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When Walking the Monetary Tightrope, Who Needs a Stinkin’ Safety Net?

Would you sign up for government handouts just because you would qualify?

Rhonda Robinson


August 3, 2013 - 11:00 am
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Life is like a three-ring circus.

Well, at least mine is. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just part of living a full life. This week, in the center ring we had a new grandson born. All eyes were fixed upon his beautiful little face. We marveled at the goodness of God. Like any grandmother would do, I traveled across a couple states just to kiss his cheek and give him my personal welcome. The front ring filled with anticipation and excitement as the new school year began for our last child at home. She’s inching closer to the high school finish line. Then there’s the ring in the back, behind us, where the light is dim and hidden from everyone’s view — it stood empty with only shadows of a 19th birthday party that would have been.

Over it all we walk the tightrope of a precarious financial state. We are attempting to balance health needs, an ever-tightening budget, and current obligations, all without dropping off that red line into the abyss of default.

I stumbled a little this week, but I didn’t fall. What I did do is learn a valuable lesson and make a firm new resolution. There will be no safety nets. A “safety net” is a false sense of security.

Allow me to explain.

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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Well said, madam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, I'm not against food in kids' mouths. I just remember the original purpose of food aid. It was to guarantee that in the next war, whichever war that was, the recruits would not be suffering from malnutrition. The end-game is not, and has never been, a healthy population fulfilling their own destiny: the end game is warm bodies as cannon fodder.

With that in mind, we've eaten lentils and rice and peanut sauce over noodles for years- food so cheap that the hard-up single mom next door looked down on it as 'too cheap.' I want my kids to have their own future, not the one dreamed up by violent progressive utopianists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I certainly admire the strength and determination of the author and several of the posters commenting here. Broadly speaking, I agree with the general point being made about personal responsibility being superior to government dependence. Indeed, since we a single income family, we here at home almost certainly qualify for "safety net" programs which we do not use or want.

Yet I think it is important to make the point that the biggest problem isn't safety-net programs themselves, but rather their gross mismanagement. After all, what is the point of "society" if we do not feel a responsibility to reach a helping hand out to those in genuine need?

Hard work does not always pay off and many find themselves in dire circumstance, not because they are lazy or directionless, but simply because life is cruel and so is capitalism as it is practiced in today's world.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I think it is important to make the point that the biggest problem isn't safety-net programs themselves, but rather their gross mismanagement. After all, what is the point of "society" if we do not feel a responsibility to reach a helping hand out to those in genuine need? "

No, sir. The problem is not gross mismanagement. The problem is one of principle. It is simply WRONG to take from earners by force, and give to non-earners.

There is a VAST difference between a society which feels a responsibility to help those in need, and a society which uses the force of arms (for that is ALWAYS the case when we pass laws) to COMPEL "giving".

This can be seen on a smaller scale by looking at employers. Many make it possible to make charitable donations via paycheck deduction. There's nothing wrong with that. However, we quickly see the wrong if the employer makes "donating" a condition of employment. "Give to my favorite charity or get fired." will quickly lead to a lawsuit.

Since it is wrong in principle, we can expect the results to be bad, over time. And in fact, they are. One bad result is that when "charity" is coerced by the government, real charity shrivels in direct proportion. The net result is WORSE for those in need, and, paradoxically, for those who no longer give.

The more obvious bad result is the dependency which such programs ALWAYS engender.

And, of course, there's that gross mismanagement business, too.

The net result is bad for everybody, because basic principles have been violated.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My son is learning disabled and has some related health problems. When he was a child, we could have gone the special ed route and qualified for numerous government benefits and programs. Instead, we sacrificed so he could be mainstreamed in a small private school classroom, then tutored till he could pass his GED, and we pushed him to find odd jobs and do household chores for pocket money.

He graduated community college last year and is employed at $ 8.50/hour. He still lives at home and contributes his fair share to our household expenses.

If we had gone the other route, he could undoubtedly have qualified by now for SSI disability and food stamps. And he would have about the same standard of living that he enjoys by working! But there are three advantages to the route we chose: (1) As a person with a job who can pay his own way and even pay taxes, my son helps maintain the nation instead of being a passenger; (2) he has dignity in the eyes of the community, his job uniform is a visible symbol to others as everyone in the neighborhood is aware that he works and earns his own money; (3) most important of all in my eyes, if the government benefits ever fail - if inflation reduces their value, for example - it won't matter to my son because he can take care of himself with or without government help. I am getting old and one day I won't be here for him, but I know that my son has a secure economic future.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
the safety "trap", once it gets there is no leaving. PPL need to plan ahead so that when the unexpected happens it can be better dealt with, as I'm doing right now!! Any way lots of luck to you, you deserve "luck" , and will find it because you are working for it:-)))
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In this country at this moment in time, whether you like it or not, the safety net is there for people just like you who are struggling. Whether you use it or not is up to you, but it's there nonetheless
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
exacly....PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU THAT ARE STRUGGLING. That leaves out about 80 million deadbeats that will NEVER, and I mean never, try to take care of themselves for whatever reason.

To me that means that the people who are truely, legitimaly, sick and unable to work, should get the help that it was first envisioned to help.

Unfortunately, our government & corporations have merged and decided that profit margins are more important than people, so they have both colluded to make it legal to move our entire manufacturing base overseas and denieing the average person a job.

If you think about it for a few minutes you know that there will always be the over achievers, under achievers, and everbody else (the middle class). When you take away the jobs of the middle class then you give them exactly NOTHING to do with that oh so valueable high school diploma that is not even worth the paper it is printed on because all the "smart" kids who went to college and racked up hunder thousand dollar debts are working as over-qualified burger flippers and other meanil jobs that the middle class used to do.

SO, how are 200 million people or so expected to live? Just a few greedy rich have ruined it for everyone else and unless there is a radical about face that rewards isolationism and protectionism our country is headed for a 2nd american revolution.

You may scoff and say no way but I will tell you exactly when it will start and that will be 1 month (at most) after all the free gubbermint handouts stop coming. No more free housing, food, entertainment, phones and cash.

Thats when the middle class will have nothing left to lose and all those guns will come out of the closet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly, the 'safety net' is full of people who refuse to care for themselves. It has bred generations of helpless people, dependent on the state, and it's become a sick form of pride to "get even" with those who work.

Worse, there's people out there trying to increase enrollment for their own political or personal gains, rather than helping people become self-sufficient and avoiding self-destructive behavior.

Of course she doesn't want to be associated with that. Every value she holds dear shuns that entire world-view of that systems beneficiaries and the SEIU employees that dish out the goodies. You look at it as 'help', but the reality is that it is corrupting, destructive, de-humanizing, and only serves to increase servile, passive dependence on government.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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