My response to https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EerZrU10NeI
It is relevant to see a 30 year old welfare recipient who has been on welfare many years and grew up in an impoverished environment. The woman in this YouTube video has tattoos and seems to have a smartphone. This is all in addition to having children and not having a job.
However, nothing in this video is new or shocking. Welfare has always required absence of a man if a woman with dependents needs welfare. This has had a huge impact on (heterosexual cisgender) two-parent families.
Blacks are often depicted as the main recipients of welfare and also the main misusers of welfare. Unlike the person in the YouTube video, many poor Blacks and Black welfare recipients have jobs — including under the table methods of making money. Therefore, it is important to challenge the misconception that every welfare recipient, or even most welfare recipients, wants to rely on government assistance. Government assistance has many requirements and guidelines that make many recipients feel a lack overall freedom — including freedom to find ways to succeed in order to no longer need government assistance.
Here is another important thing to remember: Formal government welfare has existed in many forms since (and, arguably, prior to) the Great Depression and has been used and abused many times throughout U.S. history. Assumptions of the proper use of welfare is correlated with factors including race and ethnicity, gender, and age. Who is considered worthy of assistance? Who is considered properly using assistance? Who is considered to have the necessary tools to get out of assistance and no longer need assistance (unless, of course, we are talking about wealthfare and other government programs)
Something else to remember: The difficulty is in the normalcy of welfare. Generations of poverty and generations of under-employment makes being OUT of poverty considered exceptional and even a traitor to your family and traitor to your race and ethnicity. This is where people feel obligated to save their families and their communities. Giving back money NOT just for “worthy community causes” but to pay people’s bills, help with overspending, jail bond, etc.
It is important to note, many sociologists and criminologists address the longstanding culture of poverty that is intertwined with subculture of violence (often applied to southern violence and black violence). This addresses some components of the ongoing cycle of poverty and need for government assistance.
But before people criticize some welfare recipients (humans have always been grimy — this is nothing new) we need to dissect why and how welfare is perpetuated. It isn’t as simple as pointing the finger at recipients and even at the government. Honestly, some welfare recipients are doing what many other people are doing. Taking advantage of opportunities and working the system in their favor.
This includes pronatalism in which middle-upper-class whites are told having babies will be government assisted. Wellll, that is harmful and shameful pronatalism. And a similar method has always been used for impoverished welfare recipients. One distinction is the impoverished are less likely to have access to health services for birth control and STI. This also includes cultures in which birth control and sexual health are silenced and shamed. This cultural component (in addition to overall incentives) also influences the middle-to-upper class in the U.S.
Many of you read this and said “DUH, you only said things we already know”.
Then why is the system STILL the way it is? If all of this is already known and people are tired of repetition, why does this persist? Does our government and society somehow benefit from this? If that’s the case, taxpayers need to know. Honesty.