Letter to the Editor

Proof that welfare works

San Luis ObispoNovember 24, 2013 

N.B. Cook’s letter of Nov. 19 (“Poor should get a job”) reflects the stereotypical, ignorant and cruel view that conservatives hold toward the poor. It will come as a shock for Cook and others to learn that an overwhelming majority of food stamp recipients are already working.

Need proof? It was recently reported that Walmart is holding food drives for its own employees. And, while McDonald’s racked up $1.4 billion in profits last year, their employees received $1.2 billion in government help through food stamps, housing and other support. In total, 91 percent of people who receive entitlement program support are employed, senior citizens, disabled or children.

Does welfare work? I’m proof that it does. As a child, my mother worked full time but needed welfare to keep us housed and fed. I dare say that in the past four decades, my successful brothers, sisters, and I have more than repaid that support many times over through taxes paid.

Welfare will continue to be essential until we recognize the need for living wages and eliminate the grotesque income disparities in this country. Ending cruel stereotypes, such as those advanced by Cook, is one step that will help us move forward.

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