Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What is Free Food Stamps? And How Important It Is

Few countries can boast the many opportunities that America has to offer. Here in America immigrants can arrive with very little and within a life time earn something worth leaving to their children and grand children. How many Americans need help to get there?
When I received my first pay check I was shocked by what had been taken from it. Where did that money go? Why couldn’t I keep it? There were so many things I could have done with what I had worked so hard to earn. There were movies to be seen, pizzas to be eaten, and of course new shoes to buy. I was angry that my money was torn from my paycheck with little regard to how I felt about it. All I have to do is walk down the street and I know my money is hard at work.
When I walk down my street I am not accosted by starving children digging through trash looking for their next meal. There aren’t any tiny cadavers lying in the street with sunken eyes and swollen bellies. I don’t see the children who go unnoticed in so many other countries because the poverty and despair is such a large problem that it overwhelms the senses and after sometimes numbs you to the truth. In our country children ride bikes, and play basketball. If they don’t have a hot meal at home they might have free or reduced lunch at school. They can have a birthday cake through food stamps. They can get immunizations with Medicaid. My hard earned money has saved lives, contributed to someone else’s health, fed a baby at night. My hard earned money has helped someone reach the next step on their ladder to success.
Food stamp, Medicaid and welfare recipients are often hard workers as well. Our military sends men and women away to defend their country on a salary that’s sometimes below poverty level for their family. These government benefit programs allow them to serve our country while we provide their families with the necessities of everyday life.
Disabilities make life more difficult for many people and a society that cares takes care of those who are struggling. Providing therapies and assistance to those in need keeps our country strong by allowing everyone to meet their full potential.
Of course, as with most things in life, nothing comes without a price. There are those out there who will take advantage. Food stamps can buy them steak and lobster while other hard workers pull together their change to buy Ramen Noodles. These programs can be more effective by setting certain conditions. Job training programs, daycare services, educational classes should be part of the services. A single mother making minimum wage would have a hard time finding a quality daycare that would not take up the majority of her paycheck. These services could be made more effective by tying it to income in a different way. Reward programs that help a person want to earn more instead of encouraging people to earn less to get more. Learn a new trade and get rewarded, finding a job earns you a bonus. We should help others reach the American dream, but should also be mindful of those who bleed the system.
I am proud that we live in a country where we take care of one another. Ours is a government of the people, for the people and by the people. I am proud of that tiny part of my check that is taken to ensure a child has their next meal, an expectant mother can give birth with the proper care, and an elderly woman can have her medicine. It’s what makes our country what it is today.

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