It’s not a direct relationship between low wage retail jobs and food stamps, but it’s eerily close to one. Wal-Mart is our largest private employer, and they have this nationwide habit of laying people off when they work there too long and make too much money, only to hire people for the same position again at the starting wage. It’s pretty complicated. They are on one hand against raisinng wages for their employees, saying stuff like they’d unemployable at higher wages and that they’d hire less people over all, while on the other hand actively lobbying for more federal funding for food stamp programs.
We have something of the opposite when it comes to disability, it isn’t easy to get on, but someone who can learn from the system can eventually reapply enough to get it. And these same people tend to have kids who are also disabled.
The most disgusting thing I saw was a family fighting over who gets to “care” for their aunts. It was these two women, who were apparently deaf, blind, and severely mentally handicapped (I was told there was inbreeding going that caused this). Anyway, their last sibling had passed away, so it left them without caretakers. Naturally, their nieces and nephews all wanted to be their caretakers. So they all went into the social security office, and there was this big fight about who got to be it. These nieces and nephews acted as if they were prized cattle to divvy up for inheritance. It was a sickening experience.
And then there are people who are disabled, but have recovered enough to think they can work. They then find themselves in a dilemma — do I go back working, and give up my disability payments, even if I don’t actually know I can work yet? Or do I stay on disability? It’s all or nothing. By giving it up, they would have to reapply, and that takes a very long time, and their having worked will actively work against them, even if they can only physically muster 10 hours a week or whatever.
And then there’s people on disability and decide to work anyway, usually in under the counter arrangements. There was a guy who was on a disability. While on it, he was working as a roofer (under the table, of course), and he fell of said roof and became injured. This guy had the gall to try to add this to his case (or something like that, not 100% sure). Someone knew he had been a roofer previously, and since the injury was similar to a fall injury, they sent out their investigators and sure enough he was back on the roof getting paid.
The scary thing is how under-resourced their investigators were, but how successful they were at finding wrong doing. It was above 95% in terms of finding malfeasance.
Anyway, that’s enough ranting tonight.