Welfare, The American Dream
April 4, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment checks — account for more than one-third of total wages and salaries in the United States. The Department of Agriculture reports that 43.6 million Americans are on food stamps.
The United States has effectively become a welfare Nation, with more Americans than ever before opting to completely drop out of the workforce and live on the public dole. The percentage of the Nation’s populace relying on social welfare as a primary source of income has risen from 21 percent to 35 percent in little more than a decade. In 1960, only 10 percent of Americans depended on welfare programs to survive.
While no statement can be made to define all recipients of social welfare in America, there is a growing and alarming trend among the dependent class: Living like a parasite on the public’s back has somehow become glamorized among some segments of American society.
Last month, Alexandria Pelosi (daughter of California Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi) produced a video for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” wherein she interviewed multiple welfare recipients in New York City. The clip, entitled “Freeloading Welfare Queen,” offers perspective about the mindset of at least some individuals who survive only as a result of the hard work of American taxpayers. Pelosi said that she did not have to go very far in New York in order to locate “freeloading welfare queens.”
The individuals interviewed for the video — most of whom appear to be able-bodied and aged between 20 and 40 — said things like, “I’m here to get some Obama bucks” and said that they could not find work because of criminal history. When asked if they were looking for work, most of the people interviewed said they were not.
The people interviewed in the video who appear to be completely happy living on the government dole, even wearing their ability to get welfare as a badge of honor, may also explain a more recent welfare news item. A nightclub in Montgomery, Ala., recently announced that it would be hosting a “Food Stamp Friday” event, allowing patrons on food stamps to attend a rap concert at a discounted price. Public outcry since news of the event broke has made the nightclub’s owner encourage Young, Black & GettinMoney Promotions and No Lunch Promotions, to rename the planned event.
The idea of food stamps being used for fun is actually not the brainchild of the enterprising promoters of the event in Alabama, as Republicans in the House of Representatives only recently worked to enact legislation that would ban the use of welfare money at strip clubs and casinos throughout the Nation.
If freeloaders bragging at the welfare office and “Food Stamp Friday” are not convincing enough evidence that the United States is becoming an entitlement society, consider recent stories about some more grandiose welfare recipients. Nadya Suleman ( aka Octomom), who — despite already having six children and financial problems — decided to be implanted with embryos which resulted in her giving birth to eight more children, has applied for food stamps in the State of California. Suleman will receive about $2,000 per month in taxpayer funding to feed her children.
There are also a number of reports of lottery winners throughout the country continuing to draw welfare benefits after receiving big winnings. Michigan resident Amanda Clayton sparked an outcry in her State after winning a $1 million jackpot and continuing to draw welfare benefits.
“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t I thought maybe it was OK because I’m not working. I feel that it’s OK because I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses,” she explained to a reporter.
Michigan officials have since cut Clayton off the public dole. Her case, however, may offer credence to what many critics of welfare have said for decades: Entitlement perpetuates poverty by removing initiative from the equation. Despite winning a large lottery jackpot and having the opportunity to create a new life for herself, Clayton saw no stigma associated with being a parasite to American taxpayers and continued to feel entitled to her food stamps.
The bulwark of American social welfare programs was put into place as a result of the hard times of the Great Depression. According to Jerry D. Marx, Ph.D., a professor at University of New Hampshire Social Work Department, social welfare programs that were created by the Federal government were largely put into place by a bureaucracy that feared joblessness and widespread poverty would spark a revolution in the country. Social welfare made citizens of the United States more comfortable, and anger at the government subsided. Now, more than 80 years later, social welfare has become a way of life for many Americans while large factions of groups like Occupy Wall Street are calling for more government assistance. Everybody wants to live the leisurely life of the Freeloading Welfare Queen, and politicians like President Barack Obama will give the people what they want. Anything to keep them fat, happy and subservient.