Saturday, August 6, 2011

Even Reality Checks Can Bounce

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.


  1. right on the money Sherry. I did a post on this very subject myself a few days ago. It's still up if you want to take a look. (Full Body Condom)

    I'm a pretty liberal guy, but I totally agree about the age of entitlement. The biggest problem is, that they are giving real entitlement to those who've earned it, like Social Security, a bad rap which makes it easier for the moneygrubbers to go after it in their "budget cuts."

  2. Sherry:

    I think that one of the worst mistakes in parenting is giving one's children the sense that they are entitled to just about anything they want without putting forth any personal effort to obtain it.

    The mother of your niece's husband made too many parenting errors in raising him.

  3. Sherry,

    Your post describes, to a "T", a friend of Mrs. V's.

    It's sad and infuriating at the same time.


  4. You've touched upon a subject near and dear to my heart (and the heart of my lovely and dangerous wife). We both have sisters who are polar opposites of their siblings: they won't hold steady employment, insist that their problems are the fault of others (or blame everything on mysterious ailments that magically disappear whenever they find something fun they want to do...), feel entitled to all of the things they see working people attain through the sweat of their brow, and bitch because the government puts too much red tape between them and other people's money.

    I'm as progressive and charitable as anyone you'll meet, but in the cases of people who are gaming the system I have no sympathy whatsoever. I have three sisters, two of whom are retired after working their entire lives in the medical field. They paid their own way through life, earned everything they've ever gotten, and are the salt of the Earth. Our younger sister hasn't held a job if she's been able to slide up under someone else's wing for whatever she's needed, gets gov help and assistance, and has several times lived with guys in one residence while getting government section 8 housing in another place... as a fall back location if it doesn't work out with sugar daddy.
    My wife's sister is her clone: a druggie with medical issues, unwilling and unfit to raise her own child (now being raised by gramma) and living at her father's rent-free, getting support checks from Uncle Sam just for being worthless.
    My blood pressure's rising, so I'm outta here... but just so you know, these people make it hard on genuinely disadvantaged and needy folks. These are the "welfare queens" we should think about when people rail about the welfare state, not the poor who really need help.
    How the two women in my story turned out the way they are while the rest of us from both families worked all of our lives perplexes me no end. Why did some of us grow up with a solid work ethic and others decide to let the world carry them along through life??? Raised by the same parents in the same house with the same backgrounds, where's the disconnect?

  5. We have a corporate wellfare system for the rich and the poor. The actual poor need help but the rich and the lazy have learend to milk the system. Having a kid or two is often the ticket into lifetime wellfare retirement. There is a family that lives near me - both in their early thirties - neither work - neither want to work. For all practical purposed thery are retired. They don't live high, but they don't have to work. Neither have held a job for the last seven years that I know of. They have learned to milk the system from their parents who were lifetime recipients.

  6. Sherry. The major problem that see with all of this is that our legal system and social support systems lack the insight to segregate the entitled fuckballs from the truly needy.

    Bipolar disorder is a perfect example of that problem. Some of the time, bipolar persons can be charming, active and prosperous. But off medications and at the arcs of the personality pendulum, a bipolar can be the most distasteful of humans.

    Conservative lawmakers seem to wish to lump the entitled and the needy into one pot of swill.

    And now my ADHD has taken over and I feel like I have a right for you to understand everything else I want to say, without my having to say it. You owe it to me to applaud my intelligent ideas and sing my praises.

    So go buy FUCK RICK PERRY merchandise and proudly display it. Right now!

  7. Mr. C,

    Took a look at the post you mentioned. Yup, that's on the money for sure.

    Without her deadbeat in tow, I do believe she does qualify for SSI and when he's not around she never acts as if anything is owed to her. Her caseworker has told her that she won't be able to get her SSI back IF he loses his job. As long as they're together she will receive some help just not enough to live in the lap of luxury which HE thinks they're entitled to.

    This type of case does drive the opinions of those who feel they're tax dollars are being ripped off to support deadbeats. They don't differentiate between them and the people these programs were initially designed to help.

  8. Whit,

    I've been saying all along and will continue to say it. When you raise children to believe they are special just because they were born, this is what you get.

  9. PaulV,

    Since I am doing homecare, I'm in and out of apartment complexes where I'm meeting more of this kind of sense of entitlement than I care to. My niece is enough for me. I won't help her out anymore and she's getting even by causing me trouble in the family.

    She made her bed, she can now lie in it.

  10. Squatlo,

    All children, when they become adults, choose which of their parents teachings they want to follow. I've found that childhood friends can have just as much an impact on who we become as adults as our parents did. I avoided the wrong kind of friend when I was younger because of an old adage Grannie used to say to me. "When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas". She was right.

    I hung around with friends that were much older than I was. I saw what their choices did for them. Drugs, unwed motherhood, things like that made me pay attention to the work ethic my parents displayed. I didn't want to spend my life on welfare looking for handouts. It's a choice and I don't understand why some make it.

  11. Ol'Buzzard,

    In some cases it is something they learned from their parents. I don't know where the problem is in these young women who make wrong choices and wind up with babies at an early age.

    I work with a couple of single moms who are doing as many hours as they can work without losing their foodstamps and Medicaid. Both of them are taking night classes in college to better themselves. They need those benefits in order to continue and have a chance to get out of the system and make a good living. I don't begrudge them a dime. They look at this as temporary help, not a lifetime choice.

  12. Mooner Johnson is DA BOMB!

    How's that for a start?

    You're right, my niece turns into a no good lying sack of guano when she's off her meds. I'm really not capable of tolerating her much these days. Sadly, the system perpetuates these entitlements that would be better spent on those who are truly needy. System needs overhauling, I just have no idea how to go about it without throwing people out onto the streets. I'm not enthusiastic about creating more homeless unless I can send them to the home of Phuck Rick Perry!

    Saaaay, maybe I just found an answer. LOL

    Hubby's business is suffering a few setbacks. I'll wait on the merchandise until he actually becomes a candidate for the White House. Unless I can manage to save a few bucks before then.

  13. My mom was bipolar and played the welfare system like a master violinist while she moved my siblings and I around the country on whatever whim that took her.

    At times she seemed highly intelligent and social which utterly amazed me given how crazy she could act back home. Speaking strictly from my own experience I would not protest the government preventing such people from having kids. And if anyone reads my blog they would know I am a very liberal person.

  14. Beach,

    YES! It's not just the money it costs the taxpayers, it's the damage caused to the children. My niece's kids are all having behavior problems.

    There is never a simple solution for any of our problems is there?