Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Are You Waiting for a Check?

NSF+check Are You Waiting for a Check?

As I lay in bed last night, tightly clinging to my guns and religion, I thought to myself, why does it seem everyone is waiting on a check?

Now I don’t mean to generalize by using the term everyone, but it sounds much better than “a whole lot of people.” As a public interest lawyer and as a general member of an urban society, I have met an inordinate number of people who are “waiting on a check.” Now, Im not talking about the annual experience that is tax refund time, but I mean really waiting on random checks for their personal sustenance. Let me break it down…

Child Support

What’s up with women using child support as their sole source of income? If that money was intended to support YOU, it would be called alimony/spousal support. You shouldn’t be paying rent, utilities and making up for the fact that you aren’t working with a child support check. I have seen countless times on Judge Judy where the judge asks women what is their source if income and they say child support–I know this isn’t exactly a scientific study but lets call it anecdotal evidence. I mean WTF? Child support is there to supplement your income and replicate the monetary benefits of a two-income household. Its for your child, not you. Its to help support the child, not a revenue stream.

Disability

OK, don’t get me started on all the fake ass disability going on out here. Before you start with your angry comments, I will say that this category of course, does not relate to all the really disabled people out there. Im talking about the fake ass I-got-into-a-car-accident-in-1987 people on the bank roll. I have met sooooo many people on fake ass disability recently. I mean should you really be on disability if you are able to have sex, have children and get into fights in front of your building? Im just saying… People just seem to have no shame in working the system anymore. Whereas in our parents generation no one wanted the stigma of being on the government rolls, but folks today are just looking for a roll to be on. If you can get up and take care of three kids, two of which you’ve had since you were “disabled,” then you can take your ass to work. And its not only women, I met this dude on disability that, by the looks of his body, could have been a personal trainer at the Golds Gym. But he has “back pain” that prevented him from working (although he played flag football on the weekends and made two babies). We are all about getting a check for nothing. I guess its good non-work if you can get it. But after a while, don’t you start to feel like a loser?

SSI

OK, now this one really makes me mad—and before you get on me trust, im talking from personal experience. You will not believe the number of parents living off of their kid’s social security checks. Now there are two instances when parents get SS checks for kids. When the child is disabled and when one parent has died. I have seen so many instances where the parents have actually FAKED symptoms of their child so that the child could be considered for special education and so they could get disability money. It is unreal. I had a parent once try to get me to co-sign that her child had a learning disability even though he got a B+ in geometry. She thought he should be in special ed because he did so poorly in english and history. I suggested that maybe he had reading difficulties and just needed extra tutoring. No, she told me, that could’t be it, she thinks he’s mentally disturbed. That heifer just wanted a check. Don’t they realize that they are dooming their children forever for a measly $600 a month? What in the hell is going on out here?

Next up: the parent that decides to stop working and live off their kids social security checks because of the death of a parent just enrage me. Instead of working and saving that money for expenses relating to the child, or God forbid, college, they use it as their personal income. SICK. Money for your kids is money for your kids. Its not the lottery. Jeez louise.

SETTLEMENT
Oh, the elusive settlement check. Everyone raise their hand if they know someone who is waiting for a settlement? Is it the same settlement or what? Everyone has been in some shady ass personal injury or car accident where they have called one of those lawyers on TV and have been told that the bruise on their thigh could be worth tens of thousands. So 35 chiropractor visits and a 40% contingency fee later, they are waiting for that check that will make all their dreams come true. They don’t have to work because they are waiting on their settlement. They borrow money from you with the promise of paying it back when they get their settlement. Does the settlement ever come?

OK, im done. I had to get that off my chest, because in my job, I couldn’t actually tell people about themselves like I wanted to. Of course, ive generalized like I tend to do, but I just speak from the heart. This aint about any color of people because ive seen it from all kinds. Trifling is not a racial category. What happened to actually working for a living? We need to take an example from Unemployment compensation. That shit is finite. When it runs out, it runs out and you know you have to get your ass to work or start selling ass or something. Whenever you have an end point, you have an incentive. When you have income and benefits forever, what is your motivation to do better? Its why we have three generations of women in public housing. I know the only reason I started looking for a job when I was on unemployment was because it was only 30 days before the last check.

