Of Welfare, Walmart and Straw Men
It always interests me whenever someone on the left lobs an incendiary grenade in my direction.
A friend asked, “I get that there are ways to abuse the system, and some people are finding ways, but really, most people are just buying food with them. Why do we hate hungry kids?”
His question was in response to the GOP’s cutting of food stamps from the 2013 farm bill.
He assumes that cutting food stamps from the farm bill is eliminating the program.
But look at his statement. He is saying that if you want to make cuts to the food stamp program, you hate hungry kids.
If you want to do A, you obviously hate B.
That’s called a straw man argument. Deliberately misrepresenting the opposition’s position in order to make them look bad. Believe me, I’ve set up more than a few straw men and knocked them down in my time.
After calling him out about the straw man in his front yard, he changed his statement to “why do we completely not consider hungry kids in our decisions about where to spend money?”
Well, what the farm bill is doing is not eliminating the program, just separating it from the agriculture bill. Whenever something is included in a bill that has nothing to do with the original bill, it’s called pork. We always complain about pork in government bills, but the second some is cut, people get up in arms.
There is no question that they system is rife with fraud. I’ve seen the receipts of people buying filet mignon, lobster, and cases of soda pop on the taxpayer dime. I’ve seen videos of people who are the stereotypical “welfare queens” who sit and home and collect government checks while popping out kids to increase their benefits. I’ve seen people with cart loads of junk food paying with EBT cards. I’ve read the news stories about how people will be paid in cash for their EBT cards, and given fake receipts. I’ve seen people who can’t speak English, and have to use their children as translators, using WIC and EBT.
For me, if you can’t speak English, that’s the red flag that you might be here illegally.
The problem is that when the government just hands out money, people will become dependent on it, and the natural urge is to do nothing and just collect the free paycheck.
One of his other friends stepped in and said that, “Lol!! That’s just it. You HAVE to qualify. They don’t just look at you and say ok here’s 300 for this family and 200 for that one. You have to provide documents. You have to see a worker and they follow up twice yearly. I do think they could also include a class or 2 on nutrition and such. Or they can eliminate certain items that are available. Soda, chips, candy. But until they do its no ones business how people feed themselves and their family.”
Wow. A follow up twice yearly, and documentation can’t be forged. That makes me feel much better.
But when a person is carrying an iPhone 5, a Louis Vuitton handbag and wearing Gucci shoes, that could be a sign of fraud.
But I disagree that how a person feeds themselves or their families if they are using EBT is none of my business. Since you are eating on my money, I have every right to know what you are buying and spending my money on.
That’s one of the problems with the left. They don’t see anything as private property. Money belongs to the government, they are just loaning it to you and can take as much as they want any time they want.
Which is a logical fallacy. The paper may belong to the government, but the value belongs to me.
Another of his friends piped in, “41% of people on food stamps lived in a household with earnings from a job, the so-called working poor, while 47% were children under age 18. o if big business, like say, Walmart, doesn’t want to pay it’s workers enough to live on, and the government doesn’t want to help them eat… just exactly what are they supposed to do? And yeah, why does the government and a large portion of our population hate poor starving kids? Or poor starving anybody for that matter? A lot of hateful blaming and passing the buck going on in our country.”
Ah, yes, Walmart. The left’s favorite whipping boy. It’s all Walmart’s fault, and I’ll get to them in a second.
People have a tendency to get lost in statistics. Look at the quote above. Forty one percent of people on food stamps live in a household with earnings.
They are ignoring the opposite end of that statistic. That means 59% of people on food stamps are not living in a household with an income. Six out of ten people on food stamps aren’t working, according to that statistic.
Forty seven percent of those were children under the age of 18, as opposed to 53% of children over 18? Unless I misunderstand the system, children aren’t on food stamps, their parents are.
What this shows to me is that there is room for cuts.
I’m all for mandatory drug testing before any benefits are given. If you are a tweaker, no soup for you.
