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The Truth about Assistance

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posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 01:14 AM
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I decided to write a personal story for everyone here about something that happened to me recently so that hopefully your eyes can be opened.

Let's start with some back-story. I am a student with an IQ and test scores in the top 5% of the U.S. and, in addition to that, graduated college with many degrees and work on many projects including artistic and scientific ones and even business ventures.

However, due to circumstances outside of my control, I have had trauma and other issues in my life that has caused me to be on government services - of which I am trying to get off when I can. I struggled NOT to get them, but alas, it was the only option in the end.

Between anxiety and my abilities that are placed in odd arenas and holes in others, I am not a easy placement for a 9-5 job.

I was not going to go on food stamps because I thought it was beneath me, but after starving for four months straight I did and was able to get other finances in order easier because of this - food stamps have helped me to be able to save and make emergency funds. They are empowering.

My sister, also affected by some of the traumatic incidents outside of our control that hurt our family, also recently went on a four-month starvation streak before finally applying for food stamps. Neither of us feel safe asking our parents for help because we feel guilty, and both of us are highly qualified -

My sister is not only a chemistry major, she graduated in fashion design, had a 4.0 GPA at her private high school, and is a sought-after model as well as fashion designer in the Portland area. Part of it is admittedly the cost of doing her passion.

My resume includes organizing regional rock festivals, recording over 10 studio albums, producing various music videos and graduating with a math / physics / psychology major and a computer science among many other things.

I remember one time I was slated to perform on stage with a member from Guns and Roses, and the stage manager told me to "get off" because my equipment wasn't up to par - well we made up in the end, but the truth is, I don't rely on top-of-the-line equipment or meta game, but raw talent and earned skill.

Anyway, my sister and I are both on government assistance because, believe it or not, times are tough. Besides choosing to be artists (I am slowly working on transitioning into other areas of work) we have had and do have a lot of legitimate reasons our lives aren't perfect.

-----

Now let me give you this story. It's the main one I was going to share, about how vulnerable someone on a low budget can be.

The other day, my tire blew out because I ran over a piece of road rubble and I was not smart enough to stop my car right away and put on the spare - in fact, I didn't actually figure out the tire went flat in time to salvage it. That meant that I had to get the tire to Les Swab and find $110 to replace it, which I did not have - when my floating funds every month are in the negative (meaning I make some payments some months, and others others) it is hard to come up with $110. It can involve starving sometimes to get that extra "reserve cash."

At any rate, I had to call on my parents for assistance, and they were originally quite angry at me - I had to try to explain to them that I was not trying to go out of my way to destroy my tires so that they would have to pay for them. I explained that I needed their help because I was weak, not because I was trying to hurt myself for no apparent reason.

At any rate, even though I don't make enough money to eat (but I do get some food stamps), I told my mom how I was planning on putting away $110 in a special fund in case of another tire emergency. This is because I am learning to be resilient! It can be quite fun as a member of A.T.S., to be honest.

My mom was very kind and said that she would donate money to that emergency fund.

There is always another emergency hiding around the corner, and people who are well-off might not have empathy towards that kind of stress because of their lack of propinquity - I will tell you that I take caring about people seriously and although I am having a hard time, I am using it to learn about situations people are in that I was not lucky enough to experience when growing up in the top 1% of my town.

I have been through a lot of hell. My whole family was affected by a mass shooting at an Air Force Base when I was 9 years old, in fact, my psychiatrist and his whole office got shot in the heads. That was when I was being treated for autism and since then I ended up with P.T.S.D. - nothing is as simple as it seems.

Oftentimes, if you are shunning someone for not putting in the effort they need to put in to get assistance, you are more than likely the one who hasn't put in the effort needed to deserve the life you happened to get. That is my honest, and unbiased, surprisingly, opinion after observing many different life scenarios.

-----

Let's take a look at that from an unbiased angle. Yes, there are going to be successful people out there with little empathy for those who struggled - and they might lack character for that - and there are going to be successful people out there who have faced diversity, and they are going to be harder, better, faster, stronger.

