It's also interesting what people think they're entitled to if they have more money. Better representation in court, better representation in government, better treatment by law officers, and the right to operate a toll-booth economy without fair competition.
I believe people have a right to be treated fairly when they do have a job. Workers have the right to be treated as a human being, not as a machine. Their needs and their time and effort should be respected.
As it is, employers have the power to exploit people.
I can't help but feel that the "entitlement" has become a disease in American society.
I grew up in a working class family. My parents had made a lot of financial mistakes in their young lives (and had a child way too early), and as such were burdened with debt for my entire childhood. Though we more than qualified for food stamps and government aid, they were determined to solve their own problems. I was raised to be self sufficient and learned to provide for myself at a very young age, worked odd jobs from 13 to 16, then went into the workforce as soon as I was legally able to do so. I am now an agm in a very successful restaurant, oh.. and I'm 23, several years younger than the vast majority of my employees.
Living in a college town, I have met countless people who have taken every little bit of the safety net they can get their hands on, Student Aide, free rent, meal passes, utility reimbursement, all on my hard earned dollar and all handed out to people who have never known the meaning of a hard day's work. I understand that there are people out there who legitimately can't work, and these programs may very well be worthwhile in these cases. These programs are too big, the net is far too wide and encourages an incredible amount of laziness and me first mentality. There opportunities out there for those willing to earn them, it's just a shame that so many (our generation in particular) would rather live off Uncle Sam's Teet than contribute anything worthwhile to the world around them.
Living in a college town, I have met countless people who have taken every little bit of the safety net they can get their hands on, Student Aide, free rent, meal passes, utility reimbursement, all on my hard earned dollar and all handed out to people who have never known the meaning of a hard day's work.
Cry me a bloody river. Some of us have to be full time students and don't have enough time to also work a full time job that pays enough for food, rent, and tuition. By the way, those student who are taking your "hard-earned money" will be the ones paying for your retirement in four years.
"I can't help but feel that the "entitlement"" I agree, some people work, and some other people get the rewards by owning pieces of paper that makes them owners. After being too lazy to do that, they sell it all to someone in another country.
Or start importing goods, and exporting labor, and then blame everyone who works on being lazy. Irony?
"I can't help but feel that the "entitlement" has become a disease in American society."
Yes, it's a disease which keeps the 1% getting richer and richer while everyone else gets poorer and poorer, because we treat every single attempt to fix this and make more people self-sufficient as bad and repeat retarded myths about how people on assistance are "lazy moochers" when all hard facts prove that actually most people want to work living wage jobs but can't do so because fewer and fewer of them are available.
"I understand that there are people out there who legitimately can't work,"
The vast majority of people on these programs, yep, especially since we still don't have enough living wage jobs for everyone, and the average period of unemployment for ACTIVELY LOOKING job seekers is 40 weeks and growing. Especially since employers often actively discriminate against the long-term unemployed.
Even worse, a large portion of people on these programs ARE working because wages have stagnated and even dropped for non-CEOs, meaning more and more people aren't getting paid enough to live on without help despite the fact that productivity has increased substantially over that same period of stagnation.
But let's instead keep repeating myths about "entitlement" rather than fixing the real problems, that's intelligent. </sarcasm>
"and all handed out to people who have never known the meaning of a hard day's work."
An extremely tiny percentage of people, especially since assistance programs all have requirements for either working, training, or actively searching for work.
"There opportunities out there for those willing to earn them,"
For maybe 1% of the people willing to earn them, yes. I find it really fucking hilarious that people still think there's somehow magically all these opportunities raining from the skies for everyone who just wishes hard enough, when the hard facts prove otherwise.
Perhaps we live in vastly different local cultures, but where I live government aid is treated like free candy. I'm not talking disabled vets or elderly.. I'm talking 20 something students who are just to fucking lazy to work for what they have.
And as far as that 1% theory, I see several employees come through my restaurant every month. Every month I hire people at several dollars above minimum wage, and every month some sad smuch can't bother to do their work (or show up for it for that matter,) I fire them and hire someone else.. That means turnover and turnover means jobs. But you know the funny thing, not once have I had someone on long term unemployment come through my doors, not a single time in over a year.. so where are all these hard working, upstanding citizens who would just need a hand up?
