My Facebook friend posted his opinion about able-bodied Americans refusing to work and mooching off the government.  I didn’t disagree, and I thought about commenting. It’s not that simple though. Working in the pharmacy for less than 10.00/hour has made me consider other things. First of all, I’m all for getting some assistance -when deserved. A mother finds herself alone and without child support. A job in retail will not cover food, let alone daycare, housing, medical insurance,  etc. I’m all for her receiving assistance. I think the new housing in our town is fantastic. But mom needs to work, stay off drugs and do everything in her power to enable her children to do better. I’m all for assistance if Dad is laid off or loses his job until he gets back on his feet. I’m all for him getting assistance if he gets a job for lesser pay. He is working. He is making the effort. Again, he must be working, stay off the drugs and do everything in his power to enable his children to do better. That’s the way it should be, the way it was intended. That has become a fantasy from the 1950’s. Here’s the reality. “I’m going to have another kid to get another check. I’m going to push for an IEP. If my child is labeled with a learning disability, I get more money. If I can get the doctor to prescribe my kid with an ADHD medication, even better. I can get this medicine for free, and make a profit selling the pills on the street. No kid of mine is going to show me up. If you think your going to college, by God, you’re wrong. Who do you think you are?” Here’s another scenario. “I took a job at the local factory. I hate it there. I had to miss my kid’s parent/teacher conferences and my aunt’s funeral because I can’t miss work. They don’t care. I now have health insurance, but I can not afford my copay because I have a $4000.00 deductible. I have lost my government assistance.  I’m married, but my wife would be better off without me. Then my wife and kids could qualify for medicaid, food stamps and financial aid. I was better off not working. I turn to alcohol to escape the reality of my life. I’m so ashamed, but I don’t know where to turn. I take it out on my wife and kids.”  We do have a problem in our country. Our welfare system does help some who are deserving. But there is no doubt it has become a multigenerational way of life. It’s being grossly abused.  The heartbeat of the big city hospital my son stayed in was the inner city workers who kept things going. They cleaned, parked cars, took care of my son, did the laundry, answered the phone, made appointments, etc. They are working. They are working for low wages. The hospital could not open without them.  Not everyone is going to go to college and earn a high wage. The country can’t sustain that. I think the people most deserving of government assistance are the people who are trying. How do we break this cycle? We should be frustrated, but we obviously haven’t found the answer. I think taking away assistance when someone gets a job is counter productive. I think we need to focus on rewarding people for being drug free and holding a job…

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