Just give people money. It's not that hard.
Third footnote is important. For (almost) every single mother, there is a single father. You don’t get to be just a MAN again because you’re not taking care of your kids or their mother. You’re a single father, bro. Up to you what kind.
Of course, when we hear “single mother” we’ve been conditioned to think of a WOC in a uniform dragging 3 runny-nosed, crying kids into their grandma’s apartment in a rush. “Single father” is Ryan Reynolds in a crisp white shirt strolling a little blonde girl into a Montessori classroom on his way to work.
You have to get into the super racialized “baby daddy” lexicon to even have words to describe the more-typical distribution of responsibilities and resources of men and women who have had kids together and are not or no longer married.
But most kids have two parents their whole lives. The language we use for them, and the connotations attached, is extremely telling.
The use of "entitlement" is so strategic since most English-speakers will read it as a negative rather than simply a term for having the right to something. We're talking about food and shelter and access to healthcare. I...do think humans are entitled to those things...
Very telling about someone's worldview when they think access to food is something certain humans shouldn't have a right to.
I seriously couldn’t read anymore of your newsletter after reading the Iowa letter. I started to feel ill and close to tears. I was in a cafe, waiting for my morning coffee, so not the best place to start crying. I separated from my husband a year ago. I was raised by a single mother, after my alcoholic, negligent, and cheating father left when I was 5. This letter is total bullish!t and is only meant to invoke fear in women and to keep them “in their place”. Gosh, I am so angry. Reading the letter definitely stirred up some fear and shame for me, and it makes me feel sick. I will continue reading your newsletter after some long, deep breaths.
I am just blown away by the incredibly patronizing tone of the "Haven't you tried being married?" letter. Like walk deep into the woods, sit down, and stare at nothing for hours.
Sometimes I bring stories like this to my wife and she laughs because she has known this experience her whole life and is so absurdly alien to me. I'm all outraged and she's beyond jaded.
"These entitlement programs [are] the ones that are growing within the budget and are putting pressure on us being able to fund other priorities.”
What could be more of a priority than literally giving food to hungry people?
I have no solutions to this, but I want to say that such restrictions further diminish the choices of a woman subject to domestic abuse trying to get herself and her children out of the abusive arrangement. Like myself, such women are in such a predicament because they were never TAUGHT or SHOWN that they have a right to be loved, are valuable, and that children are the responsibility of BOTH PARENTS. It took me many--way too many years--to discover how , and why, I enabled my own abuse. All these "god-botherers" who want to assert morality. And all these private "schools" that are now being funded by everyone. I so dearly wish there was indeed a hell they could all rot in. (I'm a little angry, don't cha think?)
I have lived through domestic violence. And it is NOT a good marriage. I don’t know anyone who walked out of a “good” marriage. This stuff makes me incandescent with rage. A thousand points of light, bah.
refusing to allow re-fried beans sounds racist to me! It truly seems like the repubs are doubling down on control, at any cost, especially control of women (very taliban-ish to me). A great new book also exposes the 'austerity' mantras of the right-wing to be tools to keep workers feeling insecure and less likely to join unions. https://www.marketplace.org/2023/02/08/does-austerity-have-a-hidden-agenda/
"And then there is a recent work about austerity that made it to a list of top economics books of the last year in the Financial Times. It’s called “The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism,” and uses the historical record in Europe to argue that austerity — tightening the belt, cutting government programs — is less about budgets and debt and more about deliberately making the labor force feel insecure.
The book’s author is Clara Mattei, an economics professor at the New School for Social Research in New York. She recently spoke with Marketplace’s David Brancaccio about how austerity can be tied to much more than a desire to rein in government spending."
and a great NPR story on austerity (which i take to mean, no funds at all for anyone who is not white, rich, and married) https://www.npr.org/2010/10/24/130791197/austerity-a-virtue-that-could-have-us-paying-twice
I had an epiphany reading this. The urge to legislate morality is essentially totalitarian: the desire to use power to force people to behave X way. On the other hand, viewing government and legislation as about populations, not power, like a social scientist: how do people generally act? What needs do they have? How might we legislate to meet needs without creating other problems? Ie, removing wishful thinking (if only marriage looked like this!) and trying to actually understand people and populations on their own terms. It helps me understand why that curious mindset is such a threat to the right.
This whole thing makes me rage for about 50 different reasons. To even call the paltry threads we have a safety net is absolutely laughable. I live outside of the US now, by choice, and we have better legislation here protecting immigrant and illegal domestic workers where I live now, than we have for our own citizens in the US.
A healthy marriage? In THIS economy???
(No but seriously, people generally don’t leave healthy marriages. Do better, Iowa DHS)
What is it with these people and their retro Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Norman Rockwell life? Move on, for the love of all things holy. It’s 2023 now. No one wants to go back
Food Pantry Director here from the DM suburbs. I cannot begin to explain the level of racism, sexism, and outright hatred our state government has for those who live on the margins here. Fact - SNAP dollars are FEDERAL funds, not state funds. But the adminstration of the program/extra steps/staff time?... that is what our state pays for. So for the minute amount of fraud, we will pay more. For what good reason? So that more of those on the margins don't even try to apply, as the scrutiny and humiliation aren't worth it. Or the amount received (which our state regulates as well, federal dollars would back more given!) isn't worth the QUARTERLY review to see if you are still "worthy". That is time away from hourly work that isn't worth it if your family doesn't even get $100/month. During the pandemic, farmers could apply online for pandemic benefits that would be sent directly to their accounts (to the tune of $80,000 and more) within days, with no oversight. So where do we think the fraud is? Sorry - getting off my soapbox now.
Rather than "entitlements," how about "family support" for SNAP, WIC, disability programs, etc. "Elder Support" for Medicare, Social Security. In sum, they are "Support" programs.
Spot on. If red state politicians would put half the effort into early childhood education, heavily subsidized day care and universal healthcare that they put into poverty shaming, the results could be tremendous.
I'm childfree and don't current need financial assistance for basic needs, and it's caused me so much pain for people to push marriage on me as a solution for everything rather than listening to me when I'm saying what I need (and believing I know best). I can't even imagine how patronizing and hurtful it feels to get that message when applying for financial aid to buy food for yourself or your children. Just on top of how vulnerable it feels to ask for help, being told in response that you aren't capable of determining whether marriage is the best choice for yourself and your children.