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Friday, October 5, 2012

Our Life's Biggest Mysteries

I mean this to be funny, but I'm probably going to piss y'all off, sorry!

1- If I stay at home to take care of my kids, I'm not supporting them, unless I turn it into a business by taking care of other people's children too.

2- No matter what, I should put my kids in daycare for around 150.00 a week for each of my two boys so that I can work a job making about 400.00 a month. (When I had them in Daycare, it was 150.00 a week for each, but I was given a discount for having two, so I was charged 257.25 a week for both. IIRC) Provided that I can obtain that job, because I have tried and I'm either over qualified or I have not had a stable job history. (Employers tell me both - when they bother to call me back or send a letter to give a reason, most of the time I hear nothing, and bugging them just makes them start hanging up on me, lol!) Doing the math, the state would help me pay that (I'm going to use the easy to multiply number of 250 for the both of them 250*4=1000.00) 1000.00 a month so that I could work a job making around 400.00 dollars a month. (Working part time minimum wage because - again, if anyone would hire me - that is the kind of job I'd have to work.) But I'm bitched out for making the tax payers have to pay welfare because I "refuse" to get a job... (Which, ironically if I did get a job, they'd be paying welfare AND daycare, costing the taxpayers more, shrugs.)

3- I went to school because I was tired of no one hiring me, and that cost the tax payers a pretty penny, racked me up a huge amount of debt, and hasn't yet resulted in a job. To be fair, this has more to do with the fact that the state stopped paying our daycare and I literally couldn't finish my degree. However, Hubby is now working on his second degree - while I stay at home and take care of the boys - because he couldn't get a job with his first degree. Hubby worked for three years at a minimum wage sandwich shop because it was the ONLY place that would hire him, and they hired him ONLY because he got a reference from a case worker. His job did not get us off of welfare, it simply lowered the amount of benefits they gave us each month. The mystery is that we get blamed for not trying hard enough, not doing whatever it takes, and "sitting" on welfare. Yeah...

4- Another mystery is that taxpayers blame those on welfare for getting "free money" and doing nothing. Everyone apparently knows someone who abuses the system. I don't. The mystery is this: (I'm going put this on a very small scale so that it's easier to illustrate.)

Imagine a small town of only 200 adults. Lets say that ideally, there is 100 women, 100 men, and they are all married so that there is exactly 100 couples. They each have 2 kids, so that's 200 kids. Also in this town, there are exactly 100 jobs. No more; it's a small town in the middle of nowhere after all. In this ideal town, each couple chooses 1 spouse to go to work and one spouse to stay home. Of the jobs, 10 make 80,000 a year or more, 50 make minimum wage, and the rest make something in between.

Very soon, something happens in this "ideal" little town. One of the 50 people making minimum wage realizes that he or she cannot support his/her family on minimum wage, but luckily, another person on minimum wage just lost his/her job, so the first person gets his or her spouse to take that job, and now they have two incomes and can mostly support their family. For ease of simplicity, this couple's children both go to school, so they do not have to worry about paying daycare while they work.

UH-OH! Now the person who lost his/her job has no income, and neither does the spouse! They apply for any job they can get, but no one is hiring. There are no jobs to be had! They have to get help from the state and get called names for refusing to work to support their children.

Moving is not an option because they have no money, and all the other towns are exactly the same. (In this example, and whether people want to admit it or not, in real life too...)

Tired of the tedium of not working, one decides to go back to school (online because this town is too small to have a college), and eventually gets a degree. This person manages to impress the employer of one of those 100 jobs, and takes one of the 80,000 a year or more jobs. But now the person who had that job is laid off. He or she has a great work history and great skills, and so manages to impress one of the employers of the 40 median jobs. Now that median worker is laid off, but manages to snag one of the minimum wage jobs. Suddenly, there is another family in this town on welfare!

Rather than shut up and be grateful that this family takes the pittance of welfare, people resent them. Why should this family get something for nothing? Everyone else has to work after all! This family gets tired of getting dumped on all the time, so one of the adults goes online and gets a degree, but it doesn't help. So he/she gets another one and this time manages to snag a median job.

The result is another minimum wage worker pushed out of a job and another family on welfare. This family uses their time at home to support themselves in other ways. They make their own stuff as much as possible. They do without all the toys, and grow their own food as much as possible (and no I am not referring to us here. We have black thumbs no matter how much we try).

They take as little of the welfare as they can, but still people give them shit for "refusing" to get a job and support their family...

Do you want to know what I think? I know it's unconventional and will probably piss everyone off, but here's the two biggest mysteries in life, not just mine.

