welfare dependence

Science is our most powerful way of understanding our surroundings, our bodies, our health, our environment. Our civilization at this point is based on knowledge gleaned from scientific research. Our welfare depends on science. And limiting our investigation of science will limit our progress as a civilization

Mordecai-Mark Mac Low, Curator, Department of Astrophysics

anonymous asked:

What do you think about the people who make their dog/cats go vegan?

I have avoided answering this question because I don’t have the energy for drama, but the short answer is:

I do not approve of vegan diets for dogs, and I especially do not approve of vegan diets for cats. I would urge people to put their own privileged opinions aside and provide as best they can for the animal directly under their care before compromising that animal’s health over livestock which are not directly under their care, and will be slaughtered regardless of what they feed their pet.

Most vegans I know do not expect an animal to defy its physiology for a human’s ethical code. They chose to become vegan out of concern for animal welfare, and do not want to compromise the welfare of animals dependent upon them for some sort of arbitrary point scoring system.

anonymous asked:

What's the difference between sx/sp and sp/sx?



Motivation: to live in a secure, comfortable environment where they can pursue their private interests in depth.

These people often have an earthy, mysterious quality to them. They are quietly intense, but to others may seem oblivious to the greater social world around them, instead favoring personal interests. They are slow to commit, but once they do it is with an attitude of life commitment, to the establishment of an impermeable bond. Others can be taken aback by how suddenly and completely this type can lock into them, and by the depth of understanding of the other’s condition. They attach to others at an organic, root level, in contrast to the other subvariant’s surface formality. Somewhat hesitant to enter new relationships, they instead preserve the select few enduring bonds they carefully form along the way. The sanctuary of home is of paramount concern, and this type takes particular delight in decorating their spaces to reflect their cherished sense of taste and depth. Depth and discrimination characterize this stacking.

Expression: wistful self-absorbed expression, sighing, magic is in their head

Energy: calm, steady energy expressed intensely, withdrawing

Behavior: withdrawn, calm, wistful and self absorbed

Mindset: “I can have merging/intensity without having to leave my orderly & pleasing lifestyle.” (imagination, safe people and relationships, when the safety of these are challenged they withdraw)

Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to seek intense connections and experiences for the sake of their primary concern of maintaining physical saftey, comfort, and an orderly lifestyle, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the need to connect in a broader sense with the world, of a sense of security or in groups or of the need to seek it, or even of the need to foster approval, support, and understanding of themselves within groups they are connected with, often causing misunderstandings with allies, supporters, friends, and family members.


Motivation: to know the heart, reconcile inner conflict, form a secure union.

This is perhaps the most internally conflicted of the stackings, and potentially the most inconsistent in behavior. This may occur as a blockage of the sexual instinct which can be redirected as a more generally brooding and troubled personality. They may isolate themselves for long periods of time before reemerging. They live according to a strictly personal outlook and are not particularly concerned with the approval of others outside of their immediate concern. They seem to be searching for something, the missing piece. If they find a soulmate they will unite without fanfare, forming a secret bond, dealing with formalities as an afterthought. Powerful sexual impulses facing inner resistance may manifest symbolically in the psyche, giving way to soulful interpretations of the unconscious. Under periods of stress severe sexual tensions may manifest as erratic, impulsively destructive behavior. Can seem restless, torn between the comforts of a stable home life and the urge to wander. May be prone to self-medicating.

Expression: intense, self-absorbed expression

Energy: intense energy expressed calmly, steadily, assertively

Behavior: intense, assertive, troubled and self absorbed

Mindset: “If I can make (us) have an orderly & pleasing lifestyle, I can keep up and escalate all this merging/intensity.”

Blind spot: Likely to neglect their desire to maintain physical saftey, comfort, and an orderly lifestyle for the sake of their primary concern of seeking intense connections and experiences, in average-healthy levels. May not have an awareness of the need to connect in a broader sense with the world, of a sense of security or in groups or of the need to seek it, or even of the need to foster approval, support, and understanding of themselves within groups they are connected with, often causing misunderstandings with allies, supporters, friends, and family members.