The advice I want to give to someone who happens to be a successful person with little empathy for the poor is not negative advice - I would actually recommend going on a mission, working with low-end people, volunteering,

My first mission was going to Tijuana, Mexico in order to help rebuild a school there and doing things like that I think can make a real difference where it really matters.

I'm crazy - I would even go homeless for a year and travel the states by rail, keeping a journal, just because that's how I am - and how dedicated I am to learning what this country has to offer, what the people have to offer, and finding real soul. I'm a writer at heart, a journalist, an adventurer, and I will stand up to whatever is in my way - I remind myself of Hemingway in some respects, and I did grow up in Idaho for some of my life.

One of my friends did happen to go homeless for two years and traveled the country out of her car - even though she was an accomplished student and had graduated from a prestigious European University. That's hardly relevant to this story, but she had some troubles as well. Often really intelligent people these days have trouble making it in modern society due to being different - and being different is shunned by hostile nuero typicals more than it should be.

There is a lot more to life than that 9-5 job, and what I'm saying, is that if as a well-off person, you aren't empathetic to people who have to use what's around them to make the best of life every day you are missing out as well - it's not just a criticism, but an opportunity, for growth, for adventure, and for feeling alive.
edit on 19amSat, 19 Apr 2014 01:38:07 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



+2 more 
posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 01:50 AM
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Yes, but do you realize by accepting any help from the government will potentially take from oil company subsidy money? I hope you realize that there may be a starving billionare somewhere that because of your greed and wanting to eat, will go without a 100$ bill to light a cigar with and will have to resort to using like a 50 or something!

You should feel bad for yourself and vote against things helpful to the poor. Stand by your own merits, like corporations!

-brought to you by carls jr.


___
(btw, if any mod removes this post, I am going to tell your mother your being mean!)



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 02:03 AM
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a reply to: SaturnFX

Yeah that is a good point, there is more government "assistance" being paid out to rich corporations. Thanks for reminding me.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 03:23 AM
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I think one has to experience it first hand to truly understand though. You know that.

You don't need to explain why you need it. You just do, and that's all that needs to be said. Don't let what others think or say define who you are.

Good luck with the music!



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 03:27 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

Read your story and hope thing improve for you. Good for you on the gutsy way you have coped and the projects you have in mind.

I don't know if you get this in the USA but our Government seems to think its OK to allow some firms who do huge business and make huge profits in the UK not to pay UK tax on their UK business. That deprives our Exchequer of millions if not the odd billion.

I don't know the finances for the USA government Representatives and the expenses they can claim but again in the UK the expenses oveclaiming - in fact living off the state as though they were penniless, has finally caught up with our Politicians, most on the Front Bench in Parliament are all millionairs, many of inherited wealth who have never had to seriously budget in trheir lives. One look at the UK's Treasury Minister Osborne's smug face and you realise the contempt he has for those beneath his posh lifestyle. Had he have started fromn scratch I would wonder if he could have ever madce it out of junior school.

We all pay our taxes and its the ordinary people who get creamed for the extras. So don't ever be, in any way, stopped from claiming legitimate funds that your country, by taking - in order to run the USA provides from those taxes. Otherwise, if the Government does not make provision for its vulnerable citizens IT doesn't deserve the term government. Its not just about Trade, wars and administration of things outside human necessity, its about providing for the needs of all things government. - If you think about it, its citizens are its most important reason for existing in the first place and its most important asset.

Shiloh



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 04:11 AM
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I very strongly support wealthy first world nations having a strong social security system, so that those in need have access to enough money and/or social services to meet their basic overheads, and to maintain some sense of dignity. I work full time, and pay a reasonable amount of tax on my income - I am more than happy to pay that tax, knowing that some of that money goes into the social security system.

I'm of the belief that we have a reasonable welfare system in Australia. It's not great, and a lot of people do struggle on it, but one can survive on it. I recently authored a thread about 'Dole bludgers', and an article written by a woman called Sue Townsend who died last week. Her article discusses what it was like to be on social security in Britain in the 1970s and a pretty picture it is not. The thread, with links to her article can be found here ; www.abovetopsecret.com...

