Wanna Call Me a Parasite? Dare You.
Not for the first time, I’ve lost a job. I’ve been laid off before. Things happen.
But for the first time in my life, I’ve turned to the government because I have twins. My kids have Medicaid. My autistic son can now get help that we couldn’t get, even when I was employed full-time, with VERY GOOD insurance.
We have food stamps (the Lone Star card, in Texas).
Thanks to Obamacare, my husband and I have amazingly good insurance coverage. My copay for my meds today: zero. Our monthly payment is FAR cheaper than COBRA.
I am getting unemployment payments as well.
Am I a parasite?
I’ve worked my ass off to pay into this safety net for over 25 years.
You want to judge someone for having name brand shoes and a fancy phone while paying for food from the government teat? Oh, I’m sorry. Was I supposed to throw away everything I EARNED after I lost my job so you don’t have to stand in line behind me feeling so judgemental (“Judge not.” READ YOUR BOOK).
You see someone in line wearing nice clothes paying at the grocery store with food stamps, or at the unemployment office dressed up. How do you know they aren’t job hunting? Interviewing? They’re dressed to the nines doing everything they can to get a new job. Hell, you probably can’t tell Gucci from a knock-off. But you ASSume that they’ve been living like this their whole life.
How do you know they didn’t get those fancy clothes at Goodwill? Or had them BEFORE they lost their job, like I did?
Yeah, we’re doing Craigstlist and eBay and Half Price books to sell off a lot of stuff around here. Meanwhile, I’m busting my ass job hunting, running my web design/development/hosting/you-name-it business and promoting an e-book I wrote.
Still wanna call me a parasite?
THINK! Here’s our story:
My husband was a stay-at-home Dad the first few years of the twins’ lives (cheaper than putting twins in daycare before age 2). Because of the job background of the two of us, I was more marketable and his industry was in a slump (still is), so it made sense for me to get a job. He’s running his own business, and doing rather well, but we get paid maybe twice a year. Not reliable income. In ten years, his business, if it keeps going as it is, could be our bread and butter. So this is an investment in the future.
Meanwhile, he’s been job hunting in 3 different fields he’s qualified for. He’s applied for minimum wage jobs and can’t get hired. And for those that haven’t been paying attention, today, if you’ve been “jobless” more than a year or so, you are considered unhireable by most companies (idiotic, asinine, short-sighted thinking).
So for those that sit and judge others for “sucking off the government teat”. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes (again, something my Episcopal Grandmother taught me).
Everyone that is homeless, or using government resources, has a story to tell, that is full of bad luck and just “shit happens”. My husband and I have spent time over the past 14 years talking to a lot of homeless people (especially in San Francisco, a city RIFE with homeless). We’re friends with 2 homeless men in our area and when we could afford it, we’d hire them to do odd jobs. One is a vet. Hell, one of them, we keep his stuff stashed safely in our backyard so he doesn’t get robbed again.
Because even before this job loss, we could walk in someone else’s shoes. We had empathy. And we did NOT judge.
Let him without sin cast the first stone. I don’t think any of you can throw that first stone. Not one of you.
This government safety net means I keep spending money and putting it back into the economy. And again, it is a system I PAID INTO. I’ve been working since before I was a teen. My first “real job” was at 14. By the time I could drive, I was working fast food and paying taxes.
I pay taxes while working for other companies, and when I run my business. So if you think that everyone that lives off the government is some parasite, think again. We’re likely working a HELL of a lot harder than you are. We’re trying to get our lives back. We’re trying to get ahead. We want that “American Dream”.
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, before you decide who they really are.
If you can’t do that: you’re a broken person. I got nuthin’ for you.