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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Generation Debt: "The best thing I ever did" was apply for assistance

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Author Topic: Generation Debt: "The best thing I ever did" was apply for assistance
Zyne
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{quote]Like thousands of other single women living in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Brigette, 24, collects Medicaid and food stamps. Unlike most of her neighbors, she's white and a college graduate—the kind of welfare recipient rarely considered in debates over public assistance.

Brigette, whose parents and two sisters run a restaurant in rural Vermont, got her B.A. in film from Bard College, a top-tier liberal arts school in upstate New York. She moved to New York City about two years ago to pursue experimental filmmaking. As young self-styled bohemians have always done, she found a neighborhood with cheap rent and cobbled together a living from various gigs—in her case, waitressing and assisting more established filmmakers. The idea was to leave time for her own projects.

But then, two and a half months ago, she lost the job at the diner. Her two film posts together pay just $140 a week, and her rent is $600 a month, so things got lean quickly. Brigette was also missing payments on her $17,000 in student loans; she is now over $1,000 in arrears.

"I was really hungry—no food in my house, no money to buy food, my pants were all falling off, and I was like, something's not working out here," she says. "Then I got this raging ear infection." With no health insurance, Brigette went to the emergency room and later applied for Medicaid to cover her bills. "I figured as long as I'm applying for this, I should go across the street and apply for food stamps." After a six-hour wait at the office on Thornton Street, Brigette was awarded $147 a month, which she spends at her local C-Town supermarket on beans, rice, greens, and peanut butter. [/quote]

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0502,kamenetz,59917,5.html

[ January 12, 2005, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: Zyne ]

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Lewkowski
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What the world needs is less artists and more people willing to actually... work.
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JoshuaD
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quote:

"I was really hungry—no food in my house, no money to buy food, my pants were all falling off, and I was like, something's not working out here,"

Get a job, you can buy clothes and food with money.
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Kit
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Hmm, two things came to mind when I read this article.

1) Sounds like exactly what the system is there for. Someone falls on hard times and is kept from being overwhelmed.

2) While Lew and JoshD sound a bit harsh, this line "Now she's looking for another 15-hour-a-week job." does not fill with me confidence that she is trying to get back on her feet, rather than mooching off the gov't. The second person mentioned in the article seems to be determined to get off assistance as soon as she finishes school. Now that sounds good to me.

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Hannibal
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we got hundreds of tousands of people like that in israel
they are the Ultra orthodox jews, who "study thora" all they long have 10 children and expect they goverment to support them,

no wonder israel's ecomony cant hold on

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FIJC
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quote:
"Brigette, whose parents and two sisters run a restaurant in rural Vermont, got her B.A. in film from Bard College, a top-tier liberal arts school in upstate New York. She moved to New York City about two years ago to pursue experimental filmmaking. As young self-styled bohemians have always done, she found a neighborhood with cheap rent and cobbled together a living from various gigs—in her case, waitressing and assisting more established filmmakers. The idea was to leave time for her own projects.

But then, two and a half months ago, she lost the job at the diner. Her two film posts together pay just $140 a week, and her rent is $600 a month, so things got lean quickly. Brigette was also missing payments on her $17,000 in student loans; she is now over $1,000 in arrears."

The problem here isn't necessarily the system, it's just her job choice. Sometimes you have to put aside your ideal dream job in order to make end's meet--that's just how life is. I have students loans and decided to move to a part of the country with high-rent costs, so I had to choose a job wisely and continue to put myself on a budget. I didn't go to work on Capitol Hill, mainly because it pays next to nothing. Now, I work for a non-profit think-tank, which pays better, but still lower than say, a bureaucratic job with the federal government.

Non-profit work is simply not as glamorous as a job on the Hill, where the average staffer is only 25 (yeah, a bunch of 25 year olds run the nation's capitol) and 3 years of experience can land you a press secretary position in most offices, but I think the non-profit sector is much more practical on several different levels, in terms of pay and job security.

I think that the girl illustrated in this story could make a lot more money as at least a temp. for a business, and maybe just spend less time on film.

[ January 12, 2005, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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Koner
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How long before Brigette files for bankrupcy on the 17K in student loans she still owes because her part time job and welfare check aren't enough to pay for both the loans and her "art"?
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FiredrakeRAGE
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FJIC -

Lower than a government job? Salaries are pretty standardized for government - even the FBI/NSA generally pay around $45K. I doubt you could make more than you're making in Government Service...