TL;DR I’d say that the SP/SX searches for new methods to maintain his welfare (physical/mental/emotional, depending on core type), while the SX/SP searches for safe ways to supplement and reconcile his inner conflict.

Here are some other links I thought might provide you with a clearer perspective:

[X] / [X]

‪And people still think that feminism and all this ‘progress’ is organic and not pre-planned at all. ‬
So naive.


Destruction of life and culture is inevitable unless we do something to turn the tide around before it is too late.

Be serious about your faith and about attending Mass,
Protect your children from depravity and degeneracy,
Encourage traditional gender roles within the home/family
Marry well, marry young and stay married,
Have lots of children,
Work hard and do not depend on welfare/benefits,
Protect and nurture your marriage and family because these are the backbone of a functional society and a promising future,
Build a family and a legacy, based on strong values, faith, ethics, and morals.

Jefferson refused to pin his hopes on the occasional success of honest and unambitious men; on the contrary, the great danger was that philosophers would be lulled into complacence by the accidental rise of a Franklin or a Washington. Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion.
—  Daniel Boorstin (1914-2004) American writer.  

anonymous asked:

Admit it. You lazy anticapitalists on welfare depend on white working folk you despise so much to keep those welfare checks coming in.

Young dolphins in Western Australia like to pass around blowfish — probably to get high, according to new research.
Krista Nicholson, a researcher at Murdoch University in Perth, observed young porpoises holding a blowfish in their mouths for several hours, before passing it along to their friends. But they never actually eat the blowfish — they just chew on one and then toss it around.
Blowfish contain a toxin known as tetrodotoxin, which is lethal for humans. But scientists claim that small doses in dolphins put them in a trance-like state.
The suggestion that the dolphins are getting high isn’t a new observation — a research paper from 1995 noted the same behavior with bottle-nosed dolphins in Portugal, and a 2014 BBC documentarywas the first to film the unusual behavior.
“This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating,” Rob Pilley, a producer on the series, told the Sunday Times ahead of the premiere. “It was the most extraordinary thing to see.”
But some scientists are in disagreement over the dolphins’ behavior: While many believe in the above “puff, puff, pass” theory, others — including Nicholson — say the tetrodotoxin only makes the dolphins feel numb, not high.
Either way, dolphins aren’t the only members of the animal kingdom who know how to get a buzz. Elephants eat fermented fruit to get drunk, Siberian reindeer munch on hallucinogenic mushrooms and wallabies like to get high off poppies.

The tax that was supposed to soak the rich has instead soaked America. The beneficiary of the income tax has not been the poor, but big government. The income tax has given us a government bureaucracy that outnumbers the manufacturing work force. It has created welfare dependencies that have entrapped millions of Americans in an underclass that is forced to live a sordid existence of trading votes for government handouts.
—  Paul Craig Roberts

hispanicpizza  asked:

I’ve always wondered, are you pro-life or pro-choice?

Thanks for asking :) I’m pro-life. I don’t believe we should demonize women who have had an abortion, and I’m definitely not part of the “lock them up” crowd, but I believe we must prevent abortion by placing greater value on sex and relationships and accountability for our decisions.

Being pro-life is often accused of being anti-woman but personally I see it as the opposite, especially when you consider that just as many women are against abortion as for it and being pro-life has always been a feminist stance, especially among the Suffragettes, until second wave feminists hijacked the movement and began telling women that being a mother is oppressive, children are a burden and aborting them is no different to shitting out a tumor. 

Of course it should be illegal for the simple fact that wiping out another life to make yours a little easier should never have been given the thumbs up to begin with, but it’s also important to change our entire attitude around abortion and focus on the issues women blame for pushing them to kill their baby so we can solve them, helping both woman and baby.

