Bums on Welfare - Look to The Top of The Pyramid.

I have gotten a belly full of folks bitching about the bums on welfare - actually, I want to join in the bitch fest, but I want to re-direct the bitching to where it really belongs: the TOP of the pay pyramid and not the bottom.

The single mom with two kids is the EASY target. First off, do you really think YOU could feed, clothe and house two kids on $28,000 a year? That is the maximum amount the Mackinaw Center for Public Policy figures a family can get from Federal and State sources in Michigan. If you could pull that off, do you really think you would be buying cocaine, steak and lobster with all the extra money you had left over? All that might be another post for another day.

Instead of focusing on the little people at the bottom of the pile, how about targeting the families who control the giant corporations who are REALLY making big, big money thanks to our social benefit programs? How about looking at the TOP of the heap - to the families that live on compounds with heated tunnels to their tennis courts and access to several jets? How about ripping THEM a new asshole for the way THEY exploit tax dollars and the welfare system?

How do they do it? Simple - Cut as many workers for your company down to part-time, minimum wage jobs with no benefits as you possibly can. When one of Bill's kids gets sick - what is he supposed to do - leave the kid in a room to fend for him or herself? Nope, he is going to take his kid to an Emergency Room for help or he is going to rely on Medicaid to help. When Bill's kids are hungry and there is not much left after paying rent, keeping the family car running, and heating the house - guess what, Bill might have to apply for food stamps. What kind of man or woman will watch his kids go hungry? Hells bells, almost ALL of us would forgive a parent for STEALING food if they were feeding a child, so why do we get bent out of shape about them getting food stamps?

I have lived in West Michigan most of my life. I can remember the days when people who worked for the big companies around here did WELL - even if they did not work at union jobs for GM. Why? Because Amway, Steelcase, Meijer and other places actually PAID people to work for them. When I was 20 years old I sold CAR STEREO and had health insurance including dental and optical coverage. I actually was able to make payments on a house. Car Stereo sales got a boost every year when workers got their bonus checks or their tax returns - the money went all over the place and we all benefited.

Now, almost all of the big companies work with part time labor forces. Sure, we can point to Wal-Mart, Dollar General, McDonalds and other national chains, but the same holds true for many local and regional big businesses. Wal-Mart is the easiest target because they are the biggest. They have THOUSANDS of WORKING employees who get federal and/or state assistance because they HAVE to in order to keep a roof over their head and feed their kids. Meanwhile, the Walton family is SWIMMING in billions of dollars. That is whacked. That is way f$%#ed up.

The families who run Amway have a hanger full of jets and a helicopter at their disposal. Meanwhile if you want a job with them, you better be prepared to work a variety of shifts and not have expectations for full time work with benefits. Meijer used to have lots of employees who made a good living, now they have a few left, but they employ armies of people who work 20 to 30 hours a week at low wages with no safety net for sickness or dental care.

Sure, you might think I am a commie - HELLO, I own a small business. No one believes in the American Dream more than I do, but the Dream has had the stuffing kicked out of it. The Dream has been polluted to the point where the folks on top gotta have more and more and more - no matter that those in the middle are fast dropping to the bottom.

Wanna bitch about The Bums On Welfare? Me too - but how about we realize who is really raking it in from social programs - it is those at the top who benefit most.

The total irony of this lies in two things: First, the people who are getting help are the WORKING poor. They are not watching TV all day - they are working, but cannot make it with part time, no benefit jobs. And this is NOT about a college degree, all though that helps, but remember it did not take a degree for me to sell car stereo at 20 and have a real job that paid well.

A single mom came into my store and we got talking. She works for Dollar General. She USED to have a full time job and could just barely support herself and her son. Ooops, then they decided to cut everyone's hours back to 32 so they would NOT have to provide health insurance. NOW, she is forced to apply for food stamps, try to find a second job, scrounge for help in any way she can. SHE IS WORKING - not laying around the house.

What is even worse in this - there are many example of companies that PROVE you can pay people a living wage AND make a profit.

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