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I Got Food Stamps and So Can You!
The College Conservative ^ | January 16, 2012 | Sydney Phillips

Posted on 01/16/2012 7:02:07 AM PST by Sopater

My recent excursion into the welfare system has left me scratching my head. Prior to writing and researching this project, my only impression of food stamps and similar welfare programs was that the credit only worked for certain items at certain stores and that an individual had to be in a particularly dire financial situation to receive such aid. I was wrong.

An EBT card works and looks like a debit card, but instead of the user withdrawing money from a checking account, the government prepays an amount of money it deems necessary for the user’s food expenditures. Several of my classmates have recently implemented the use of an EBT card for their groceries, and their involvement in the program immediately piqued my interest. To be honest, my natural first thought was: “I wonder if I qualify for free grocery money.” My immediate second thought was: “How do they qualify for free grocery money?” These students come from similar financial backgrounds as me, live in similar situations, and take the same amount of college credit hours that I do. Thus, my investigation began with a food stamp application, an interview request, and a trip to a place no one really wants to visit: the Department of Human Services.

I was informed by a very kind woman from the DHS that I would have to complete an interview to be considered for the program. The next morning, I was surprised to see the long line of people that trailed outside. When I reached the front of the line, I was informed that all of the interview spots were filled for the morning and that I’d have to call back later and complete my interview over the phone, which I did later that day. To be considered, I needed to submit my last four paychecks, one rent receipt, one utility bill from the previous month, and verification that I was a student worker on campus.

About a week later, I received a notice in the mail that the Department of Human Services had not received my employment verification and therefore could not review my case until I produced another pay receipt (which I could not produce, due to the fact that I’d only worked three weeks at my new job). I had essentially given up at this point. I didn’t need an EBT card; my investigation was merely an exercise in civic welfare accountability.

Approximately one month after I had received the first letter, another letter found its way to my mailbox from the Department of Human Services. I opened it up to find an EBT card with my name on it, instructions on how to activate and use the card, and the amount I could access on it per month — 200 dollars. Nothing followed-up my interview, other than the evidently pointless letter I received during the previous month. No one ever asked for a copy of my birth certificate or Social Security card, nor for my student identification card. I answered all of their questions truthfully, but how were they to know that I was who I said I was? Is it really this simple to obtain welfare benefits here in the United States?

It’s not hard to qualify for the program as a student and some universities even publicize food stamps to their students. For example, in Oregon, if you fall into any of the following categories, you automatically qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) program: full-time student who works at least 20 hours per week, full-time single student who is caring for children younger than the age of 12, full-time married student who is caring for children younger than the age of 6, or at least a half-time student who is actively working any hours in a work-study program (institutional or federal) can receive a certain amount of money per month from the government. While some of these requirements are certainly understandable, the last one leaves the door open for massive amounts of unnecessary welfare spending and fraud. Every average lazy Joe College and his dog are eligible for the SNAP program.

Welfare in America was intended to provide a temporary means of survival for those at rock bottom. However, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people using food stamps over the past 40 years. Over that same time period, an estimated $753 million per year has been spent fraudulently by welfare recipients. Moreover, the government’s own accounting has cost taxpayers billions of dollars per year as food stamp programs routinely overpay their recipients; last year, that figure alone totaled $2.5 billion.

That being said, the students I know who use food stamps are hard-working, productive individuals whose parents won’t compensate them for the costs of college. Mine generally don’t either, so I get that. By using the program, students are able to save hundreds of dollars on food so they can pay for school instead of taking out an extra loan. I’m not discrediting that logic; I totally sympathize.

But when government starts to act as the hand that feeds its people and makes personal decisions for them, citizens lose their identities and freedoms. Not only is the innovative, hardworking, passionate American lost because the government promotes the idea that individuals can’t do it themselves, but the individuals come to expect the handouts and riot when they are revoked.

Yes, I apparently qualify for and possess an EBT card in the state of Tennessee, but I will not activate it. Participating in a government welfare program simply because I can would amount to an endorsement of the growing entitlement society in America. We should always advocate smaller government. The decision to use food stamps for my food supply would directly contradict that principle, and our government’s purpose as it was described in the Federalist Papers and U.S. Constitution would be further distorted.

Given my own personal experience, it is clear that food stamps are too easy to obtain, student or not. I realize that the food stamp program is different in all states, and some are more thorough with background checks than others, but much greater reform is needed. It concerns me that 15% of the population, or 46 million people, rely on others’ tax dollars to pay for their food. And that doesn’t sound like freedom to me.


TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: ebt; foodstamps; welfare
Welfare in America was intended to provide a temporary means of survival for those at rock bottom.

Ah yes, back in the days of self-respect and honor.
1 posted on 01/16/2012 7:02:19 AM PST by Sopater
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To: Sopater

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/search?m=all;o=time;q=quick;s=I%20Got%20Food%20Stamps%20and%20So%20Can%20You!


2 posted on 01/16/2012 7:04:09 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Sopater

“Welfare in America was intended to provide a temporary means of survival for those at rock bottom”.

...it was never “meant” for that. It was portrayed that way but was meant to buy votes.


3 posted on 01/16/2012 7:04:28 AM PST by albie
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To: All


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4 posted on 01/16/2012 7:05:05 AM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Bigh4u2

Nevermind.

Just noticed the time stamp...

