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View Full Version : Should there be a Stigma with "Welfare"?



Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 03:02 PM
Some years ago, Texas began issuing "Lone Star Debit" cards to people on welfare because of the "stigma" attached to using food stamps.

It seems like we're trying to make it easier and easier for people to be on the Government Teat.

SURE, we need to be compassionate to the truly needy, but I don't know of ANYBODY who claims "the system" is not loaded with waste.

It seems like there should be SOME kind of incentive to get OFF welfare, but we just keep making it more "normal".

Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 03:05 PM
OK, there should have been two more options, but they didn't post, and I can't seem to be able to edit. We'll go with what's there, for now. :shrug:

Catholicity
01-27-2014, 03:25 PM
Okay it IS nice not to get dirty looks in the store. Lets just face it. Who wants to get dirty looks thrown at them when they are a single mother, working through school, and working 12 hour shifts to get off aid. Its not like when we feed our kids and we're poor, we didn't want to get off welfare or never be on it, but we somehow found ourselves there and were working our way out. The nerve of some people to assume those who use welfare are lazy/nogood/deadbeats is one of the absolute worst things a person can do, and I feel it creates shame. Shame is something that is not only Against everything in Scripture (see Romans 8) but for some people who really had few options its condemning of their best efforts. Obviously the best way to get off aid is to work one's way off it. Shame and condemnation won't help with it. The efforts need to be limits except for the disabled and for food. Some people also work hard for years make a reasonable amount of income, but need the extra help to pay for food and receive no other kind of assistance. Hence I think the reason for the issuance of the cards. That seems reasonable. If someone can pay all their bills and has no money for food, and already is underpaid/underemployed, why should we be judging them?

Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 03:34 PM
So, it's not GOOD enough to provide assistance, but the assistance (from the government) needs to be without ANY consequences or ... you're calling it "shame"?

Can you please show where Romans 8 has anything to do with GOVERNMENT welfare?

Just Some Dude
01-27-2014, 04:08 PM
Sounds like the ideal fix would be to flush out everyone who uses welfare as a way to not work and immediately pull the plug on their easy income. Leave government welfare only for those truly in need.

Ain't gonna happen with whose in power nowadays, if it is at all possible.

Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 04:19 PM
Sounds like the ideal fix would be to flush out everyone who uses welfare as a way to not work and immediately pull the plug on their easy income. Leave government welfare only for those truly in need.

Well, yeah, and I think if it were handled at a more "local" level, it'd be much easier to work on.... but the idea of sending billions of dollars to Washington so the same old crowd can divy it up and send PARTS of it back to the states is whacko.

KingsGambit
01-27-2014, 06:24 PM
It's really misleading to pose this question as if these were the only two options.

Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 06:27 PM
It's really misleading to pose this question as if these were the only two options.

Yeah, well, before you get a rope, see post #2. :smile:

Catholicity
01-27-2014, 06:30 PM
So, it's not GOOD enough to provide assistance, but the assistance (from the government) needs to be without ANY consequences or ... you're calling it "shame"?

Can you please show where Romans 8 has anything to do with GOVERNMENT welfare?
No, that is not what I meant. Its my belief that welfare programs need to have general population incentives to work there way off. Or in the case of Cash Assistance, I believe there is a 3-5 year limit on receipt. I do not think that people need to be able to give dirty looks or make cruel comments to food stamp recipients. That's not an ok consequence. When is it ever ok to think that calling the poor names is an ok consequence?
The entire time I had them I was angry. I was angry at the situation I was in. I was also ashamed of a lot, and fearful. Of course, I was able to get to a point where I didn't need them. But for me, a woman pretty much trapped in an abusive marriage, with a child, with a refusing to work mentally ill spouse, how much worse could it have been than if the public were to hurl insults? That would have only added to my own difficulty at the time. That's why I consider it innapropriate and unbiblical. why put someone to shame for a situation they may not be able to control? And back to what does it have to do with Romans 8? To be in a horrid situation, is to feel condemned, alone and shamed. If we are not condemned in Christ? and many who are poor are suffering, but need to be reminded of their lack of (and yes I understand condemn is interpreted as death/or hell but I find it has a larger meaning, oppressive guilt) oppressive guilt, and that the present is not compared to future glory. etc. It can help. To be encouraged in Christ is to be helped, so why say "yup we should let people say mean things."
Maybe I'm not making my point well?

However, I do think that the consequences of receiving welfare should be handled different. I am pro cash benefit limits. I also like NC's way of doing welfare where a person who receives it must spend 4 hours a day applying for jobs or prove disability. I do believe in drug testing/screening/random testing.

Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 06:36 PM
No, that is not what I meant. Its my belief that welfare programs need to have general population incentives to work there way off. Or in the case of Cash Assistance, I believe there is a 3-5 year limit on receipt. I do not think that people need to be able to give dirty looks or make cruel comments to food stamp recipients. That's not an ok consequence. When is it ever ok to think that calling the poor names is an ok consequence?
The entire time I had them I was angry. I was angry at the situation I was in. I was also ashamed of a lot, and fearful. Of course, I was able to get to a point where I didn't need them. But for me, a woman pretty much trapped in an abusive marriage, with a child, with a refusing to work mentally ill spouse, how much worse could it have been than if the public were to hurl insults? That would have only added to my own difficulty at the time. That's why I consider it innapropriate and unbiblical. why put someone to shame for a situation they may not be able to control? And back to what does it have to do with Romans 8? To be in a horrid situation, is to feel condemned, alone and shamed. If we are not condemned in Christ? and many who are poor are suffering, but need to be reminded of their lack of (and yes I understand condemn is interpreted as death/or hell but I find it has a larger meaning, oppressive guilt) oppressive guilt, and that the present is not compared to future glory. etc. It can help. To be encouraged in Christ is to be helped, so why say "yup we should let people say mean things."
Maybe I'm not making my point well?

