Friday, January 19, 2007

To Clarify...

So both Tim and Ashley had really good points in their comments on yesterday's post. And I should make it clear that I was not proud of what went through my head and onto my blog when I saw the woman using WIC for the milk, but that's the way I think sometimes. And to make it clear again, I totally think we should help support the poor, I am definitely a social liberal, but my point is that I think people should think about their financial resources when they choose their family size. And I wish that our goverment would be more proactive about educating people about birth control to allow people of all income levels to control their family size. BUT Tim brings up an excellent point about people needing assistance sometimes. What if I got pregnant again and whammo Tim lost his job? I know we'd both be grateful to have that help. Thanks for helping me see things from the other angle, guys, sometimes my selfishness makes me ill.


Kelli in the Mirror said...

It's not like they give you a whole lot of money, and the stuff you can buy with WIC really is necessary stuff. Although I had always heard that you didn't qualify for it if there was a man in the house (WOMEN INFANTS and CHILDREN) so that confused me a bit.

Marsha said...

Julie, I know how you feel. When I worked for the pre-natal program at a local hospital, I became somewhat bitter about social welfare - and I am as liberal as they come - I think. Anyway, Very young, pregant, unwed women would come to my office seeking free services and free car seats etc. And all I could think when I watched them get out their brand new medicaid cards was that my paycheck was docked money I could not really spare so that this girl could have a baby and get a free car seat. I actually had to leave the job because I did not like the bitter person I had become.

Now I am back to being able to say that the baby didn't choose its circumstances and deserves to be strapped in safely no matter what.

What still makes me bitter is the tax burden on the middle class. The big squeeze from below and above. We sustain them both and it seems no one is looking out for us.

But I have to remember to keep from blaming those below. The culture has left some of them little choice and few examples of how to be different. I feel lucky I don't need WIC to feed my kid. I'm glad it is there for those who truly need it. And those who abuse the system, well I hope they get what they deserve. Whatever that is.

jooley_ann said...

You can get WIC if there's a man in the house. The WIC just designates who the program is for -- it provides food for Women (pregnant or lactating, I do believe), Infants, and Children. This is versus food stamps, which can be used by anyone.

I rather like the WIC program because it specifies EXACTLY what you can buy. WIC cards have lists of eligible grocery items such as juice, cheese, cereal, etc. You can even buy name-brand foods (e.g. Horizon milk), max out the card, and pay for the difference in cash. Anyway, point is that with WIC cards, unlike food stamps, you're roped into buying food that is healthy for you and your kids. (I used to check groceries, and I never saw a WIC card that wasn't for some kind of very reasonable food staple.)

I do understand where you're coming from, Julie. The food stamps program, in particular, is incredibly frustrating to see in action. The way it works is that people can spend the $1 stamps however they like, but the $5 and $10 (and maybe more) notes *must* be ripped from a booklet by the person tendering them. A grocery clerk can and probably should ID the person -- the booklet has the user's name on it. But people try to cheat all the damn time; e.g. they sell their foodstamps for cash so they can buy cigarettes. No joke. And even folks who use them appropriately are able to buy the most awful things. Like, I'm pretty sure Ding Dongs are a food stamp item. Ugh. So the program doesn't come with any kind of education about what's healthy.

And you know, I feel like a jerk saying all of this, too, but sometimes I get frustrated as well. *sigh* It's a complex problem for us social liberals.