Monday, November 1, 2010

Perhaps Someone Needs a Dictionary

I will start this dissection with a few facts. (If you've never seen those before, they're these things that you can totally lie about, but lying about them doesn't actually make them go away.)

Income limits to receive food stamps in California:

1 person gross monthly income: $1,127 (yearly gross $13,524)
2 people gross monthly income: $1,517 (yearly gross $18,204
3 people gross monthly income: $1,907 (yearly gross $22,884)
4 people gross monthly income: $2,297 (yearly gross $27,564)

So, in order to qualify for food stamps, one person cannot make more than $13,524. That is not a lot of money. That is, in fact, $6.50 an hour at 40 hours a week- less than the federal minimum wage of $7.75. You could not, therefore, get food stamps if you were working full time, even at minimum wage.

The two largest welfare programs -- by far -- are Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and food stamps. In 1992, the average yearly AFDC family payment was $4,572, and food stamps for a family of three averaged $2,469, for a total of $7,041. (1) In that year, the poverty level for a mother with two children was $11,186. (2) Thus, these two programs paid only 63 percent of the poverty level, and 74 percent of a minimum wage job.

Yes, those numbers are old, but does anyone really think welfare payments have gone up significantly since 1992? I doubt it, too.

Why do I make this point? Because an awful lot of people seem to think being poor in America is just awesome. Poor people are rolling in it. Being poor in America is so much better than being wealthy and paying a higher nominal tax rate.

Yeah, making minimum wage and trying to pay rent and buy food- let alone pay for anything else, is just so fantastic, we should all do it. Yay!

There is a lot riding on the election results that are now just a few days away. Everyone has a lot to lose or perhaps gain from this election. Across America there are tens of thousands of businesses that are holding on by a thread. They are counting on a new course for our country being charted that will give them at minimum a slim chance to survive. And there are tens of millions of Americans that are out of work, and simply a nervous wreck not knowing if they will lose their jobs any day now. All have so much to lose.

But there is another group that has far more to lose than all the rest. They are the poor amongst us all. Most of them voted for Obama and most of the Democrats. For when you’re down and out you will warm to anyone that tells you what you want to hear. It is hard to listen to the truth when the truth hurts. It is easy to listen to a rant of propaganda blaming all your ills on others and a promise to punish others by taking some of what they have away from them and giving it to you. They give you what you need. Someone else to blame for all that you do not have. They also give you a reason to hate the very same people who they take from in order to provide for you.

Yes, the poor are like leeches on the deserving working folk- who are the new poor. (Don't get me started on how that happened, though I'm sure John Hutchison can blame that on the poor, too.)

So, how can we, the poor, stop the recession, lower unemployment and save the country we destroyed? Giving up our cell phones.

Might be a good idea to start reducing your discretionary spending. You know, cable TV, cell phones, video rentals, eating out, custom wheels and McDonalds! After all, you can’t have it your way for very much longer.

The dollar menu is too much for you anymore! It's a luxury. Start eating garbage, you worthless piece of shit. Custom wheels? Not on $13k a year. I think John Hutchison is confusing poor people for, well, rich people. Who else has custom "wheels", by which I assume he means cars. Or something. I'm not so hip as Mr. Hutchison. And video rentals! That's for rich folks! What are you thinking, renting a Dee-vee-dee for $1 from one of those red boxes? That's for people who aren't sucking the blood of the body politic, you parasite!

So if you’re on welfare and don’t want to lose your benefits than you need to start thinking about providing something back to the very people who have provided assistance to you all their working lives. All I am asking you to do is help us do what must be done to get America on track again.

Unemployment is 20% in some places. Where the fuck are these people supposed to find jobs to get themselves off of public assistance when there are 5 people vying for every 1 available job? Where the fuck are they supposed to get the skills to qualify for the jobs? Mr. Hutchison doesn't know- just do it! Stop being poor, it's easy!


  1. Gawd, this is like those "helpful" financial tips to save like $45,000/year by not buying lattes.

    Such tidbits always assume that you're spending your money on such things in the first place.

  2. I really hate those people, especially the ones who go on about how poor people are so well off they even have "color TV". I tried and hard as I looked I could not find a black and white TV for sale anywhere, I bet if I could it would cost more than a color one. Once after hearing one of these rants I went looking for all the "luxeries" poor people are said to have, Color TV, DVD, microwave, 2 cars etc. I was able to find all of these treasures including the cars for under 1500 dollars. This is not wealth, second hand stuff is easy to come buy and cheap. That is not what poverty is about, poverty is paying for the electricity to power these luxuries, poverty is about not being able to afford fresh vegetables and healthy food, poverty is lack of health insurance, poverty is one paycheck from not making rent. Poverty is juggling the bills to buy your child a textbook or an outfit for the scool play.

    I am one of the supposed wealthy that suffer from hight taxes, or was before I became one of the 20% unemployed. Not that I actually had wealth, I lived in an apartment and struggled for bills, but on paper I had a middle class income. Now I have a job at half my former wage, and I struggle for everything. I think these kill the poor types would be surprised to find I don't blame food stamps for my unemployment, I praise them for feeding my kids. At heart I am closer to these peoples political views than one might think but the difference is that many Republicans and "Libertarians" lack vision. They think that if we just cut this program or the other it will fix everything. They fail to see that everything is linked. Cutting food stamps won't fix the economy, the opposite is true, if we fix the economy then we might have the luxury of cutting food stamps.