--Firedrake

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FIJC
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quote:
"Lower than a government job? Salaries are pretty standardized for government - even the FBI/NSA generally pay around $45K. I doubt you could make more than you're making in Government Service..."
I think you need to re-read my post.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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You're probably correct. I completely read over the words 'non-profit'. My apologies.

--Firedrake

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musket
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quote:
Originally posted by Lewkowski:
What the world needs is less artists and more people willing to actually... work.

Speaking as a full time artist who has never been on welfare, never applied for food stamps and so on (even though I still live at poverty level, as I have for most of my life), I assure you that being an artist is work, and damn hard work at that.

You might want to consider that all artists aren't bums sucking off the government tit before you shoot your mouth off about this again.

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philnotfil
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I would amend Lew's statement to "What the world needs is less ________ who feel that they are owed a living because they are ________, and more people who are willing to work to support their habits."

For the sake of this discussion we can fill the blank with artists, but there are many, many other things to fill that blank with.


From the article:
quote:
Brigette is telling everyone she knows about the great new way for starving artists to survive in the city.
Edit: for readability

[ January 12, 2005, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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<grin> So the moral of the story is to major in Engineering [Smile]

--Firedrake

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Star Pilot 111
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quote musket
Speaking as a full time artist who has never been on welfare, never applied for food stamps and so on (even though I still live at poverty level, as I have for most of my life), I assure you that being an artist is work, and damn hard work at that.
_____________________________________________________________

Maybe I shouldn't say this but what the blank.

Most people who think artists are not willing to work, according to their standards, don't have a clue. They probably don't even know what art is. They for sure don't know the time, effort and sacrifice some artists go through. They only know their own little world, with their own little goals, chasing the dollar trying to compete with the other bozos, trying to show off the precious things they have, so they can be esteemed in the eyes of men. Burdensome’d earth bound creatures, casting shadows of no consequence, moving backwards, thinking they are moving forward, poor cold soulless shells crumbling to the ground, blending with the grains of dust blowing in the wind. [Big Grin]

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DonaldD
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Musket: it boggles the mind that people still take Lew seriously. Why do you rise to the bait?

Lew: "An unexamined life is not worth living." Instead of just drinking the kool aid, think about this for a while.

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philnotfil
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@ Firedrake- Maybe the moral of the story is, "be willing to work for what you want." It could also be, "be good enough at what you want to do that you can get people to pay you for it."
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Zyne
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@ Koner -- You can't bankrupt out of student loans. But I wish you could!
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Tezcatlipoca
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Dear Brigette,

I recently heard that you are having some problems with life. I believe it is safe to say that everyone has those, and that most of us eventually get through them. I see from your letter that you recently had two jobs, waitering and an assistant filmmaker. I also understand that you had plans to become a filmmaker yourself in the future. I want to congratulate you, everyone should have a goal for themselves. I know that sometimes it gets tough, like where you choose to live and what kind of jobs you have, but you will not be half naked and starving anytime soon.

I know that things got tough for you when you lost your job as a waitress. I think it is safe to say that most people know what it is like to be short of work. I also read that you didn't have any health insurance, and are also having trouble keeping up with your student loan payments. It seems to me that you are in quite a pinch.

But don't worry, Uncle Tez has some advice for you. I noticed that everything started going downhill for you when you lost your job as a waitress. Perhaps the answer lies with getting another job to fill in that gap of income. Obviously our assistant filmmaking jobs aren't enough to cut it, or else you would have been doing that in the first place. Instead of waiting for money to magically appear, look around for another job. Don't go apply for Medicaid or foodstamps at government agencies, go to government employment agencies. Then you will be able to keep paying off your student loans, afford health insurance, get food, and keep following your dream. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward, so why don't you put your dreams on hold and get your footing again.

Life isn't perfect, not everyone gets to be the President or an astronaut.

Uncle Tez

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scifibum
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quote:
Life isn't perfect, not everyone gets to be the President or an astronaut.
I'm....so...crushed.
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Ivan
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Tez-

You're response seemed condescending. I'm not sure if that was how it was meant, but that's how it seemed. I really don't think that's necessary for this.


As for the dicussion of whether an "artist" does work, I think the issue is the definition of work. I mean, if we're talking about something that is simply produced and consumed, then its most definitely possible that this girl is just one of many producers of art who can find no one who wants to consume it. This is either because she stinks or because there are just too many artists out there and the market is saturated with the stuff. In both of these cases, it seems that the logical thing to do would be for her to either change jobs, or do as she is doing: accept the higher search cost (and necessary time spent making diddly) of finding a job as an "artist" or go in to a different field.