1- People always blame the poor for being poor. It is a prime example of fearing what you don't understand. It's the fear that one day that could easily be anyone. They blame the poor for not trying hard enough. It's a mystery why this is the natural tendency of humans when just about every religion on the planet commands us to show compassion to and help the poor and unfortunate. Rather than blame and fear them, show compassion and gratitude that because they exist, you have your job and opportunities. It IS a universal truth that there is not a job for every single person who can work on this planet. Therefore, either those who cannot find jobs must either work for themselves (by planting a garden or making their own clothes or something else that probably doesn't earn a good income) OR they must rely on the charity of others.

2- The other biggest mystery in life is that it IS the responsibility of the government to care for the people. ALL the people. Yet when the government does a good job of this, the people protest and complain that it's not fair and it's not right. Since when did keeping people off the streets and making sure they have food to eat become something terrible? It's a mystery why people resent this.

I also want the system to change. I want people - in this so called christian nation - to be good christians. I want them to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Do not judge.
Do not fear.
Do not cast stones.
If you see someone in need, help them.
Do not complain about it.

This reminds me of something I read in a Dear Abby column (I WISH I could find it online somewhere, but it was in a paper a long time ago).

The person writing in wrote something like: My good friend asked to borrow money for this that and the other. I have borrowed her money before, and she always pays it back, so I said yes. Today, I discovered that she used that money to - in addition to what she said she would - buy a bottle of wine, some makeup, and a new dress. I'm livid! How dare she spend my money on such frivolous things!

To which Abby responded something like this: Dear Livid, first of all, that is not your money. You loaned it to her and have a fair expectation of getting paid back. It is now hers to do whatever she wants with it. Second of all, even if you had given it to her, it would still not be your money anymore. A gift is a gift, and you cannot dictate how it is used. Maybe she needed that makeup and dress for a job interview you don't know about yet. In any case, keep your nose out of it!

I love that advice. People get SOOOOOOOO emotional about money! The economy is shit, so we have taken to blaming each other about how we spend our money that we have earned or been given. I was talking to someone else about food earlier, and this little gem of advice came out of my fingertips:

The solution is not to restrict choice, but to remove all restrictions and improve choice!

Rather than give a person a "choice" between a job and welfare, and then blaming them when they, ahem, "choose" welfare, why not give them another option? Perhaps a solution to this would be to make some of the illegal jobs legal, so that they literally CAN'T "play" the system. (By dealing drugs for example and then collecting welfare. See, add choices.)

Why not consider them paid stay at home workers who are NOT taking your job from you?

Why not create a field of jobs for all people who stay at home - whether due to disability or any other reason - in which so long as they are doing something to take care of themselves - such as gardening or cooking or making clothes or occasionally watching the neighbor's kid - they get credit for all the hard work they are doing.

Why not stop blaming them?

Ok, in my head this was funny in a satire kind of way, but as I read it, it doesn't sound funny at all. I honestly meant this as a satire piece that questions the way things are done, but it probably just comes across as either whining or trying to excuse my "lazy" behavior. Ok, I get that. Doesn't mean that it has no valid points... More than anything, I just want people to think about things from the other side for a bit.

That is all, have a happy day :-)
(And by all means, feel free to argue with me, just do it politely, thank you!)

7 comments:

  1. Even if I think about it "from the other side" this sounds like an excuse...
    Me nor my husband grew up rich and we still aren't. He needed surgery this year so I paid someone to come help him at home while I went to work. We have worked HARD for everything we have and I refuse to lose it because a car accident turned out lives upside down.
    Everyone makes a choice in this lifetime...some people choose to fight and others choose not to fight...but it is still a choice.
    ***Shrugs*** But we already know my view points...I wrote a blog that was probably the catalyst for this one...

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  2. I am glad that you fight for what is right :-)

    No, your blog was not the catalyst for this one, I've been thinking about writing this for months, but didn't want to actually make a post because I was afraid of getting bitched out. I guess your email asking me why I was so afraid did give me the courage to actually post it, lol!

    My main point is that when you took a job, it was taking it away from someone else who deserved it just as much as you did. They should not be blamed for being less qualified or available or pretty than you. Hell! In this economy, you probably took that job away from 100 other applicants. That's great for you, but what are they supposed to do? (NOT blaming you, just pointing this out.)

    The only way to truly make sure everyone has an equal share for equal work is to cap how much a single person/family can earn and give the rest to those who make less, but that is never going to happen. (It would be taking from the rich and giving to the poor. It would be socialism! It would be something I wouldn't vote for because it would take away precious freedoms.)

