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Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz

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Blogs by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz

Abusing the System -- Handouts from Uncle Sam
5/31/2008 10:42:10 PM
Not once, not even once, did my daddy ever consider asking for a handout from Uncle Sam. But then, my daddy was far too proud.

 

As my friends all know, I am what is commonly referred to as a “bleeding-heart liberal,” at least when it comes to the idea that the government of this nation is obligated to help its citizens who are in need by providing them with financial, medical, and educational assistance. However, I will admit that, bleeding heart aside, I also believe that Uncle Sam should draw the line somewhere, namely when it comes to helping those citizens who want to abuse the system and milk it for every last penny they can squeeze out of that uncle’s checkbook, which, as I’m sure you know, is kept replenished by the tax dollars of America’s hard-working, job-holding, wage-earning citizens. 

 

What got me to thinking along these lines was an article I read in Friday’s The Advocate (my newspaper of choice) relating how approximately 400 Louisiana families, who are still residing in FEMA-issued trailers in Renaissance Village in New Orleans, are complaining that they should not be ousted from “their temporary homes” this weekend (the deadline set by FEMA for vacancy) (Gyan, 2008, p.1A). It also seems that the residents and their advocates have “called for permanent, safe, and affordable housing as well as case management services for hurricane-displaced families” (Gyan, 2008, p. 1A). Now, I don’t know about you, but what caught my attention was the phrase “their temporary homes,” followed by the phrase “called for permanent, safe, and affordable housing as well as case management services.”

 

First, let us define “temporary.” According to my Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word means, “lasting, enjoyed, or used for a time only; not permanent” (2006, p. 1464). On the other hand, again according to Webster’s, permanent means, “lasting or intended to last indefinitely without change” (2006, p.1059).

 

So, the question that comes to mind is how can these FEMA trailers, which were first occupied three years ago, be classified as “temporary” homes? They can’t, at least not unless one wishes to stretch one’s imagination, which I don’t. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, temporary is temporary; and it is certainly not three years or even two years, although perhaps a year would be acceptable—under extenuating circumstances. 

 

The second question that comes to mind, however, is when will these government subsidies end? Obviously, they won’t, not if the residents and their advocates get what they’re asking for, which is permanent assistance. And that means that you and I will continue to foot the bill for that assistance for a long, long, long time. In fact, our children, their children, and their children’s children will be footing that bill if it’s permanent because, remember, permanent means “lasting or intended to last indefinitely.”

 

Oh, and are you ready for this: One of the residents, who shall remain unnamed, called FEMA “The longest running April Fool’s joke ever played on the American people” (Gyan, 2008, p. 6A.) Why? Well, because this person is being forced to vacate a FEMA trailer. However, this person is moving to Florida, and guess who is paying for the moving truck? That’s right, FEMA, the same organization that has given this person a place to live, rent free, for the past three years.

 

I don’t know about you, but I really have a problem with the attitude some people have that the government should take care of them indefinitely. Then again, I’m sure it’s related to the way I was raised, which was by a daddy who always said, “We don’t take charity.” And although we were poor, we never did, not even when he was out of work for almost two months following back surgery; and, as a result, since Mama didn’t work, there was no paycheck coming into the house. But my daddy believed that a person didn’t get something for nothing. He or she earned it. And if a person couldn’t afford something, then he or she did without it; and that is why, even though the Baptist church brought us boxes of food on occasion (much to Daddy’s disgruntlement and embarrassment), we did without a lot of things while he was recuperating. Yes, we did without. But not once, not even once, did my daddy ever consider asking for a handout from Uncle Sam. But then, my daddy was far too proud.

 

 

Gyan, J. Jr., Group fights park closures as Sunday deadline nears. The Advocate; Capitol City Press; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Friday, May 30, 2008; pp 1A-6A.

