The other day I saw a “share” from a Facebook friend that got me thinking. The share was a photo of Ronald Reagan and it said something like, “The best form of welfare is a job”. Now, I agree with that. I have a blog that I have been working on in my mind for a while about something like that – will be coming eventually. I really do agree with the line “we need to give people a hand up and not a hand out.” A job that has a decent pay, insurance benefits, and retirement benefits is what most people need. That is what will pull America up.
OK – so back to the Facebook “share”, it wasn’t the photo of Ronald Reagan that hit me and irritated me, it was the comments below it. So many comments of “Yah, we need to get rid of welfare, that would fix it”. . . . many, many comments that pretty much said this. Now, I believe the welfare system is very broken. I believe the welfare system needs to be changed. When I worked at the health department I did come across people who could have worked, but just refused to do so. It wasn’t worth their time or energy. It was easier to stay home and get their welfare check. I met those people – but like I have said MANY times before most of the people I met who got WIC, Medicaid for their kids, or food stamps were people who were working but just didn’t earn enough money to make ends meet. The Medicaid for their kids is a huge thing, and they appreciate it because their job at the gas station, Meijer’s, or WalMart didn’t offer insurance for their kids.
So I started thinking about what it would be like if there were no welfare. No more foodstamps, WIC, FIP grant, or Medicaid. What would happen all these programs ended, like help with daycare for low income families, free health clinics, low income family planning. These are the programs so many want to stop.
OK, all of these programs will end tomorrow. Here is what I see happening. Those hard working people that I know will still be hard working, but they will be poorer. Instead of two full time jobs they will have to jump up to three full time jobs to cover the extra day care cost for their children. If they can’t get a third job they will have to find some very cheap place for their kids to stay at work. This means they will have to find someone that probably isn’t fit to watch their kids, or their kids will be left home alone.
Those kids will get sick. . . . all kids get sick. I know my kids sure do get sick. They have no insurance or free health clinics to take these children to. Now, I know I have had sick kids before that I have waited a little too long to take them to the doctor. In doing that my son ended up with Scarlett Fever. One of my twins had mild hearing loss because I didn’t catch an ear infection soon enough. Now picture you don’t have insurance and your kids are sick, what are you going to do? If you take them to the doctor a – you have to take time off work to take them and these low income jobs don’t offer sick time b – you have to pull the money to take them from food or rent. Or, you just don’t take them to the doctor at all. They could get better, or they could get really, really sick.
But hey, it was their choice to have that kid anyway, right? I mean you did it right. Waited to have kids until you could afford it. Waited to have kids until you had a job and a house. It isn’t your problem or fault that they chose to have kids. Heck, we cut out the welfare system then less people will have kid, right? The only reason they have them is so they can get more welfare. I have heard these lines so many times.
I want to go back to something I have said a 1000 times. . . . most people in this country who get some form of welfare are hard working people with jobs. In fact, if you saw these people on the store, in the school, at a job you would have no idea they had Medicaid for their kids or got WIC. Yes – there are abusers – but that is not the norm.
So I go back to thinking what it would be like with no form of welfare. I am betting some kids wouldn’t be born , but welfare or not people are still going to have babies. People will have sex, sperm will meet an egg and a baby will be formed. You have two choices at this point – abort the baby or have the baby. Heck, if we are getting rid of these welfare like programs then we would be getting rid of low cost planned parenthood as well – so I am betting there would be more babies created. Abortion rates may go up – I mean $300 to have an abortion isn’t a whole lot of money. Right now one out of every three pregnancies ends in abortion. Lets make it now one out of every two babies babies aborted – right? Sounds better than supporting them. Oh, and since there is no more Medicaid then these women can’t get healthcare during these pregnancies. Maybe that will mean more will die on delivery – that would be better than our tax dollars helping to pay for medical care during those pregnancies. Those people shouldn’t have had sex in the first place if they didn’t want a baby.
