We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When we think of true poverty, the famous picture of the migrant mother in the Dust Bowl comes to mind, but today’s poor look more like Honey Boo Boo’s mom. They live in big houses or subsidized apartments. They play video games. They watch TV on a massive screen and they stuff their faces.
What do these people do in exchange, to justify their existence and to pay back to a generous society which helps support them and, often, their kids? Or does the entitlement state erase a sense of obligation, duty, and gratitude to tribe, community, and nation?
The free-loaders are what bother me. I have known plenty of people who are poor by life-style choice, but they are not seeking freebies from their neighbors via government programs and they are neither fat nor lazy. You know some such people too, I'm sure. What do they do?
I'll start with a few people I have known in that latter category: Maine Guides, ski instructors, organic farmers with small plots, tennis bums, aspiring artists, actors, writers, and dancers, pastors with tiny congregations, grad students, Catholic priests, nuns and monks, older people with minimal savings who would rather try to live on Social Security than to keep working at something - and I could go on. Many do not choose to make accumulating money their life priority although few people would refuse a windfall.
Your examples of such people are welcome in the comments.
Not only has the welfare system become to excessive in it's benefits but we have to finally realize we cannot afford it any more. We borrow between $1.2 and $1.5 trillion a year to keep the poor at a level of living that the middle class in most countries wish they could afford. This has to be scaled back
Or retired people, for that matter. After all, many others do for them and carry them on their backs.???
I worked 35 years for the railroad with the track department. I coached 2 youth sports for 17 years and served my community in an elected position for 12 years. outside of some travel and growing a garden I don't do much. Am I suppose to feel guilty?
My parents are retired and have been for longer than most. They continue to earn money doing the things they like to do and also had the opportunity to do a lot of world travel at their leisure. What I have learned from my parents is that sitting on a couch watching "Wheel of Fortune" for 20 years in retirement is a sure way to age quickly.
I know that not every retiree can afford some of the travel my parents were able to do, but travel can be cheap, if you want it to be.
I think the key to having a satisfying retirement and to keeping your wits about you as long as possible is to stay mentally and physically active. :-)
Comparing retirees to welfare leeches? Are you frickin' insane? Who is carrying my fat arse around? I like to watch the Jeopardy as much as anyone and I feel that it is my entitlement; other than that, entitlements don't mean much to me. I made my money the old fashioned way: I earned it. Figure that I can spend it as I wish before I die. Anyone that does for me does not do it gratis. $$$. Everyone wants to be paid. Nothing in this life is free. Welfare recipients that are getting that free ride are paying dearly. Think before you speaks derogatorily about us poor retirees again.
I have to jump in here. The News Junky said nothing derogatory about retirees.
The point of the post was about lazy people who collect government benefits. He was parenthetically saying that there are people who choose to be poor, are not lazy, and don't want anything from the government. One such group is people who retire with minimal earnings - knowing that they will they will be financially limited. Another group listed in the same category is ski instructors.
Why are retired people so prickly? I see it time and again here and other places. Sort of makes me wonder.
I just spent a great day trout fishing with a guide who is in his late 60's. He has been "retired" for from banking for 20 years. He's single - lives simply - hunts and fishes. I'm sure he takes Social Security / Medicare now - but I can guarantee he take no "handouts" nor does he want any.
You find this kind of person a lot in outdoor guide/ski instructor kind of jobs. Most of them are very smart, interesting, and personable. I'm sure they could be financially successful, but they choose to live life on their own terms, doing what they love, and being outdoors. In return, they forego new cars in favor of old pickups; fancy houses for cozy wood heated cabins; diners out for fresh game cooked at home.
I really enjoy spending time with them when I am lucky enough to get the chance, and, btw, almost none of them are overweight.
I have worked in labs for several years. I can tell you that most of our patients with Type 2 Diabetes are on Medicare/Medicaid and are morbidly obese. Most of our illegitimate births were medicaid and our ER is full of medicaid patients and uninsured. Yes, they feel entitled to it.
I have a friend who complains about having to live with her four children in a two bedroom trailer, and kvetches about having to pay part of the electric bill (Everything else is paid for). It never occurs to her that if she would quit smoking and drinking beer, trade her new iPhone for a dumbphone , she might have more money.
One is in debt for 60 grand for a bachelor's in sociology and can't find a job so she is a "Stay at Home Mom and Loving It!"
Other friends just gave up. It is easier to accept a little and not try because they just can't see getting ahead. They think the game is rigged against them and I suppose in a way it is.
That "famous picture of the migrant mother in the dust bowl" is NOT the picture of despair and poverty it has been sold as. Furthermore, in this country the ones truly living in poverty are the ones who are homeless, and usually they are mentally ill, and/or drug addled; or a child of one. The ones who choose to live subsidized are more financially secure and affluent than the working class from a generation or two ago.