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Comments

Luci F

Fair enough. Unfortunately, the above scenario is probably not the case for most people with designer goods and food stamps.

The Singing Library Clerk

I know from experience it's not always the way. My brother & his wife collect food stamps - even tried to collect some illegally. (Claimed his daughter was living with them while she was living with us. Then Skankarella tried to also apply for food stamps for my niece while she was with us as well.) They spend all their money on tattoos and drugs.

No, I don't know why they haven't been arrested even though it can be proven they illegally collected food stamps and welfare. Ask someone who works in Arizona.

And yeah, these are the same pair who would leave food all over the store where my niece's mom used to work. I submitted that story back before I could think of a name for this place.

Queer Geek

I understand the welfare system gets corrupted but there are others who use it out of desperation. I'll admit I'm considering the option since losing my job last year and taking one that pays really low with no security of hours. I'm barely making it and I'm getting close to the point of looking into any government aid even though my pride is preventing me from doing so. It sucks especially in this economy to resort to this but sometimes we have no other other choice.

Chicajojobe

I've never been on food stamps but agree with this, actually.
Yeah, there are people that abuse the system and that sucks, but that gives us the right to judge the appearance of anyone on assistance?
If you suspect real abuse, report it, otherwise mind your own business.

Liquor Lady

Maybe it's just the fact that I work in the liquor department, but it's ridiculous the amount of people who buy $8 worth of food with food stamps and then spend $40 or more on alcohol. A few weeks ago, a customer came in and bought $100 worth of food with food stamps and almost $150 in top-shelf liquor. This happens all the time.

I'm all for giving people who need it the help, and am definitely for social welfare, but I would love to see some way to flag these people for review by the system. Because I'm sorry, if you can spend $150 on top shelf liquor, you don't have to be on food stamps.

Perky

Sadly I'm in the process of apply for food stamps. I have never in my adult life ever used food stamps, but with my husband out of work and his boss wanting to deny his unemployment claim we do not have much of a choice. My income alone is not enough to feed us and pay the bills. It isn't even enough to pay the bills. I seriously have no idea what is going to happen once our savings give out. We have enough in savings to live on for about 2 months, and we hope he can find a job in that amount of time--but I have seen so many people go Months and Months with no job offers. It took me 3 months to land the part time cashiering job.

And I worry about how people are going to look at me when I use EBT. As a cashier I see how other EBT users are treated in line. Yes, I have nice clothes and a nice car because my husband just lost his job. Up until last week we could afford all of that. But I can not eat or even really sell my nice clothes. And we will need his car for him to go to job interviews (and he does side work repairing computers, but he only gets a job like that many 2 or 3 times a month, it is not enough to live on) and I need my car to get to work. But we have talked about maybe selling one if it gets to that.

But even when we get food stamps I am not going to go out and buy liquor and stuff.

But I have to say, it has been so freaking hard dealing with this sort of poverty again. For the last 15 years we have been able to pay our bills, set a little aside each month, and still have some money left over to have a little fun. And now all of that is gone. I haven't had to deal with this level of poverty since I was a teenager and I have lost a lot of coping skills on how to deal with it.

And some days it is so hard to be strong and up-beat for my husband and kids while I feel so torn up inside. I feel like I am having to be strong for them, but there is no one who is being strong for me, KWIM?

Sorry if this is a bit long, I just needed to get that off my chest. Thanks all.

Dhamp

There is no shame in being on benefits if you have to be, and if you use them responsibly.

I was for the 9 months between graduating and being able to get *any* job, and that was with a Physics degree. The rich want to reduce the amount the rest of us earn (because it hurts their profits to pay us more), hire fewer of us, or reduce the hours we work (because more work hours hurt their profits) and oppose taxation and other measures to improve the lives of those of us they make lives harder for (because it hurts their profits) and we are supposed to want to be like them, and be governed by them.

Fuck that.

Dan

People have an interesting understanding of food stamps.

The EBT Food system cannot be spent on alcohol. It simply won't ring up, unless you're ringing it up on an old system that requires manual entry, in which case your store's policy should define what it can and cannot pay for. EBT Cash will pay for it, but EBT Cash must be paid back, it functions separately from the EBT Food allowance. The same applies to most soda, candy, and other non-grocery items.

If someone is using their food stamps to pay for non-necessities, it functions like a credit card. They use it now, but eventually they must pay it back.

Now, I spent the first 6 years of my life on food stamps, welfare, and my mother's education loans, as she worked and went through university to earn her Bachelors while raising my brother and I. By the time I was 7, she had almost reached graduation and had obtained full-time employment that, in combination with help from relatives, allowed her to leave the welfare/food stamp system and be financially independent.

She occasionally bought alcohol. She bought us sweets and fast food. She dressed well because her job required her to do so. I'm pretty sure that on more than one occasion she could have appeared to someone who didn't need financial assistance. And that person would have been wrong. My mother is a success story, an example of when the system works, and a great example of why you don't judge by appearances.

