There are so many crazy things going on these days it’s hard to focus on any one of them. Global warming? Supply chain? Inflation? Gas prices? Drag queens in grade schools? It’s all just mind numbing.
That said, I have had a couple of recent shopping experiences that I just have to share.
I have always been an economic hawk but have never really lashed out at welfare and social benefits. My thinking has been: “Hey, there will always be people who are unable or unwilling to work, and the cost of our welfare and food stamp programs is not that big compared to the ridiculous spending on so many other outrageously costly and corrupt spending programs.”
My thinking has changed in the past couple of weeks. It started with a trip to Dollar General.
Maybe you have never been in a Dollar General store. I live in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina. The nearest town to me has two gas stations and a Dollar General. Here in the South, there are Dollar General stores all over the place. They serve an important purpose and market for those of us who are not within convenient distance of supermarkets and other stores. Dollar General stores are cookie-cutter 6000 square foot units offering a lot of snacks, some groceries (frozen and refrigerated, nothing fresh), some hardware and household items, some drug store stuff – chances are if you need something in a pinch, Dollar General will have it, at a fairly reasonable price. It is the 21st century version of the small-town “general store”.
I admit I had always looked down my nose at Dollar General stores and made assumptions about anyone who might shop in one. But now I that I live in the “sticks” I find occasional need to go there.
Last week I made two trips to my local DG. On the first trip, I watched a dad with three small boys on a shopping spree that was nothing short of bizarre. Dad was a piece of work: he had thousands of dollars of tattoos all over his arms, neck, and face; a $100 Lakers jersey; and a bunch of body jewelry. The “family” entered the store after me and proceeded to fill two carts with reckless abandon. Chips, candy, ice cream, candy, snacks, chips, candy, pop, beef sticks, candy. They ran the aisles like wild animals, throwing stuff into the carts without any consideration of what an item costs, whether it is nutritious, whether it fits their budget. You know how you shop, making each purchase decision based on value, need, and priority? This was not happening.
They pulled up to the checkout and the total was about $175. No worries, Dad whipped out the EBT card! I was looking for something that would nourish those boys, but the only item with any protein was a frozen pizza.
A few days later, my wife and I were in line at the same Dollar General behind a mom who had filled three big baskets in pretty much the same manner. She had no concern about the cost of anything, or of running out of funds, because she too had a magic EBT card.
From all appearances, the welfare crowd has more EBT funds than they can spend. They are wild-eyed in their pursuit of comfort food – in fact, it seems to me that this might explain the preponderance of 300 lb. single moms on the streets of America. Dollar General, and many other retailers, have built a wildly profitable industry on the EBT gravy train.
How is it a good thing to provide unmotivated, unemployed people more junk food than they and their children can possibly consume? The damage to their health is only exceeded by the damage to their work ethic. Do these kids have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever becoming productive citizens?
I am not opposed to providing a safety net for those who can’t take care of themselves. My fear is that we are creating a class of welfare zombies who will never even consider working for a living.
Actually, it’s not just my fear. It is an intentional strategy by our liberal government whose world-view is premised on a dependent class of mindless slugs who will vote for anybody offering a limitless supply of Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Now me and my baby we talked late last night And we talked for another hour She wanted me to go down to the welfare sto' And get a sack a-that welfare flour But I told her, 'No' 'Baby and I sho' don't wanna go' I said, 'I'll do anything in the world for you I don't wanna go down to that welfare sto' Now, you need to go get you some real, white man You know, to sign yo' little note They give ya a pair of them king-toed shoes I want no a-them pleat-back, soldier coat But I told 'er, 'No' 'Baby and I sho' don't wanna go I say, 'I'll do anything in the world for ya 'But I don't wanna go down to that welfare sto' President Roosevelt said, on welfare people They gonna treat everyone right Said, they give ya a can of them beans And a can or two of them old tripe But I told 'er, 'No' 'Baby, and I sho' don't wanna go I say, 'I'll do anything in the world for ya 'But I don't wanna go down to that welfare sto', now Well now, me and my baby we talked yesterday And we talked in my backyard She said, 'I'll take care-a you, Sonny Boy Just as long as these times stay hard' And I told her, 'Yeah, baby and I sho' won't have to go' I said, 'If you do that for me I won't have to go down to that welfare sto' Welfare Store Blues - Sonny Boy Williamson (1940)