It is my opinion that no one should feel bad if circumstances force them into a position whereby they need assistance from the state. I think that is part of the very reason we pay taxes. Was not communism itself a reaction against the exploitation of the working class? I believe that post WW2, the reason a number of Northern European countries implemented welfare systems, was the fear of having Soviet style Bolshevik revolutions. Extending welfare would hopefully quell the hunger in the bellies of those without work, and hopefully quell the anger caused by an inequitable system of income distribution. Is it fair for someone to have billions in the bank while others starve?

Sometimes I think the whole concept of trickle down economics is a huge joke perpetrated by the rich, for the rich, and it's quite easy to tar anyone who disagrees a communist agitator.




posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 06:08 AM
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Often really intelligent people these days have trouble making it in modern society due to being different - and being different is shunned by hostile nuero typicals more than it should be. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


I was with you all the way until that. Quite insulting.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 06:16 AM
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Well I hope things improve for you very soon. Things can change very quickly. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
i have been unemployed since Nov. 2013. Down to my last week of unemployment. Wiped my savings out. I can see I went through a lot of changes. Mainly in my grocery shopping. I didnt always buy strictly frozen, junk food but I bought my share.
Now there isnt anything I buy that isnt "fresh" ingredients that needs to be prepared and cooked. Was down to eating about once a day.

My girlfriend told me not to be ashamed to ask for help. I have worked my whole life and I needed it. Thankfully I could apply for welfare online because I really didnt want to go to the welfare office. Had a phone interview with a caseworker the very next day.

Yesterday got 3 separate notices in the mail saying I was denied anything. I guess I don't deserve it?
Needless to say I was very concerned and things changed very quickly for the better. Got a phone call and going back to work Monday morning!

So keep your head up and don't get discouraged. Sometimes there are jobs out there but may be hard to find. I say this because years ago I somehow found a job offer working in Antarctica. It was with Raytheon polar services. Ended up not taking the job but continued to look at their website occasionally. They have so many different types of jobs offered all around the globe.
Sounds like you are multi talented. Not all job openings are listed on Monster or craigslist.
Good luck in whatever you do



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 06:19 AM
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originally posted by: darkbake
a reply to: SaturnFX

Yeah that is a good point, there is more government "assistance" being paid out to rich corporations. Thanks for reminding me.


Let me just simply reinforce that with $600+ BILLION other reasons ...

US Corporate Military Contracts? Subsidized to death?


But this just adds to the fact how much the US economy is subsidized by the government nowadays and how so much of corporate America depends on that $600+ billion defense budget.


The USA is a military welfare state!



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 06:36 AM
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a reply to: darkbake
Having lived with similar troubles, but being perceived as very able and intelligent, I sympathize 100%. I feel that many of my problems wouldn't have affected me or my life, had i born into an earlier time.

a few years back, a new friend asked me why, with all my abilities and talents, my life is as it is, so others do notice and if they are not feeling well disposed towards you, they judge you as being less than. what no one seems to understand, is I have to put in 3 times the average effort, just to stop myself going backwards in life. It doesn't leave much time or energy for moving forwards and creating financial stability.

as you say, when one thing goes wrong, it can have a domino effect on everything else, one flat tyre could be enough to derail everything.

Living on this edge would be hard enough for the "average" person, but with asd and other similar neurological problems, living on the edge can keep you on the edge which has a knock on effect with everything else.

I am not explaining very clearly, but i suspect you will understand where i am coming from



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 07:15 AM
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Thanks for sharing your insight and experience, and for not being ashamed to admit the specifics of your situation.

I work housekeeping part-time. It's a good job for a highschool drop-out like me, but I still need food stamps. I really should have a 2nd part-time job somewhere in order to be stable, but using public transit would make it very difficult to get to another job on time. My commute is already 1.5 hours each way.

My boss tends to hire artsy/weirdo types (they teem in this city) who need stable income on the side. It's a small business with less than 10 employees. The turnover is high and I get to meet and talk to alot of young women at work. I'm surprised how many single working people need assistance right now. I've bought food for others with my food stamps a few times.

