I have a niece who is bipolar and since she's regularly off her meds, (She forgets to take them) she's pretty well unemployable. She's the mother of three children who wasn't, until recently, married to the children's father. She doesn't get Social Security Disability because she's never managed to keep a job long enough to build her quarters. She does get SSI, food stamps, HEAP, Medicaid and assistance with her rent through the Section 8 program. Since she is Section 8, she pays only 1/3 of her income to living expenses. Which are rent and utilities. Telephone and cable are not included.
Even when she regularly takes her meds, she's strange to say the least. At times she makes good decisions, behaves in a responsible manner and when you least expect it, she goes off the deep end and simply doesn't appear to have any grasp on reality. I gave up on her when she married the father of her children.
He's 10 years older than she is and they've been together since she was 13. Yeah, he went to jail for that and is now a registered sex offender. He's a Mommy's Boy with less sense of responsibility than she has. He's never had to have any sense because Mommy always bailed out her poor misunderstood baby. He too has a history of being incapable of keeping a job. Never had to, Mommy gave him all the spending money he wanted and when none of it went towards supporting his children, she didn't say a word. As a matter of fact, she hired a high priced lawyer to prove they weren't his children when the state went after him for support on my nieces behalf.
From the time he got out of prison until he finally married her, they'd stay together long enough for her to get pregnant and then he'd take off with another girlfriend. I grant that it isn't easy living with someone who is bipolar, but he could have gotten out, paid his child support and had visitation rights. The problem is, once he started having to pay child support, there wasn't enough money in his pocket for his own fun. So, he'd go back to my niece since she was the one with the money. She knows this, the family knows this and her own Mother pressured her to marry the jerk.
Once married, the amount of money she got didn't grow larger as they thought. The government said that he needed to get a job. Her income wouldn't stretch to cover his entertainment and his Mommy closed the purse because Sonny Boy did what she didn't want him to do. She still claims they're not his children despite the DNA results. No they didn't go on Maury to prove this. The courts ordered the test and when he was outed, Mommy said they lied. Even Mr High Priced Lawyer got disgusted.
So Lazy Boy got a job and as soon as he was making money, the government stepped in and took some of hers away. They still qualify for section 8 because his income stretches to cover 5 of them, and they still get Medicaid, Heap assistance and food stamps. She did the right thing and reported his income, however, they started buying things on credit before she found out she was going to lose a sizeable portion of her income. She doesn't have a credit card, she doesn't need one. We have Aarons and Rent-A-Center where you can rent to own. Oh HELL YEAH! On the bus routes where people can be let off the bus right at the door.
My problem with all of this is, my niece is just one of many who think that they are entitled to have things. Not just the things they can afford, but all the things they want. That would be fine if they'd take the time to save the money and buy it then, but they don't. They do nothing more than create debt, and usually find themselves in a position where they can't pay that debt.
These rent to own places don't care. They just keep "selling" items to these people that they know they can't pay for. By the time they default, they most likely have paid for the piece if they'd bought it some other way. They just take it back and sell it to someone else as a new item. Much more than the item is actually worth goes into the coffers of these places. It's not the fault of these places, it's the lack of ability to manage money that so many people seem to have. My niece is one of thousands in my area alone. No matter how many times she's had it explained to her, she still goes and rents what she wants paying way more than the item is worth.
I'm not talking about lazy Welfare recipients, I'm speaking about people with disabilities who are on either SSD or SSI because they're unemployable. I've seen them buy expensive convenience items from the freezers at stores instead of buying the groceries which would allow them to make that meal and have leftovers. They run out of money and food stamps and then they think they can just go to the food pantry to get enough to tide them over until they get their next benefit. They don't need condemnation, they need help.
I volunteered this morning at a local food pantry with a girlfriend. I'm appalled at the sense of entitlement that some of these people, like my niece, have. This morning, 15 minutes before opening time someone was pounding on the door. Not knocking, pounding hard enough to shake it. Pastor ignored the pounding until it was time, and when he opened the door I thought this guy was going to punch him. In the 15 minutes he had to wait for his free food, he'd worked himself into such a rage that only the threat to call the police and have him removed, without what he came for, shut him up. He was still fuming, but he kept his mouth shut until he got out the door with his box of food.
Nobody expects these people to grovel and beg for what they need. A simple thank you would more than suffice. However, more than half of the people serviced this morning wouldn't have needed to be there if they'd learn to be responsible when managing their money. They've let their greed overshadow their capabilities to their own detriment. There's a major difference between needs and wants, and far too many Americans are losing sight of that. Did you ever want to tell someone that their kids don't need an Xbox or whatever game system is popular? They need responsibile, reliable parenting. The kind that teaches them that it doesn't take thousands of dollars to be happy. The kind that doesn't spoil them into believing all they have to do is ask.