Keep in mind the typical abortion seeker is a low-income, black, single mother. Despite making up about 13 percent of the women’s population, these women abort 5 times the amount of babies, meaning if you were a racist then you’d probably be all for keeping abortion alive and well, not the other way around.

Of course these black women don’t want another mouth to feed when they’re dependent on the state, they don’t have the emotional support or financial stability one gets when in a steady relationship and the worst part is they usually don’t want it as the idea of a happy, successful nuclear family is a “white thing.”

Even the pro-abortionists are giving up on the stupid argument that an unborn baby isn’t a real human so it’s important we turn to the causes of why women are aborting their pregnancy and help them to either make better decisions to avoid getting knocked up in the first place or stress the importance of having a plan and building a strong relationship with their partner. 

Though the simple act of asking women to establish loving and reliable relationships and take responsibility for their actions is shut down as sexist, and asking black Americans to stop seeing the nuclear family as a white thing and single motherhood and welfare dependency as a black thing is shut down as racist. It’s instead considered more “progressive” to cheer on chopping up fetuses and suctioning them out of women, I guess because it’s easier and saves having to focus on these inconvenient and uncomfortable “sexist” and “racist” truths.

anonymous asked:

Hi there! I hope I'm not being obnoxious by asking this if you've already gotten asks about it- but what's your opinion on the supposed welfare reform that Trump is considering? You're one of the few places I know of that isn't full of "this is garbage" bias and false facts, so I figured you'd be one of the few to put research in it instead of me happening upon biased news sources (Fox or something). Thanks, and have a good day/night (depending on the time you see this!) <3!

Heyy! No of course not, it’s not something I’ve really talked about on here so I appreciate the time you’ve taken to ask :) 

The split political views on welfare are quite easy to define. Democrats want to raise taxes to fund their government-run programs to keep people reliant on welfare, Republicans want to cut taxes and lower welfare spending while pushing for self-sufficiency and getting more people into the workforce.

Democrats accuse Republicans of only wanting to cut taxes for Americans to “make the rich richer” and cries a welfare reform will result in “millions of children being forced into starvation,” while Republicans accuse Democrats of keeping the poor, well, poor, and paying for the endless welfare programs is only inflating the country’s $20 trillion debt. 

The government spent approximately $746 billion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011 alone. CRS reports that food stamps, the third largest welfare program behind health and cash assistance, has seen the greatest increase in spending with 71 percent hikes, over 12 million extra people signed up for food stamps after Obama won presidency.

Federal spending on welfare programs outpaces spending on any other federal expenditures such as as non-war defense, social security, medicare and departments such as justice, transportation and education. 

This won’t be the first reform though. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was passed twenty years ago and it was such a huge success that both Democrats and Republicans were desperate to take credit for it. 

The bill instituted work or education requirements for most kinds of assistance, including the food stamps program, and caseloads dropped by about a half, there were huge increases in work among former recipients, while at the same time poverty among American, especially children, was reduced to it’s lowest level in history and the country saved billions of dollars. 

The work requirements enabled the focus to shift from measuring success by how many people are receiving welfare to how many people are entering the workforce and I think that’s a really important point. Though soon after Obama took office, he introduced waivers for the work requirements in the SNAP program and states were allowed to give benefits to practically anyone who signed up for it. More waivers and leniency over the years has ended pretty much every advantage the first reform gave both Americans and the economy. 

I have to agree with Jeff Sessions when he says, “No longer should we measure compassion by how much money the government spends, but by how many people we help to rise out of poverty. Welfare assistance should be seen as temporary whenever possible, and the goal must be to help more of our fellow citizens attain gainful employment and financial independence.“

A Rasmussen poll found 80 percent of Americans agree with the statement “work is the best solution for poverty.” Another study from the American Enterprise Institute found that Americans strongly support “workfare,” or welfare in exchange for meaningful work. Around 87 percent of those surveyed in 2016 said they supported these work requirements.