So the question is really do we want to offer programs like medicare to assist people who want to pay these higher search costs to find a job they want (which I'm pretty sure necessitates an inefficient market outcome) or if we only want to allow people on medicare and similar programs if they are involuntarily out of a job and can't find another of any sort.

I personally think that she was well-aware (or should have been) that the job market for "artists" is pretty rough. Therefore, she knew going in that she wasn't going to get exactly what she wanted and might have to wait a while before she found a job that she wanted that paid enough. Basically, she's reeping what she's sowing, and as long as both she and the rest of us acknowledge that, I think we can frankly assess whether or not she should be getting government assistance.

Personally, I think that assistance for this type of thing is unnecessary. As I said before, this necessarily results in an inefficient market outcome, meaning less overall well-being in the country. From my point of view (which isn't strictly utilitarian), she should be willing to live with the consequences of going to a school that left her in debt and choosing a profession that was necessarily a tough one to make money if she wants to be an artist. If she doesn't, it shouldn't be our responsibility to make her comfortable.

-Ivan

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Tezcatlipoca
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quote:
You're response seemed condescending. I'm not sure if that was how it was meant, but that's how it seemed. I really don't think that's necessary for this.
It is condescending....to Brigette. And no it's not necessary. No one is perfect.

quote:
Personally, I think that assistance for this type of thing is unnecessary. As I said before, this necessarily results in an inefficient market outcome, meaning less overall well-being in the country. From my point of view (which isn't strictly utilitarian), she should be willing to live with the consequences of going to a school that left her in debt and choosing a profession that was necessarily a tough one to make money if she wants to be an artist. If she doesn't, it shouldn't be our responsibility to make her comfortable.
I agree with you, everyone has a dream that they want to do in life, but that doesn't mean that everyone else needs to give up part of their dream just so she can have hers. If that was the way the world worked, then everyone would be working for everyone elses dream, and no one would be able to have one.
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Tezcatlipoca
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quote:
You're response seemed condescending. I'm not sure if that was how it was meant, but that's how it seemed. I really don't think that's necessary for this.
It is condescending....to Brigette. And no it's not necessary. No one is perfect.

quote:
Personally, I think that assistance for this type of thing is unnecessary. As I said before, this necessarily results in an inefficient market outcome, meaning less overall well-being in the country. From my point of view (which isn't strictly utilitarian), she should be willing to live with the consequences of going to a school that left her in debt and choosing a profession that was necessarily a tough one to make money if she wants to be an artist. If she doesn't, it shouldn't be our responsibility to make her comfortable.
I agree with you, everyone has a dream that they want to do in life, but that doesn't mean that everyone else needs to give up part of their dream just so she can have hers. If that was the way the world worked, then everyone would be working for everyone elses dream, and no one would be able to have one.
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Gaoics79
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"They only know their own little world, with their own little goals, chasing the dollar trying to compete with the other bozos, trying to show off the precious things they have, so they can be esteemed in the eyes of men"

Thank you for that bit of sitcom wisdom.

I am sure being an artist is difficult work, and I admire those who are willing to work hard at minimum wage jobs, living in difficult circumstances, to support their art. I don't admire the "artists" that believe being an artist means they don't have to take responsibility for sustaining themselves or running their own lives. Paying for the necessities of life with your own money has to be priority one. If you can afford to pursue your art after that has been taken care of, then more power to you. I don't believe that one has to be one of those materialistic "bozos" trying to pursue the almighty dollar to appreciate this bit of common sense.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"What the world needs is less artists and more people willing to actually... work."

Actual... work.

Work is the expenditure of energy to perform a task.

I assume you mean work that is... productive. Perhaps she would be more productive if she worked in a factory assembling Furbies (assuming that such things are still made in America). Or Pet Rocks (assuming such things are still made, period).

Does a movie star work? How about a fim producer or director? More specifically, are they productive? Do they produce food or clothing or shelter or data on the relief of osteoarthritis?

Are we working when we watch TV, whose economic purpose/justification is to distract us with entertainment long enough for us to absorb messages of product purchase choices?

