Punishing the poor – A rich person in power’s favorite past time

Hey everybody! So we’re going to take a different direction today. We’re going to be talking about the poor. You know, people who live in poverty like me that can’t have over $2000 ever. Ever. I figured that I can talk about this since I live it every day, so get ready, ya’ll!

So… Today it was announced that this particular rich person in power, Ben Carson, who is like, in charge of HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, aka the affordable housing program for the very poor in the United States) wants to raise the rent poor people pay on their affordable housing from 50 bucks to 150 bucks. It may not sound like a lot to your average joe who is not poor, but for people like me living on SSI, paying up $100 more for anything is a big difference that affects your low income by A LOT. Even better, old Carson wants to tack on work requirements for the poor who are not over 65 and are not disabled. Because those poor people deserve to obviously toil for the life of poverty they are trapped in already and is hard and impossible to get out of except by lottery winning luck, am I right? Obviously, I am being sarcastic. I mean, it’s all good to work, but working a minimum wage job at $7.25 an hour almost every day is not going to get someone out of poverty.

Why is this a problem? Well, it should be obvious. For those of us living in poverty, haven’t we suffered enough? Or aren’t we suffering enough already? For example, me being on SSI. People like me living on SSI and are disabled mentally and/or physically are not given enough to live on by Social Security. Can you live on under $1000 a month alone? Obviously, in this economy, you cannot. With everything going up and with wages stagnant, it is not just people on SSI or who are retired and live off Social Security alone who are suffering. Working people are suffering as well! Unfortunately, another not so well known fact is that SSI and regular Social Security payments for retirement have not kept up with inflation. Yup, you read that right. It has been YEARS since Social Security has been updated and it is no wonder that the people who rely on it alone are poor. It does not help that people on SSI cannot have over 2000 bucks in order to lift themselves out of poverty. It is wrong, enough said. I’m sure people who are well off financially can see why this would be a problem financially.

And for Ben Carson’s “poverty is a state of mind” comment, if you know anyone who is in poverty or are familiar with poverty, this is not the case. People who live in poverty are not poor or are a “leech” to society by choice, if at all. They live in poverty because they were born into it and were not able to get out of it or they were not fortunate enough to find a job that offers a living wage to lift themselves out of their circumstances and still cannot and in thus, live in poverty. They then have no choice but to accept help from the government for food stamps, SSI, HUD, WIC, or whatever else to get by so they can live a somewhat decent life that does not make them and their children suffer 24/7. The economy is not like the 50’s where you can just get a good paying job because you have a high school degree or walk into a business and ask for a job and you get it. And no matter how a certain someone who blabs on and on about it, coal mining jobs are disappearing and are not coming back. Ever. So you can forget that and the black lung that comes with it.

Also in the news annoucned earlier in the year, but still relevant, they mention that our president has a proposal to cut back on SNAP money. And that is by offering SNAP recipients what they call an “America’s Harvest Box” aka, The Slop Box. Ooooh, what’s going to be in this particular America’s Harvest Box you ask? Probably fresh fruits, fresh veggies, fresh meats, and fresh dairy products, you say? Well, I hate to be the THAT person, but you’d be wrong! Let’s break down what is going to be in this here box:

Shelf Stable Milk: Oh boy, dried milk! Yup, because I want to prepare dried milk every night just to get some protein instead of just buying the liquid stuff! Hooray for more work that I have to do in the kitchen! /sarcasm

Juice: Ah yes, SUGAR! YES, I will drink all of the sugar, or juice, that has had the fruit it was made out of nutrient’s and vitamins ripped out of them and put in a drinkable form! I’m sure nobody will get fat from drinking said juice from a can or in an already liquid form! /sarcasmagain

Grains: Quinoa or bust. Or maybe even brown rice. And you can bet they won’t offer this grain they are going to give us in bulk either. It will also probably be in a processed food box or boxes with artificial seasonings to go with it or in a small baggy that you can probably buy for a buck at the dollar store. In all honesty, this grain will probably be white rice. Guarantee it.

Ready-eat-cereals: Oh boy, more sugar! Also starch if the cereal is posing as something “healthy”. Because as an adult who cares about my health, this is the last crap that I would ever eat. Heck, some cereals, if not all, have vitamins sprayed onto them because they lack that much nutritional value. Just no. UGGH.

Peanut Butter: You can bet it will shatty peanut butter like Skippy. Gotta’ keep those processed foods companies in business, dontcha’ know? Heaven forbid the peanut butter they would ever give us would be something that is not filled with sugar or just made from, y’know, just peanuts?

