Originally created 11/04/02

Media perpetuate myths about welfare



Certain erroneous myths about welfare have been perpetuated by the conservative, racist media and especially by the many very ignorant radio talk-show hosts, who monopolize the airways.

There are two stereotypes of people on welfare, and neither one of them is true. People have the misconception that welfare recipients are lazy bums, and the welfare system spawns an inter-generational dependency. Here are the facts, which dispel these myths.

There is no federal welfare for able-bodied adults without children. Welfare is primarily for children. Most welfare mothers work, and almost half of welfare mothers have two or more jobs. Welfare is just a supplement, and welfare benefits have been cut by at least 45 percent since 1970.

The average stay on welfare is four months, and there is a new 5-year lifetime limit. The welfare system does not cause a cycle of dependency. The teenage birthrate has declined since 1960, and only 25 percent of welfare daughters grow up to be welfare mothers.

Even this is the result of poor educational opportunities, and the new welfare reform cruelly prevents welfare recipients from going to school.

It occurs to me that the number of people on welfare would be reduced, if Americans would stand up and demand higher wages from the corporate criminal monsters who run this country, and the crooked politicians who are connected to them by puppet strings made out of money.

Accordingly, the minimum wage needs to be doubled. Businesses like Wal-Mart can certainly afford it and should be held responsible, because they have made fortunes exploiting welfare mothers for decades.

Mark Gelbart, Augusta