Yesterday, a video went viral of an awful woman screaming profanities at a man who was buying groceries for his family, and paying with food stamps. It’s incredibly hard to watch for so many reasons. First, she’s berating this man in front of his children — and her own. Second, she is so unbelievably ignorant and the hate and misinformation spewing out of her mouth is almost unreal.
Do you think people who rely on food stamps to feed their families are robbing your tax dollars? That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. Warning: video contains strong language.
“You know, I put in 50-60 hour weeks… trying to provide for my family,” the man explains, even though he has absolutely no reason to explain anything to this woman.
“You’re not providing for it, I am,” the woman snaps back. “The government is.”
Okay. So lets think about this for a minute.
Federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr. There is no confirmation regarding which state this was filmed, but stick with me for a minute. Lets say you have a job making the Federal minimum wage, and you work 50 hours a week. That’s comes out to roughly $363 a week, and $1450 a month. A family of four can have a gross income of $2628 a month and still qualify for food stamps. Because even though that’s nearly double what a person working full time for minimum wage makes monthly, it still not enough money to support a family.
You can work full time and overtime and still qualify for food stamps, because you are poor. Working full time in a country that signs off on such a low minimum wage does not guarantee you’ll have all the money you need to survive. And you cannot get food stamps for more than three consecutive months if you aren’t working. This myth that “lazy” people are living high off the hog by accumulating food stamps is just that — a myth. There are also all sorts of resource limitations that you must meet before you qualify. You simply can’t get these benefits unless you really need them.
83% of all food stamp benefits go to homes with children or the elderly. Would this angry woman be happier if this man’s kids went hungry? Food stamp spending is just a tiny fraction of government spending — just 2% in 2012. But why concern yourself with facts when you can be a hateful, abusive jerk?
Meanwhile the middle class pays a higher tax rate than millionaires. But lets not worry about that. Lets demonize those that have less than we do.
People who rely on food stamps for a time to make ends meet and feed their families are not “entitled” leeches, sucking off the system. They are operating in an economy that is set up for failure, and taking the very little the government is actually willing to give its own citizens to help them survive.
Do you have any idea how humbling and difficult it is to admit that you need help and jump through the hurdles you need to get that help? I qualified for WIC and food stamps when I had my first child, but I didn’t get the help I needed because I was too ashamed to admit that I needed help. A child can turn your financial life upside down, and if a family needs help and they make so little that they qualify for it they should never feel ashamed for taking that assistance.
It’s quite an interesting society we live in, where banks and big businesses can get bailouts all the time and no one bats an eye. But someone needs help feeding their kids and people are all too comfortable claiming they are “living off the government.”
“If I can pay for all your shit, the least I can do is talk,” the woman says when the father implores her to stop.
I hope this awful video follows this woman around. I hope she’s recognizable. I hope she feels shame. Because there is no humanity here.