We're told we live in an information economy. Films are a decidedly informational product. She went into debt ($17K) to learn the rudiments of the craft and then held several jobs to pursue said craft in an economy centered on such products. These are very entrepreneurial actions... and you say she isn't 'working'.

Do you want fries with that?

[ January 15, 2005, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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When I saw the title of this thread, I assumed it would address this logic: since the government is working whole hog at bankrupting itself with our money, and since America's younger citizens will face the greater consequences of such a debacle, it's smart to get as much 'dole' now while one can, for it currently seems highly likely that today's young will be working harder and longer for less and less than today's Boomers and Gen Xers.

Instead, this post has mostly been lot of shrill nitpicking based on callous assumptions. Never mind the assumption that 'art' isn't work, I've already addressed that: a whole big bunch of today's GDP is, in effect, commercial art.

Some of the callous assumptions I found are:

1)that, after losing her waitress job, she didn't look for replacement employment;

2)that replacement employment was readily at hand.

Our current economy is a ludicrous pack of cards anyway. The REAL voting on America's future has taken place in the stock market of the past 25 years. American industry has been SOLD abroad by large corporations tired of paying citizens like us to make our own products. No, I'm not talking about 'job outsourcing', I'm talking about the shipping abroad of virtually entire industrial infrastructures, either in real material/machines or in dollars to build same where workers can be paid a fraction of what we demand in America.

Michael Moore, love him or hate him, is an industry mogul. He employs lots of people directly or indirectly. His films create jobs for lots of people. He was once in a situation very much like that of the woman described in the article above. He made his first bankroll taking a gamble on making a film, very low-budget, non-sexy, non-Hollywood, artistically self-defined film called "Roger & Me" that was, ironically, precisely about the industrial/employment/investment problems I describe in this post.

His pants never appeared to be slipping from his waist, but even fat people can find themselves tightening their belts for awhile until they click with today's voodoo economy.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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The issue that should be addressed here is not one person abusing the system, but a system so open to abuse. While we can blame Bridgette not exercising some personal responsibility, she is simply using a government program that is open to her. It would probably make more sense to ask why government restrictions on some programs have not been reformed.

--Firedrake

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Burdensome’d earth bound creatures, casting shadows of no consequence, moving backwards, thinking they are moving forward, poor cold soulless shells crumbling to the ground, blending with the grains of dust blowing in the wind."

I notice folks prefer to quote your more vernacular lines about bozos and money and male attention. Perhaps they found your final phrases too... artsy?

Why I've been known to cast consequential shadows, shadows even as consequential as that of Alexander the Great who, having made a trip to meet the legendary Diogenes, asked Diogenes if there were anything Alex could do for the renowned philosopher.

"Yes," spoke Diogenes. "Could you move a tad? You're blocking my light?"

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The Drake
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"work" - what does it mean and in what context?

If I dig a hole in my back yard, then fill it in, have I worked hard? It certainly might feel like it to my aching back. Work, in a physics sense, translates into either potential energy (lifting a box and putting it on a shelf) or waste energy (pushing a box across the floor).

In an economic sense, you get a tree falling in the forest argument about work. If you expend effort, but nobody wants what you produced, is it really work?

So, an artist in once sense might work hard - they could paint for 16 hours a day, never taking time off. But in another sense, they are not working - in the same way as our hole-digger is not working.

To avoid semantics:

Bridgette should find a way to produce something that somebody wants. She should be looking for full-time employment, not another 15 hour job. She should be living somewhere other than one of the most expensive environments on earth. After 40 hours, there are still plenty hours to pursue projects - I should know, I'm working on a documentary in my spare time right now.

No, she appears to want the rest of us to subsidize her lifestyle choices. It is too bad that people like her exist, it gives welfare recipients a bad name. While most of those on assistance are truly out of options, this woman certainly is not.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Bridgette SHOULD find a way to produce something that somebody wants. She SHOULD be looking for full-time employment, not another 15 hour job. She SHOULD be living somewhere other than one of the most expensive environments on earth. After 40 hours, there are still plenty hours to pursue projects - I should know, I'm working on a documentary in my spare time right now." (CAPS mine)

Ah, should. The Land of Should. Especially the Land of Should xyz Like ME.

"No, she appears to want the rest of us to subsidize her lifestyle choices. It is too bad that people like her exist, it gives welfare recipients a bad name. While most of those on assistance are truly out of options, this woman certainly is not."