So we have gotten rid of Medicaid. That is good because that is huge on the budget. Now lets get rid of cash payments to these people. OK, the only people who get cash help are the poorest of the poor. Right now our welfare workers are doing a good job of only giving money to people who have no income whatsoever. It is rare for someone with any form of a job to get cash help from the welfare system. These people have no job so they can live on the streets – that is fine with me. The should have a job, right?
Finally, lets get rid of food stamps, WIC, and the free lunch program at school. So, now my tax dollars aren’t paying to feed other people’s kids. They are not my kids, so why do I care. Heck, my husband and I had four college degrees before we had our first child. I buy my kids food so they should buy their kids food.
Now I know – I am focusing on the kids here. There is a reason for that. . . . . I have met very few people in my life who are between the ages of 20-60, aren’t disabled or a student who get welfare. I know a lot of them use the free clinic when they are sick, or use family planning, but it has been the rare person in that age who gets foodstamps, Medicaid, or FIP Grant. They can’t get WIC because you have to be pregnant or under the age of five years old. I have known many people in that age group with no jobs, but the welfare system (in the state of Michigan anyway) doesn’t give money to these people.
So here we are. . . . the US with no welfare. I pay less taxes – which is awesome. That is what matters right, I get to keep more of my money. I work hard, way harder than anyone with less money than I have (see my previous blog about “if you are poor than you must be lazy” for my stance on this one). Historically there was no welfare in this country. Poor could go to soup kitchens and stuff. Elderly need to move in with their kids for care, or heck , they can just die. They are old anyway. This is just how it should be. . .
My Great Grandparents didn’t have welfare. My Grandfather’s side did fine. They were hard working people. They had a huge farm in Northern Michigan, they farmed gladiolas. Isn’t that a nice useful thing. Every winter my Great Grandfather packed his wife and kids up and went to Arizona as a missionary. Can’t farm in the winter. He would come back to farm during the spring and plant his bulbs. He didn’t have welfare and did fine, granted, he inherited this massive chunk of land from his in-laws when they passed away, but he was a hard working man (which he was) so that was why he and his children prospered.
Now there is my Grandmother’s side. Her parents worked very hard. Her father always had two full time jobs at a time, sometimes three. He did refuse to work on Sundays because he was Catholic, but he worked hard. He was a truck drive and a mover. They lived in Newark, New Jersey. Her mother was also a very hard worker. Women of that time couldn’t really have traditional jobs, so she cleaned homes of the wealthier people in the area. She also did the laundry of those people. She gave birth to 10 living children, I say living because she also had many miscarriages in there. When her third child was 8 months old Josephine’s breastmilk supply went down because she was working so hard and trying to raise her children. They had no money to buy milk – yah they were working but the work didn’t pay well. Well, Dorthy Marie died of starvation at 9 months of age. Hey , that was OK. John and Josephine shouldn’t have had her if they didn’t have the money to buy the milk to feed her. They had a set of twins a year later – one of which was very sick. She almost starved to death but somehow she didn’t. Luck I guess. A few years later they had a child die of an ear infection. There were no antibiotics then, so Lindy just died. A few years after that my Grandmother’s father died – leaving her mother alone to feed the kids and put a roof over their heads. They starved. They were homeless. The ate out of garbage cans. That is OK though, that is what you get when you have kids – right? I mean, John and Josephine knew they were poor so they just shouldn’t have had sex in the first place.
I am hoping at this point you are getting my point. I once read that a nation is only as good as it treats its elderly and children. . . . if we got rid of all forms of welfare people would suffer. All people, but those who would suffer the most would be our children and our elderly. . . . people my age would find a way to survive. People my age are strong, takes more than an ear infection to kill us. Our children and our elderly are who would suffer. Yes, the welfare system needs to change, REALLY needs to change, but I ask you this. . . in America where we do have enough of everything to feed everyone, where we have one of the best medical system in the world, are we OK with letting our elderly and children die of starvation and things like ear infections? I sure hope that answer is “No”.