But, in the same breath that we are told there are children starving, we are also told that our children have an obesity epidemic.
All we ever receive is mixed messages, and it just serves to confuse people.
The First Lady’s health lunch program is being scrapped at some schools, because the schools are losing money because the kids are refusing to eat her foods, or if they do, they are left feeling very hungry for the rest of the school day. The end result is that they concentrate on how hungry they are, rather than their education.
You can’t take a one size fits all approach to kids. All are growing, and need a lot of calories. Instead, she’s attempting to preach a healthy lifestyle to children while she stuffs a bacon double cheeseburger in her mouth.
That’s kinda making hungry for a Wendy’s triple bacon cheeseburger.
With a Diet Coke, of course.
Let’s get back to Walmart.
Walmart refuses to pay a living wage, right?
Walmart pays at least the minimum wage to its employees, most of whom have no marketable skills. They are not doing anything immoral or illegal.
The average wage of a Walmart Associate, a cashier if you will, is $8.71 an hour.
Target pays their cashiers an average of $8.08 an hour.
You mean to tell me that Walmart, the red headed stepchild of America actually pays its employees more than Target, favorite store of the left?
So, if Walmart is responsible for everybody on welfare, how do the Target employees survive?
Walmart pays its overnight stockers $9.59 an hour, while Target pays its overnight stockers, well, Target doesn’t hire overnight stockers.
At Target, if you work in the electronics department, you get paid $8.91 an hour, while miserly Walmart pays $9.20 for the same job.
But, Target offers health insurance and Walmart doesn’t!
This is perhaps one of the biggest lies spread by the left. Walmart does, in fact offer health coverage. Of course, with Obamacare looming, they will shift people to the exchanges, just like Target will.
In addition, Walmart has started an ad campaign stating that 60% of Americans shop at Walmart.
If Walmart is so evil, why do so many people shop there?
In Tigard, Oregon where I live, Target was going to build a superstore in a commercial district down by the Winco grocery store and next door to Costco. No one said anything when Costco built, nor when Target wanted to build.
For some reason, Target backed out at the last second after everything had been approved.
Not a peep. No opposition.
After Target backed out, Walmart, which had been trying for years to get a store in Tigard, swooped in.
The opposition immediately appeared and stiffened. Protesters were starting to hang out at our local farmers market (where my wife and I have a booth on Sundays), a non-political market.
Try as we might, the protesters, claiming they love small business while not shopping at any of the booths, refused to leave, and the police couldn’t do anything about it. They used such tactics as claiming Walmart was responsible for the collapse of the building in Bangladesh that killed over 1000 people. They weren’t, that was The Gap, a high end clothing retailer. But these protesters never let facts stand in the way of a good Walmart lambasting.
They tried getting the area declared a wetlands (for a little pond where some ducks hang out), even though the property is across the street from the pond.
Construction has started and the opposition has not updated their website in over a week, so it looks like they may have been defeated.
In Washington DC, the city council there passed a bill aimed directly at Walmart requiring them to pay a minimum wage of $12.50 an hour. Companies with earnings under $1 billion annually are not affected by this bill. In response, Walmart has cancelled three planned expansions in DC.
Why is all of this important?
For every store that Walmart doesn’t build, that is more jobs that aren’t created. That’s one less cheap place for the so-called working poor to shop at. Government has declared open season on Walmart, while giving corporations like Target a pass. The left loves to whip up on Walmart at every opportunity.
They would rather people sit at home and collect their government checks.
If people work, but still need assistance, that’s fine. I don’t have an issue with that. I have issue with my taxpayer money going to illegal aliens, which Homeland Security and the government agencies responsible for government assistance programs admittedly don’t track, and to people who refuse to work and just take advantage of the system (including my own family members who abuser the system).
So I ask this.
Why does the left hate people having jobs or the “working poor” being able to shop at a place where they can feed their families for less?
Why do we completely not consider hungry kids in our decisions about where we allow Walmart to build?