The way most Americans have gotten out of poverty is through work and marriage. Consider 23% of all black families live below the poverty level, 46% when it’s just a black single mother households, but that number drops below the national level to just 8% for black married couple families. 

Also consider just 3% of people live below the poverty level if they work full-time hours, that number even stays steady near the national rate when working part-time at 16%. It makes sense to ensure any attempts to end poverty is to stress the importance of work, family and marriage. Too many Americans are not earning their way out of poverty because they are trapped in a system that discourages work and encourages single mother households. 

The current national welfare system is plagued with abuse and administrative issues, this is simple fact and while political parties can’t agree whether welfare dependancy and massive spending to fund it helps or hinders Americans, to me it’s undeniable that a reform in some kind is desperately needed.

While the welfare program should be designed to get people out of poverty, it should also put limits on itself. Annual expenditures into welfare should be capped to prevent the programs from expanding uncontrollably, goals should be placed on these policies to encourage work and remind people that welfare should be the last resort, and the federal government should also start reducing its own authority so states can do more on the local level.

Those who have truly fallen on hard times deserve our genuine sympathy, and we shouldn’t snarl at them for turning to as easy and accessible a source of relief as government welfare. Yet we should also avoid making needy people feel comfortable being totally dependent upon the government. Focus should be on work, marriage, saving money and independence, to assure more people will be lifted out of poverty and not remain there for even more generations on end. Thank you for your question and I hope you have a nice day yourself! :) xx 

No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him, that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of goodwill which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude — gratitude, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. 

“Or to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such, its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not be exactly defined. She respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him, she felt a real interest in his welfare; and she only wanted to know how far she wished that welfare to depend upon herself, and how far it would be for the happiness of both that she should employ the power, which her fancy told her she still possessed, of bringing on the renewal of his addresses.”

@senjuazuna I’m answering your question in a new post because it was a bit off topic. I’m also going to use this as an opportunity to explain my views about abortion.

In response to your question specifically, I’m kind of torn. Sure, a fetus is human. There’s nothing else it could be right? Clearly it isn’t a fully developed human with self awareness though. Personally, I think abortions should be done no later than the first trimester. That’s more than enough time for the woman to make a decision. Any later than that is just too inhumane.

I think abortions are going to happen regardless of the legality of them. I would rather see them done right. I also don’t want to see a massive increase in crime rates and welfare dependency because many many more children are being born into poverty. That would be an inevitability if we did away with legal abortions.

I don’t like abortion. I don’t think it should be used as a form of birth control. I think giving a child up for adoption is a better choice. Still, I see it as a necessary evil. I’m sure plenty of people will argue that point with me but that’s my stance on it.

To those Australians who may now be unable to seek medical care, who may now struggle to continue their education, who may no longer be able to collect the welfare payments they depend upon to survive, who may now have to choose between heating their homes this winter and eating, whose jobs or pensions are now in jeopardy, whose access to indigenous programmes is threatened, who recognise the looming threat to our environment, who will now find it harder to support their families, who were already struggling and will now struggle more.

We hear you. We stand with you.

They do not do this in our name.

As for Elizabeth, her thoughts were at Pemberley this evening more than the last; and the evening, though as it passed it seemed long, was not long enough to determine her feelings towards one in that mansion; and she lay awake two whole hours endeavouring to make them out. She certainly did not hate him. No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude. - Gratitude, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride excited not only astonishment but gratitude - for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such, its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not be exactly defined. She respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him; she felt a real interest in his welfare; and she only wanted to know how far she wished that welfare to depend upon herself, and how far it would be for the happiness of both that she should employ the power, which her fancy told her she still possessed, of bringing on the renewal of his addresses.

