Abuse happens, period. It doesn’t matter what, some people will do anything to get an “advantage” in the world. But since such abuse is statistically uncommon, while it might be aggrivating, you don’t rip out the safety net from everyone else benefiting from the programs just because a few people fuck up—that’s like saying that no one should be allowed to drive, because some people drive drunk.
The widespread myth of the “Welfare Queen (or sometimes, though less frequent, King)” you have just described (thanks, Reagan!) does nothing but harm the reputation of those who abide by the assistance program’s rules and regulations. It’s these harmful stereotypes, which you are actively perpetuating, that turn those who are privileged enough to not have to rely on assistance against their fellow human.
What do I think? What do I think?
I think you don’t fucking know a person’s circumstances, and you shouldn’t fucking judge them. Who knows when the Mercedes entered their lives? You certainly don’t—you don’t know them, so you assume the car is brand new, and it just helps to reinforce your hateful bullshit. It could have been a gift, it could have been purchased prior to the crisis or unfortunate circumstances that lead to them needing government assistance.
Or, more importantly, it could be none of your goddamn business what kind of car they drive.
So, poor people don’t get to enjoy “good” food? Why? Because they’re poor? Because they deserve to be punished? Because why waste such good lobster on such a waste of person, right? Jesus christ, fuck you. I work in a grocery store—no matter WHAT a person paying with E.B.T. buys, it is ALWAYS scrutinized and judged, in ways that absolutely no one else’s groceries do.
A single mother comes up and buys a basket full of frozen foods, and my coworkers roll their eyes, thinking her lazy, thinking that their “hard-earned tax dollars” shouldn’t be paying for junk food. And they ignore the chorus of shouts and playful laughs of the kids running around her, her children, and the exasperated and exhausted expression on her face, because it wouldn’t help to fuel their self-righteous, “I’m better than you!” hate storm to think that maybe, just maybe the quick dinners are all she can do, because unbelievably she DOES work and DOES try to make ends meet, while at the same time attempting to raise her children and make time for them and their school and their love and their raising, and meals might not be a top priority for her.
A man shows up with a cart full of natural foods, good-for-you foods, healthy foods—sometimes, there might even be a steak or lobster. He buys mostly vegetables and fruits, and seems conscientious of the things he buys—and he pays for it with his EBT card. IMMEDIATELY a chorus of “Well I don’t get to eat that well!” starts up, once again making his private shopping trip suddenly open for comment and criticism.
You just can’t fucking win, people are programmed to judge you for what you buy no matter what—they are programmed to judge EVERY ASPECT OF YOU AND YOUR LIFE that would otherwise be considered rude or hateful behaviour—so what do I think about the people who use their food stamps to buy steaks? Or who seem frustrated because a food product they want isn’t covered? I don’t fucking care. Just because you’re poor, broke, or just plain in need of a little help doesn’t give me the right to turn what you buy and eat into public dialogue.
tl;dr: I don’t feel anything except extreme outrage at the self-righteous pricks who get to decide what another person “deserves” in life, and whether you intended it or not, your message reeked of judgmental implications.
People who worry about abuse of government assistance tend to not actually know anything about abuse of government assistance. News at eleven.