Wmdkitty

Because poor people shouldn't have ANYTHING nice, amirite?

And that $150 spent on alcohol? Nope, she didn't save up for that for months on end, she just had $150 laying around...

Fucking hell, the classism and privilege displayed in this thread is just disgusting!

CoG

Don't worry about it, Perky. I've been on food stamps on and off for the past ten years because of low-paying jobs and school. No one has given me shit for it. And the people who do can take a flying leap, because it's none of their business. If you report things correctly to the food stamp office, they will determine if you get those, and how much. It is not up to the person in line behind you, or the cashier to determine that.

SCS

You know who I find has a lot of disdain for food stamp users that spend their excess cash on unnecessary luxuries? Poor people - especially those that manage to get by WITHOUT food stamps. That makes the claim of classism pretty funny, because I doubt you'll find many people of affluence posting on RHU.

Chicajojobe

And poor people can't display internalized classism?
Just because someone is a member of the group in question doesn't mean they're immune to societal prejudices. They grew up hearing the same stereotypes and assumptions as those who grew up privileged did.

SCS

No, they can't because in this case it isn't classism against a social class. It's dislike of people who act a certain way. No one has, at any point in this thread, exhibited discrimination towards those on foodstamps who are using that money wisely/honestly. I think we can all agree it's a necessity. The ire is directed solely at the people who spend their out of pocket money on unnecessary luxury items while using government funds to pay for the rest. When every penny TRULY counts, booze doesn't make it on the list of purchases - no matter how long you've been saving. For that matter, neither do nails, knock off purses, real purses, or any other luxury items.

Liquor Lady

I don't believe I suggested that poor people shouldn't have anything nice. Nor would I say that people on food stamps are not allowed an occasional luxury. But I'm sorry, without the food stamps, the people who spent the $150 on liquor and $100 on food stamps could have afforded at least $50 of liquor (which is at least two of most of the types of alcohol we have in the store, maybe even 3 or more depending on the quality of the stuff they're getting).

I lived one year on less than 11k and a metric shit ton of hot dogs and tuna casseroles. I know what it's like to have nothing, and I would never judge anyone who uses food stamps properly. Nor would ANY customer of mine ever be able to tell what I'm thinking about the process, even the people who I feel are abusing the system. But last I checked, I can still think what I want in the safety of my own skull.

I do not have problems with people who use food stamps. I've had customers come through my line who are obviously good people who are down on their luck (like Perky) who NEED the help to get through. And those people get a bad rap because there ARE people who abuse the system. THAT'S what makes me angry and apparently oh so judgmental.

Nocturnesthesia

In Canada welfare recipients get one check based on their situation (rent + an allowance for basic needs calculated via an algorithm incorporating your info), minus one half of anything you make during part-time work but you don't get taxed on it. Spend it on whatever you want but once it's gone, it's gone. I can only speak from my experience here but I know fewer abusers here than I did in the States, in an equally shitty and crime-ridden neighborhood.

It seems to me that legislating how poor/disabled people spend their allowance just encourages people to develop ways to cheat the system, whereas here they learn pretty quickly how to be financially responsible with what they have. Plus it's nice that you can spend $12 on some cheap ass whiskey without anyone judging you.

Hellbound Alleee

Sorry, but you can't say "most" people on food stamps are spending too much of "your" money on designer goods. You can't seriously be whining and complaining about people buying food that is, in your O so expert opinion, a little too nice, when the government just shelled out billions of dollars to business executives who then went on luxurious vacations and got outrageous bonuses. Seriously?

You can't stand that someone buys an outfit when on your dime someone just bought a yacht? Get out. Seriously. I mean it. Go the FUCK away.

Larry Berry

I've been blessed enough to never need to be on food stamps. However I used to shop for my mother using her EBT card. She was homebound. I never paid any attention, but I'm sure there were a few looks from people seeing a fit, well dressed, young man using the EBT card. As pointed out you don't know the situation. Who knows, maybe those that are using an EBT card and then buying liquor are using the system, or maybe they are doing the shopping for an elderly or sick relative or friend.

Chicajojobe

Hellbound Alleee and Larry Berry voiced my points excellently.

And yes poor people CAN display internalized classism.
Like Larry Berry said, it runs on the assumption that you know the situation. The person buying 100 dollars of food on EBT and 150 dollars of booze with money, might be buying one or the other for someone else...or they might be making bad decisions with their money.
The woman in line wearing nice clothes and lots of jewelry, but paying with an EBT card...clearly a welfare queen, right? Or maybe she got laid off from her well paying job and had to take assistance to support her family.

The point of this isn't give every example you've witnessed of people abusing EBT and critique their spending habits, it's judging based on appearance. You don't know what's going on in that persons life.

And, yeah, it's kind of barking up the wrong tree to complain about your tax dollars being wasted by poor people not having the right priorities, when your tax dollars also pay for the salaries and health insurance of the millionaires who sit in Congress.

grocery store slave

i hate lazy people who leech off this system there are other people out there who deserve it more than they do

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