“It’s not against the law to be poor in the U.S. but it might as well be.”
I read that somewhere once and wish I could remember where. It came immediately to mind when I read the following:
Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.
We seem to have a fondness for humiliating the poor in this nation. If you say “tax the rich” you get accused of class warfare. However no one raises much of a fuss if you want to impose some draconion requirement on those with the least.
Not sure how many people understand a basic fact of life: People do not like being on food stamps, unemployment or welfare. I speak with experience about being on unemployment. It is embarrassing to not be able to provide for yourself and, even worse, for your family. Now in case that wasn’t enough, states are starting to ask these folks to pee in a cup periodically to prove they are worthy of recieving the help they need to feed themselves.
“Nobody’s being forced into these assistance programs,” said Craig Blair, a Republican in the West Virginia Legislature who has created a Web site … that bears a bobble-headed likeness of himself advocating this position. “If so many jobs require random drug tests these days, why not these benefits?”
“Nobody’s being forced into these assistance programs”? Well, none of my friends are going willingly to them that’s for sure.
And yet we don’t ask the same of people who are being given billions of dollars to bailout companies they screwed up in the first place. Let me ask you a question: Which one of these groups is more likely to be able to afford drugs? Nevermind all those caps on executive compensation — I would be content if I knew the board and/or senior execs at any company getting federal bailout funds would have to submit to random drug testing for as long as they owed the government money. That would end the car companies’ begging in a hurry.
So if you’re a bankrupt bank — here’s a check. If you’re a bankrupt person — here’s a cup?
I am all in favor of people not being addicted to anything. Addiction is an ugly, destructive thing — whether that addiction is to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or whatever. However — as any doctor will tell you — this is a medical issue, not a moral one. So Mr. Blair and company are willing to disqualify people from getting assistance if they have this medical issue — however there is no mention of providing health care to deal with that medical issue.
Meanwhile Jamie Dimon (CEO of JP Morgan who makes $18M annually and whose company has recieved $25B in taxpayer funds) and his ilk complain about “the constant vilification of corporate America.”
Which would you rather be: villified and rich or villified and starving?