Why Aren’t Americans Receiving Food Stamps Ashamed?
May 31, 2012 6 Comments
There used to be a time in America when it was shameful to be on welfare or other forms of government assistance. (think food stamps, WIC, etc) These days we have tens of millions on food stamps but of course if you point out the massive increase since Obama took office you’re a racist. The problem in part is that it’s far to easy to get on food stamps. The bigger problem though is that there isn’t any shame in being dependent on a government welfare program. People flaunt being on welfare, even the government encourages people to take advantage of all the tax money available to the “poor.”
That’s right, the government is encouraging people to get on welfare. There have been a number of ads encouraging people to take advantage of food stamps. This includes an obnoxious ad aimed at seniors which glorifies food stamps as something not only acceptable but something that will make one fit and healthy. In short, the government is telling seniors and anyone else listening that it’s perfectly normal, even noble to be on public welfare. There are several other similar ads, aimed at different groups of people. Food stamps aren’t the only Federal welfare program with radio ads. There’s a free cell phone (with 250 free nationwide minutes per month) ad that’s been running locally the last few weeks.
Food stamps cost taxpayers a fortune. We’ve seen about 20 million added to the food stamp rolls since 2007. The problem with all of this is that we know the poor aren’t living poor. In other words, they’re still consuming consumer luxuries like cable television, cell phones (when government doesn’t provide them) and other non-essentials while receiving handouts like food stamps. The state tells us we’re subsidizing their food but in reality we’re subsidizing their creature comforts and other middle class goods. Make no mistake, most of the people on food stamps would buy food before they bought luxury items. So if we took away their food stamps, they wouldn’t starve. They would simply be without the Real Housewives, a text messaging cell phone and a handful of other consumer goods.
What’s most galling though is that Americans seem to have lost the shame that should be associated with being on the public dole. People almost proudly declare that they’re on public assistance. That the government runs ads glorifying welfare, taking away the stigma from it should disturb us all. It’s becoming almost normal to be on the dole, something that isn’t shameful in the least. That should concern everyone.
If you’re on the dole, you shouldn’t be talking about it like it’s something wonderful you’ve done. The government shouldn’t be promoting welfare. We need to return to a time when it was shameful to be on public assistance, when it was something people did silently and in secret. It was also something reserved for people in truly dire situations, whether the charity was being handed out by government or the church. These days we have middle class people, even with jobs and a home, qualifying for welfare. It’s far to easy to get on the dole and once dependent on the state it’s very difficult to get off. After all, the state isn’t subsidizing these people’s food, they’re subsidizing their consumer lifestyle. Shame is a good thing and if you’re on welfare you should feel it. The feeling of shame should be strong enough that you’ll do anything to get off.