From experience I believe that all transfers/handouts should be hand-ups; that rights to food clothing, shelter, healthcare, training (not just in job preparatory skill, but also in life and parenting skills), must be accompanied by responsibilities to volunteer, behave responsibly, and work. I was a single mother with a child, no husband, no family for 600 miles and no help from family or the government when I graduated on the Dean's List from a very strenuous private liberal arts college. I worked 5 part time jobs and paid my sitters a greater portion of my minimum wage than I kept (with no tax deduction for it in those days!). I did favors for people in exchange for gas $ or discounts on ballet lessons for my daughter, etc., cooked for parties in exchange for being invited to network and getting to take the leftovers home, did volunteerwork in the community so that when my car/AC/whatever broke down there was some grampaw up in the mountains who could fix it because I tutored his little grandchild or helped her with her act for the county 4-H talent show or performed somewhere and he saw me on stage. Anything people do for or in the community helps them feel less alone and more a part of those around them. People who have been marginalized, who may not have had "home training," need the contact that an opportunity to earn their way and learn the culture of the working class that a job would provide them. There is no reason for all people not to be inculcated in the true meaning of "by any means necessary:" that there is nothing that is beneath you to do in order to care for yourself and your people. Not everybody gets to be CEO of General Motors or Def Jam. If entitlements such as housing and training are not linked to duties, such as volunteer work, internships, lower-level jobs with a possibility for advancement or consequences for non-advancement, etc. it's nothing more than another sugar teat leading to a few more months of life with tooth decay, obesity and diabetes. I was completely worn out by age 40, a time when my peers and my daughter's father who had climbed the corporate ladder were just coming into their own with their houses, cars, families, and trips to Europe. I probably would have done better with help and I am glad if others have it, but I could not live with knowing that I owed anything to anybody. I don't think it would have done me any good as a maturing adult to have just been handed and handed and handed without any opportunity to prove my own worth, make my own contribution, and develop my own strength. I am out of work again. This time I get unemployment, but I also have a tax-paying part-time job so that I get to keep an extra $50/week (which essentially pays the income tax on my unemployment). I also volunteer with children and the less fortunate for the good of the community and, I'll admit, the free food and medicines, since the government won't let me have food stamps or healthcare sonce I'm not over a certain age and was responsible with my reproduction after the first child. I pay full rent and utilities and I pay them on time--again, with no help. It is doable! BTW: I have 2.5 college degrees, speak 3 languages fluently and have 5 conditions that qualify me for disability ...
Powered by Foundation