We need to be more like the Latinos in the Home Depot parking lots, those eses are waiting for a job, not a check. Que paso papi!!! So, if your income strategy is waiting for checks, do us all a favor and become a productive member of society. There is a big world out there, beyond your mailbox. You can meet new people, learn new skills and show your children what it means to see their parent actually leave the house in the morning and come back in the evening with a check for services rendered. I worked in a community where so many people are raising kids who aint never seen ANYONE working. So how do they ever develop a work ethic or understand the importance of education and a global economy? Kids do what they see, not what you tell them.
If you don’t have one already, get a damn job. The check will be there when you get home…FROM WORK!

I just say what y’all are thinking…

Peace People.

69 Responses to “Are You Waiting for a Check?”

  1. Just Marlon on 22 Apr 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    I’ve emailed the link to your blog to several people I know…you’ve managed to say everything I’ve always wanted to tell them.

    I have a friend who gets Child Support, doesn’t work and just bought a 56inch plasma…but the grandmother has to make sure the kids have shoes.

    She claims she buys crap for herself out of the CS and SSI because she has to pay herself FOR TAKING CARE OF HER OWN DAMN KIDS

  2. CJ on 22 Apr 2008 at 11:40 pm #

    Oh! I so know what you mean!!!

    My b/f’s mom is on disability because she has diabetes and “her feet hurt”. Well, my mom has diabetes & arthritis and she works TWO jobs – sixty hours a week! Get off your fat ass lady!!!!

  3. kru-cial on 23 Apr 2008 at 2:24 am #

    my mama went to get her crazy check cause she was in an auto accident and said she “could not comprehend”. when in actuality george bush jr won for president and she called and told me “that motherfucker aint gambling my social security in the stock market”…so at 55 she is on the 2nd year of getting her “hard earned money”…

  4. Anonymous on 23 Apr 2008 at 3:29 am #

    A friend told me about your site and I love it! Just reading this one blog says a lot about you and your site. Please keep it up! I totally agree about EVERYTHING you said-

  5. Dr. Kiti on 23 Apr 2008 at 5:07 am #

    Hot damn if you didn’t the nail on the head! Makes me wonder what my problem is; I was unemployed and couldn’t get unemployment. Oh, yeah, I’m in school and can’t work full time. These Muthaf**ers told me to drop some of my classes and I’d be eligible. I’m so gad I told them to go to hell. We’re perpetuating this system ourselves, but the system is encouraging less than responsible behavior as well. My children WILL have a work ethic, not a settlement/child support/SSI, etc.

  6. Anonymous on 23 Apr 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    I am an only child reared by a single, black mother — without the aid of child support — who worked two jobs. I was taught to be self-sufficient and to work for what I wanted. It inflames me when I hear of people abusing the system like this. I have zero respect them.

  7. Anonymous on 23 Apr 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Sadly, I don’t think the people who need to read this would. And even more sadly, once they start getting a check they will never stop. Money is too appealing and not worth giving up over self-pride. I think 2 generations are now lost over this. The second generation are the kids for whom the money was meant to be spent on (education), however they are now in the streets while momma at the club. They’re killing each other off here in Chicago. They are the true “lost boys”. I don’t think anything can repair the damage done to the last 2 generations. I really do believe they will kill each other off. They cannot be re-educated, if you will. The checks will never stop coming. No one is willing to make the cycle stop. And even more worse, our so-called black “leaders” are pushing for the “disadvantaged” to continue receiving these checks. We are heading into our own Armageddon.

  8. (fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] on 24 Apr 2008 at 1:41 am #

    ’nuff said!

  9. Quesha on 24 Apr 2008 at 1:53 am #

    Yea, I definitely wish that us working folks didn’t have to foot these bills. There should be mandatory job training or parenting classes attached to these checks. And people should have to take drugs tests in order to keep getting them. I don’t wanna foot the bills for folks to get high. But alas, I run nothing!

  10. Steven Townsend on 24 Apr 2008 at 2:36 am #

    You are on point with this topic. I must say that we have to add the highly anticipated Student Loan Refund check to this list. I have known many people throughout my life in higher education who use student loans as their personal cash cow. Sadly, the majority of these people have no intention of graduating. Along the same line, many people take a class just to get a refund check. Pathetic.

    Steve

  11. Anonymous on 24 Apr 2008 at 3:55 am #

    student loan check does not count. because you have to pay that back. i used it to live the summer of my SR year. im paying my student loans and that money came in handy. even if they never graduate they cannot claim bankruptcy on the student loan.

