Friday, April 4, 2014

My two cents on unemployment and food stamps

Hey everyone, Dana here. If you didn't catch my last blog post, it was my thoughts and musings about Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and how it was so incredibly different from other Disney films in that franchise. This one is going to be a little different from other topics I discussed for the past six months. It's not quite current events, but it's something that has been on my mind for a while. This topic was brought up last night before going to bed and suddenly struck my inspiration to write. I'm talking about unemployment and food stamps.

So last night before falling asleep, I was talking to my boyfriend and suddenly the topic of unemployment came up since we both work at jobs that don't have major benefits and don't quite pay enough to live in an apartment or a house. But the thing is, working at a crummy job is better than unemployment. At least it shows that you're working and trying to make a difference in this "live to work" society instead of a "work to live" society like everyone else on this planet. But what about the people who are collecting unemployment, but aren't trying to find employment? What about the people who are just making claims every month but not sending their resumes and striving for job interviews? Does that sound fair to you? Is it fair that there are people who are working so many hours to make ends meet, but some people just sit around all day doing nothing and getting paid to do so by the government?

According to the New York State Department of Labor website, 
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is temporary income:

  • For eligible workers
  • Who lose their jobs
  • Through no fault of their own
To collect benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work.
Did I read that correctly? It stated that the applicant must be ready, willing, and able to work. But what about the people that are cheating the system and are able to work, but not willing to? Is that fair? Do they deserve benefits for not trying? Should they really be collecting unemployment? I'm sorry, but something needs to seriously be done. There needs to be some other way to prove that you're truly trying to get employment instead of just cheating the system every month. 
Here's my idea: you make note and log every time you get called for an interview, forward the job application to the Department of Labor and then leave the name and phone number for the Department of Labor to check that you went on that interview. That, is a real way to show that you really do deserve the benefits. Which brings me to my next stamps.

I used to work at CVS Pharmacy. I used to be the lonely cashier in the front of the store that worked crummy hours and holidays I couldn't take off for. But during those crummy hours, I would get a decent handful of customers that would whip out their food stamps card and be on their merry way. But there were many dishonest actions they would do with their EBT card. They would purchase more than just what they really need.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for helping the poor. I'm a firm supporter of the working class and lower class. I donate my old clothes that no longer fit me to the poor. I've thrown a few dollars to the homeless guy at Penn Station so he can get something off the dollar menu at Taco Bell. I even donated food to charity during my last semester at Nassau Community College in the spring of 2011. There are some people out there who are having some really serious financial problems. They're working several crummy minimum wage jobs so they can feed their kids or whatever, but need a little more help. I'm serious, I'd love to help them if I could. But there are some people that take advantage of that problem and use their problem as a crutch.

During my time at CVS, I would get some customers that got their Campbell's soup, milk, coffee, Easy Mac, ramen noodles, water, and instant microwave dinners. That's fine. They barely have enough food stamps to get those cheap things so they can have dinner on the table. But what about the people who get food stamps, but aren't trying to make enough money so they don't need the food stamps anymore? You know, the people that have food stamps, but have enough money for an iPhone, beer, and a ton of junk food. That is completely unacceptable. It is completely unfair to the hard working citizens who work over forty hours a week just to get dinner on the table for their families, but people who are literally taking advantage of the food stamps and using the "I'm poor, feel bad for me" line to get what they want. Prove that you're trying hard to not have to use food stamps anymore, and you can keep them. Otherwise, you're a disgusting human being and I no longer have sympathy for you.

I think I've said what I needed to say. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for next week's blog post. 'Til then, have a great weekend.


  1. Great blog, as always, Dana! :) You know, being unemployed, like extendedly unemployed, I'm going on 6 years struggling to find a job, I haven't once even considered financial aid of any kind. I Have been actively searching for a job, I do qualify for food stamps and such, and possibly even disability, but that's for people who need it. People who literally can't get a job. If you don't have a job, and you aren't looking, once your 6 month unemployment runs out, you should be cut off. mooching off the government is disgusting. People need to actually do something to earn money. I live at home, and people usually jut assume I'm handed everything while I'm staying home, but every day I am breaking my back cleaning and doing things to contribute to my house, so even though I may not be paying for rent, or food, and such, I am actively working for it. Unless you literally can't do a thing for yourself, you shouldn't be eligible for unemployment, and food stamps.

  2. My exact thoughts, Brendan.
    Even though you're probably eligible for food stamps or disability because of your condition, you chose not to because you know you don't need to.
    Like..unless you're a paraplegic...mooching off the government is unacceptable.