regarding welfare.

Disclaimer: this is a political post. It's also word vomit. I welcome comments and opinions, so long as they are civil.






I almost cried at work today when a young man in an American History class started shouting about how poor people are poor because of bad decisions they make. The discussion topic was economics, and every voice was a conservative one--which is fine! I am selectively conservative myself, on issues such as abortion and . . . well that's the only one I can really think of. But I grew up in a conservative home and associate with mostly conservative people. They are lovely, as are liberals. It's all dependent on how civil the company.

As for me, I think I'm a socialist. And a lot of people tell me that I'm entitled, or even equate me to the anti-Christ (true story. that happened). But I don't see it that way. To me, socialism makes complete sense. And although the majority of my religious cohorts are highly conservative, I see no conflict between the gospel and my political views.

I'm going to quote some scriptures here, some biblical, some from exclusively Mormon canon, but all that I believe to be true.

Matthew 19:19 -- ". . . Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Mosiah 4:16 - 21 -- ". . . succor those that stand in need of your succor . . . are we not all beggars?"

Moses 7:18 -- "And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them."

There's just a taste.

I believe that the government should provide for its people. Yes, I believe that people should do everything in their power to provide for themselves, but as a poor person myself, let me tell you: that doesn't always get you very far.

As I sat in this classroom, I heard students spout off opinions about how debt is a plague and you should never spend more than you make. That if you can't afford something you need, you should work harder for it. That those who are poor are poor because they made choices that led them there. And I just cannot agree.

Debt is bad. But at this point in my life, I can't avoid it. I work 40 hours a week at a skilled job. I am married to a man who is not a citizen of this country, but DOES reside here legally. He works as many hours as the government allows. We still do not make ends meet. We don't have a car. We don't have a TV. I don't wear expensive clothes, and almost all of our home furnishings were generously gifted to me.

I don't spend money on frivolous things. (Except maybe pizza.)

Don't you think I want to pay my rent on time? Don't you think I would LOVE to pay my tuition up front in cash? Don't you think I would enjoy having groceries in my house that don't contain the words "instant" or "chicken flavored" ? Because I would. I would LOVE THAT.

AND I'M NOT EVEN ON WELFARE.

But do you know how much that would help? If even half of my groceries were paid for in a given month, maybe I could actually pay my gas bill. And what if we were blessed with a baby at this extremely inconvenient stage in our life? (I already told you, I am VERY conservative on this issue, so don't even bring up the A-word).

So I'm a socialist. Not because I want the government to take care of me--I'm fine with taking it on the chin and carrying along. I don't like going into debt to live, but I am under no illusions here. I simply have no other way. I am a socialist because there are so many people who are so much worse off than I. I might be living beyond my means, but I have faith that someday we'll be done with school. We'll have grown up jobs that pay a living wage and we'll finally be able to break even. Maybe we'll even have enough excess for a bloody car.

But as poor as I am, I am friggen' blessed. I have the capacity to be attending school. I have the ability to work and earn money, even if it isn't enough to get by. Some people don't have that. Some people were born into situations that make it impossible for them to ever hold down a job. Some people will never have the privilege of pursuing higher education. And don't feed me that "if they work hard enough" sh*t because I don't buy it.

I'm a socialist because loving my neighbor is something I believe in my very core. Because in this country we are promised "life, liberty and happiness" and yet people starve to death. People are enslaved in their poverty. And one does not have time to be happy when they can't even eat.

I believe in accountability and working hard, but for many people, that will never be enough.

"It's a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to pull himself up by his own bootstraps." -MLKJ

Comments

  1. HI!!!!
    I am so glad you commented! I love to see what you are up to! Are you still studying to become a teacher???? If so, you know I'd love to help you on that journey!

    This was a very interesting post that I loved to read. People are idiots. And I am sorry you have to listen to them sometimes.

    As I read your post I completely agree with you. People need help. The only thing that we differ on is where we think that help should come from. In my opinion, our government was created to protect individual rights of citizens. Government was not created to take from some to give to others. I believe God commanded us to freely give to those in need. I wish government could be a good form of welfare but I think it is completely wrong to force people to give to others. For this reason I am so grateful to belong to an organization that asks for our tithes and offerings and uses this money to help those in need. In my opinion, this is where welfare should take place.

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    Replies
    1. I totally understand your viewpoint on this. Honestly, I go back and forth between mostly socialist views and mostly libertarian views... which are pretty radically different. haha!

      And I am still planning on becoming a teacher! History, actually! BYU-I has so many good professors in the department, I could't bring myself to study anything else.

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    2. I loved the history department at BYU-I!!!! But just to warn you (as they didn't warn me at BYUI and I wish that someone had) it is darn near impossible to get a job teaching history. It is so hard to watch my student teachers struggle to get jobs (and most don't). So get as many endorsements as possible! For instance, be sure to get the social studies composite rather than just history, but also get endorsed in other subjects so you are more marketable. I am endorsed in PE and getting my CTE endorsement right now. Consider English or Music or anything else. I graduated from BYUI completely clueless of how difficult it would be to get a job which is why I had to teach at a correctional facility and a charter school before I got the job at PG. (And they only hired me at PG because I could coach girls basketball if needed) But good luck! And of course let me know if I can help you in any way!!!

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    3. Ugh that stinks. But it makes a lot of sense. Would you recommend going the History Education route or majoring in straight History with other interesting/useful minors? Because I've heard mixed things about it. I like the idea of being a pure historian, and the education composite makes undergrad a lot more rigid, but at the same time I don't want to be denied simply because I didn't have the composite. Luckily I'm still early enough in the major that I can jump between the two pretty easily, but further down the road it will be pretty solidified one way or the other.

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    4. Also, thanks for the advice! It's super helpful!

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