Sharing the Wealth

March 10, 2010

The parking lot is packed, she drops me off at the front door.
She has other things… better things… to do.
I’m battling my body, making myself walk in a direction it doesn’t want to.
The large glass door seems so heavy, as if it were meant to stay closed.
I struggle to pull it open.
Florescent lights, white walls, the smell of government employees.
I take a number and wait for the women at the desk to call it.
Time is passing so slowly.
It seems like an eternity before I hear her say, “Eighty-three,”… that’s me.
An application and an appointment time is what I receive.
Today I applied for food stamps.

Millions of Americans receive government assistance of some kind.
I can only imagine that if I were to walk into that office, that’s what my experience would be like.
Completely negative and disgusting.

I find bragging about receiving welfare interesting.
From reading Myspace status updates that say, “Stoned, eating munchies. Thank God for food stamps! Haha!”, to actually hearing someone tell me that my tax dollars will be going to good use.
I really don’t see it as being something one could brag about.

In 2003 there were 4,963,711 people receiving welfare from the United States government.
The lovely state of Oregon was ranked 29th on the list with 43,591 people receiving government assistance.
Statistically, that isn’t a large number.
That means that 1.2% of Oregon’s population received welfare that year.
In my opinion, that’s 1.2% too many.

It’s the people who are proud to receive welfare that get me.
If it were me, I would keep it a secret… telling not a soul.
Then again, I’m not much like your average, socialism loving person.
You would have to be okay with that… with people supporting you.
With realizing you are unable to take care of yourself…
To me, that would seem like defeat.

What is the average “I’m Signing Up For Food Stamps” experience like?
I imagine that to actually go to down to the office and apply, one would have to change their state of mind.
You would have to become the kind of individual who thinks the government owes you, if you aren’t already that person.
Someone who thinks that this way, at least your friends and family members taxes are going to a better cause… that cause being you.


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