  12. Anonymous on 24 Apr 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    I’ve personally got burned by my mother on this one. I was in remedial classes until the 8th grade when I SOMEHOW tested into all advanced and AP courses in high school. Then, she confessed to me that the CS and SSI that I thought she was saving for my college wasn’t there because she spent it. Guess who’s paying for Mom’s expenses because she doesn’t have a retirement fund.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the type of people who need to heard this reads this blog. What a shame!

  13. Finn Kristiansen on 24 Apr 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    Some excellent points made here.

  14. msjlouise on 24 Apr 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    AWWW SHIT!!!! I have been waiting for this topic to come up!!!! I speed read through most of it and I normally read the comment first to get a good laugh before I commented but I couldn’t hold it any longer!!!

    I know exactly how you feel!!!

    My auntie, has a no good sorry assed babydaddy, who was working for one day at a construction place and quit the next day because he had a toothache. He quit working becuase CS was eating that ass up. Well she goes and gives the little measley $100 she get a month for CS back to the babydaddy sorry ass because he a wannabe hustla and he wanted to flip it and make some money…he didnt bring no money home (personally, I think his ass smoked it).

    My auntie think its cool to live off the system. She was living in a $25 a month apartment, all bills paid, on the bus line and everything…how come they couldnt pay rent and got kicked out? I wish my rent was $25 a month, aint no way in hell you can tell me that you cant come up with $25 dollars, but you can smoke weed, drink beer and go to the corner store all day long without it being a second thought!!!!

    The gov’t threatened to take the baby away when they both went to jail, my mama took they baby in or whatever. The babydaddy parents (who never even seen the baby a day in his life) carried him on their taxes and tried to say that my mama was fraudulent and didnt have the baby at all, so the was IRS breathing all down her throat. They got $3,000 back, do you think they shared any of that with the baby or my auntie, hell naw they kept and did what they always do.

    I am sorry for the long rant but I have experienced all of this first hand.

    P.S. good topic Jam!!!

  15. Anonymous on 25 Apr 2008 at 1:26 am #

    I don’t believe I’m entirely mad at all the trifling ass negroes out there scamming the gubment. It seems like no matter how much honest work I do I end up with more month at the end of the money. Hell, all the people I know working for a living are waiting on a paycheck to dig them out of the hole their last piddling paycheck put them in. I don’t see much difference between the folks you’re calling out and the so called productive members of society hocking bad subprime loans or taking money from the gubment and pretending to rebuild New Orleans or some such

  16. Anonymous on 25 Apr 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    OMG! Before I finished reading the post I sent the link to a few of my friends that I KNOW would enjoy your prose. Very funny.

    ~JaBe

  17. Anonymous on 25 Apr 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Let em starve.

  18. TeeliGirl on 26 Apr 2008 at 12:07 am #

    I’d like to add one more freebie to the list that gets overlooked sometimes. WIC…you know, women, infants and children benefits…milk, pampers, dairy products, juice the like…all for FREE for the asking. In my prior job I was a college recruiter for free job training programs and would often frequent the WIC clinics trying to get these parents to extend/begin/revamp their education. I saw expensive baby clothes, babymama clothes, and genuine handbags. (none of that knock off stuff I had to buy)But these people were receiving government stuff that I as a working person could not.

  19. tady j on 26 Apr 2008 at 12:40 am #

    I know exactly how you feel teeligirl. A friend mine has two kids and dress them both in name brand stuff. When the babies were first born, she had them dressed in Coach from head to toe for expensive ass pictures. Then had the nerve to be on every gov’t assistance program that the state of Texas would allow.

  20. Ron Brokaw on 27 Apr 2008 at 5:18 am #

    My girlfriend had a woman living above her with 3 daughters and a son that fit this very description. Never had a job, getting checks and living off Section 8. I mean – where is the self-pride?

  21. Anonymous on 27 Apr 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    I know this point has been made multiple times but I don’t think the MAIN people who need to read this article probably NEVER will. We’ve got to get the word out to them that this is NOT cool.

    I have a cousin who’s abusing the system with her SSI checks for her mentally disabled son. Mind you, this kid does have some mental issues which has included abusing animals, setting small fires, stealing, cursing out his teachers and family members, and has already been hospitalized once for his mental disorder (he was released only 3 weeks later due to hospital billing and financial issues).

    However, her son is not as severely mentally disabled as my cousin and other family members have claimed him to be. I believe my cousin has exaggerated his symptoms only to maximize the full amount she can receive on his SSI checks, which by the way, were set up for the kid’s care. But as you readersing probably already guessed, that money is instead being spent innappropriately for my cousin’s everyday needs, since it’s her sole source of income (she claims that if she gets a job, she’ll lose the benefits which are only for her use, not her son’s): she gets her nails done, new cell phones, new clothes, etc.

