ANSWER TO THE GRINCH NOTION
THAT WELFARE RUINS POOR PEOPLE!
The Republicans and Newt Grinch started that rumor that WELFARE was like feeding cockroaches and would make the place a mess. They said Public Aid defeated the purpose as nobody ON WELFARE could ever figure out the job marketplace or emotionally HANDLE it ever again after receiving all that housing, food and education.. As if those things would dull the mind!
Does Welfare make the recipient weak? No more than coffee does. Which means, to some level it CAN. If you live on stimulants for years and don't eat nutritious food, suddenly you quit your java, you are wrecked!
The danger period for the AFDC mother is that touchy moment when the end of the dole comes. And now it comes after a federally mandated 5 year period. There are only 3 states that will fund welfare from state coffers after 5 yrs. See: http://www.econ.upenn.edu/~hfang/publication/brookings/BPEA-Fang.pdf
If in those five years, the mother did not avail herself of a chance to get herself up to speed in a cottage industry, she is in trouble. She must learn to be an entrepreneur or teach her children to beg. If she did create an at-home business or get enough training to find a job in the Job Market that Wall Street ruined for us, with their greed, no problem. If her HEAD was on her shoulders, that was what she was using the state for--- a start, a leg up. She had Time to make her daycare biz contacts, her baby sitter contacts, her catering for uberwealthy parties with coworkers made up of a group of her slumdwelling gal-pals who could go to the ritzy side and make ten grand a nite!
In the good old days, Welfare meant something. The Mom could stay on it while she raised the pups. She was kicked off the dole when her youngest student child graduated high school. That made sense. That child was liberated into the system with an education! No driveby bullets in him,cuz Mom watched him after school got out.
Today, after Clinton's gutting the welfare system, (cuz he was hard wired into goose step with the Republicans), TERMINATION comes promptly upon completing a measly Scrooge-ish two years of receiving public aid. No matter how many babies/ students you have,-- Mama, you're on the street! Get a job! Spend your entire wage on daycare for those four or five infants and starve!
The end result of the new GRINCH WELFARE SYSTEM is that at no time can a loving MOM stay home with the babies. You have to study some job skills full time or get no dough! One group that facilitates such learning is found online and the classes are online. You can get your career from a well loved school called "ADULT LEARN.COM" achieving your DEGREE THROUGH YOUR COMPUTER. And you can get not only a GED but Counseling Degrees as well. While you study you technically are enrolled in a school and can almost certainly achieve some cash or food stamp aid from the County if you show them your study materials. If you are NOT studying a certain amount of units per year, the system will make you either go to some brick and mortar school a certain amount of hours a week or (ugh!) clean freeways. That last is unproductive for two reasons the first being that the system can fire the costly city workers with their unions and pay you minimum wage. The second being that you are not there in the home to care for your children and must arrange child care which can eat up the entire county check. So the current welfare picture is NOT a lush picture. It's very slim pickings ...and THAT while it's still active as entitlements are being trashed in Washington, as we speak.
SO while we have aid, let us ask ourselves, does PUBLIC aid make a woman dependent? The current conditions would be so strenuous that I doubt our recipient could relax for a second. She'd be under great duress. That is not a climate of dependency.
That statement that falling off welfare is tough when you're used to public aid is very much like an analogy to coffee, (a SURVIVAL substance that makes you extremely nervous, it's very costly so at times you can't even buy the stuff. And you know you will feel desperately horrible when it is removed and it can be taken away at any time). When the dole is gone, suddenly you have to see what your own REAL energy level is. If you've never worked 8 hrs in your life and suddenly have to feed infants, get them to daycare, take public conveyances to a 9 to 5 job, the end of the dole is hard on the welfare recipient woman. It is a life threatening injury. For that reason, I recommend women study 'at home' careers, like fortunetelling and I offer a free schoolroom for that, ( ASTRO LESSONS BY ANITA) Charge 300$ a night for reading palms at parties. 25$ an hour for horoscopes, palms, tarot, astro dice chez toi. Other careers? House cleaning, taking in laundry and ironing. (Card should read, I live right near you, come by and see my washer, dryer, iron and ironing board. I hand starch, You pick up your clothing at my house as I don't drive, and I have small children.) Every rich client you show it to will bring by all their cotton frocks and blouses or their husband's. Charge a goodly amount. 4$ a blouse, laundred, starched, ironed, sweet smelling. 7$ a frock. Or am I underpricing? Another great career is massage. You do not need a license if you don't advertise. Take women only, of course! For that, 50$ an hour to start. If you can get babysitter and a car, go to their home, another 30% on top. Always put the check they give you through at their bank, don't deposit it in your own account. Those are the rules of welfare.
AS FOR welfare being hard on THE CHILDREN ? My feeling is that kids who see a Mom doing the welfare thing, (waiting in the waiting rooms of public offices, in food stamp lines, day in day out,) would never want to be on public aid. It is the ugliest scene you can imagine. Rooms of wailing babies, sad-sack pregnant ladies. It is a nightmare. However, Clinton told us that such children can become aid-junkies themselves, that there's a danger of a child getting the welfare culture in his head. He said that as he cut AFDC off. So it was a case of a schmuck cleaning stains of vomit off his own smock.