However, I do think that the consequences of receiving welfare should be handled different. I am pro cash benefit limits. I also like NC's way of doing welfare where a person who receives it must spend 4 hours a day applying for jobs or prove disability. I do believe in drug testing/screening/random testing.

Cath, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I strongly oppose ANYBODY taking Scripture and trying to fit it to a situation where it does not apply. It almost "cheapens Grace" to compare Christ's atonement for our deserved condemnation with state welfare. Let's get back to that, please... what does Romans 8 have to do with government assistance? Maybe I'm missing something.

And, as for "shame"... my Momma wasn't really proud of the fact that she "took in ironing" to help pay the bills when we had 9 kids at home, and only Dad worked outside the house. We didn't get "welfare", but we often did jobs that, today, would be thought of as "shameful". I look back at my younger days, and am AMAZED that I was as poor as I was, and never knew it, because we always had clean clothes, always mended, we drove old cars (when we had cars) and life was tough.

Cow Poke
01-27-2014, 06:47 PM
No, that is not what I meant. Its my belief that welfare programs need to have general population incentives to work there way off. Or in the case of Cash Assistance, I believe there is a 3-5 year limit on receipt. I do not think that people need to be able to give dirty looks or make cruel comments to food stamp recipients. That's not an ok consequence. When is it ever ok to think that calling the poor names is an ok consequence?

"OK consequence"???? Nobody said (or at least I never said) that it was OK for people to be cruel, or to "give dirty looks". But this almost seems like the "everybody gets a trophy" mentality.... Life is hard -- there ARE winners and losers... We had a family leave our Church last year because their kid didn't "win a prize" in our VBS contest. They actually said, "doesn't EVERYBODY get a prize"?, and they were quite miffed. Not to mention that EVERY KID got something special EVERY DAY, but we had a couple contests where there were WINNERS, and they got a SPECIAL prize.

When those "everybody gets a trophy" kids grow up and go to job interviews, they're going to have a rude awakening when they find out "not everybody gets hired". Life is about lessons. It's NOT about protecting us from every insult or hardship or harsh words.

I'm just trying to understand this, I'm not trying to make an enemy.

Catholicity
01-27-2014, 06:54 PM
Cath, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I strongly oppose ANYBODY taking Scripture and trying to fit it to a situation where it does not apply. It almost "cheapens Grace" to compare Christ's atonement for our deserved condemnation with state welfare. Let's get back to that, please... what does Romans 8 have to do with government assistance? Maybe I'm missing something.

Okay fair enough. well let me try and back up a bit. And maybe I'm even applying some of my own circumstances to each and every circumstance where it should not necessarily apply.
I'm not trying to equate Romans 8 with government assistance. I'm trying to equate it with the attitude that I've seen some folks take toward those that are welfare recipients. And I've seen it publicized. "All welfare recipients are trash." "All welfare recipients are lazy" "The are no good" "I can't believe that person gets that, do they sit around and do drugs all day?" That's what I mean. There is an attittude amongst even Christians that welfare recipients are poor lazy and no good. I equate not condemning a person for receiving that with not casting any sort of condemnation. Including giving some jerk in line the chance to hurl an insult at them which can truly hurt the soul. Hence my belief in the right to privacy over it. I hope that clarifies a little. :shrug:

Catholicity
01-27-2014, 07:14 PM
Also I'm not trying to make an enemy either, even if we never come to an agreement, I hope we can come to a mutual understanding somewhere.

Sparko
01-28-2014, 06:05 AM
While they might claim that it is to prevent a "stigma" by using debit cards instead of food stamps I think the real reason is that debit cards make it harder for people to sell their foodstamps or trade them for drugs, or other items.

Cow Poke
01-28-2014, 06:11 AM
While they might claim that it is to prevent a "stigma" by using debit cards instead of food stamps I think the real reason is that debit cards make it harder for people to sell their foodstamps or trade them for drugs, or other items.

There was a report some time back about the gambling places in Louisiana, just across the state line from Texas, who had figured out a way to accept these debit cards for betting, but the "vendor" name would be a food market or something. Don't know if that's been addressed, but there were LOTS of abuses of the debit cards. OH, and same thing happened to a bunch of debit cards handed out by the FEDS to Katrina victims! :yes:

Jedidiah
01-28-2014, 02:19 PM
Well, yeah, and I think if it were handled at a more "local" level, it'd be much easier to work on.... but the idea of sending billions of dollars to Washington so the same old crowd can divy it up and send PARTS of it back to the states is whacko.

That is the real problem with "Big Government." Only a small percentage of what is spent actually goes to serve the alleged purpose.

Jedidiah
01-28-2014, 02:25 PM
The entire time I had them I was angry. I was angry at the situation I was in. I was also ashamed of a lot, and fearful. Of course . . .

I was on Food Stamps, briefly, many years ago. That was back when it was not looked at the same easy way it is today. I was always embarrassed to use them, but never got any comments or even dirty looks. It was only my personal feeling that I did not like to be on the dole. Too often that personal repugnance to being on the dole is absent.

Cow Poke
01-28-2014, 02:26 PM
I was on Food Stamps, briefly, many years ago. That was back when it was not looked at the same easy way it is today. I was always embarrassed to use them, but never got any comments or even dirty looks. It was only my personal feeling that I did not like to be on the dole. Too often that personal repugnance to being on the dole is absent.

you get it