    But guess what? If you’re only getting paid $500 measly dollars once a month, it doesn’t go very far. Consequently, her son is still suffering from the very same issues that have triggered the SSI checks for his care in the first place but the money is being mispent. And my cousin wonders why her son’s behavior is steadily getting worse and worse and she comments “he’ll probably end up in jail by the time he’s 18″ (her son is now 11). And then, you have another black male doomed to the system, at the fault of his own mother, who was too selfish and ignorant to do anything about it.

  22. Anonymous on 27 Apr 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    to the lady who responded 4.27.08 at 12:03 pm (or anyone else for that matter) – report them! Sometimes people need a little help to find a way to help themselves. If you remain quiet, you enable them. I think you can report anonymously.

  23. Anonymous on 28 Apr 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    I came upon this site accidentally for the first time today. I will definitely NOT be back.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the basic premise of what you are saying – people DO abuse the system, and it IS wrong. However, you come across a little rough around the edges and (sorry) kind of an ass.

    Wouldn’t it be a better use of energy to genuinely try to effect a change in the things that bother you? No one is likely to be receptive to change when they are being hurled such harsh, close-minded judgements. Whatever happened to constructive criticism? What would be the point of anyone trying to have an honest discussion when your mind is so clearly made up? But that is what I would like to see. Think about it.

    Thanks for your time.

  24. jamdonaldson on 28 Apr 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    why do the two approaches have to be mutually exclusive? I devoted my life to public interest law but at the same time i can decry certain behaviors that i see that ar detrimental to the community.

    Get a job: If that aint constructive criticism, i dont know what is.

    I think, in the name of political correctness, too many of us dont call it like we see it, and we end up dancing around issues that we should be tackling straight on. I personally think the community needs a healthy dose of straight talk and accountability.

    Thats just my two cents.

  25. Anonymous on 28 Apr 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    Well said. I like your style.

  26. Anonymous on 29 Apr 2008 at 2:18 am #

    wow, so true. however, if i had said it, i would be labeled a racist. i’m white, have been on welfare, finished my education, got a good job, etc. i have seen first hand the abuses that take place on a daily basis, by ALL RACES. TURN THESE ABUSERS IN…it kills me all these “patriots” who are so concerned about illegal immigrants who don’t pay taxes, they themselves sit back and collect welfare, ss, cs, etc. or work under the table and think that there is NO DIFFERENCE. TURN THEM IN Y’ALL! That’s what I have been doing…

  27. Dannah on 29 Apr 2008 at 4:10 am #

    It’s sad, I work with a lot of mentally ill homeless people who CAN’T work but have a hard time getting the help they need, because they are actually too handicapped to “work” the system.

  28. Anonymous on 29 Apr 2008 at 6:25 am #

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    The vast majority of people who receive help from the government need it and are working hard to try and get off public assistance. As someone who is allegedly an advocate you should know this well, and if you don’t, there is statistical evidence to educate you. All systems are gamed by a small percentage of people. When you over-emphasize them it delegitimates vitally important lifelines in our communities. In addition, ‘get off your ass’ is really helpful when the alternative is a minimum wage job with no benefits that may take you away from your kids who have no childcare. People who are forced off assistance because they are actually working can’t manage to support their families, but at least they are making people who aren’t in their shoes feel self-righteous.

    It’s really brave to speak truth to power when that ‘truth’ is actually an attack on people less fortunate than you, one that directly mimics racist conservative politicians who are trying to cut social services. I find it deeply ironic that you are cross-linked from The Root, where progressive, intelligent folks are actually trying to address problems rather than vivify tired stereotypes.

  29. jamdonaldson on 29 Apr 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    AGAIN, i will ask–why is it not possible for one to believe in helping those that need help and calling out those who are abusing the system at the same time? If you talk about those that abuse a system, that does not mean you are accusing everyone in the system of being wrong. What about that is so hard for you to understand?

    You try to put me in this box–the only way you can deal with me is tr=hrough these tired, obsolete labels like conservative, racist.