Canned Meat: Because nothing says health food like a can o’ meat full of salt and the bad kind of fat for your body! Maybe even some sugar mixed in to keep you addicted. Heaven forbid we would even be offered canned salmon or tuna in a can! Can’t have those poors eating something that may be good for them! /yetagainsarcasm

Poultry or Fish: Now, here is something I approve of… if it’s fresh. We would probably just receive this stuff already canned, but I’m hoping for it to be something that people could prepare in their own kitchen. But this “luxury” fresh food offered to us could be, like, the worst cuts of a chicken or fish ever. Like chicken legs or wings, or un-deboned fish. Uggggh…

Canned Fruits and Veggies: Oh boy, look! More salt and sugar in your diet than you need from each can of fruits and veggies that you and your family consumes! Heaven forbid poor people should eat fresh fruits and veggies because they deserve to! I mean, what is the world coming to?!! /sarcasm No, as a fellow poor, I do not want any canned fruits and vegetables that obviously have preservatives and excess salt and sugar in them. Frozen veggies and fruit would be a healthier bet because they are both freezed at peak freshness in this manner. But still, nothing beats fresh fruits and veggies. I would be miserable each day if I had to eat frozen or canned fruits and veggies all of the time. 😦

And that’s it for this list. So… MMMMMM! Sounds appetizing, does it all not? And they want to slash SNAP money from your SNAP budget just to give you this wonderful Slop Box! although, I would probably qualify for Food Stamps, I do not get them as of yet and probably never will because of the work requirements or sooon-to-be work requirements that are required to have them in a lot of states. Plus, if I sign up for them, it would cut into my SSI for sure. So even though I do not have any SNAP benefits, I feel for the people who do and are going to be affected by this nonsense that the president’s budget proposal offers. What this Slop Box idea does not understand is that by giving American’s money for buying their own food instead of giving them some random food they are forced to eat or they will starve, they are giving them the power to buy their own food and make their own choices. For example, some people have food allergies and if somebody getting this Slop Box is allergic to peanut butter, what are they going to do with said peanut butter? If it were me, I would obviously throw it in the garbage. Can’t eat it, so why keep it around? That goes for the other foods offered in the box as well. If people don’t like the food they get in the Slop Box, heck, they can just donate it to the food banks so someone else can eat it. Key words: if they want to. But they will have no choice if they don’t want to starve, so I guess they may eat it? My best bet is that they will probably give it away or just not take it home with them at all.

So yeah, you can see I am a little peeved about all of this. To close, I believe that no one deserves to live in poverty. NO ONE. The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, yet we cannot provide adequate help to our poorer fellow American’s, but have billions to throw at the military and corporations and their CEO’s? It’s insanity and it will always be wrong. I dream of a day when our poorest of citizens like myself will no longer have to suffer financially or in any other form and live a happy life in the “greatest country in the world”, so they say America is. Ergo, there are better countries out there, but that’s what they say, right? I just hope it happens someday. That is one of my dearest wishes.

What do you think about these latest poltical developments affecting the poor?

News Sources:

Washington Post

Politico

Forbes

4 thoughts on “Punishing the poor – A rich person in power’s favorite past time

  1. I remember subsisting on the WIC “juice.” At the time I loved the sugar, but there’s no way that’s healthy! That’s my huge argument with these food programs. They basically force people to eat foods that are packed with salt, sugar, and who-knows-what ingredients that, when eaten regularly, can cause severe health problems (which you can’t afford to treat if you’re on assistance).

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    1. Sadly, I think why all of these processed foods that are included on SNAP that one can buy is because some people just can’t buy a lot of fresh food because the distances between them and a actual grocery store. 😦 Food desserts is what they are called. 😦 Then if they get to the store and buy all of this fresh food, if they are not prepared with coolers and such in their vehicles, the food will go bad on their trip home… But I have read in the past that when people or organizations make a big stink about taking off processed food, soda, candy, etc. from being able to be purchased with SNAP money, the companies who make that crap go nuts and lobby, lobby, lobby until it is finally put to rest. Helps their bottom line I’m sure, but that’s why these companies make all of that addictive processed food in the first place, to make a buck off of a person in expense of their health. It’s just awful. 😥

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  2. I had not heard of the Harvest Box program. I agree with your assessment that in its current description it sounds bad but I don’t think the idea is all bad. If the food provided could be fresh and high quality and education on healthy cooking and eating provided, the program could have a positive effect on the health and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens. I think lots of people (not just the poor) do not know what healthy food is or how to cook real food! Our country is obsessed with packaged and convenience foods and we pay the price with many chronic diseases that could be avoided by better food choices.

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    1. I would love it if this America’s Harvest Box thing would provide fresh healthy food to the poor and have educational pamphlets or even classes offered by the government on how to eat healthy that include the foods in their boxes. 🙂 But sadly, that will never happen. :,( Since a lot of the people who would be responsible for making things like this idea happen are a lot of the time paid off by the corporations like the ones who produce a lot of the bad foods you see in the grocery stores, the last thing these corporations want are healthy citizens and an educated populace that knows what and what not to eat. If the general public knew how bad a lot of corporations’ food products were, they wouldn’t never eat em’ again! D: Thus losing the food corporations money or going bankrupt in the end. Heaven forbid we can’t have that. /sarcasm

      And sadly, I think you are correct. A lot of Americans just don’t know what foods are good for them and are not educated on how to eat properly. Schools in my past time didn’t really help with their awful food pyramid that put grains on the bottom for pete’s sake and people don’t realize that the processed foods that they buy and feed themselves and their families are designed to be addictive and keep a person coming back for more and more. 😦 It’s just a sad situation all around. 😥

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