I had been meaning to rant about this for a while now, but just talking about it with my aunt got me annoyed all over again.
The welfare system is a scam!
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not on welfare, but I think the intentions of it were good. However, the way those intentions are carried out is crap. The welfare system was basically started decades ago as a way to financially help those in need, and help improve the economy (and that's a basic description, as it gets more complicated).
What irritates me about the welfare system is how it's used to keep people solely dependent upon it and the government. It's basically like this: a person has to be below or very close to the poverty line (last time I checked, that's an income of about $12 to $18 thousand/year) to get welfare. Not so bad, until you factor in employment. If a person is working, it becomes that much harder to get welfare assistance, because if a person makes too much money, even though still poor and needing help, welfare gets taken away.
Am I the only one who sees the problem with that??!! Geez, just because a person is working, it doesn't mean that welfare isn't still needed! Lots of people work and just barely scrape out a living; welfare could be used to help them pay off bills and save some money to help them get back on their feet again. It's an endless cycle of stupidity. Don't have a job? Get welfare. Get a job that pays peanuts? Welfare goes away. HELLOOO!!! It's like a person can't win from losing. How in the world is a person supposed to become financially independent, when the person is punished for not having a job, AND punished for getting one?
The bad thing is, welfare is frowned upon in richer nations like the United States, so people who need the help and clearly qualify for it, half the time don't even get it because of the shame and stigma attached to it (because society is sooooo full of itself and doesn't believe in helping those who need help the most half the time, and if you get financial assistance, people look at you and treat you like a loser, which reduces a person's productivity, which means they stay in a slump, and there goes the cycle again). Oh, and I just HATE it when rich people and those who are well-off sit back and judge those less fortunate than themselves, like they're so great and high-and-mighty, but don't even make the slightest effort to help those people out. Tell them to just get jobs, but won't help them look for any, tell them to just pay bills, but won't help them accomplish that, say they just don't work hard enough, as those with more privilege are frivolous and wasteful. If these people aren't goign to help, they should just be quiet and stop passing judgment.
Now, I do agree that welfare has been abused by SOME people who don't need it (for example, one of my aunts has friends who've talked about people with the latest fashions and nicest cars and most recent technology and expensive hair styles getting welfare, which is just stupid), but I'm of the opinion that most people on welfare need the help.
Which brings me to another issue about welfare: the people and the stereotypes. Most of the people on welfare are single white mothers with one, maybe two kids, and the longest they stay on welfare is usually about 6 months to 2 years, depending on circumstances. Most people on welfare are also responsible (regardless of skin color). But why the heck do so many people just LOVE to stereotype welfare recipients as lazy slobs, having 14 kids, and non-white? The color of the person on welfare shouldn't even matter, and secondly, just because people are on welfare it doesn't mean they're inferior. For the ones who really need the help, they just had bad luck. My parents always told me to NEVER judge or look down on those less fortunate than myself, because things happen and I could BE one of them, and that's what I always remember.
Welfare isn't just one big block, it includes such services as WIC (for single parents who need help feeding and caring for their children), food stamps (so people can still eat while trying to improve their situations), free lunches (children in school who might otherwise go hungry), and subsidized housing (a way for those who need the help to find a place to live at a reduced price so they don't end up homeless and on the streets). Yet, ALL these services are affected by employment! Like I stated earlier, welfare is now used to keep people dependent; even though they need help, if they make just a little too much money, the services get reduced or just plain taken away, so some people are forced to choose between working and struggling or staying on welfare but having no independence, and some people who'd love to take care of themselves are stuck on welfare. I can't think of too many people (except maybe gold-diggers and incredibly lazy people) who actually WANT to depend on hand-outs. Welfare should be go hand-in-hand with employment. People shouldn't have to choose, they should be able to get welfare assistance while working until they can improve their situations (finding better employment, or finishing school, or paying off debt, etc...), and once things get better for them, THAT's when welfare should go away, when they no longer require such help. It's common sense, but it's not done in practice.
One other thing that annoys me about the way the welfare system is handled, it's incredibly biased. Single people with no children and married couples with no children have a more difficult time of getting welfare than just single people with kids (some married couples with kids might have trouble getting it because it's just assumed that ONE of them brings in enough money to care for all of them). What's that all about?! What do they honestly think, that just because people don't have kids, they're just swimming in pools of money?! Oh, and don't EVEN get me started on the HOMELESS and welfare. Often they can't get it like single parents with kids, even when there's a good chance they need it the most! WTF!!
I think it's just ALL messed up. Get a job or make the slightest amount of money, and "no welfare for you!". Homeless? Single with no kids? Married with no kids? "Too bad, you better wait behind the single parents with kids". "Hey hey! You married people with kids have to wait too, because ONE of you should have enough money for all of you".
I'm not even going to get into the topic of people who care for non-human animals (called 'pets') who need help (people talk about it being so horrible they get neglected, but when times get hard, sometimes they get left behind, where they can suffer all sorts of things like starvation, accidents, and death).
Why is it seemingly okay to have a hierarchy in place for providing help?!!