates poverty.  What do I mean by this?  Almost all children born into a family that live off the welfare system – will continue to live by this means.  We have government-assisted housing, food stamps, free health care, free cell phones, subsidies for lower cost memberships to places like the YMCA, amongst many other “benefits” for being on the welfare system.  It is out of hand.  The government is basically saying “we understand that you can’t support yourself, but have all of these great amenities to help you along.”  Enough is enough.  People on the welfare system know how to work the system.  They have just the right number of children in order to get the maximum benefits.

Even worse, many women that live in the welfare system will have children with different fathers.  Why?  Because they can then collect all of the welfare benefits – in addition to a maximized amount of child support from each father.  The women believe that they can raise kids – AS A JOB – and get away with it.  Some of them actually make more than us hard-working citizens through welfare programs and other outlets – such as child support.

Millions of us working-class Americans feel the same way about this.  I just drive down the road in my town and it disgusts me to see a family – a full car load (or SUV load) full of children – knowing that my hard-earned money is being turned over to them to buy their vehicle, pay their gas, and basically support them.  Many proponents creep up and say “well, they are not as blessed as you with your standard of living”.  To that, there certainly is some agreement, but on the other hand – it is those living on the welfare system that is continually responsible for this occurring over and over again in a continous, exponential way.

Another thing that also disgusts me is the health care system.  Working-class Americans have to pay for health insurance.  Heck, we are now going to be required to have health insurance now or pay a “tax” if we don’t comply.  I personally pay over $7,000 a year in nothing but health insurance premiums.  No matter if I need to go to the doctor or not, this comes out of my paycheck.  Talk about another “tax” if you will.  So then when we get sick or have to seek medical attention, we then have to pay yet another “deductible” and then a percentage of all final remaining bills.  How much do people on welfare pay?  Not a dime.  Not a cent.  Nothing.  no co-pays, no nothing.  They get free medical insurance through dozens of states.  So when we working-class Americans need to go to the emergency room or get medical attention, the waiting rooms are lined with many others waiting.  See – if I got 100% free health care like those on welfare, I certainly would also be going to the emergency room to get checked out for things like kidney stones, shortness of breath, chest compressions, or other issues.  But, I don’t – because I know if I go in, I’ll have a co-pay – and maybe even another deductible and a percentage to pay if I’m admitted.  Those living on welfare – don’t pay a cent for healthcare.  Why?  Because their costs are already rolled into our health insurance premiums and higher-priced medical care.  Now tell me how that is fair.

My proposal for the health care issue is easy – reduce the amount they receive in welfare.  Yep, that is right.  If they get $1,000 a month on welfare (just a number, I really don’t know how much they get), then reduce that down to $800 – and put that towards some kind of general health care fund.  When they have to go to a doctor or emergency room, make them pay some kind of co-pay.  Then, we will see some of our doctor’s offices and emergency rooms open up more.  It still is a far cry from what we have to pay in premiums each year – but the fact is, they should be responsible for paying something.  Heck, with having something like this, it may actually help to reduce our health care costs.  Who would have thought?

Well, then what happens if they don’t pay their medical bills?  Simple.  Garnish their welfare wages.  Afterall, that is what would happen if we don’t pay our medical bills, right?

Many individuals probably won’t read my blog entry down to this point, but I’m absolutely tired of how this system works.  I can’t think of another single place on earth where we have such a liberal welfare system.  If you live in Austrailia, you don’t get a handout.  They will require you to at least work and do some kind of community service in order to earn your keep.  Sure, it might be a brain-numbing job of counting how many cars go by an intersection every day, but what does this do?  It motivates people to find a real, paying job.  Wouldn’t that be nice – seeing those on welfare out in the cold of the winter – or hot of the summer – counting the number of cars going by an intersection?  But if they don’t do it, then they wouldn’t get their welfare check.

Another proposition I have for overhauling the welfare system is reducing the number of kids allowed on welfare.  This is very controversial opinion – and many won’t agree with me – but if you have a child that is delivered and paid for by the government, you are done – no more.  You get one child if the child is brought into the world on the welfare system.  No more.  Right now this number is more like four or five – over TWICE the “replication” number of a mother and father.  This will also reduce health care costs.  Think about it – instead of having four or five kids delivered and brought into the world on welfare, there is now only one.  Instead of having four or five kids that may have medical problems in the course of 18+ years, now there is only one.  Big reduction, see?

So, once a child is delivered through the means of welfare or paid for by our government, that mother would then have their “tubes tied” to prevent any other pregnancies – wanted or unwanted.  Yes, again, I realize this is very controversial – but the buck must stop somewhere.  By reducing the amount of children that are brought into the world through public money, it will slowly reverse the affects of povery – thus making a more stable nation and actually decreasing costs for all of us.  The fact of the matter is – if you can’t afford to have kids, then you shouldn’t make society pay for them on your behalf.

Many reading this will think “the world is not fair”.  I agree.  It is not.  There are a very small amount of individuals that have more money than they could ever use.  There is a larger majority that barely have enough to live.  There are others that legitimately struggle to survive doing everything they possibly can to survive.  But, the ever-increasing rate of poverty in this country – and potentially other countries – I believe are fully brought upon by the government and the public aid programs in place that actually encourage this behavior.  Therefore, replicating poverty.

Eventually – and this time may be coming much sooner than later with the current hyperbolic nature of those living in poverty – the government will no longer be able to tax us enough to continue paying for the public aid programs.  This probably has already began occurring – so instead states are cutting the budgets for services that us working-class Americans use and enjoy – in favor of ensuring welfare checks and services are still timely to those living on the system.  Doesn’t that leave a bad taste in your mouth?