Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Judging people on public assistance.

It's wrong.

When you see someone at the grocery store wearing a nice coat and owning a cell phone, but using public assistance to buy food, don't judge them for making bad choices. Maybe they used to have money and a job, and have held onto the luxury durable goods of their previous lifestyle while being unable to maintain that life on their new, lower income.

ernnunos writes:
Many people will be poorer, but will cling to the few trappings of wealth they accumulated in better times. And I won't hold that against them. That is one of the benefits of durable goods, after all. Once you have them, you can enjoy them for a long time, regardless of changing circumstances. You may not be able to afford heating oil thanks to inflation, but the flat screen TV you bought years ago still works. Selling it wouldn't get you enough to heat for more than a few weeks, and then you'd be cold and have no TV. You may be unemployed now, but the Le Creuset cookery you bought when you had a good job still works, and still makes eating inexpensively at home a joy. Which is good, since you probably aren't eating out much anymore.

So be kind when you see these sorts of incongruities. In fact, you might want to think about acquiring a few durable luxuries yourself. The lifestyle of a shabby aristocrat still beats the lifestyle of a straight pauper who never had luxuries to enjoy in the first place.

I've been that person in the very nice clothes, using foodstamps to buy beans and rice and maybe a steak once a month (well, okay, I was a child but I was there in the grocery store when it happened). And there were days we didn't eat, or had as our only meal the free lunch at school, even though I had nice clothes and manners (all from my Nana). But having a few nice things made it possible to hope for and work toward having a better life; without that hope, I couldn't have made it out.


Joshkie said...

Yes some will use it as a stepping stone to get back on their feet and some will get used to it and start playing the system.

Why open your self up to that temptation.

Here's a heart warming story about what you can acomplish with out taking government assitance.


Video #2 has the story.
Video #1 is back story.

Joshkie said...

Ps. Amanda Zych is my hero.

Kai Jones said...

No, Joshkie, you can't accomplish anything without government assistance. Government built the roads, government made the laws, government provides the framework for your success.

I made it out of poverty--I made it out of living (as a child) with a drug dealer, getting free lunch at school, not always having the electricity turned on. I did it without using the social safety net of welfare and foodstamps after I turned 18 and left home, but I had plenty of government assistance--and I started with intelligence and determination, and HOPE, none of which are universal.

You have completely missed the point. You don't know the backstory for the person you see at the grocery store using food stamps, or for that matter the person driving that BMW (who might have a debt load greater than my entire lifetime earnings and who can't sleep at night for worrying over how to pay the bills).

Joshkie said...

No I don't know the back story of the person or why they felt the need to take a hand out instead of figuring out how to take care of themselves, but this dosn't mean I have to agree with the decision they have made.
They are probable good people that figure that this is the only way they can survive at the moment, as long as they are not trying to force me or guilt me into takeing care of them and my self at the same time we will not have a problem.
They are ultimently responsible for the things that happen in their lives and how they deal with them; not me. When you take a handout you are moving that responsibility to others. In essence saying I no longer can take care of my self and others need to do it for me.
I wrote an essay, that covers this part of my philosophy, and can be found on my blog here.


I wasn't making a personal judgement. Just because I think they are makeing a bad choice dosn't make them a bad person.

As to whether we can acomplish anything with or with out the government; people made the roads, people made the laws and poeple made the framework for the government. Governments, in my opinion, if left to get out of hand does more to stifle our accomplishments and growth than it does to help.

Sorry, this was long-winded, You are looking at this from your background and experiences and I from mine. I was just trying to give another perspective.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a happy New year.