What I wanted to post to say tho, is that my compassion goes the other way. When I'm cleaning for the much-more-fortunate, I think of how precarious their position is, how much debt they have, how their happiness and comfort is hinged on so many factors and they have so far to fall if something goes wrong.

I'm on the bottom. Bad things can happen and I can't get much lower than this. My life is stressful, it's a struggle, but I'm prepared for it, I can handle it. I feel like those I clean for are unprepared for almost-inevitable tumult.

They may not have to freak out over a flat tire. They can pay for that. But there are so many more things that can go wrong for them than can go wrong for me. They have so many more risk factors, and most of them are beyond their control. They would feel completely broken and probably ashamed to ask for assistance.

This line of thought helps keep me from wanting to destroy all their things.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 08:35 AM
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a reply to: darkbake
Believe it or not, you are a better person spiritually for having nothing.

Experiencing poverty, hunger, and need, awakens something inside most of us that makes us realise that being a human-being is more valuable than being rich. There is much more to this life than material gain.

You are earning spiritual wealth, it is by far more rewarding and more valuable than money and 'things', and no man can ever rob you of it, legally or illegally, or tax you on it (not yet). And unlike material wealth, you CAN take it with you when you leave this life. When you're stood side-by-side with Rothschild at the Pearly Gates, he will be the one stood there with nothing, not you.

You are richer than the richest on the planet. Spiritual wealth and humanity costs nothing, yet it is so priceless it remains way out of the financial reach of the likes of the Rothschilds. All their $billions can't buy it.

Let the rich ruthlessly trample on humanity in their insatiable quest to own everything, their rewards at the end of this life will be less than zero.

I wouldn't ever want to swap my life for that of the filthy rich - who wants to be a soul-less, human look-a-like?
edit on 19-4-2014 by doobydoll because: punctuation



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: spooky24

Hi spooky. Darkbake has autism, and there are a lot of very intelligent people who have a hard time fitting in due to being on the autism spectrum. I didn't think he meant "neurotypical" people are unintelligent - just that the intelligent folks who have ASD don't fit in the world the way that equally intelligent neurotypical people do. That was my understanding, anyway.

Peace,

AB



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: darkbake
So you're just too delicate, damaged and brilliant to pull your own weight? Your post is a very good example of why so many people choose the public assistance route. We now live in a country of people who believe they are too good for ordinary work. Meanwhile immigrants arrive here and work our crappy jobs, live 10 people to a 2 bedroom apartment and achieve business ownership and middle class status within a generation. By generation 2 or 3 they're all graduating colleges and taking the highly skilled jobs.

The likes of you complain of 'ptsd' and phantom mental illnesses. Yeah, you just can't work a regular 9 to 5, you have too much anxiety, you just couldn't handle it. If it weren't for the welfare state, people like you wouldn't survive. You and your kind are the result of the eradication of natural selection and the downfall of traditional values in this country. Yeah, keep crying and making excuses, the rest of us will continue to pick up your tab. Hope your anxiety and ptsd don't keep you awake at night.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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originally posted by: spooky24



Often really intelligent people these days have trouble making it in modern society due to being different - and being different is shunned by hostile nuero typicals more than it should be. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


I was with you all the way until that. Quite insulting.


"Nuerotypical" doesn't mean stupid; it means you don't have any of the uncommon nuerological conditions like Autism.

Being "nuerotypical" means you don't have anything like that. Don't worry, as the pharmaceutical industry keeps expanding, you'll eventually have something they can diagnose and medicate you with. "Nuerotypical" is becoming less and less typical. But, in any case, the OP was not throwing it around as an insult and his point is valid.
edit on 19-4-2014 by Cuervo because: spellin' schmellin'



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 11:16 AM
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originally posted by: hammanderr
a reply to: darkbake
So you're just too delicate, damaged and brilliant to pull your own weight? Your post is a very good example of why so many people choose the public assistance route. We now live in a country of people who believe they are too good for ordinary work. Meanwhile immigrants arrive here and work our crappy jobs, live 10 people to a 2 bedroom apartment and achieve business ownership and middle class status within a generation. By generation 2 or 3 they're all graduating colleges and taking the highly skilled jobs.