And we're still assuming that her goal is to STAY on the welfare rolls. I read the article and saw no indication of that. She still has her other part time jobs and is looking for another 15-hour job. For all you know the total hours would be 40 hours or close to it. But for now, she is not succumbing to brain damage or death from a raging ear infection (before antibiotics this was a common -- and awful -- way to go); she is no longer starving; she IS looking for work; she is continuing to pursue a career in her dream field...

Perhaps next month or next year she'll find a producer for her work. Or perhaps she'll become a welfare crack whore. Who knows? For now, she's sticking it out; she didn't have to significantly alter her major pursuit of her entrepreneurial goal; and she may yet, in the long haul, prove to have contributed to society more than was given to her.

"Bridgette should find a way to produce something that somebody wants. "

You know, I'm just guessing here, going way out on a limb, but I suspect that's what she's trying to do with her film efforts. Call me crazy but I'm thinking that's what she's working on... just as I'm thinking that that 15 hour/week job she's looking for is to do stuff others want done enough to pay her for.

[ January 15, 2005, 09:12 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The issue that should be addressed here is not one person abusing the system, but a system so open to abuse."

That welfare systems are vulnerable to greater or lesser degree of fraud is true, but that Brigitte or, for that matter, her friends, are abusing their local system is an unproven assumption in this thread. One could infer it from verbiage like:

Brigette is telling everyone she knows about the great new way for starving artists to survive in the city. Her (white) upstairs neighbor just got food stamps, and a friend who is a musician, hatmaker, and babysitter has been accepted onto the rolls as well. Applying for aid was "the best thing I ever did," she says.

but that is only inference. It may be that the hatmaker/babysitter/musician is having trouble finding a job and has always been entrepreneurial in spirit and so has some various odd trades/market skills by which she makes some money without having a "job". Maybe she would really LIKE to have a nice steady job but hasn't found one. I've been unemployed for a long period in depressed job markets; such things happen. Really. Trust me.

It may be simply that these people discovered that some help is available and that it makes a big difference in the current quality of their lives.

I infer from comments made here that some folks here imagine these people sitting in their raggedy, cockroachy apartments year after year making hats and films nobody wants because they are so dedicated to their art. Such creatures do exist. Some even make careers of it. But some people just pursue their dreams and make it or break it one way or another, and if they break it, go on to more standard types of earning a living. If they can. Some end up homeless and follow a long strange cold curve toward a life we'd call normal. And shades inbetween. That a few of them got a little help for awhile from our social welfare system is nice to know. Most of us need a little help sooner or later, especially when we're first starting out or when we're old and feeble.

I hear a lot of assumptions made here that could easily lead me to assume a certain stinginess of spirit upon the part of those assumers.

[ January 15, 2005, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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kenmeer livermaile said:
quote:
I hear a lot of assumptions made here that could easily lead me to assume a certain stinginess of spirit upon the part of those assumers.
Yep. I'm a big believer in not giving extra money to people. If the government has extra money that is burning a hole in its pocket that badly, they should probably not take as much in taxes. Mind you I don't directly blame Bridgette for taking advantage of a program. I do blame the program for allowing those without dire need to take advantage.

--Firedrake

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If the government has extra money that is burning a hole in its pocket that badly, they should probably not take as much in taxes."

Ain't gonna happen. Not anytime real soon, at least. Taxation has ever been the first refuge of scoundrels, and the national debt has been ever advanced first on profiteering for the elite few, most often from war but not exclusively so. Finally, in the 20th century, the common folk decided to get their hands in the gravy train.

Still, the rich get richer far faster than the poorer, and government welfare is by no means limited to the poor. Call me a crazy-arsed political realist, but if they're gonna tax me and give my money away to the wealthy, I want my pittance of it too.

"Please, sir; I want more .

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"Bridgette SHOULD find a way...

Ah, should. The Land of Should. Especially the Land of Should xyz Like ME.

Nothing wrong with the word "should". It would be inappropriate to say that she "must", since obviously the law isn't written that way.

In point of fact, a large proportion of ornery posts are all about "should". Should the crazy pledge guy shut up? Should Iraq hold elections? Should I assume my point is made?

quote:

"Bridgette should find a way to produce something that somebody wants. "

You know, I'm just guessing here, going way out on a limb, but I suspect that's what she's trying to do with her film efforts. Call me crazy but I'm thinking that's what she's working on... just as I'm thinking that that 15 hour/week job she's looking for is to do stuff others want done enough to pay her for.

