Welfare? I believe in giving people as much as I can … until they start demanding it. When they demand welfare, I begin to question whether or not they really need it. Or if it’s just another political ploy. These stories are from over thirty years ago in the United States. They really happened, but I won’t be revealing how I know.
At the time, grocery stores had to apply to take foods stamps. Somehow it was a “privilege” for stores to take food stamps. I’m not sure who thought of that brilliant idea. Anyway, stores had to apply for this “privilege” and until they took food stamps, they couldn’t accept any other welfare program, such as WIC (women, infants, and children). The WIC program seemed to work reasonably well. In my feeble understanding, our government tacked on Food Stamps to the Ag laws. Farmers were not particularly supportive of this system, although they did support local businesses.
The period I’m most familiar with is the 1980’s in the United States’ rural communities. At this time food stamps were like paper money, but a different color than “real” money. The difference between food stamps and regular money – food stamps only bought necessities. Well, there were lots of ways to get around that requirement.
How Much Change for a Food Stamp?
I’ve heard that people bought and sold food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar. I never actually saw that so it’s just a myth to me.
But if one person wanted to buy one piece of one cent candy, the law required stores to give them change. I’ve seen car loads of kids show up with one dollar food stamp bills, all purchasing one cent candy. People could get a lot of money and use it for something besides food. They didn’t spent it at that store for anything else, either. It was definitely a “privilege” to take food stamps. NOT!
The Welfare “Check”-out
You are alone in a country store. A man in a nice suit, who you have never seen, enters the store. (By the way, you’re young and dumb.) He goes through the store and picks out a bunch of items, mostly food. Puts the items on the counter. You ring all the items up and give him the price. He pulls out food stamps. First, he doesn’t look like he needs food stamps, but who is to judge? Second, this is the eighties, there is no simple way to re-ring all this stuff. Third, you just want this guy to leave. What do you do?
Suffer the Consequences of Providing Welfare
So, your fine is to not be able to take food stamps for several weeks. Darn! But you can also not take WIC. Not what you wanted.
The store owners made the decision to not take food stamps any more. It was not a privilege like someone thought. Actually, it was a pain in the %$#@. It was settled then.
New Customer on Welfare
So, a lady enters a store. She asks for liver cheese. Not a problem. The cashier cuts the meat to order as requested. Then the cashier rings up the order. The customer pulls out food stamps. “I’m sorry. We don’t take food stamps.” The customer throws the goose liver at the cashier.
Well, I guess it is a “privilege” to take food stamps. My bad.
More New Customers
I remember robbers holding up banks, robbers shooting cashiers, but one story sticks out in my mind.
Two men entered a country store. One had on a long coat. One checked out the whole store. From under the coat came a sawed off shotgun. They got what they wanted. Nobody got killed. They were never found. It’s a “privilege” to own a small business.
Surprisingly, most country stores disappeared. If they didn’t follow the “rules”, there was more than one way to get rid of them. Most country people just don’t like being forced to following the “rules”. So, so long to the country store.
Hunger exists. But politicians and governments using this fact for political gain is unconscionable. Feed the hungry when you can. Help the innocent. Don’t let the government use their suffering for their own gain.