Most poor are lazy and don't want to work.Most of the poor get welfare, so the aren't really suffering.Most of the poor are better off than the rest of us because the government pays them to lie around and have more babies. But we ordinary tax payers can't afford to have more kids because the government won't subsidize us like they do the "welfare queens."Families on welfare eat better than those of us who work for a living.
If they didn't buy all the junk food and steaks they do and managed their money better, they wouldn't be poor.FactsIn 1990, 60% of the poor in the U.S. were not able to work due to their age (too young or too old), disability, or the lack of jobs. All of these are circumstances clearly beyond the control of the individual.
Most poor citizens do not receive aid from the government, either because they are not eligible, not willing to apply, or do not know that they are eligible.In Alabama, only a minority of welfare recipients receive ANY cash aid at all. Among those who do receive AFDC payments, an average of $29 per child each month or $348 a year was paid (1990). Compared to the income tax deduction of $2,450 per child, it is clear that the middle class families have more government- supplied incentive to have kids than the poor do.
In fact, the fertility rate of women on welfare is less than the fertility rate of all U.S. women of child bearing age.The average Food Stamp allotment in 1990 was 79 cents a meal per person. For a poor person, no amount of "good management" can result in sufficient nutritious meals throughout the month while on Food Stamps. We imagine what we see someone buy on food stamps is what they buy every week, but most food stamp recipients do one big shopping trip a month and try to make it last through the month.Why do myths persist?
The media perpetuate mythic images of "welfare queens" by running the same tired stories, and presenting as the norm a black family with four kids, all conceived by different fathers and all of them born while the mother was on welfare.
The next time you see a welfare story in the newspaper or on TV, look critically at the images they are presenting to you. Absent are the laid-off workers, the sick and disabled, and the unemployed workers who are poor and need help.
We want to believe myths.
We are not mean-spirited people, but we all fear the possibility of being poor. By demonizing the poor, it allows us to believe that "We will never be poor, because we are NOT like THOSE people."
But in fact, we are. In a 25-year study of the American families done by the University of Michigan, at some moment in those years fully one-quarter of all families studied experienced poverty.Politicians profit from encouraging myths. When is the last time a politician got elected for telling a truth we did not want to hear?
In the case of welfare myths, politicians can balance the budget on the backs of the poor, and we will support this.
More Facts on Poverty
Most recipients of welfare are NOT black, contrary to our myths. While people of color are disproportionately poor in the U.S., they are not the majority of the poor, nor are they the majority of welfare recipients.