    Yes social programs to hamper economic growth, but contrary to myth they do not cause economic hardship. It is the other end of the spectrum, the corrupt speculators and corporate welfare that causes the harm. First we need to build an economy where there is no need for social programs then we can eliminate them. However as long as 1% of the people lord it over 90% of the wealth that won't happen. Let the government crack down on wasteful companies and investors to the same degree as people would have them crack down on the poor and then we may see improvement. Make the cuts to pork spending, kickbacks and corruption that they would make to some poor guys unemployment check and then we will see positive change. Sadly this isnt going to happen as long as we keep voting based on attack adds, empty rhetoric and vague promises.

  3. It absolutely shocks people IRL when, in response to some sally about the evils of food stamps and welfare queens, I say, "I'm happy that my taxes go to pay for people to eat. I wish they gave people more to eat. I wonder how many people could go to college for free if we stopped going to war on brown people?"

    It absolutely shocks me that people find war spending morally superior to feeding Ryk and Ryk's kids.

  4. Right-on. Tell it like it is!

  5. I agree with Ryk *SO MUCH*!

    i'm one of "those people" -

    i'm not ALLOWED to work [and, being honest, not *capable*, either - i'm STILL looking for a *real* job that i can do lying down. jokes about becoming a hooker are NOT OK here, thanks. yes, i made them about myself, TWO YEARS AGO. now, it's not funny]

    i get foodstamps, some small amount of TANF [its how Ohio pays state disability] and Medicaid.

    $200 in FoodStamps - but some of that? is for Pete. who makes BARELY $800/month, and is [of necessity] supporting TWO people on that.
    $115 in TANF/Disability.
    amedicaid - covering over $2000/month, not counting whatever happens with the dentist.

    my other option is, quite literally, living on the street.

    sure, i "own" a color TV [20 years old and DYING] and a DVD player [ Bday present from friend 3 years ago,$40 bucks]. Pete has a netflix account [$9/month] my cellphone is paid by my dad, on his account, and it's $12/m.
    we have TWO utility bills - Power and Internet. the internet is like $30 a month.
    i have a car. now, until exactly one year and 7 days ago, this car was a car i bought in 2000 and was paid off waaaaaaaay back, when i COULD and *DID* work [my ass off! i worked FOUR JOBS at one point AND went to school!!!]
    Pete totaled my car. with the money i got from THAT, i bought a 99 Nisson Centra, and this lap-top [bcuz my old laptop, that i got as a SCHOLARSHIP, was DYING. before the scholarship laptop, i didn't HAVE a computer of my own]. the CHEAP insurance on my car is $53/month. Required by law.

    that's IT, except for i sometimes buy books. bcuz i need books - cut me, i'd bleed ink and pepsi.

    the "newest" clothing i have is 2+ years old, and ALL of it was cheap crap from WalMart.

    what am i supposed to do if those programs go away?

    i'll tell you what WILL HAPPEN.

    i'll die. i, probably, won't starve to death. and probably won't die of exposure - chances are, my medical problems will kill me first [fuck, just being forced to stop my meds all at once cold-turkey will probably kill me].
    but if i DON'T die from lack-of-meds, i can look forward to a comparitively-slow death, as the things wrong with me are left un-treated. and, if they don't kill me quickly ENOUGH, then i WILL die of starvation and exposure.

    THAT'S what all the people advocating "getting rid" of those programs are wanting to do.

    i know, i know - they'll say "your family should take care of you!"
    which part? my mother and her husband, both of whom are as disabled as I [more so, in my mother's case, *I* think!], live off their SSDI and food stamps, have medical bills even HIGHER than mine – and custody of my youngest sister's 7 and 8 y-o kids? if these assholes have their way, they'll have NOTHING
    my dad? at least *HE* has a job - and a wife JUST as disabled, and the ONLY reason they can pay for their house is because *SHE* gets disability. but... if they lose her SSDI, they'll lose their HOUSE! No NO money to “help” [read:support] me!
    Pete? we've covered that he makes BARELY $800/month. he's been looking for a new job for MONTHS. note the unemployment rate. he's lucky to HAVE *THIS* job.
    my sisters? lets see - one is disabled, married, has a 14-year old, and needs a hysterectomy that her husband's insurance won't pay for [he works for a catholic hospital. 'nuff said]. and, her med issues aside, they BARELY can support themselves. they're supposed to find several thousand more a month to support me?
    my youngest sister is... look, she's has TWO jobs that i know of since she's turned 18. and she's now 27. she's generally HOMELESS.

    and... that's IT for "family".

    those programs disappear, so do I.

  6. "It absolutely shocks me that people find war spending morally superior to feeding Ryk and Ryk's kids."

    But if we don't blow up those brown peoples in the desert then who will?

    What strikes me is the futility of the whole thing. I kind of wish there was some decent selfish reason for the invasion of Iraq, like Oil or Money. But there's no way America was ever going to make back the money they spent on the war.


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