Thursday, August 12, 2010

Controversial

I struggle with topics to talk about on this blog. Not that I don't have tons to say - it's just that I'm very concerned about offending people. I suppose it's MY blog, and I'm allowed to write what I see fit - but with friends and some family reading - I dread the day when the phone rings and one of them is on the other line stating, "Whoa, you were out of line."

I've had one particular topic floating in my head for months. I've been dying to talk about it, but have been reluctant for fear of the backlash that might come my way. At the same time, I've never been one to NOT speak my mind, and my "big mouth" has gotten me into hot water more times than I can count. I also love to get people talking - and talking in a passionate way. I have the knack of either bringing out good passion or bad passion - either way it's passion just the same and I love to get people going.......

So I'm going to go there. For those of you easily offended, I advise to skip this post. For those of you interested in my slightly controversial post, read on....

Prior to purchasing my home approximately one year ago, I lived (rented) in a very affluent town about 40 minutes north of Boston. I wanted to remain in this town but could not afford to purchase a home. Wait, I take that back. I could afford a home - but one that was small and lacking all the amenities that my current home has. So I ventured about 15 minutes north of said affluent town and that is where I ended up purchasing. The town I currently reside in has a mix of people - predominantly middle class and lower class.

I am fortunate enough to have a grocery store right down the street which makes food shopping extremely easy.

Prepare yourselves....this is where I get slightly nasty.....

I've been shopping at this grocery store for about a year now, and about 6 months ago I noticed that everyone around me was purchasing their groceries with government assistance.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNN.

Now, every time I go to the grocery store I play a little game of "who is buying their groceries with my hard earned money." Yesterday the shopper in front of me, the shopper in back of me, and the shopper in the next lane over all whipped out their little handy dandy Massachusetts government assistance card.

Let the nastiness begin.

I'm getting angrier and angrier each and every time I stand in the check out line. Now, as a disclaimer, I did not come from an affluent home. My mother was a single mother, my father did not pay child support, and we actually qualified for government assistance. My mother was too proud to go on welfare, HOWEVER, I did take advantage of the free breakfast and free lunch programs that were offered at school. So technically, I've sucked at the teat of government assistance.

I feel extremely fortunate to have everything that I have - but I have all I have because I've worked so hard for it. It took me six years to complete my undergraduate degree because I worked for the University full time in order to take advantage of their free tuition for employees program. I received my Masters degree by taking advantage of tuition reimbursement programs from my employer. I've rolled coins, I've clipped coupons, I've shopped sales, I've worn used clothing, I've worked two jobs at any given time so that I can afford the things that I have.

So when I see these women with perfectly manicured nails handing their government assistance card over to the cashier that they retrieved from their Coach purse, I get irate. They notoriously have two carts stuffed FULL of sodas, and cakes, and candies, and CRAP and I'm the one paying for it. I watch them as they pay cash for toys for each one of the 3, 4, 5 children they have tugging along. I've had this conversation with friends that will ask, "don't you feel bad for the children?"

I do feel bad for the children - but I feel bad for them because they're the children of parents that are setting a horrific example for them. They are teaching them to have lots of babies, and to rest assured, the government will take care of them.

To top it off, Brian's sister is a teacher in this town, and has many of these children in her classroom. Most recently one of the students, a 12 year old girl, became pregnant - allegedly by one of her mother's boyfriends. She is keeping the baby and most likely going on government assistance.

Government assistance isn't the answer. Mandatory adoption placement maybe? Sterilization?

If you can't afford your children - it shouldn't be up to me to afford them for you.

Bring on the hate comments.....I can take it.....

4 comments:

  1. No hate from me. I think government assistance is great for people who NEED it and use it correctly. Sadly this is not the case for a lot of people. I totally understand.

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  2. I don't hate this blog post. What's sad is some people do need it and have a hard time taking it but then there are those people who take complete advantage of it. And yes, the horrible example these parents set breaks my heart. These children who continue to be born....ugh. It's a hard one.

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  3. OMG, a 12 year old? That's heart wrenching.

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  4. I'm a big fan of keeping the government out of private issues. However, I will acknowledge that some people and some circumstances make me feel like government assistance is doing some good.

    I wish I had some brilliant way to "fix" the problem, because it does seem to be cyclical. But I don't think the answer is MORE government intervention - ie, government agencies specifying how those on assistance can spend their money, or government mandates that some people can't have or raise kids.

    Maybe what we really need is more government support for education. Pour money into that, and maybe we can beat poverty.

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