    Have you ever thought that increasing social services may not be the key to enlightenment as most of us were brought up to think? Have you ever looked what eternal entitlements have done to the commuity and the family? You want more of that? Yet, you say I sound like a racist conservative if i want to challenge if these programs are doing more harm than good? I wish we would get out of this short-sighted, right or wrong/black-white/liberal-conservative mindset. Its going to take a merging of lots of different philosophies and approaches for us to come up with some workable solutions. It would seem you would want to add nmore voices and perspectives to this conversation, not less.

    You cant just attach value to ideas you agree with. You can just read The Root and hash around the same ideas with like-minded people or you can come out of your black thought police bubble and broaden your thinking to the real world.

    And believe me, the progressive, intelligent black folks who you feel dominate The Root, send me emails agreeing wholeheartedly. Dont be fooled.

  30. jamdonaldson on 29 Apr 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    and one more thing–as an advocate who worked in the system, I know that of which i speak, and i only wish it was the small percentages you think it is. Believe me, i thought the same thing before i became part of the system. Then i realized that i wasnt really helping at all. I would advise you to read Pat Moynihan’s writings about the welfare system and what its effect would be on the black community. And that was forty years ago. I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right on the mark. But i guess we want to call him a racist, conservative politician too?

  31. AThinker on 29 Apr 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    I just breezed by your site but believe me I will be back.

  32. Anonymous on 29 Apr 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    I agree so much.
    Now, when my parents divorced and my mom moved up here with the three kids, she was on welfare for a month. Then she got a job and used it to support us AND put herself through college.
    Now I’m 20, living outside the home and going to college. Because I go to college, my work days are limited. I am well below the poverty level and qualify for food stamps and government support. But no way am I going to mooch off the government when I make enough money to pay rent and bills, eat well, AND go see a movie now and then.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is, just because you qualify for government help doesn’t mean you need it.

  33. Meeky P. on 29 Apr 2008 at 11:43 pm #

    Yep, this one got me fired up! I have worked every day of my life since I was 15. Even when I was in school full-time, I worked! Now, due to some very unfortunate circumstances, I am unemployed. That has pushed me to be practically suicidal, but what’s WORST than that is these people tell me that I STILL don’t qualify for assistance! Are you freaking kidding me? My cousin, who has never had a job, gets child support and food stamps. She sells the food stamps for cash. Still no job.

    Guess what my denial reason was when I signed up for food stamps? My unemployment check (a fraction of what I used to earn) is too much income. What the fuck??? How can a person barely surviving on a fraction of what they used to make have too much income?!!

    This is why people take to rooftops with semi-automatics!! I’m either going to get a job or catch a case!

  34. Quesha on 30 Apr 2008 at 1:52 am #

    How is it racist to tell folks to get off of their asses and get it together? Obviously the system gets worked by all races. But hard working people should be enraged by people who work the system. We pay for these people to live. We put in our 40 plus hours a week. Does that seem fair? I do not want to support able-bodied people, but I can understand REAL disabled folks.

    People who take advantage of the system make people like me not willing to give anything else. I am not sure where my money is going and how it is being used. I am sure that I am not the only one who feels this way.

    What is really sad is the people who take advantage of the system probably teach their kids how to do the same. It becomes a cycle that is expensive and tiresome. People do need to get off their asses.

  35. Alice on 02 May 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    This all ties together – teaching kids a positive self-image is really hard when the best things that self-image can be based on (honor, effort, dedication, honesty) are being worked against by a huge section of society. Kids have no reason to respect adults who have no values but selfishness, have no reason to care about the community when they see that everyone lets their parents get TVs and not shoes for their kids, have no understanding of the relationship between accomplishment and success so that the idea of earning or deserving something by dint of work is completely foreign. And that’s preparing them for a future where they can fend for themselves professionally instead of living like Lord of the Flies? Living like this is not only ditching responsibility to society, but to the home community and to the kids too. But there sure are enough adults of whatever race, religion, political persuasion that are willing to push their kids off a cliff in their baby stroller (oh wait, no baby stroller, we spent that money on a Gucci purse). I think we’re all afraid to get into each others business, but this is everybody’s business. We already know that social security is running out of money, but we’re going to get while the getting is good instead of trying to do our part to make sure it doesn’t get sucked dry for something stupid when there are people who really do need help? There are days when I am optimistic about human nature, but days when I’m looking at this stuff don’t count for that.

  36. Shirley on 03 May 2008 at 12:09 am #

    Yes, this post was needed. I love your site so much. Sometimes I have to look at myself and see what I can do better to live a decent lifestyle.

  37. Anonymous on 03 May 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    Well Hooray for you Shirley. Seriously. Shit, at least SOMEBODY gets it!

