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Old man's hand holding several pennies.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett actually said that the reason Pennsylvania’s jobs numbers are so bad, 49th in the nation for job creation in March, is because:
[M]any employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them.
Right ... Now, I am willing to bet that he is not talking about jobs in the finance industry. No, the people he is likely talking about are low income, likely a darker skin tone than the governor, and applying for minimum wage jobs. Of course he has not asked for a study to be done. He is just going by what employers have told him. Which is that poor people just don’t want to work because they spend their time doing drugs.

Pennsylvania is not the only state where this is happening. Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City), who is trying to repeal affirmative action in her state, said:

[M]inorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative…I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them. [W]omen earn less than men because they tend to spend more time at home with their families.
Of course, not letting people of color who live in poverty starve is a horrible thing. It is evidently okay though for whites receiving assistance.

The scapegoating does not end there. In Wisconsin, Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) has put forth AB 110 which is directed at the states Foodshare (Known as SNAP on the Federal level) program. AB 110 states:

the department shall conduct a pilot program under which the department allows the benefits under the food stamp program to be used only for foods, food products, and beverages that have sufficient nutritional value. The department shall identify specific foods, food products, and beverages, or general categories of foods, food products, and beverages, that do not have sufficient nutritional value and shall prohibit the use of benefits under the program for those foods, food products, and beverages.
AB 110 was later amended to state:

1. The department shall require that, of the benefits amount used by a recipient in a month to purchase food, not less than 67 percent is used to purchase only any of the following foods:
a. Authorized foods on the list published by the department under s. 253.06 (9).
b. Beef, pork, chicken, or fish, whether an authorized food on the list published
under s. 253.06 (9) or not.
c. Fresh produce, including white potatoes, whether an authorized food on the list published under s. 253.06 (9) or not.
2. The department shall publish on the department's Internet site the following lists:
a. A current list of the foods for which 67 percent of a recipient's monthly benefits amount must be used.
b. A current list of the foods for which 33 percent of a recipient's monthly benefits amount may be used.
The list mentioned in the text of the amendment to AB 110 is the same list used today for Wisconsin’s,  “Women, Infants & Children Nutrition Program, or WIC. The WIC list is a pretty restrictive list. You can purchase canned tomatoes, but not spaghetti sauce. You can have mild cheddar cheese, but not sharp cheddar cheese. You are not allowed to purchase white bread or white rice. The purpose of the WIC program is totally different than that of the SNAP program. WIC is to ensure that low-income women and children get the nutrition they need to be healthy either during pregnancy or during the formative years of their lives. Foodshare is for any who may need assistance with purchasing food. What this bill amounts to is that someone was in line at the grocery store and rightly or wrongly assumed that the person in front of them was purchasing items that they should not have been with Foodshare benefits.

Again, this is the party of less government adding more bureaucracy to the mix where it is not needed. For a family of four the average Foodshare benefit for a two-parent household is approximately $384 a month. I highly doubt letting that family buy a jar of spaghetti sauce or some sharp cheddar is going to bust the bank.

Rep. Kaufert states that this is to make sure that those in poverty eat healthier. If he was really concerned about the health of these families maybe he would work harder at getting healthcare for them and maybe making sure that the benefits they do get can actually feed a family of four. This is just one more hoop that those living in poverty have to jump through. Instead of treating them as human beings they are treated as a sub-class of humans that do nothing but mooch and leach off of society. Instead of degrading statements and punitive bills that demean the poor maybe we should be focusing on ways to end poverty. You know, stuff like funding schools, providing daycare, healthcare, and having an economy that favors the less fortunate rather than those at the top of the food chain. A system where children can have spaghetti for dinner and the elderly do not have to choose between medication and food.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania, Democracy Addicts, and Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "Republicans only care about the rich" - My late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:15:37 PM PDT

  •  Fuck the Poor! (6+ / 0-)

    You are so right, and sadly, it is effective.

    My church's Social Justice committee recently did an exercise similar to one we've all read about.

    To start a meeting that advertised pizza would be served, with about 20 people in the room, they took an extra large pizza and began to cut it up.

    They split everyone into 3 groups.  In the first group of 3, the first person - the moderator - explained that it was his meeting, so he got 50% of the pizza. The next person got 10%.  The next got 5%, a regular slice.  

    At that point, almost all the rest of the pizza was cut into 16 small slices for the next group of 16 people.

     Lastly, a small piece of crust  went to the last person (representing the undocumented workers).

    Nothing was said, but some people got it and smiled.  

    However, 5 of the people who got the 16 small slices were puzzled, and had funny looks on their faces. The moderator asked "oh, are you still hungry, well, i see the problem, some of the other people in your group got slightly bigger slices than you did".

    Sadly, all 5 looked around their group of 16, eying the other slices to see how much they had been cheated. Not one of them asked why the moderator got 50% of the pizza, or suggested that he share his.

    The moderator was stunned. He began to explain, but even after this, the 5 wouldn't believe it. They didn't believe that undocumented workers got so little. They were perfectly fine with the moderator getting 50% of the pie as it was his meeting.

    Fuck the poor - they tend to blow it all at the track anyway.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:46:31 PM PDT

  •  It bothers me that people only listen to the meme (3+ / 0-)

    They hear that AB 110 is about keeping people from buying junk food with “food stamps” and that is enough is enough for them. Their minds are made up. No one questions what is in the bill at all.
    If they read the bill or asked some questions, they would find out that the bill does much more than the meme suggests. Unfortunately, people have already bought into previous meme’s about the poor and they quickly buy into the newer versions.

    Thank you for this diary.

    "We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ~ "Fighting Bob" - Robert M. LaFollette Sr.

    by Sand Hill Crane on Wed May 08, 2013 at 03:46:55 PM PDT

  •  The poor have so many hoops already that most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark E Andersen

    people barely realize.

    I worked in nonprofit all of my life, much of it in low income communities.
    THen I became disabled.

    It is much worse than I thought. Much more stressful to be poor. To not have an extra cent to treat onceself

    It is very very burdensome especially if you know that is it...not necessarily a temporary thing.

    So many hoops poor people already have. They are making people's lives impossible.

    So many poor people who can work work multiple jobs 60 or more hours a week. Many don't have cars. Many don't have smartphones with easy quick internet access whenver. LIFE IS HARDER. It's harder to fit in the logistics of life, harder to find information, and there is a lot less time.

    Someone who is trying to get by working so many hours might NEED the speghetti sauce rather than the canned tomatoes. Maybe they don't have time (since they have to wait for the bus to work their three jobs) to turn the canned tomatoes into sauce?!

    Do we really have to make it so hard? What incredible assholes these people are..

    And of course, the poor do not have the time or wearwithall to visit their congresspeople and Senators and meet with them and discuss how it really is so that they get it.

    They can't get time off of work to vote and they are paid hourly. That's another can of worms.

    Sometimes it feels they are trying to grind us to dust.

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