Jane Austen, Elizabeth reassesses her opinion of Mr. Darcy

i finally remember why they used ‘Gratitude’ as the title for that episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

anonymous asked:

Hi ally this might sound weird but I feel like I have no future. I look at everyone around me and know they'll have an amazing life, but I just know I won't. I've made so many mistakes in my past, I messed everything up. I'm not smart or pretty. I won't have a great future so I don't really see the point of staying alive? I've made too many mistakes already, it's too late, too late to fix anything, I don't know what I should do :(

Hey lovely. I’m sorry to hear you feel that way. I’ll let you in on a secret though, most of us feel that way, at least once or twice in our lives. It’s sad, because we all have UNLIMITED potential, and can do literally anything we want to. You are smart. You are beautiful. You can be anything you set your mind on, just as long as you believe in it/yourself. 

There’s a quote I love that goes ‘whether you think you can or can’t, either way - you’re right.’

If you have confidence and faith in yourself, there’s nothing that can stop you from reaching your goals. Similarly, if you tell yourself straight off that you can’t achieve your dreams and give up before trying, then you’ve already taken yourself out of the running and don’t even get a chance to try. That doesn’t seem fair, does it? You deserve a shot at life, just like anyone else. You’re a good person, you are a human being who makes mistakes like the rest of us, but ultimately wants to have a positive influence on this world… so choose to!

It is never, ever, ever, ever, ever too late to live the life you wanted, or be the person you want to be. Your past is only a story, and it only defines you if you let it. Don’t let it. Let go of any regrets - all we have is the present. The future isn’t certain either, so why not just focus on today? What can you do today that will make you happy? That will make someone else happy? What can you do today that will help you get that little bit closer to the person you want to be? I know it probably sounds like something you’d read on a mug or cheesy card, but YOU CAN CREATE ANY LIFE YOU WANT. Why are you saying you won’t have a great future? The only thing that determines that is you. Not your past, not your mistakes or your history, but the choices you make TODAY and from here on out! And if you think making mistakes or failing in the past means automatically failing in the future, let me tell you about:

  • Walt Disney - originally fired from his job at the newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
  • Albert Einstein - Didn’t learn to speak until he was 4, didn’t learn to read until he was 7, leading his parents and teachers to think he was mentally disabled.
  • Thomas Edison - Told by teachers he was “too stupid to learn anything”, was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough, and made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the lightbulb before getting it right.
  • Oprah Winfrey - Suffered an abusive childhood and then many career setbacks, including being fired from her job as a reporter as she was deemed “unfit for tv”.
  • The Beatles - Rejected by recording companies who said “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out”. The rest of the world disagreed on both counts!
  • Michael Jordan - Cut from his high school basketball team, and had been in the cheerleading squad previous to that. He said “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  • JK Rowling - She was living in poverty, depressed, divorced and trying to raise a child on her own, depending on welfare support from the government and was rejected by publishers 12 times before finally having someone sign on for Harry Potter. In 5 years, she went from relying on welfare payments to survive by each month, to being one of the richest women in the whole world (and responsible for making me fall in love with reading/becoming the person I am today).

All some of the most powerful people and recognised names, all went through turmoil, and failed over and over before finding their biggest success. 

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!

windandsails  asked:

Yo, that cartoon you posted with the pigs representing countries, that's not racism, that's political commentary. It's making fun of the fact that Greece, and Spain to a somewhat lesser extant, is, compared to most countries in the EU, dirt-poor, but now matter how much money Germany pumped into it when their economy was failing it didn't seem to help. The author, whether he's right or wrong, is saying that the countries don't deserve the financial help, because they're just gobbling it (cont.)

(pt. 2) gobbling it up. I can’t comment on Portugal since I don’t know their situation, but I don’t know why Italy is there since they’re not doing nearly as badly as Greece is. I suppose the artist is saying Italy is begging for the money even though it doesn’t need it, and is gorging itself on it just like the other three countries in the cartoon. I’m certainly not an expert on the situation itself, it’s just that it was obvious to me what the cartoon was saying and I think you misread it.

