Some Question Whether States Should Tell Welfare Recipients How To Spend Their Benefits

I believe that these draconian welfare laws are proof positive that in order to have sound social and economic policy you must approach the issues divorced from bias, prejudice and dispel any prevailing myths that cloud legislators judgment; a tall order I know, but if we want to tackle difficult problems, it is best to do it intelligently and not from a place that responds to your baser instincts. There is such a serious and disheartening disconnect in the Republican conservative Party that simultaneously makes me sad and very angry; they are so quick to dehumanize the poor, but when it comes to the rich, there is nothing that they won’t do for them; from tax breaks, leniency in sentencing for crimes, allowing our society as a whole to carry their weight in terms of every policy decision under the sun, but if you are poor, you have the world to answer to and I refuse to let that slide. Public policy should have compassion, respect and decency built in and simply because you had the unfortunate luck to either be born into poverty or have had the economic life slapped out of you, due to the Great Recession, you should not be made to feel any less because of it. When you are poor the choices you have in life are both stark and little; our job as a society is to try to develop programs that will widen those choices and give over resources and tools to allow for families to build something strong so that they can rise out of their circumstances; if we coldly dictate and ration their choices, we are hamstringing their prospects and dignity. Why is it that the poor are assumed to be the grifters when in actuality it is more often the rich who go the extra mile to avoid taxes, perpetuate scams and cons on Wall Street and exhibit little to no remorse in those actions? It doesn’t say much of us as a society when the curtain is pulled back and we see what really lies beneath the veneer; that we worship money and who is in control of it, and we treat those who don’t have any abominably. If we truly believed in the American dream and our exceptionalism, we wouldn’t be so complacent about that sad reality.

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