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Vancouver, WA
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Abuse of social service programs

I suppose vets with PTSD, the person with failed kidneys, schizophrenics, or the guy with a fused spine aren't disabled because we can't see it, huh?

Implying that a person isn't needy because they have a designer bag, expensive jewelry, or a fancy car, is ridiculous and infuriating.

The point is, just because there are visual cues that "say" one thing doesn't mean that they're necessarily conveying the whole story.

Common scenario: Recently divorced, partner destroyed credit, has a five-year-old "luxury" car, lost their home in the divorce, but was left with a kid or two, and is maybe unemployed now. Sure, they have a Louis Vuitton bag, a newer cell phone, an expensive wedding set (or not), a retirement fund, and a life insurance policy. Can't sell the car because they still owe money on it, don't have the credit to even get a used Yugo, and need it to find a job and shuttle the kid(s). Ever tried selling a Louis Vuitton and expect to live on that money?

I could go on and on about this absurdity of this post. Everyone thinks social services are a waste and easily abused. That is, until the person complaining about the waste actually needs it for themselves (Hello? Unemployment benefits, anyone?).

Finally, to punctuate the point, have you ever tried to qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program? It is worse than expecting to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance on your first attempt. The process is so invasive that most who qualify don't even bother applying. The same is true for public assistance. Nearly 100M people are eligible for some form of assistance, but only 20-23% of those know it and are receiving benefits.

People who make uninformed comments like this are generally the same ones who live in states that receive more federal assistance than they contribute. It doesn't look like you're in one of them, but Iowa is.