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The W - Current Events & Politics - Is it immoral or embarassing to be on food stamps?
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Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 508 days
Last activity: 468 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.62
    Originally posted by PaulKTF

    Why tweet about it in the first place? What purpose does that serve? If I was on the food stamps program; I sure wouldn't want people to know about it. It's not something I'd be proud of.

    Originally posted by PaulKTF

    Besides; I think that supplementing her income with another steady job is a much more responsable way to handle the situation than going on food stamps.


I don't mean to rag on PaulKTF. I'm sure he's not the only person who feels this way.
Story time: I found out several months back that I was eligible for a very tiny amount per month on the Wisconsin QUEST card program. I mentioned it to a friend of mine and he said it would be very inappropriate for me to apply for it, because I don't actually need it. In fact he would have been so disgusted by it that it might affect our friendship. I got a raise shortly thereafter and moved past the threshold, so it ended up being a moot point.

I contended (and continue to contend) that if I am eligible for something, it's in no way inappropriate for me to apply for it. Imagine instead of $10 per month from the state to spend on food (that's seriously all I would have been eligible for), they give out a tax break that cuts my state tax bill by $120. At the end of the day there is no difference between these two scenarios, so why should I feel embarrassed by one but entirely cool with the other?
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lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 6 hours
Last activity: 16 min.
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.83
Again, I was on it and a struggling college kid. I also had a job that paid taxes, so I viewed as pre-paying for food.



The Wee Baby Sheamus.
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 3 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.18
I'd not be embarrassed, exactly. But I guess I would be, really.

When I was 22, I was newly married and making a tiny amount as the wife went to college and I worked at a job for minimum wage while I tried to figure out what to do after the Army.

no OT, and at once point, they cut my hours. We talked about food stamps, but we never followed through as I found another job and was able to pick up an additional 20 hours a week (same wage) working weekends and some nights.

I think even with that, I suspect we qualified for food stamps. But we were raised (both of us) not to accept charity and that's what food stamps (and other government programs) seemed to be to us. So, we never applied.

Look, I see a use for them. For a person who is having trouble getting work, especially with a family at home and all that, of course. I do see some embarrassment in a person who has a job and little other responsibilities using them. Leave that for the people that need them. While I don't know the wrestler guy's situation - bet he's got a cell, bet he's got a gym membership, bet he's got a car and all that, because, as someone said, he's following his dream.

Sacrifice was always part of dream following in the past- if I was in his situation, of course, I don't know his whole situation - but I might be making decisions - do have a real chance of making to the level where I will get paid in this business - if I am dedicated so much to doing that, what can I cut out of my life to make that happen - it might be all those things above, it might even be relationships. You read about some of the great artists, in order to dedicate themselves to their work cut out so much to make it work.

Is it immoral? it is if you cheat the system, as some do. Is it embarrassing? It would be for me.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

shawnpatrick
Kishke








Since: 31.7.07
From: Leesville SC

Since last post: 945 days
Last activity: 828 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.67
Food Stamps actually is quite easy to get if you are a college student, on social security, or just don't make much money. Nothing immoral about it at all.

However, I do think they need to change it so you can't be buying sodas, Fritos, candy bars, etc. And it's riddled with fraud, I've seen many times where cards were swiped and cash exchanged on a .50 cent per dollar amount when I used to route sales. Basically, corner store swipes card for say $100, then gives person $50 in cash, meanwhile no actual food transaction is taking place.
Mike Zeidler
Pepperoni








Since: 27.6.02

Since last post: 127 days
Last activity: 87 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
A former friend of my wife's used to brag that she was on food stamps, which I found to be a little distasteful. The original tweet was celebratory, and I'm OK with that, because really if you're at the point where you're hoping to qualify for food stamps, it's only natural to be happy hen your situation changes for the better.

So I guess, it's slightly embarrassing (to me) to be on food stamps, but I'll not begrudge anybody their initial happiness for being able to more easily afford food.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 1 day
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by shawnpatrick


    However, I do think they need to change it so you can't be buying sodas, Fritos, candy bars, etc. And it's riddled with fraud, I've seen many times where cards were swiped and cash exchanged on a .50 cent per dollar amount when I used to route sales. Basically, corner store swipes card for say $100, then gives person $50 in cash, meanwhile no actual food transaction is taking place.