WELFARE INJURIES didn't happen for my kids. First off, I once or twice let my kids see that Welfare Hell Waiting Room. But they were all under 6 yrs of age and didn't really know where we were. From then on, I let them see a mother at home, running a home-based cottage industry (fortunetelling,) 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That's what they saw yet none of them learned palmreading, tarot and astrology. The eldest Miguel went to junior college, got a trade, wedding photographer, opened his biz in Hawaii, where there's a seriuos wedding industry. The girl Paloma, became a bookkeeper, then a photographer, moved to NYC and opened her own studio. The second son, Demian, apprenticed plumbers, electricians and became a guerilla contractor, may go for his contracting license soon, involving a test. The last child Luis Jr. opened his own business, messengering, had big famous clients, architect Geary, Guess Jeans, drove the city all day, went to Europe, not enough money for hotels or food, developed schizophrenia. But he's better now. Soon will start his next business. Hasn't decide what.
Having those movie stars and society belles come to my living room office and get their futures deciphered, gave me enough extra money to buy food. Their parties gave me big doggy bags to share with my kids, things they'd never eaten like shrimp, lobster, pastries. That was fun. It was also necessary. The food stamps that the County gave us were NOT enough to feed me alone, much less my four children and me!
Here's how welfare happened to me. I watched too much Lucy/Desi and traveled to Mexico and married a Spaniard who looked just like Desi Arnaz. In my seven years living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I gave birth to four fabulous, healthy, clever and lively kids. Only this Desi POPPED you in the ribs with his fists when he was irritated. Often in the face! Not on the honey moon but after 7 yrs of marriage he did. I had four full time maids, at the end there and knew I was leaving, I began to practice washing dishes. One day after he broke my rib (I was two months, pregnant, he told me that he really had wanted a mistress, not a baby machine...) I decided that was it. When he went to the capital Mexico City to do biz, (we lived in provinces,) I packed and left. Drove for six days and six nights until I got to L.A. again. Came back to West Hollywood California as a single mother with 3 1/2 kids in tow. Welfare said 'sorry, no funds until you're separated from the guy for 90 days. We like to force women to go back". I said, "Not going back, 3,000 miles, no way Jose" and I slept on the floor of a friend's yoga classroom in antique store's garage for 90 days. Then I got welfare and rented a very simple, 3 bedroom cottage, big fenced garden in back, $250 a month, nearly my whole welfare check, btw. And proceeded to do horoscopes, palms and tarot so that we could actually eat!
From then on, I worked at home with my cottage industry, which was ASTROLOGY. My kids never saw me leave the house. I went everywhere with them in tow. They saw me giving wealthy ladies their star readings, charging clients a few ten dollar bills (I was 15$ an hour then, 1969, I'm only 25$ an hour today, 2011,) money that enabled us all to go out in the car with gasoline, and get some serious food into our bellies. I was, of course, banking my money under the mattress where welfare couldn't find it, as they look at all your bank accounts carefully. And they always ask you, 'did you make any money this month?" I'd answer. "HOW COULD I DO THAT? I'm at home with four babies!" You think I take in laundry? I'd look them in the eye as if they were crazy.
In truth, I was also typing for authors, screenwriters, once even got a job doing a page one rewrite, of a script for Menahem Golan for 5grand. But the regular cash was in untraceable $20 dollar bills. Occasionally I'd sell an oil painting, or sell some of my tie dyed upholstery fabric. I'd read hands at the Renaissance Faire six weekends a year a buck a palm. I entertained as a witch at parties maybe once a month. I would work industriously from dawn to dusk, or leave the kids for a few hours, go off reading palms at posh parties, bringing the kids home salmon, shrimp, chopped liver pate, and doggy bags of food they'd never seen. I was the queen of slipping party food into my purse! I learned to line purses beforehand with foil! And hit up the servants at party's end for 'ribs for my dogs.' Caterers love to have a young mother take the food home to some unseen babies. They will make you up a box!
Every summer, I would live out at the Renaissance Faire grounds as an official Renaissance Witch! (on weekends only, with the 4 kids in my tent) the whole family in Renaissance costumes while my kids poked through the woodshavings on the ground outside Ye Auld ALE stands for dropped quarters, finding a small fortune in coins I might add, while MOM got 3 thousand in cash each year.
I'd do the Faire six weekends every summer, doing readings 9am to 6 pm for those months...and made an extra 3 thousand a year. But hey, I was getting a whooping $230 to 320 monthly welfare check from the state which didn't pay half of my second , later, L.A. rented cottage-rent! Sure, I got some food stamps as 'aid,' about a third of what it cost to live and eat in LA. What welfare does to one is turn them into a raving CHEAT, but I never shared this fact with my kids. Ever. I took my guilt to the yoga class and asked God to personally forgive me.