  38. Katie on 05 May 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Finally- I’m not suppossed to bitch about people that milk the system because I’m a social worker and have to be understanding about everyone’s unique situation and blah blah blah but knowing that there are people who really do need help but don’t “qualify” for it and then constantly being bombarded by the same people who just don’t want to work almost makes me want to quit. Not to mention the awful pay and the expensive schooling I have to endure just to be shit on by people I originally set out to help. Part of where I work is a community resource hotline and I swear- if the same people don’t stop calling every week to try and get the same bills paid by someone else I’ll go torch the DFCS office myself. I’ve had people calling for emergency funds to get their cable bill paid. CABLE!!! It’s infuriating. It makes me want to stop fighting the fight, get an MBA and an SUV, and look down on the huddled masses like everyone else.

  39. Anonymous on 08 May 2008 at 6:44 am #

    Some people need to put their kids check to good use, maybe like psychological help.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NZtGz_7WI0

  40. Annie on 13 May 2008 at 2:18 am #

    I think I love you. Seriously.

  41. Anonymous on 30 May 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    OH OH OH this is sooo familiar to me! My dad recently died, and his girlfriend seriously asked me for money! I’m a college student, and she’s a grown ass woman! That alone should be enough to shame her into not trying to milk me for money. She got evicted out of their apartment, because my dad wasn’t there to pay the rent anymore, and she moved back home with her Mom and dad. Now, she’s living off her one child’s SSI! She has 2 kids, none of them with the same man or my dad, and can’t work because she’s like 500 pounds, and she called me crying on the phone telling me she doesn’t have anything! I’m thinking to myself, as I get ready to go to my overnight job, “Get off your lazy fat ass and GET A DAMN JOB!” I have a cousin who also is obeese, but she runs an in home daycare center for extra income!

  42. Anonymous on 30 May 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    Man, It is a shame that so many of us see this everyday. A shame that individuals trying to survive and do better can’t find any help. A shame that so-called mothers will do for themselves before their kids. My sister-in-law receives free health care for all of her children, yet she won’t take the 4yr. old who has horrible adult like exzema to the doctor for medicine. Where is the self pride….the need to wanna do better…to not be dependant on anyone ESPECIALLY not the white man. There’s a novel to this day still published and read describing one white man’s Guide to KEEPING BLACK PEOPLE ENSLAVED FOR ANOTHER 3-4 HUNDRED YEARS. Why doesn’t anyone see that we are not free we simply have more priveledges.

    Come y’all wake up!!!!!!!

    C.D. Martin (S.U)

    Thanks Jam

  43. Anonymous on 02 Jun 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    Jam,

    I have read Moynihan’s report. I would also like to add to those who think your ideas are racist, that Moynihan was clear to point out this was not a racial issue. Moynihan said when unwed teen pregnancy reached a certain level in the commmunity, the result would be a raft of unwelcome social problems. When some black communities reached that level, the problems occured. They just reached it faster then others. The white unwed teen pregnancy rate equaled it in the 80′s and the exact same problems occured in those white communites. It is not race related, it is behavior related. Any idiot qualifies, regardless of race.

  44. Anonymous on 05 Jun 2008 at 5:11 am #

    Exactly!!!!!!!! Thank you 6-2-08 7:27 pm

  45. Anonymous on 06 Jun 2008 at 6:07 am #

    SOME PEOPLE NEED THIS KIND OF ASSISTANCE….I HAVE A 3 YR OLD WITH AUTISM AND I LOST MY JOB B/C I HAD TO LEAVE WORK ALL THE TIME…HE DOES NOT SPEAK,IS NOT POTTY TRAINED AND THROWS FITS ALL THE TIME…MY HUSBAND WORKS EVERYDAY AND WE STILL CANT MAKE ENDS MEET W/O MY SONS DISABILITY…AND EVEN WITH THAT WE ARE LIVING HAND TO MOUTH…I HAVE NO DESIGHNER BAGS,MY KIDS CLOTHS COME FROM THE SALE RACK AT OLD NAVY AND THINGS ARE VERY HARD..THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ENJOY LIVING OFF THE SYSTEM BUT MOST WOULD CHOOSE OTHERWISE IF THEY COULD…ITS HUMILIATING TO GO AND ASK FOR ANY KIND OF HAND OUT AND IF I COULD CHOOSE BETWEEN MY SON BEING NORMAL OR A MEASLY 550 DOLLARS A MONTH I WOULD CHOOSE HIS HEALTH…MAYBE THIS BLOG WASNT MEANT FOR PEOPLE IN MY SITUATION BUT I HAD TO SAY MY PEACE…

