Welfare

So Black, White & Read All over, of the blogs I follow, had this article asking whether it’s too much to ask welfare recipients to take a drug test.

The short answer for me is- yes.  That’s just rude to force everyone we’re trying to help to take a test like that.

When people ask- don’t you get upset that someone on welfare might be using that money for drugs?

No.  No I don’t.  I really couldn’t care less.  Trying to imagine what it would be like to care actually makes me giggle.  I’m snickering as I type this.

But I spent some time thinking about why I don’t care.  And I came up with a few answers, because I’m a multifaceted person, so, you know, not all of the are going to be in play at any given time.

I don’t care.

This phrase is operative about 90% of my waking life.  I’m like Andy Warhol- deeply superficial.  Stop trying to make me care about things that I don’t care about.

I’m magnanimous and it makes me feel good

Isn’t it nice to give?  Do you care what someone does with your gift once they get it?  Maybe, but what I don’t know doesn’t hurt me.  Once my taxes are paid, that money is gone.  I feel good that I paid my taxes.  It will go to help some people.  I’m not going to go searching for things to reduce my own feeling of magnanimity, because why would I?  I am a generous person.  If you want to live life feeling stingy, then do it, but don’t drag me down with you.  Shit, telling me that someone out there gets to eat steak and lobster, because I’m so generous.  That makes me feel downright awesome.  I DID THAT FOR SOMEONE!

If anyone on welfare is reading this on their new laptop, while sipping champagne- dude, you’re welcome!  Email me so we can hang.  You bring the caviar, I’ll bring the beer.

My job  in life is to help others, but I can only do what I can do

I’m not religious, but I do try to live my life according to morals that I have set for myself.  One is that it’s my job to help other humans whenever possible, within reason.  By that set of morals, I have to try to give to others.  If they choose to waste it, that’s their business.  I did my part.  Again, not looking for ways to lessen the awesomeness of what I do.

Welfare sucks

The feeling of “glad that’s not me” is very high on my list when confronted with the issue.  People act like they’d rather be sitting in front of their TV getting fat eating the cheapest crappiest food than out having a job.  FUCK THAT.  I’d rather work.  I look at a lonely and bored welfare mother and think- wow their life must really suck.  I love my child.  I love him more than any other human ever.  But spending all day, every day with him, with no extra money, no breaks, nowhere to go… that is a bleak existence if I can imagine one.  If someone chooses that life, fine.  But I can’t for the life of me imagine that anything more than a small minority actually would.

There are some real issues to consider here too.  It’s a dumb-ass waste of money:

For a cautionary tale, just look to Florida. In 2011, the state passed a law requiring all welfare recipients to be tested before they received help. Applicants had to come up with the $30 to $35 for the test; only those who passed would be reimbursed.

It turned out that of the 4,086 who took the tests, only 108 — just 2.6 percent — failed, most for marijuana. That’s far below the 6 percent state average of Floridians who use drugs. (An analysis by the state showed that the drug testing requirement didn’t tamp down applications.)

Not only was Florida left with mud on its face; it also had a small hole in its pocket. At about $35 per test, the state had to reimburse $118,140. After deducting the “savings” from the 108 who did not receive benefits, Florida lost $45,780.

Seriously?  For marijuana?  A drug that’s not even addictive?  Good work!

Of course, there’s this

One of the more popular services at Solantic, the urgent care chain co-founded by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, is drug testing, according to Solantic CEO Karen Bowling.

Given Solantic’s role in that marketplace, critics are again asking whether Scott’s policy initiatives – this time, requiring drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients – are designed to benefit Scott’s bottom line.

Who is really scamming who here?

My thoughts on workplace drug testing are- you can already be fired for doing a bad job, so what’s the point?  That’s maybe not entirely fair, because the tests are administered before employment, presumably because  the want to guess whether or not you’ll start not showing up to work.  What’s the rationale for welfare?

That you’ll spend all the money the state gives you on drugs.

Again, so what?  The state has to try to care for all citizens.  It can’t pick and choose that way.  Again-  the state can’t pick and choose that way.  There’s no “not if you do drugs” clause written into the Constitution.   People are gonna say “but they’re breaking the law, so no, it doesn’t have to!”  Oh yeah, they break the law and go to jail where… the state has to feed them.  And house them.  At a much greater cost to the taxpayer.  There is no way around this.  You might as well get used to it.

In closing, I want to help people.  I want to feel good about helping people.  I don’t want to dwell on the details, and I don’t want people to have to jump through silly hoops because a handful of them want to smoke a joint every now and then.  Being poor sucks, and I don’t want to add to their misery.  I’ve been poor and I’d never volunteer for that life again.

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