I saw two interesting articles this week. One, ‘Stop Keeping Up With The Joneses – They’re Broke is something I’ve known for quite some time. The other, is from the Wall Street Journal. This one talks about the the increase in the number of people receiving Food Stamps.
Since 1990, the number of people receiving Food Stamps has doubled to the point where one in 7 (15%) of the US Population get this government assistance. The government has made changes in how people qualify for this aid, which is a great plus for those who truly need the aid. My Country has a incredibly wide band of relative wealth, from the dirt-poor in inner cities or rural areas to the obnoxiously Rich. Which brings me to this posts title.
While there are true needs of those receiving assistance, whether due to the economic downturn, or health issues or any of a variety of true needs. I can’t help but think that the mentality of some people has been change to expect this entitlement.
Seeing the commercialization of the “Bestest and Coolest and Newest” gotta-have gadget/trinket/automobile/new house has changed some people who really can’t afford it to think “I deserve this, so I’m going to get it”. Keeping up with the Joneses. Which leads to those sights often seen and remarked on of people using Food Stamps and talking on their iPhones.
Sure, some of the people may be paying for these items with other earned money, or buying them at a discount. But the bottom line is, that if recipients of this government assistance truly wanted to change their lives, their destiny and get more control over it, they might take this extra money and save it. Perhaps using it to learn a new skill that might help their employment situation. Anything rather than using this extra money (assuming they have it) and using it for something they feel they ‘need‘, all the while knowing that Uncle Sam (and the US Taxpayer) will continue to give them the aid they’re “Entitled to”.
Please don’t misunderstand, any form of government assistance can be abused. It’s a problem with the system. However, the mind-set of the people abusing the system is what needs to change.