  46. Anonymous on 07 Jun 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    i agree 6/6 2:07p. i think we are forgetting about the people who actually need these services and do sometimes get them. i remember working 2 jobs all minimum wage trying to support myself after high school. it was either food or rent. i was not eligible for food stamps. the only reason i ate was food pantries. the only govt. benefit i have actually been able to recieve is wic which helps me a lot as a single mom. i do work and pay my bills. i know better thanspending exhorbitant amounts of money on clothes and such. i think like some comments mentioned above there should be stipulations to these benefits like drug tests and so on

  47. Anonymous on 07 Jun 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    Awesome site!! I work in an econ. challenged area with an Indian casino in town.Many kids didnot have school supplies from day 1, but they sure went to the casino. I knew one kid that finally learned how to print his name (with 6 letters). He was 8 years old!!! When mom found out she beat him with a belt, she was afraid that she would not get his crazy check anymore. Another child was so proud that he could ORALLY spell his name. He told his teacher that he could– She waits for him to tell her the letters– He spells– B U D L I G H T. I know these to be true stories -witnessed them both first hand!!

  48. Anonymous on 08 Jun 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    AMEN AMEN AMEN

    However some of the other problems with the system are:

    My sis was recently fired from her job. With absolutely no income she applied for “welfare.” Part of her stipulations of receiving it were that she had to actively look for work 30 hours a week. Ok, she was definitely looking, but she lives in a rural town 30 minutes from anything and everywhere is long distance and gas is $4 a gallon. Explain how she is going to look for work 30 hours a week on what measly crap they send her. Now, being that she has ethics, she did find a job but I think the system is f***ed up.

  49. Anonymous on 08 Jun 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    OH yeah, I forgot. My sis’ new job pays $10.50 an hour. Not much when supporting three kids and driving that 30 minutes each way to work plus childcare. And NO health insurance. To top it off, because of her “high salary” she is not eligible for MC+ (government insurance) and she has chronic and severe asthma. She gets sick and it is downhill fast.

  50. scholarly mama on 12 Jun 2008 at 12:24 am #

    Thank you Jam, for saying what I have been thinking for years. I’m a 37 year old divorced mom of two, and my ex-husband collects Social Security Disability because of his “disability”. I didn’t know chronic laziness was classified as a disability.

    I’m a full-time college student, I work two jobs to support myself and my two kids. My ex was a laborer who, before his “disability” was only able to perform jobs that involved manual labor, as he did not desire to return to school to better his lot in life. Because he hated the nature of his work, and because he liked to drink Old Milwaukee beer like it was water, he decided he was too disabled to work like the rest of us. So he doctor shopped until he found a physician to co-sign on his medical “condition”, and now he collects a whopping $677 a month in SSD. This doesn’t sound like a whole lot, and it’s not. Yet, my ex constantly complains about how small his check is. His monthly check would be considerably higher had he not gotten fired from every job he ever had (usually for showing up drunk for work).

    But luckily for him, his disability claim has a two-fold benefit for him: not only does he get to sleep in all day/every day, he also gets out of paying child support. Because he receives SSD, our 2 kids also receive a small (and I do mean small) monthly stipend…(drum roll, please): They receive a whopping $18 a month each!! That is not a typo – they receive eighteen dollars a month each. At first, they received $16 a month, but now it is up to $18 a month. The checks help to buy some basic items for the kids such as socks and underwear, but it is sad to know that a person can opt out of their obligations to support their children simply by faking a disability. God Bless America, but this loophole really sucks.

