American Poverty


I read a nearly unbelievable statistic today:

And yet Republicans want to remove overtime. They fight against increasing the minimum wage. And now they’re trying to remove food stamp support.

I get the idea of wanting to encourage welfare queen types to work rather than suck off the government. I get that.

The problem is the numbers of these types of people are FAR lower than they believe. Most people on welfare are either working already, or are elderly, or are children.

But Republicans don’t look at the numbers: they instead react to their perception of what is happening, which is a giant horde of undesirables driving around in nice cars and watching cable television on taxpayer funds.

Again, those people DO exist, and I agree with the Republicans that it is undesirable behavior. But the answer is NOT to make work less desirable!

Republicans are simultaneously asking people to enter the workforce while working as hard as possible to make work less attractive. Replace jobs with automation in the name of profits, outsource in the name of profits, remove overtime, fight a working wage–all in the name of making the ultra-rich even more rich.

Then they wonder why it’s so hard to get someone to transition from public assistance to the workforce.

There’s a simpler solution: make working deeply rewarding. Make it financially rewarding. And make welfare less rewarding.

Welfare should be available to more people–people who need it. But it should not include nice cars and major cable packages. It should include educational channels on cable, and just enough of anything to help people re-enter the work force.

But this has to combine with work being associated with pride. One who works should feel productive, and feel as if they are doing good for their family.

If you feel just as trapped while working as you do when you’re on welfare, or more, then you’ve destroyed the very foundation of the wholesome family that you claim to be about.

39K as an average HOUSEHOLD income for the bottom 75% of families? That’s criminal–plain and simple.

I again refer to my standard I wrote about last year: a focus on the health of working families vs. the profits of a very few.

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