1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, well the reason I disagree is because the real issue isn’t this cartoon alone- I choose this cartoon because it represented a lot of the stereotypes towards Southern Europeans in the EU. It’s not so much the author. But the fact that loads of people were throwing around this type of imagery too- his cartoon is just an symptom, not the whole problem. You’re right that it’s political commentary- I know the cartoon here is about the Eurozone crisis and it is saying that Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (hence the “PIGS” imagery everyone seized on) were responsible for the sovereign debt crisis they got into by being fiscally ill-disciplined and just hedonistically enjoying themselves. But the issue is about the North/South Europe divide. What should purely be an economic issue is infected with a lot of nasty cultural and ethnic stereotypes, because of intra-European fault lines.
  • Have you heard of the “lazy savage” caricature? Where European colonial rulers often portrayed Africans and other people in tropical climates as being “lazy” in contrast to the “white man’s Christian work ethic”? There is something quite similar that got applied to Southern Europe by Northern Europe- there was a lot of talk about how Southern European countries were “lazy and ill-disciplined people who just like taking siestas”, in contrast to the “good and reliable” Northern Europeans (even though some countries that got into trouble, like Ireland and Iceland, are obviously not Southern European).
  • To resolve the crisis, the EU used extremely harsh (and questionable) austerity measures that put these countries to hell and back. And when they were genuinely struggling as the austerity cause unemployment to sky rocket and many families to struggle, there was little sympathy and a whole “you’re just lazy and ill-disciplined as usual” from other Northern European countries. I mean, contrast to how the US financial crisis was just framed globally mainly as the mismanagement that it was? From my position in Asia back then, there wasn’t a bunch of cultural stereotypes about Americans as a whole entering the picture. It was all about the bankers and politicians.
  • You know the way in the US a lot of ethnic minorities who depend on welfare because they tend to be from financially deprived backgrounds are stereotyped as welfare queens or parasites who “don’t know hard work”? Something similar operates here. The fact that Southern European countries are warmer and on average have more people with more tanned skin or darker hair and eyes does feed into this type of dynamic of Otherness regarding how Northern Europe views Southern Europe. Culturally, most of the Southerners are Latin countries and have a lot more non-European influences, and that seems to be the reason I have had strange conversations with Northern Europeans who say Southerners are “not really white” or at least “not white like us”.
Basically, the Eurozone crisis brought a lot of these attitudes to the surface because the alleged “lack of work ethic” in Southern Europe seemed to “prove” the North/South cultural difference to many people- with the implication that Southern Europe is full of lazy and ill-disciplined people. And this cartoon is an example of these prevailing attitudes, though of course the cartoonist might not have himself seen it that way. But he was using imagery and widespread underlying stereotypes floating around.

What does poverty look like to you?

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Many Americans are still struggling to keep food on the table after the Great Recession. Right now, 1 in 7 Americans are “food insecure” and approximately 47.4 million are surviving on food stamps, referred to as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That means there’s a strong chance you may know someone living on SNAP or close to needing food assistance. Are your friends wearing dirty clothes, begging for scraps on the street? I am going to make the assumption they are not. There’s still a heavy stigma attached to the poor and what being in need is supposed to look like. We live in a society that shames poverty and implies that you brought it upon yourself. The Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, recently typified this notion, saying: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” One of the world’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, put it more bluntly in a magazine column: “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working.”

But one does not simply come out of poverty so easily. According to the Economic Policy Institute, half the jobs in the nation pay under than $34,000 a year. There are many contributing factors that can cause people to be poor. Problems start early with bad nutrition, inequitable public schools, lack of mentors, etc. Regardless of any individual circumstance, no one should feel bad for reaching out for help when in need.

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Recently, a few courageous lawmakers took the food stamp challenge, living off SNAP in an attempt to show that hunger is more than just a statistic. As U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who took the challenge, wrote: “All spontaneity is out the window. Feel like buying a cup of coffee? Forget it. Those pretzels in the vending machine look tempting? Keep walking. They’re not in the budget."  Governor Ted Strickland said "For the week [I took the challenge], I walked as much as I possibly could to avoid paying for transportation, skipped meals to save money — and I ate much smaller and less healthful meals when I did eat."  