  51. Anonymous on 16 Jun 2008 at 5:46 am #

    I too am an attorney and I have been amazed over the past several years of representing “indigent” clients to learn how many people use the system and children to receive “free” money. Sadly enough, I have even seen mothers deny to a child support worker that the child’s father has anything to do with the child — when in fact the dad is having regular visitation, providing child support and also meeting other needs for the child — all for the sake of increased money. I would beg to differ a little bit about how a recipient parent chooses to spend the child support money. My understanding is that the child support is income to contribute the costs of raising the child/ren in the particular household. So with this understanding, if mom has paid all the rent and bills for the month and her child support check comes in, I would say she’s entitled to use that money as she would see fit, of course within parameters that are beneficial to the child. I have too many client complaining about what a recipient or baby mama is spending their money on. Well, kids need a roof over their head, utilities and groceries too — not just for the child support money to purchase clothing, videos games and other material items. The custodial parent receives part of this money as a reimbursement toward the cost of living for the child. With that said, I still see the abuse. I disagree with the mentality of women who use child support as the only means of income in their household. What about have the mindset to think that “hey, I get a little bit from child support, so if I worked a JOB my child could have EVEN MORE”? We won’t even start talking about the custody battles over kids who get SSI and parents trying to get SSI for kids with asthma and the catchall “learning disability.” So true that folks want kids to be disabled — but also true that so many of these folks have never seen anyone in their home work a job or have an outside source of income. Glad to have run up on your blog tonight — I know it kills me going to court, being a wife and mother of three — having to PAY for childcare, health insurance, etc. (you know, costs related to having kids) and then I get to court and my “indigent” client has a new hairdo each week, keeps her nails done, or he is wearing the latest sneakers (yes, to court), etc. Frustrating and sad at the same time.

  52. Anonymous on 16 Jun 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Get out of my head! I can’t tell you the number of people I know who depend on a tax refund and that damned economic stimulus check. I mean wtf?

  53. plb373 on 21 Jun 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    I just found your site today and love it. For the most part, I agree with this post, but as one who gets a disability check and doesn’t look disabled, I feel I have to speak up.
    There are many disabled people that do not look disabled. The people you wrote about seem to be fakers and damn them to hell if so. It took me 5 years to get my social security. Was it because I was 26 at the time, a college grad with some grad school credit or because of all the damn fakers? Who knows? I can’t dwell in the past.

    I have multiple sclerosis. Sometimes I walk with a cane, sometimes I don’t. I won’t give you the rundown of my other MS related symptoms but there are many-most you can’t see. More often than not, I hear that I don’t look sick at all and I’m curious to know what sick looks like. My friends may not see me for days, sometimes weeks, at a time when I’m having a flare up.

    I’ve heard all the negative comments: been cursed out when I use my handicapped sticker and when I have to use the scooter in the grocery store. Trust-it’s not a good look at all. I’ll end by asking that you try to keep an open mind when you see someone that doesn’t look disabled, they may have a disease/disorder that you aren’t familiar with. Interesting post.

  54. Anonymous on 22 Jun 2008 at 10:06 am #

    Hilarious, but true. Thanks!

  55. a. on 29 Jun 2008 at 11:06 am #

    very insightful post. i am LOVING your blog!

    i would like to add a comment to those who think that this post is racist. i don’t think it is at ALL – it is simply recognizing and calling out certain patterns within african american culture that have become common ways of cheating the system. i have noticed that there are patterns within the white-american culture for beating the system too (and other ethnic groups’ cultures too – i’m asian-american). just because jam is condemning one doesn’t mean she is supporting the others.

    for example, i’d say that within the white community, getting a job in real estate, particularly as a mortgage broker, is a pretty obvious way in which people are cheating the system. i work a lot with developers and most of them are overentitled, overprivileged white men. totally gaming the system – i just heard the other day how one dev’t co. that is trying to build a project in a city i am working for, expects that city to waive all of its project fees, simply because that’s what every city they’ve ever worked in has done (i.e. every city has waived fees by saying “dev’t is good for our economy!” it’s like putting $$ straight into the developers’ pockets). nobody really calls it using/abusing the system, but it totally is.

    money for nothing comes in all different forms. i’d even categorize hedge fund managers in that way too. i studied math, and yeah, if i wanted to i could go figure out ways to extract money out of the corners of the financial market… but hello, that represents REAL companies and REAL people off of whose backs you’re making paper money. don’t know if i’m losing people but anyway… that’s my take on it all.

    and in asian american communities… well i’m not really “connected up” with “my” community and but i do hear rumors that a lot of smaller asian american businesspeople don’t pay taxes. i have really no idea how true it is but anytime i’m in a business that wants me to pay cash, i get the feeling that’s why… and it REALLY pisses me off. how do they think roads get built? schools? parks? i could go on and on… so anyway, that’s all i wanted to say. go on with your rants! i could start a very similar blog… but for now i’ll read yours. :-)

  56. jamdonaldson on 29 Jun 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    I’m curious as to why anyone thinks this post was racially-specific at all? Everything I said applies to everybody. I’ve seen all races in every single scenario. I think its sad that every time i speak of any type of dysfunction or bad behavior, everyone assumes its targeted at black people.

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