I'm with you there. It shouldn't be so restrictive that all they can buy is bologna and cheese, but high priced items and junk food has to go.

This guy got steak and lobster on a welfare programe. STEAK AND LOBSTER! For free!
Click Here (snopes.com)


This other guy in Michican won $2 million in a lottery and still qualifies for welfare and isn't ashamed to stop using it. His lotto winnings aren't considered liquid so don't count towards his gross income. Unless he got the cash option, it looks like he will die before the 20 (or 25) yearly payments are up.

Click Here (myfoxboston.com)





-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --
Fuelly
-- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 14 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.71
If I truly needed it, I would, but wouldn't broadcast the event. We have always been fortunate and never needed to receive aid. but most people in my age group would be horrified and embarrassed by the thought.

If needed, it is a valuable program provided that the long-term goal is to get off them, which many (most) do.

And the abuses cited above happen and should be stopped. One of the problems with buying inappropriate items is a lack knowledge regarding nutrition. Another problem is viewing crap or luxuries as a right and necessary. And one last factor is the fact that many simply don't know how to take "raw" foods and prepare them.

As an aside, part of the reason to start that Food Stamp program was to help farmers out on the prices of their crops. Unless its changed, this and WIC make up far more of the USDA budget than payments and aid to farmers.



Perception is reality
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 6 hours
Last activity: 16 min.
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.83
You are going to have abuse in any system. You have to limit it. I also don't see the point in restricting junk food since sometimes that is all one can grab on the way out the door. Making food more for having food stamps defeats the entire purpose of it. Also, a ton of cheese and bologna is not exactly healthy either.



The Wee Baby Sheamus.

Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 14 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.71
    Originally posted by lotjx
    You are going to have abuse in any system. You have to limit it. I also don't see the point in restricting junk food since sometimes that is all one can grab on the way out the door. Making food more for having food stamps defeats the entire purpose of it. Also, a ton of cheese and bologna is not exactly healthy either.


Before a lot of the current budget cutting, programs existed to help in this area. These free programs were through the extension service and other local venues. Programs were aimed at helping those on food stamps learn what to do with unprocessed food, how to cook, develop nutritious meals from scratch, and stretch their food and food stamp dollars. As in most things a lack of education and skills resulted in poor choices. I am talking here regarding those on assistance like this long-term, not those short timers like college students.

And even grabbing something out the door can be healthier and not junk food. For ALL of us it is a matter of making the time to plan and prepare. There is so much involved emotionally, socially, and educationally that we need to address regarding the underclass and this is just one example.





Perception is reality
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 6 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.22
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Before a lot of the current budget cutting, programs existed to help in this area. These free programs were through the extension service and other local venues.


Because of the massive tuition hikes (yet another 30% rumored this year at the UC's) and the cuts to financial aide, students on the campus on which I work have started a food bank for their fellow students who are having trouble making ends meet. They get a limited set of groceries (most, if not all, donated) twice a week, and it's put in a section of campus that is... less visible. The whole project is funded by student fees - fees students choose to pay (on top of tuition) for programs like this.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    As in most things a lack of education and skills resulted in poor choices.


The damage that was (and is being) done to public education - both college (including community college) and primary education - in this country is something for which we will pay for a long, long time. The "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality is simply a dream if their are no affordable educational systems - or no systems in place to support those seeking to improve their lot.


(edited by Leroy on 16.6.11 1150)
shawnpatrick
Kishke








Since: 31.7.07
From: Leesville SC

Since last post: 945 days
Last activity: 828 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.67
In all fairness, the Food Stamp program really isn't that much of a burden, it's $60 billion dollars. Medicaid, Section 8, and the Earned Income Tax Credit cost more.

What I also don't like about the way the US welfare system is set up is that is discourages marriage... Say you are a woman making $12 an hour or less with 3 kids living with her boyfriend who makes $20 an hour.... You probably get a $7,000 income tax refund check, food stamps, free school lunch, Medicaid for the kids, possible section 8 housing etc...