The likes of you complain of 'ptsd' and phantom mental illnesses. Yeah, you just can't work a regular 9 to 5, you have too much anxiety, you just couldn't handle it. If it weren't for the welfare state, people like you wouldn't survive. You and your kind are the result of the eradication of natural selection and the downfall of traditional values in this country. Yeah, keep crying and making excuses, the rest of us will continue to pick up your tab. Hope your anxiety and ptsd don't keep you awake at night.


Darkbake - This ^^^ is what I mean by a soul-less, human look-a-like.

One of the many 'I'm alright Jack and I'm pulling the ladder up' types. He knows that taking sustenance away from poor people won't make the world a better place for him nor make him richer, but he would take it anyway, not because he needs it, but just so you can't have it. It probably wouldn't make him happy, but the fact it would make you unhappy is enough for him.

I could never go through life sowing hate like that, it's toxic.

Having nothing has taught me that counting my blessings is what makes life happy, not counting money.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 12:09 PM
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a reply to: doobydoll
How do you know I'm not poor myself? You don't. You guys are so steeped in a self pitying, entitled, defeatist attitude that you resent hard working people. Get off your soft delicate whiny butts and work as hard as I do. Then you'll have my sympathy.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: doobydoll

Sing it, sister! Hallelujah!

Not to single-out that particular poster, but it's a good example of the "strongly-opposed" view for no reason other than the belief that no one should have it any easier than them.

They think they're concerned about it being "fair", but that's not rational. Aren't we all inclined to believe we've been through more trouble and hardship than others, simply because it's our own experience? It's relative really. We don't always recognize the advantages we've had that others haven't. When we do achieve something, we want to believe it is merited and deserved, when it really had to do with innumerable other factors, like luck, paperwork, social connections.

It's difficult for one person to measure what another person does or doesn't deserve. We're all entitled to our opinions on that, of course, but our petty opinions empower governments. I don't like the situation at all. I don't like empowered governments, no matter what they say they're trying to do. It hurts this to help that, back and forth all the time, and it devolves into just constantly trying to patch what got messed up before. Government starts believing it needs to do more and more, people believe they are responsible for less and less.

I wish it were different. And I didn't intend to ramble on so much!



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: hammanderr

I think I understand how you feel. Yours is an emotional argument and I think I understand why. I'm sure you DO work VERY hard.

It's sad, but do you know what happens to such hard-working people within this system? My parents both worked full-time jobs they each held for decades while I was growing up. We were poor, but they were always just above the income limits for getting ANY kind of assistance. Neither of them had any expensive vices. They had to drive 10-20 miles to work, they'd come home, eat, watch tv, sleep, and do it all over again. All their adult lives.

My dad is now retired and my mother is disabled. They get foodstamps now. They're old and broke. That's the world we live in. Yes, they could have made some better decisions in their lives, but they didn't make any really wrong decisions. They just lived their boring lives and made it by.

THAT is not fair. It's not fair to you, or them, or any of us. People being on assistance isn't the problem, they're not the ones to attack.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 02:41 PM
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originally posted by: hammanderr
a reply to: doobydoll
How do you know I'm not poor myself? You don't. You guys are so steeped in a self pitying, entitled, defeatist attitude that you resent hard working people. Get off your soft delicate whiny butts and work as hard as I do. Then you'll have my sympathy.

It doesn't concern me whether you are poor or not, and I certainly don't want yours nor anyone's sympathy. If I did, why would I seek it from someone such as yourself who appears to be incapable of giving anything, let alone sympathy?

It isn't that we 'resent hard-working people', because many of us are hard-working ourselves and cannot provide basic needs for families without government assistance, despite working hard.

You fell for government double-speak when gov said it will make working people better off than unemployed people. Instead of giving working people more for their labour, gov wants to make you 'appear' better off than unemployed people by taking their assistance away. So you're not really 'better off' because gov has given you nothing. Gov is simply making the poor poorer and you think you're better-off as a result. You're not. You're still poor.

Maybe if you spend less time bashing other people and did more thinking, you might work out that your government hates you and is very clever at tricking you into doing and thinking what it wants you to do and think.

Don't trust government. Question everything it says and does.



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