While I never earned much on welfare, even though I was doing l5$ a hr readings, on these small but steady earnings, I'd venture to say I was the only welfare recipient who took my kids on budget flights to Acapulco,
stayed at a native hotel, not tourist, turning fans on ceilings with lizards actually crawling the walls....but still it was Acapulco! Same beach the millionaires were on.
As each child hit 18 or left high school, he was taken off the dole. When my youngest son left high school, the dole ended, I raised my fee to 25$, and began to double down on typing. That was hard! The rest of the United States' poor people earned $2500 a month, were considered poor, tops I could earn without any welfare was $1200, my rent and food and gas and not one cent more. Nose was always just out of water.
Today all four of my children have cottage industries of their own. Oldest (Miguel, ) is a wedding photog in Oahu, Hawaii, very lucrative as there's a big wedding industry there. He is totally stuck on tropical living. THE TROPICS that we visited back in the 60's definitely went to his head!! He bought a home for 180k$ and it went up to a half mil! He and Cathy, a CPA, just had their first baby, FELICIA Jade and Mike's moved his studio into his home to be a househusband.
My Daughter runs a photography business too. She wasn't always a portrait photog; she started her career as a BOOKKEEPER for a chic Beverly Hills business manager. Movie stars threw their homes open to her when she travelled. But a few perqs couldn't change the fact that she was bored by the work. She caught an embezzler employee and boss said 'get your CPA take over for me when I retire.' However, she longed for the arts and quit to become a pro photographer. She worked for top Vogue Photog doing bi-coastal celeb shoots, then became a photog in Hollywood, did an album cover, actor portraits, worked for a big professional Photo Lab (a corp that worked to the trade, with Ad agencies, magazines,) a place right near our rented home, where she grew up. She was the counter girl to the fashion industry as a client rep. Carrying high tech instructions to the developing lab. Her work with the celeb photog showed her NYC. HOW are ya gonna keep them down on the farm once they've seen PAREE? She moved to NYC, worked for top Portrait Photog Gal for years up on the ritzy upper east side, then started her own biz, out of her apartment in bon marche RIVERDALE the ancient Jewish part of the BRONX. She has no BIG RENT for a STUDIO, and no walk-in customers. She commutes 20 min by sub to Manhattan to do shoots. She is running essentially a cottage industry as a baby / pet photographer, also parties, bar mitvahs and weddings. She networks rather than uses Craigs List as she targets the uberwealthy. She says Craigs doesn't give the quality people...I am not similarly afflicted with that prejudice. I think all people are quality if they can go online, at least.
My second son is a guerilla contractor being an electrician, plumber, carpenter, house and kitchen remodeller. He is working daily, booked steadily and at way under the going rates. He's going for his contractors license, is married with 2 daughters and 2 sons.
My fourth child had his own messengering business MERCURY MESENGERS, then became a landscaper and will soon live with me on our faux farm, (another rented home), this time in the Valley, 20 min north of L.A. in the NORTHRIDGE quake area, low rents there.. I hope he will do DRIP EMISSION SYSTEMS as a business.
With inflation, we no longer can kid ourselves that we can afford pricey L.A proper. So this Bohemian rents in the cheap VALLEY to the north of HOLLYWOOD, low rents, lots of space to grow food, unclocked by the IRS. Now, the GUERILLA CAPITALISM lifestyle is fun, slightly rigorous, a tad uncertain, a bit vulnerable to hits. You rent, you don't OWN PROPERTY. So all you contribute at life's end to the grandkids are wise ideas. But that's not nuttin!
Let me tell you how the dole ended for me. It was about twenty years ago. The last kid hit a certain age which was welfare AFDC cutoff ....graduating high school. (This was FAT TIMES, in those pre-Clinton, pre-Newt Gingrich, (if parents need food stamps, put their kids in an orphanage, make them get jobs.) more opulent days, now adays you're off after three yrs on the dole no matter what age your kid is.) I suddenly had to make the full amt req'd to live in LA w. no more public aid. And I did it. I raised prices from l5 to 25$ for an hour reading, living in the big city another decade before leaving to live in the cheaper valley. Never once did I or any of my children consider working for a big corporation.
The government should reinstate welfare as it's a drop in the bucket compared to the money they spend bombing Iraq And Afghanistan so that the US Oil-o-garchs can steal all the third world Oil leaving other countries starving. And, it's a good investment in the future. Every smart, well- nourished, hard working, tax paying citizen contributes to the economy. Much more than his care and feeding during his childhood entailed or cost.
An industrious parent, creatively working at home to supplement the state check is a good sight for poor chidren. The at home mother can show her brood that one can be independent of public aid with ingenuity, resourcefulness and clients. 8 hrs a day at one's desk, sewing machine, painting or making handicrafts ---that's what puts food on the table.
The welfare recipient looks at the end of the dole as a cement wall heading toward them at 80mph but it's an illusion., One can just get ingenious and make the extra amt the family needs when the dole goes, IF ONE WERE
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