Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Working at Target I see a lot of people who come in and pay a lot of different ways. Check, cash, credit card, gift cards-both Target gift cards and the Visa, MC or AE gift cards; and of course Food Stamps and welfare. However food stamps are no longer the pc term in California, they are now called EBT Food, and welfare is now called EBT cash.
I am not a rich person by any standard. I work hard for my money, I pay my bills on time, I am not trying to take a bailout for the credit cards that I have. I racked up the money on them and therefore I should be the person to pay it off. However I also pay a lot of taxes. My taxes are used to fund programs, just like everyone else’s taxes. I understand this. I understand that it takes tax money to make programs work. Taxes from business, property, and personal, these are the ways our city, county, state and national government provide certain programs to the “deserving” people of our country. But what happens when these programs do not really work.
I see people coming into Target using EBT Food and Cash. I understand some people need some extra assistance, whether it is in the form of food or extra money to pay rent or utilities. But at what point do we need to start regulating what people buy with the money we are giving them?
EBT Food is supposed to help those that need to purchase food. My understanding of the program must be different than the reality of it. I was under the impression it was to help family purchase healthy items such as fruits, veggies, milk products, eggs, meat and bread. However I did not believe it enabled families to purchase items such as chips, cookies, soda and bottled water. On a daily basis I am asked whether or not Target accepts EBT Food/Cash. I have to answer in the yes. But it is seriously disturbing when I see a family pull up to my lane and load up the belt with complete garbage, processed food with MSG and other trans fats, soda and others, especially if the family is already overweight and then pay with EBT Food. I recognize that I do not have a “family” that I am feeding however I feel like yelling at them and asking how they can justify spending “my money” on all this crap. It is not healthy for them, it will not keep them fuller longer, it will make them heavier which then causes many health problems, and then they are probably on state aid in order to cover their health problems. I hate it! It makes the cycle of poverty continues.
According to the state food stamp guidelines:
• In California, all immigrants are eligible for food stamps.
• However, if everyone in the household is getting cash welfare assistance — e.g., general assistance (GA) or CalWORKs (the name of the TANF program in California) — the household is “categorically eligible,” i.e., automatically qualified for food stamps. A few basic food stamp rules still apply to people who are categorically eligible.
All information that I quoted can be found here.
EDIT: I wrote this post about 3 weeks ago. I am still angry with the way our government works, however aside from writing to legislation about this problem I see no solution to fixing it. To go through the many accounts that people have here in California to see if and how they are abusing the system would take money the state does not have. All I can do is write to my legislation to redo certain programs.
What if a person could not qualify for both WIC and foodstamps? Someone I know mentioned that a person can be on both programs, and that is the main reason why the state allows foodstamps to purchase soda and candy.
There are a lot of "What ifs" in this world, but it is not my job to answer them all. I shall put my trust in God and go from there.
Friday, August 13, 2010
My life has not been the way I expected it. I thought that by the time I was 27 everything would have just magically fallen into place. I saw people my age when I was younger and I always admired them. Once a person gets to my age they usually have their shit together. My grandparents for instance had two kids, a mortgage and two careers going on. No student loans, living paycheck to paycheck but knowing that life was not always going to be the way it was.
I know that life today is not like my grandparents life. I really do know that in my heart, however my head keeps screaming, "when is it going to be easier?!!!??" Today's economy is almost as bad as the Great Depression. During the Great Depression unemployment rose to 25% and as high as 33% in some countries; and while this isn't the Great Depression, to some of us who now need to start paying back student loans and do not have a job that supports us, it feels like it. There are some companies that will allow you to take an economic hardship, also known as a financial deferment; however you can only do it for one year straight and only up to three years. The national stats are not good, in fact they are pretty grim. Once a person has been unemployed for longer than six months it is estimated they will be unemployed for another 18 months.
After six months is when one starts to lose their skills as a valuable employee. If you have strong office skills but do not continue to use them at home during your time off, you will lose the skills employers strongly desire. In addition, it is encouraged that if you are laid off and can afford to further your education, one should do so while being laid off.
I am not the poster child for this. I did not get laid off, I choose to give up two jobs that I absolutely loved in order to move back home closer to my mother. She needed me to come home and help with so many things I cannot even begin to describe. However in giving up those jobs it is now what seems to be near impossible to reclaim any decent work. This is by far a "woes is me" post. It is to bring to light that NO ONE is really hiring. Any company can post a job opening, that does not mean they actually intend to fill the position. If a company leaves that position open, it will then bring up the national stats for what companies are hiring.
Since this is not a "woes is me" post, I just need to reiterate, if you are consistently looking for positions, and changing your resume to suit each job along with custom tailoring a cover letter, you are more than likely to get a job. One does have to be persistent. If you half ass your job search, employers are going to half ass, or not even look at your resume. Everyone is a victim of half assing it. There are jobs that you do not really want to apply for but you do because you feel like you have to. I have done it, everyone has, trust me.
However one gets to the point where you have to take a position even if you do not like all the aspects of it. Trust me, I do not want to be working full time for Target, but I do because I have to pay the bills and I REFUSE to go on unemployment. That means, even though I do not make a ton of money I still do not live paycheck to paycheck. One just learns to readjust the way you live. You do not go out to eat as much and you make more conscience decisions on where you shop and when. You spend an hour or two clipping coupons shopping the sales and figuring out how to make the most bang for your buck. It is not an easy task, but one does what is necessary in order to make life work.
Life never promised us it would be easy, in fact that is probably where the great quote comes from "life sucks then you die, get over it." Life wont always suck. It will get better. At least one has to keep that positive attitude in order to make it better. If one doesn't keep a positive attitude then you will turn into Wisa from Steel Magnolias, and wouldn't that suck!!!!!!!!!!!