I didn’t need to take the challenge, I lived it. And I learned a lot from it but mainly that I should never feel ashamed for reaching out for help. I also learned that I had my own stereotype of what being poor should look like. When I had to go to the SNAP office, I admit I was expecting to see the depths of poverty exemplified. Instead, I saw people from all walks of life: young and old, clean and dirty, black and white. I am Ivy League educated, worked for years, had decent savings, and wore nice clothes before times got hard and I lost my job. Besides being a black woman, on paper I didn’t look like my idea of a typical SNAP recipient. Anyone could easily slip into poverty. 

Why do we think so poorly of the poor? 

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Let’s officially kill the stereotype of what a SNAP recipient should look like: the black welfare queens, the lifetime dependents, the drug users, etc. You should not feel alone in your own bias towards the poor. Congress still has the stereotyped image of the fraudulent food stamper engrained in their minds as well. Ignore the fact that 83% who receive SNAP benefits are children, elderly, and people with disabilities. Or that there has been a decline in the number of people enrolled in SNAP. Congress still cut back SNAP benefits last year. Some members even suggested drug testing for recipients. 

A major food gap between the rich and the poor exists in our country. Though SNAP helps reduce hunger, by no means does it eliminate it and it certainly doesn’t encourage the purchase of nutritious food. 

I would be naive to assume that no one tries to game the system. But that number is estimated to be negligable: 3.4%. Plus it is very difficult to detect fraud in SNAP benefits in the first place. The mistrust of the poor and assumption that most take advantage of the system is detrimental to progress in reforming the system that supports them. As Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickeled and Dimed, wisely put it: "Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money."  We live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world; it’s a shame that we still struggle with how we treat people in need.


Weigh in with your opinion here

I find myself tormented by greatness. At 20 years old, I feel directionless. Insignificant. But if Martin Luther King died at 20 he would’ve been known as a local baptist preacher. If J.K Rowling died at 20 she would have been known as severely depressed divorced parent, dependant on welfare. If Johnny Depp died at 20 he would’ve been known as drug addict living out of a friends ’67 Chevy.

And if I died at 20? Only a sliver of my life potential.

Black people are probably the most stereotyped. I’m a black girl and

  • have soft, curly, natural hair, not “nappy” hair. I don’t wear weaves. (and I don’t mind if you touch it,go ahead) 
  • I often go to Starbucks and other “fancy” coffee shops
  • Both my parents are in full time jobs and I’m attending law school very soon
  • I don’t depend on the government’s support 
  • I don’t like Kool Aid or fried chicken at all. Or water melons. 
  • I am an active member of the community and love to help out others
  • Love all types of music, especially rock
  • Watch shows such as Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl etc.
  • I find “white humour” funny (and “black humour” too) 
  • I don’t have any baby daddies. Yay me?
  • I don’t have a criminal record, no one in my family does. 
  • I like all things science and politics
  • I’m quiet, reserved and have excellent manners. 

None of this makes me special or an “exception”.There are probably thousands of black girls who don’t fit into the stereotypes. And no, this isn’t me “acting white”. That’s actually a huge insult because you’re implying all black people are STD-ridden, government dependant poor welfare queens, and that I can only be human by “acting white”. Some white people commit crimes, are lazy and are obnoxious. Do I still act like a white person? Exactly. Not all white people are the same, so it doesn’t make sense “to act white”.  

Of course, there are many aspects where I do fit the stereotype: I listen to hip hop, I’m funny and I have an hour glass figure. But that doesn’t define me as a person, or who I am. 

So next time you see a black girl, don’t categorize her immediately. She might be better and more intelligent than you.

(hope this didn’t come off as arrogant.)