    BUT people can't have it both ways. Either everyone magically gets a job earning enough to support themselves and their family - meaning that suddenly there is a job for every single person in the world and unemployment completely disappears - OR things stay the way they are with the rich owning most of the money, the poor getting all the blame for all the problems, and everyone else not caring about it.

    Lastly, thank you for your post :-) Believe it or not, I do not entirely disagree with you. I also think that some people make stupid choices on how to spend their welfare money, but it's not my job to judge them. It's my job to show them compassion.

    By the way, for those who are interested in and agree with my friend Elly (one of my BFF's btw) here's the link to her blog post: http://ellyhelcl.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-disturbing-trend.html

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  3. Roxy as the old saying goes 'haters will hate so let them' I feel that your post has some points I don't think I agree with them all. I did how ever laugh when you said that we should make drug dealing legal. However I don't feel that you use the system there are a lot of people out there who do. " one bad apple will ruin the whole bag" What I mean by this is.... There is a group of 25 people standing together a passer by looks over at them and what do they see? They see a group of 25 people they don't/refuse to see the 25 different individuals that make up that group of people. So when one of the 25 do something "wrong" lack of better word. People still see that person as a group of 25. Is it fair and is it right NO but that is the way it is and if it changes it will only change one person at a time and how long that will take is to long to think about. Do you remember telling you mom when you where younger and your friend got something that you didn't get and saying "that's not fair' Then she would say "life isn't fair". I see it that way now when people get going with its not fair you don't have you work and the rest of us do so forth and so on tell them life isn't fair turn around and skip down the road. :) just food for thought.

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  4. I have a different perspective based on my experience. Nearly 5 years ago I was put in a position where I could no longer enjoy the luxury of being a stay at home mom supported solely by my husband for nearly 7 years. I applied at no less than 50 companies in a one month period of time. (Not exaggerating, I kept a list- everything from Burger King to machine shops.) I received 2 phone calls, one looking for someone with experience I did not have, and another offering me a part time night-shift job at a grocery store. I hated leaving my 2 kids at night, but a night shift meant no daycare, they could be home with their dad while he looked for a day job. They were reluctant to hire me as I had no recent work history, but I had drive and motivation- I had kids that needed me to provide for them. I worked 24-32 hours a week making more than minimum wage, but not much more. We were on food stamps, about $200 a month and Medical assistance for the kids. We received no other assistance, we scrapped by, I paid MY OWN bills, rent, phone, car. I was the sole provider for my family. 8 months later after a lot of hard work and little sleep, I applied for an overnight management job at that store and was promoted with a decent pay raise. I cancelled my food stamps because I hated being on them. I am still the SOLE PROVIDER for my family due to some unforseen medical issues with my husband. We are only on medical assistance because I can't afford to have that money taken from my paycheck. I refuse to take anything else. I pay for everything for my family. I believe in a different post you referenced how little you get in food support, our food budget is only $300-$400 a month, much lower than yours and it comes out of my pocket. We do not live frivolously, we live paycheck to paycheck and one slip means bills don't get paid. My kids understand and respect that I work hard and have to miss out on things because I am willing to sacrifice my life to provide for them. I must also add that I am currently 34 weeks pregnant (a surprising wrench thrown into the gears) and I am still working 40 hours a week at a very physical job where I am on my feet 8 hours a night. I am not looking for sympathy, just trying to convey that 5 years ago I NEVER thought I could do this, but I get up everyday and move forward because I don't give myself another option.
    I am left to draw the conclusions from your post that either you are selling yourself, and what you could accomplish, short- not realizing what you could achieve by yourself if you tried; or you have no desire to try because life is a lot easier when your needs are met for you. (Please understand that I know you are not living in the lap of luxury and there are plenty of things your family does not have because of your situation, but my family misses out too, and it only makes the rewards that much sweeter when we have worked hard to reach them.)

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    Replies
    1. May I also add that working in a grocery store I constantly see people that are abusing the system, spending food stamps on junk food and nothing else, spending cash assistance on cigarettes, or pulling out wads of cash from thier wallets to buy things they don't "need" like lotto tickets while still using food stamps on groceries. (I consider these things abuse because if you can waste money why do you need help buying food?)

      I don't believe you are abusing the system, I understand you legitimately qualify for support. I just want to be clear that I am not trying to criticize, just giving you another view point.

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    2. I love hearing about success stories. I think it's beautiful the way you have persevered and over come. I do believe that one day it will be my turn too, but in the meantime, I have to survive. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting :-) It totally makes my day!

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I welcome and encourage everyone to comment... except spammers and bots. So, I am sorry that I have to require the captcha, but I've now officially got 10 times more comments from spammers than real people. Thank you for your comment and have a happy day :-)

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