 



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More Blogs by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz
• Have You Ever Wondered? - Monday, February 08, 2010
• Students Write the Darnedest Things - Thursday, December 17, 2009
• Random Brain Droppings - Saturday, November 07, 2009
• To Twitter or not to Twitter, That Is the Question. - Monday, June 29, 2009
• Levy "Sin" Taxes on Actual Sins - Thursday, May 14, 2009
• What's New in My World? - Sunday, April 05, 2009
• To Blog or Not to Blog? - Sunday, March 08, 2009
• New Year's Predictions for 2009 - Thursday, January 01, 2009
• Christmas 2008 - Saturday, December 27, 2008
• What I Learn from the Newspaper - Thursday, December 11, 2008
• Totally Inane Messages - Monday, December 01, 2008
• Is America a "Civilized" Nation - Saturday, November 29, 2008
• What Thanksgiving Means - Wednesday, November 26, 2008
• Autumn, Sarah Palin, & Cultural Literacy - Sunday, November 09, 2008
• Thank You, America - Tuesday, November 04, 2008
• The Perfect Husband - Friday, October 24, 2008
• Sarah Who? - Monday, October 06, 2008
• Rats Abandoning a Sinking Ship - Friday, September 26, 2008
• Why Do So Many Students Detest Reading? - Monday, September 22, 2008
• What's in a Name? - Saturday, September 13, 2008
• Waiting for Gustav - Sunday, September 07, 2008
• It's Time for Change - Friday, August 29, 2008
• George Washington, He Ain't - Saturday, August 23, 2008
• More Money Than Common Sense - Friday, August 15, 2008
• The Loss of the Ability to Communicate - Thursday, August 14, 2008
• The Wonders of Modern Technology - Sunday, August 10, 2008
• Water, Water, Everywhere - Thursday, August 07, 2008
• A Different World - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• Thinking" Consumerism - Thursday, July 31, 2008
• Mr. Fix It -- Not My Husband - Saturday, July 26, 2008
• Pour Me Another Cup of Coffee - Sunday, July 20, 2008
• Southern Cooking - Friday, July 18, 2008
• The Value of Human Life - Friday, July 11, 2008
• Running on Empty - Sunday, July 06, 2008
• A Question of Respect - Friday, July 04, 2008
• Monkey See, Monkey Do - Thursday, July 03, 2008
• English Only - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
• Jesus for President - Friday, June 27, 2008
• Do You Believe in Bad Luck? - Thursday, June 26, 2008
• Existing versus Living - Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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• Spirit Dog -- Goodbye My Friend - Wednesday, June 18, 2008
• What's in a Name? - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• Are Some People Really That Dumb? - Monday, June 16, 2008
• An Appalling State of Affairs - Wednesday, June 11, 2008
• The Ongoing Stupidity of the Human Race - Sunday, June 08, 2008
• Living in Fear - Friday, June 06, 2008
• An Epiphany about Survival - Monday, June 02, 2008
•  Abusing the System -- Handouts from Uncle Sam - Saturday, May 31, 2008  
• When 50 Cents Was a Fortune - Wednesday, May 28, 2008
• The Greed of the Human Race - Saturday, May 24, 2008
• I Have Been Living an Illusion - Friday, May 23, 2008
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• The Three Perfect Foods - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Kids & Pets Alone in Vehicles - Saturday, May 10, 2008
• Into the Valley of Death - Friday, May 09, 2008
• In Remembrance of Outhouses - Monday, May 05, 2008
• Family Is Family - Saturday, May 03, 2008
• Thank You, Mr. President - Thursday, May 01, 2008
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• America, Overweight and Gaining: A Byproduct of Capitalism - Friday, April 18, 2008
• Only in Southern Louisiana - Wednesday, April 16, 2008
• Why I Don't Trust Doctors - Saturday, April 12, 2008
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• Who Is To Blame? - Tuesday, April 08, 2008
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• Our Friend, Mr. Comma, and How He Is Being Abused - Thursday, February 28, 2008
• More on the Abuse of the English Language - Monday, February 25, 2008
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• You Can't Transplant a Southerner - Friday, January 11, 2008
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