Healthy Work

I am struggling with a philosophical dilemma. I used to be very liberal, an inclusive-tree hugging-social worker at large, prepared to pick up the pieces of the forlorn. Not so much any more.

Life has taught me that people make choices contrary to their own well being. My own behavior has yielded direct evidence of that. At 30, generally, people have enough life experience to discern the subtle differences between mistakes and choices. Some people are better attuned to logic and grasp the relationship between actions and consequences at a much earlier age; they have my admiration.

I know able-bodied adults, well into their 40s, who have received some form of general assistance for their entire lives. Men and women who delude themselves regarding society’s responsibility for their soundness and safety; people, who are reluctant to work and define themselves as “poor”, oppressed by the greed of the man.

I have been oppressed by the man’s greed too but it doesn’t hinder me from working like a freaking indentured servant.

Suffering troubles me. I don’t want anyone to be sick, cold, hungry, or dirty. I don’t believe receiving public assistance should be demeaning. I know people need help, that sometimes the only place to get help is from total strangers at a government agency.

BUT it is galling to me that there are individuals who have been afforded several education opportunities, from the taxpayer, yet they never complete the course of study and spiral downward as they age until they are completely dependent on society.

Jobs are scarce. Employers are more likely to hire people with consistent resumés. In Maine, the governor is haggling with the legislature over welfare benefits for childless adults. Those patients enrolled in disability and Medicare would, presumably, be unaffected. The Guv would like to exclude childless adults from receiving Medicaid benefits. As much as I hate to admit it, I understand his position.

Disclosure- I do not accept invitations to Tea Parties. I believe in social programs and advocate for a healthcare system based on the Finnish model.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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6 Responses to Healthy Work

  1. Peggy says:

    I don’t see this as reversing or moving away from your original social justice nature at all. You are concerned with “the right thing.” That’s social justice. Very Democratic. Thoughtful. Wisdom.

  2. elroyjones says:

    It distresses me to have any sort of broad reaching uncharitable thought. I feel MUCH better now because you are an authority on social justice and the promotion of the underdog. Feeling a lot less guilty, thank you.

  3. gkinnard says:

    No worries here: You’ll never get an invitation to a “Tea Party” from me! You should struggle with this issue—intelligent people should struggle with this.

    I’ve worked with multiple safety-net programs since 1998. I’ve also worked with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the federal food stamp and commodities programs, and subsidized housing for that long as well.

    The darn thing is: Where “exactly” do you draw the line on helping folks? From my experience, every time you ‘think” you have the answer to that question, you find something that makes you say, “Oh yea, I guess didn’t consider that.” People of all ages (believe me: all ages) are going to work the system—any system—no matter what you do. You just hope like hell that this is more the exception than the rule.

    • elroyjones says:

      I’m catchin’ what you’re throwin’.

      I know that the cost of Sam’s medical conditions would devastate you guys. I had a lovely little niece with Rett Syndrome, who died at 12. My sister would have been living on the street if not for Medicaid and help from various charitable organizations. As human beings we have an obligation to help others.

      Like you, I am no fan of Paul Ryan or any of his mean-spirited, small-minded, cronies. Thanks very much for your perspective, it is enlightening and informed.

      I edited a lot of your reply just in case.

  4. Stay liberal but take a scepter to the bums.

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