"Perhaps we live in vastly different local cultures,"
I live in the evil liberal state of Massachusetts, where we have lots of social assistance programs but also lots of means-testing and programs to ensure people on assistance are at least trying to get living wage work. Even children are expected to be either working or doing documented community service, if they're over 16 and not in school.
Your scenario wouldn't happen here. One, because 20-somethings wouldn't qualify for welfare to begin with unless they had children (they might qualify for other assistance, but it wouldn't help them out much without some kind of income coming with it), and two, because the stuff they might qualify for would have "looking for work requirements". And even that would only apply if they could prove they were completely free of their parents.
So I read your post; it just doesn't work according to how the actual hard facts operate, at least here in evil liberal land.
"so where are all these hard working, upstanding citizens who would just need a hand up?"
And these are the numbers from unemployment rolls, where you're required to apply to a set number of jobs each week in order to keep collecting. The numbers from people who have run out of their unemployment or didn't get on it for some reason is probably even higher.
But thank you for proving my point that people would rather repeat myths even when the facts show otherwise, thus ensuring problems will continue or get worse instead of being fixed.
If you want to see fewer people getting "entitlement", then I suggest writing your Congressman to push through raising the minimum wage to a living wage and having more of Obama's stimulus pushed through. That way we will have enough living wage jobs created to get people employed and supporting themselves.
And to clarify, I live in the relatively wealthy city of Fort Collins, CO. With the CSU campus being located here, the cost of living is fairly high, and though there are constant and plentiful job openings around the city, a very large part of the student body lives off government aid programs instead of actively searching for work (even during the off season.)
20 years ago, the system worked in it's own right. Government aid programs where a temporary hand up to help those who had fallen on hard times. Now they have become a grab bag for many Americans who could climb out of poverty, but choose to take the easier path. As we see requirements loosen on programs such as TANF (Section 1115 waiver,) we are only going to see more and more able bodied people turning to welfare as a long term solution to their problems.
I'm not a conservative, I'm not on the liberal witch hunt band wagon, I am just stating my views as someone who grew up poor and put a lot of hard work into finding my own success.
ps: Intersting article on one of the aid programs widely used in Minnesota, another state with a high percentage of it's population on welfare of some kind. Not looking to insult you, just stumbled across it and found it interesting. [link]
pps: theGman0: Thank you SO much for your input, it was incredibly enlightening.
I'm sorry your area is apparently stupid and has zero enforcement, but that doesn't change the fact that welfare has strict means-test requirements. Nor does it change the fact that most of the rest of your post is equally mythological. In addition to the facts I've already provided proving you wrong, there's also this: [link] (click on the third link from the top on the right).
But, like I said, you'll be writing letters to your senator to push through increasing the minimum wage and pushing through more stimulus, right? You also might want to get on supporting job placement programs, as well.
"I am just stating my views as someone who grew up poor and put a lot of hard work into finding my own success."
The problem is that you're repeating the myth that all it takes to succeed is hard work, and the myth that all or even most people on assistance are lazy and don't work hard. The same myth that makes it impossible to do anything to end poverty.
Hard fact is that most poor people are the most hard-working people I know, because most low-wage jobs are physically and emotionally gruelling and they often have to work more than 40 hours just to get by. 0% of the poor people I know on assistance enjoyed being on it, and 100% of them would have preferred to have a job that paid them enough to live on without assistance, rather than being trapped in shit-paying jobs or no work available.
And it gets pretty fucking tiresome hearing folks like you repeat the same tired bullshit that shits on those hardworking people. You want me off assistance? Tell one of the hundreds of people I've sent out resumes and applications to, to hire me and pay me a living wage. I'll be done using up your taxpayer dollars tomorrow. Until you do that, I don't want to fucking hear it, and neither do any of the other poor people I know trapped in shit-paying jobs or without even that available. The hard facts are in our favor, not your myths.
