Right from the start, I want to confess I receive state assistance in the form of funds for food. I am well aware of the bias I bring into this piece and as I write, I will endeavor to remain as neutral as possible. Also, I would like to point out this is a thought in progress. It is an observation that I haven't fully thought out, so any input would be appreciated.

Before the election, our general manager passed around slips of paper with the two major political candidates names and instructed those of us assembled for our monthly meeting to choose a candidate. I abstained from the activity mostly because I was voting for Nader and he wasn't listed, but also because it was none of his business who I was voting for. Obama received around 35% of the votes. This is the only data I can submit to say the majority of my co-workers have a conservative streak. While in discussion with many of them, I get the sense that one of the reasons they absolutely hate welfare and government support for low to no income people is because a few “milk the system.” When I tell them that lovable me is also one of those on government support, I get a pass because I have a job. It is the “others” that want nothing more than to sit at home and make babies so they can get more money from the government. Pointing out that the amount of money you can “milk” from the government is no where NEAR enough to raise a family is pointless. Their minds are made up.

Anyway, if I were to psychoanalyze the underlying impetus for their abject disgust at poor people like I were in anyway qualified to do so (I am not), I would have to propose a common theme. If you desire to sit at home and do nothing, you are a bad person. If you have a job, you are an OK person. As near as I can tell, it is more important what you are doing than what you are wishing you could do in their minds. If you win the lottery, only a scant few would continue to work in the jobs they currently hold. Assuming the millions of dollars you win are more than you make in a year or two. So, if a lottery winner suddenly doesn't have to do anything but sit on their pockets are they still the same bad people? Now that they don't WANT to work are they bad? If you have a job and don't want to work, are you bad? How many of us would go to work if we didn't have to? If you make your zillions from investing in the markets and do not have to work any longer, are you given a free pass from work. I know the difference is one side is taking money from the other and I'll get to that shortly. My point in this paragraph is that to me, it seems as if the desire to have as much leisure time as possible is socially condoned if you can afford it and considered a thought crime if you can't. Not the actual time spent, I mean to say that a person such as myself is a social outcast if I say that, “yes, I do not like working and would rather do what I want.” A person such as, well, I can't think of anyone, but a rich person that mentions in an interview they do not want to work gets a free pass. I did warn you this was not a fully formed thought at the beginning.

If you give money to a charity to feed starving Russians, you may feel good about it. If you discover the money you were donating went to feed the starving Russians hunger for an X-box system for each member of the town, you might not be feeling so good. The money left you in both instances. It went to Russia in both instances. I think the breakdown from feeling good to infuriation at doing the exact same thing from your end in each case comes from being duped. The people I work with seem to think they are being duped by the people that receive government assistance. In their mind, it appears my co-workers believe that their tax dollars are going to people that do not want to work. Our sweat and muscle are the welfare that supports the owners socially condoned desires to do as little work for the most money. Or something like that.

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Comment by Victoria's View on November 20, 2008 at 8:47pm
Why don't we open up those gordy big (mainly empty) big churches for the homeless. Isnt that what their jesus would really like them to do?
Comment by Victoria's View on November 20, 2008 at 8:45pm
The old American mantra of giving it all to the corporate rich and it will filter down to the poor at last has been found to be a big fat lie. No the money stays mainly in the pockets of the richest people on earth. There is are saying that goes mainly goes like this. A country is measured on the way they care for their most vunerable.

You can bet your last piddly dollar these people who look down on a helping hand in troubled times are christians. Oh me oh my the hypocrisy of religion!!!
Comment by mthoreau on November 20, 2008 at 5:43pm
My fellow Americans never cease to amaze me. We seem to hate welfare because we believe in "rugged individualism" but at the same time we are so passive in our dealings with our government and bosses. It can't be like this everywhere.

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