Something that somebody wants TODAY. I've got nothing against her aspirations, I have something against her bootstrapping on the public dole. There was once a time when people had something called pride, and part of that pride was to avoid bankrolling their dreams on the labor of others.

She diminishes all those that pulled themselves up working two jobs and gutting it out by taking the easier road.

I don't mind if her move was temporary - as in "I made a mistake and can't feed myself, now I must put all my efforts into getting off public aid."

What evidence do I have about her mindset? Admittedly, not much. She and I have not had a set of private interviews. I have only the quoted article. Quoted below are the statements that indicate she might not be gung-ho about really finding a job.

(from the original article, emphasis added)

quote:
She went on to apply for Safety Net Assistance, New York's cash-grant program for childless adults, but discovered it involved a mandatory job-training program.

Brigette is telling everyone she knows about the great new way for starving artists to survive in the city.

Applying for aid was "the best thing I ever did," she says.

Sounds like there's little regret about living on public assistance, no real effort to stop doing so, and she's recommending it to her pals.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Something that somebody wants TODAY"

Do you think she's filling out work applications that say, "Will only work for tentative future desires"? Huh? Again, she may be off the welfare rolls next month. She hasn't said that schmoozing the dole is the way to go. She went through a period where she'd lost a chunk of her income. During that period she still worked her other jobs and pursued her dreams. Things got bad. She became seriously ill. (Ear infections are a mother.) Through this, she discovered some help. It made a positive difference. That's it.

"In point of fact, a large proportion of ornery posts are all about "should". Should the crazy pledge guy shut up? Should Iraq hold elections? Should I assume my point is made?"

Or: The crazy pledge guy should shut up. Iraq should hold elections. I should assume my point is made. I prefer questions to remonstrations, personally.

"She went on to apply for Safety Net Assistance, New York's cash-grant program for childless adults, but discovered it involved a mandatory job-training program."

And perhaps that mandatory job-training didn't fit her goals. She has experience in the restaurant biz, one of the easiet gigs to get in today's service heavy job market. Perhaps the job training program would require her to give up her toehold jobs in her chosen field, those part time film gigs she's working at.

So she DECLINED that money. For all you know, that money would have been in ADDITION to the welfare she's receiving.

"Something that somebody wants TODAY. I've got nothing against her aspirations, I have something against her bootstrapping on the public dole. There was once a time when people had something called pride, and part of that pride was to avoid bankrolling their dreams on the labor of others. "

For all you know she worked long hours for years to bankroll part of her school and her foray into the Big City. You just don't know.

She IS working. She IS moving forward diligently. She's trying to make something positive happen with her life.

There was a time when indentureship was a means of bankrolling dreams on the labor of others. You're welcome to your biases, but they are only that. They are not the facts regarding Brigitte, of which we so far know only what a brief article has told us. And so, when I read comments like this:

"Sounds like there's little regret about living on public assistance, no real effort to stop doing so, and she's recommending it to her pals."

I wonder if your problem is that she doesn't feel sufficiently GUILTY for having run into some rough bumps and then, luckily, finding a bit of help.

"She diminishes all those that pulled themselves up working two jobs and gutting it out by taking the easier road."

And, for all you know, she may do just that ere long. You just plain DON'T KNOW. You have an agenda, a bias, that you intrude upon the little you know of her circumstances to turn a sketchy slice of life story into a moral fable at her character's expense by way of defamation via innuendo and fabriaction. A should:

You should stick to the facts first.

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Ron Lambert
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Do not be so quick to condemn Brigette. Many people, focused on attaining their dreams, struggle for a long time before they finally make it. Someone from the outside may say she is not doing anything productive, and contemptuously dismiss her dreams and say that she should get a real job. But if she did that, she might be selling herself short, as so many people seem too willing to do. If she is willing to sacrifice now to pay for the future she is seeking, then she is not being unwise.

Those hasty to condemn people like Brigette do not see the effort she makes on projects for which she does not get paid. But if and when she does make it, and her art is one day in demand, then it will be more clearly apparent that all her efforts now to produce art she is not compensated for were not wasted--she was learning, perfecting her craft, seeking artistic maturity. Many writers go through this too. If you want to be an artist or a writer, and you are not making it yet, then the more time you can arrange for you to work at your chosen craft, the sooner you can perfect your craft. A part time job makes a lot of sense, if you can structure your life so your living expenses are low enough to get by on that.

[ January 16, 2005, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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