I've had temp agencies tell me I was rejected for a job from their clients due to having long gaps of unemployment and/or multiple short-term jobs, even though the former was out of my control and the latter was because the few jobs I've been able to get hired at have been short-term (and thus also out of my control).
I wouldn't be surprised if people better at lying than I am decided to do so.
I've lied on my resume before. I lengthened the amount of time I worked at an over the phone customer service job in order to get a telemarketing job (made me looked more skilled and covered up a long period of unemployment). I also wrote that the reason I left my retail job before that was to "focus on school" when really they fired me because I was sick for two weeks.
I've listed my friends as references and told them, "remember, if some guy calls, you were my manager for X workplace."
Before I doctored it up, I couldn't get as much as an interview. After I doctored it, I was hired within a week.
I remember my parents telling me to do the same. It wasn't too long ago, but for about a year, my mum told me to put down my uncle as a reference saying I'd done bar work etc. I didn't in the end, I hate dishonesty, and most of all, I think I would've died if an employer asked me about it.
(This was all into the build up of my first job. It was horrible having my parents down my throat at a time where nobody is hiring at all.)
It's a bit harder when you're making up a job you never had rather than just extending a 2 week job to a year long job. At least I'd know enough to pass a conversation about it.
I'm not a fan of dishonesty either, but it's an employer's market and you have to do what you can to get a job, any job. I happen to be a damn good liar (all writers should be), so I decided to use my skill to my advantage in that case. Ironically, the job was for telemarketing. We did do a fair bit of lying at that job (my "manager" was really just the guy sitting in the cubicle next to me, for example; I didn't have a manager).
I also discovered that sales is the opposite of writing. With writing, you wrap a truth in a series of lies (the story), and with sales, you wrap a lie (the sale) in a series of truths.
There are times I wish I was less honest. It also kind of pisses me off that people have to play these games to get hired, rather than just getting hired or not based on whether they can do the job or not.
Finland has the exact opposite problem. My fiance is having a hard time finding work because he doesn't have all the right paperwork. Over here, they love paperwork, I mean love it.
Every time you leave a job, whether you are fired or quit or whatever, you get a piece of paper from your job stating you worked there, for how long, and an assessment of your performance. You have a paper reference from every job you have done that goes in to your CV (resume). Without these documents, you can't prove that you have experience in a certain field.
Now for someone who has lived here or elsewhere in Europe this isn't such a problem, because you've been accumulating these documents your whole life. But immigrating from the States, this can be a problem.
For example, he has worked as a warehouse manager, a butcher, and a commercial door installer (among other things). But he couldn't get a job in these fields due to not having the proper papers to prove his experience (plus the fact that he doesn't speak the language, though there are a few businesses here where English is the main language spoken).
I have no love for America (drone strikes anyone?), but you need to stop looking at your own country through rose-tinted glasses.
Finland is not the paradise-on-earth you make it out to be. Sure, it's a wealthy country. And sure, there's a pretty good healthcare system (although not perfect by any stretch). But it has lots of problems, such as political corruption, politicians making inside deals with business leaders, legislators caving in to pressure from outside lobbying, censorship, draconian laws... the political atmosphere is such that some things never quite make it to the mainstream media, because there's no free media in Finland anymore, every mainstream media is controlled by corporate interests.
Remember, think global, act local. I suggest you to stop worrying too much about the politics of far-away countries, and look more into the stuff going on in your own country and how you can help fight the oppression there.
I never claimed it to be a paradise on Earth, this country still has some problems and issues I disagree with. For example, there is no separation of church and state. Also, while gays can get a civil union, they don't have 100% all the rights of a straight couple (for example, they can not adopt a child unless one of them is a biological parent).
Finland is number one in the world when it comes to freedom of the press, so I have no idea where you are getting that whole "media in Finland is controlled by corporations" thing from. Especially when we have to pay a TV tax because we have like 5 channels that are government sponsored with no commercials. [link][link]
From my understanding, political corruption in Finland exists but it is also relatively low. It's pretty much impossible to get a completely non-corrupt government, but we're not doing too shabby. A member of parliament told me that most of the corruption that goes on is doing favors for friends, rather than being motivated by lobbyists or money. (I'm inclined to trust him based on his character when we met.) Finland is currently tied for the number one position with Denmark and New Zealand when it comes to the least amount of corruption. [link]
Anyone can walk in to the Parliament building, go through security without showing ID, and watch a session of Parliament taking place.
