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Abusing the System?  RSS feed

 
Jenna Sanders
Posts: 54
Location: Michigan, zone 5
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My very wise father told me that I was struggling with envy and needed to count my blessings. So, I am trying to think of reasons why I am blessed for living beneath my means rather than abusing the system to buy things I don't need...or can't afford.

1. Creativity. Living on little has taught me the art of making do. Making something out of nothing and how to stretch every last little bit.

2. I have learned to want less.

3. Gardening. I cannot afford to buy organic vegetables, so I have learned to grow them, and the joy of the first ripe tomato cannot be bought.

4. Maple syrup. The pot of maple sap is boiling on my stove. Enough said.

5. While not totally self sustaining, I am far less dependent on others for financial security

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that there are people who have come upon hard times and need a bit of help now and then. I love that we have a system in place to do just that, so please do not think I am bashing everyone who gets government aid. That is not my intent.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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3. Gardening. I cannot afford to buy organic vegetables, so I have learned to grow them, and the joy of the first ripe tomato cannot be bought. 


On a positive note, this week in the grocery store, organic celery was exactly the same price as chemical.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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I've written about this a little. I do receive food stamps. I don't own a car though. Don't drive period (alright maybe once a month I borrow a truck - but I get a hell of a lot done for like 5 bucks). I often come in at less (sometimes far less) than 100 dollars a month.

Unfortunately people have some pretty upside down philosophies (as you've pointed out those who drive Mercedes fueled by ill gotten oil [and the taxes and lives squandered on that whole debacle] and place that status symbol and convenience over a necessity such as food) I don't know what can be done about that. I also don't know if anyone who fills out the Government forms completely honestly can even swing that sort of thing (I myself would never purger myself by falsifying an official document) but I'm sure it happens all the time. People abusing the system is certainly irksome, but corporations abusing the system is, for me at least, maddening. And pretty clearly much more common and flagrant in terms of scope and scale. So I offer a different perspective - while agreeing in full with your points about living a better fuller life through simple pleasures.

If you can qualify I say go for it and spend it more wisely than the average citizen or corporation would ever dream of. Though I can certainly understand the controversy.

http://www.permies.com/t/31264/Politics/case-food-stamps
 
Bill Ramsey
Posts: 86
Location: SW Georgia, zone 8b
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I certainly know the feelings and can only tell myself that these are the times to prepare for when those funds run out and we all have to live within our means. I see those abuses getting more absurd and blatant every day and that only makes me more determined to prepare for the inevitable consequences.
 
Tom Gauthier
Posts: 57
Location: U.P., Michigan
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Jenna Sanders wrote:
2. I have learned to want less.


I agree with the sentiment here, but I would like to state it differently ... "I have unlearned to want more."

As babies, all we want are the necessities of life: food, warmth, security, love. As we grow older, modern society teaches us to want more.

Have a beautiful day.

-Tom
 
Jenna Sanders
Posts: 54
Location: Michigan, zone 5
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Tom Gauthier... "I have unlearned to want more."[/quote wrote:
How very true that statement is...
 
Robert James
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Before you start to worry about abusing the system to buy things you don't need, don't forget how much tax dollars we spend on these programs to do this. Also when you get money form the government, you are spending it, which in turn helps stimulate the economy.
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6702
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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In the 70s and 80s, Canada was tossing millions of dollars in unemployment benefits to people who were in fact working. Certain industries became dependent on subsidized labor. They would hire those collecting benefits to pick fruit, deliver papers etc. The system was horribly unfair to those who didn't cheat. A guy stocking shelves at a store would work all year for low pay. Another guy could make twice as much per day as a roofer for the summer and then collect unemployment for 9 months. It paid 60% of what was being earned during the summer rush. So, the idle guy still earned more in the off season than the shelf stocker did. Many sneaky deals were struck, to inflate earnings during the work period, so that they could fleece the rest of us for more. One of my relatives did this. "Unemployed" guys had to come to his place in the off season, to work off debt from overpayment in the summer. Sometimes they simply had to pay a certain amount back in cash each payday. My relative's guys received roughly $2.50 for every dollar earned, if they stayed officially unemployed until spring. They called it an insurance plan. Some never collected, while others insured that they collected every year. I witnessed an argument over this in Newfoundland. A young man was mad as hell that his boss wouldn't lay him off the moment he reached the magic number of weeks worked. He had an "under the table" job lined up. His plan was to ditch the fish plant and go logging and firewood cutting. The money from that plus 60% of what he was making at the fish plant, made for a nice living. His disposable income went way up during periods of unemployment.

The rules have changed a lot and punishment for cheating is greater now. There is still a lot of fraud.
 
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