But if that woman would marry her boyfriend, all of the welfare stops. They would no longer qualify for EITC, food stamps, or Medicaid, and their income tax refund check probably becomes non existent.
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 1 day
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by shawnpatrick
    In all fairness, the Food Stamp program really isn't that much of a burden, it's $60 billion dollars. Medicaid, Section 8, and the Earned Income Tax Credit cost more.

    What I also don't like about the way the US welfare system is set up is that is discourages marriage... Say you are a woman making $12 an hour or less with 3 kids living with her boyfriend who makes $20 an hour.... You probably get a $7,000 income tax refund check, food stamps, free school lunch, Medicaid for the kids, possible section 8 housing etc...

    But if that woman would marry her boyfriend, all of the welfare stops. They would no longer qualify for EITC, food stamps, or Medicaid, and their income tax refund check probably becomes non existent.


If they got married, they would be pooling their income and debts (among other things) and that $24,960 a year would be combined with $41,600 her husband makes for a household income of just about $65,000 a year. No couple making that much should qualify for welfare, IMO.

EDIT: Whoops, math fail.

(edited by Zeruel on 17.6.11 0125)


-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --
Fuelly
-- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
shawnpatrick
Kishke








Since: 31.7.07
From: Leesville SC

Since last post: 945 days
Last activity: 828 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.67
But living as boyfriend/girlfriend, they are already pooling in their resources together. The point is, you make more money on welfare with kids, then you do making even $15 an hour.
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by shawnpatrick
    But living as boyfriend/girlfriend, they are already pooling in their resources together


They are paying taxes separately and not filing joint taxes. In your example, ignoring any trap of "common law marriages", it would benefit them to live together but still have her file for aid.

I get your point. They're better off not marrying. In a legal sense, marrying just pools their assets and liabilities, so it DOESN'T make sense to marry if they want to milk the system. I know most people see the spiritual and religious meaning in marriage, but in the bare bones legal sense, they're just promising to file joint taxes and be next-of-kin/power-of-attorney for each other.

Say, the GF is in a coma, the BF has no legal standing to be making medical decisions for her. That falls to her family, for the most part. I'm no lawyer. If they were married, it would be a different story.


Off Topic: Not marrying can have it's advantages. I have a friend who is an Army MP who is on reserve status. If she married her now ex, and baby-daddy, she could be redeployed as her newborn has a legal guardian she could be left with -- the husband. They never decided to marry and she never got recalled to active duty.



(edited by Zeruel on 17.6.11 1605)


-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --
Fuelly
-- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: Kolob

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 3 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.51
We don't have food stamps here...can someone explain what they are?



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Mike Zeidler
Pepperoni








Since: 27.6.02

Since last post: 127 days
Last activity: 87 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
They're a supplemental nutrition assistance program. Basically you get so much a month (formerly in stamp form, now more likely on a "S.N.A.P card") to spend on foodstuffs. I believe alcohol and tobacco products are not covered, along with hot deli items.

In Illinois, not certain of other states/provinces we also have W.I.C., a specific offshoot program for women, infants and children which is more regulated toward things that theoretically provide the proper nutritional value to those groups.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 14 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.71
    Originally posted by Mike Zeidler
    They're a supplemental nutrition assistance program. Basically you get so much a month (formerly in stamp form, now more likely on a "S.N.A.P card") to spend on foodstuffs. I believe alcohol and tobacco products are not covered, along with hot deli items.

    In Illinois, not certain of other states/provinces we also have W.I.C., a specific offshoot program for women, infants and children which is more regulated toward things that theoretically provide the proper nutritional value to those groups.


That's it in a nutshell. It is simply a way to take X amount of money and stretch it. W.I.C. is specifically targeted to poor people in what the government considers critical target groups where nutrition is key for proper development and to prevent both short and long-tern health issues. The idea is to spend money to save money over the long haul. While neither program is perfect, they serve a valuable purpose. However, even with these programs, our small towns foodbank does a brisk business.



Perception is reality
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