Don't forget how Finland still forcedly sterilizes transsexual people.
The thing with the media in Finland is that it's seemingly free but not really. Things that aren't acceptable to talk about for the political elite or that go against their interests are not talked about.
Political corruption in Finland goes undetected because it's so ingrained in the system. Also statistics about political corruption are sort of irrelevant because they mostly only count criminal forms of corruption. Legalized corruption is largely ignored. Finland has this small elite inner circle that makes inside deals with each other and sets things up to their own benefit. There's corporate bribing, but the way they do it is like, they buy a politician by promising him a good-paying job after his political career. Just look at how many politicians move on to jobs at big corporations where they basically just sit on their asses, and you'll be surprised.
There's plenty at legislation that is nothing but pandering towards special interests, most of finnish politicians are spineless maggots who do nothing but bow their heads towards the corporate interests of EU and USA. Corporate lobbying is alive and well in Finland. Does Lex Nokia ring a bell? Of course that happened when Nokia was still doing well, which meant every politician was stumbling over each other to pander to their interests. But the law still exists, a really ugly law that goes against citizen's rights. We also used to have a relatively fair copyright law, but then we got Lex Karpela and things went to all hell. Now every year we get another draconian sentence where some teenager gets their life destroyed due to copying some files over the internet. And 9-year old girls lose their laptops to TTVK thugs.
Anyone can walk in to the parliament building, sure. It's nice and all but it's not nearly enough to keep politics honest. There's still lack of transparency when it comes to moronic inside deals that waste huge amounts of taxpayer money while at the same time benefits are cut due to "savings". A good example is the electronic prescription and the related new medical data system, it keeps costing more and more without any tangible results to show for it - it's like pumping money into a bottomless well. Any sane acquirement of such a system would set a time limit and budget limit in the contract, but no, the politicians just keep on pumping taxpayer money to a corporation that has no incentive to ever finish the project.
I've already agreed with you that the country has problems, so what point are you trying to make?
I never meant to make it out to be a paradise. However, there are some things which they do better than some other countries, and there are some things which they do worse, as you have illustrated by your post.
I would support the Pirate Party regarding internet freedoms, but they make themselves out to be such a one issue party, I'm not sure if I should vote for them.
I've also noticed that politics isn't something most Finns talk about openly.
Every country has some things they do better/worse than other countries.
Pirate party is not a one issue party, you should look at their party platform, they do care about other issues and take a stance in them. The problem is that it's very hard for a small independent party to gain traction in Finland. This is partly because of corruption. In the EU parliament, and in other European countries, the pirate parties have already succeeded quite nicely.
If you have to pay a TV tax it is not really free now is it especially if the tax is not voluntary. What if one does not want to watch TV as I have done discovering that Tell-a-lie vision is nothing but propaganda. Have you ever read George Orwell's novel 1984? Free to not have government approved propaganda rammed down my throat is a greater Freedom.
Finland sounds a bit like North Korea if you ask me. Finland plays a different tune but it is the same dance. Government gives the command and the citizens like good little automatons do and think as they are told.
TV tax used to be voluntary, you didn't have to pay if you didn't have a TV. However, due to the amount of people who have TVs but lie about it, they changed it this year.
Did you check either of the source links I posted?
Finland is nothing like North Korea. People here are actually happy, earn enough money to live comfortably, have hobbies, have the freedom to roam where they please with rights such as Everyman's Law. [link] North Korea is directly on the opposite end of the scale of the corruption perceptions index, the link for that is in my other post.
It's easier for some derp with a dream of making a TV show to make it happen in Finland than in the USA. How about you watch some programs before deciding if it is propaganda or not?
You don't even know what these channels broadcast. you're making an ignorant blanket statement based on your experience in a completely different country.