11:52pm


5 posted on 01/16/2012 7:06:26 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Bigh4u2

No, you’re right. The one you linked to was posted yesterday.


6 posted on 01/16/2012 7:09:23 AM PST by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: Sopater

There used to be such a thng in this nation as “shame.” It’s true, I remember my grandparents talking about it.


7 posted on 01/16/2012 7:10:04 AM PST by Grunthor (I am a conservative, neither half of the one party represents my views.)
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To: Sopater
By using the program, students are able to save hundreds of dollars on food so they can pay for school instead of taking out an extra loan. I’m not discrediting that logic; I totally sympathize.

So in this case, food stamps are actually subsidizing the university - allowing them to keep tuitions sky-high and in turn more tenured Leftists on the payroll than they could if they had to compete in an open marketplace.

Government preferences are at the heart of all of our current economic problems.

8 posted on 01/16/2012 7:10:20 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Sopater
By using the program, students are able to save hundreds of dollars on food so they can pay for school instead of taking out an extra loan. I’m not discrediting that logic; I totally sympathize.

Yes, and by using the program there are others who, by saving on their food bill, can use the extra money for cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, cable TV, gambling...

Thanks for posting this article. What an interesting read from a curious and conservative college student.

But how do we (realistically) fix the problem? The only way I know is helping and educating one neighbor at a time. That won't work quickly enough to deliver the nation from debt and dependance.

9 posted on 01/16/2012 7:11:48 AM PST by .30Carbine
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Sopater.


10 posted on 01/16/2012 7:11:52 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: .30Carbine
I've been in the supermarket check-out line with these EBT card users many times. Not once have I seen them failing to buy food that I can't afford. Plus, when I follow them out to the parking lot, not once have I seen them drive a car older than mine.

Is that just a coincidence or a pattern?

11 posted on 01/16/2012 7:20:24 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
So in this case, food stamps are actually subsidizing the university ...
Excellent point and more so since most of these universities have endowment funds containing billions of dollars.
Ironically, the scumbag OWS protest the banks - who loaned them the money - as greedy, yet would never think to protest the truly rich, Marxist universities that took their money.
12 posted on 01/16/2012 7:22:31 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

So in this case, food stamps are actually subsidizing the university - allowing them to keep tuitions sky-high and in turn more tenured Leftists on the payroll than they could if they had to compete in an open marketplace.

####

Exactly correct!

Also government employees get bonuses for the number of people that they enroll in these programs, not the number of people who are encouraged/assisted to become independent of taking money from taxpayers.


13 posted on 01/16/2012 7:23:16 AM PST by maica
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To: Vigilanteman
I've been in the supermarket check-out line with these EBT card users many times. Not once have I seen them failing to buy food that I can't afford. Plus, when I follow them out to the parking lot, not once have I seen them drive a car older than mine.

Is that just a coincidence or a pattern?


No coincidence. The money they don't have to spend on food is money that can be spent on something else, usually something self-indulgent.
14 posted on 01/16/2012 7:24:08 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Grunthor

Shame is virtually non-existent today. In fact, shame has been replaced with arrogant defiance. I see it in the demeanor of each EBT leech I get behind at WalMart EVERY time I go buy something. The only cash they have to pony up for their visit is for cigarettes, wine or beer. They are disgusting. This will all come crashing down one day soon.


15 posted on 01/16/2012 7:25:18 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Sopater
It's Free Swipe your EBT (youtube video)
16 posted on 01/16/2012 7:27:56 AM PST by MadelineZapeezda (Tagline for rent: Inquire within!)
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To: Sopater
I opened it up to find an EBT card with my name on it, instructions on how to activate and use the card, and the amount I could access on it per month — 200 dollars. Nothing followed-up my interview, other than the evidently pointless letter I received during the previous month. No one ever asked for a copy of my birth certificate or Social Security card, nor for my student identification card. I answered all of their questions truthfully, but how were they to know that I was who I said I was? Is it really this simple to obtain welfare benefits here in the United States?

This is all you need to know about the Federal Government, its programs, and who it hires. This vignette also displays how democrat voters are minted.

17 posted on 01/16/2012 7:34:47 AM PST by bkopto (Obama is merely a symptom of a more profound, systemic disease in American body politic.)
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To: Sopater
I opened it up to find an EBT card with my name on it, instructions on how to activate and use the card, and the amount I could access on it per month — 200 dollars. Nothing followed-up my interview, other than the evidently pointless letter I received during the previous month. No one ever asked for a copy of my birth certificate or Social Security card, nor for my student identification card. I answered all of their questions truthfully, but how were they to know that I was who I said I was? Is it really this simple to obtain welfare benefits here in the United States?

This is all you need to know about the Federal Government, its programs, and who it hires. This vignette also displays how democrat voters are minted.

18 posted on 01/16/2012 7:34:50 AM PST by bkopto (Obama is merely a symptom of a more profound, systemic disease in American body politic.)
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To: albie
meant to buy votes

The Democrats choice of food is no accident. Throughout the animal kingdom a gift of food quickly buys the recipient's heart and mind. It's is the easiest, lowest cost, most effective method of becoming their master. People hooked on food welfare would rather walk 10 miles to get a free starchy dinner than work 10 minutes for it.

19 posted on 01/16/2012 7:35:42 AM PST by Reeses
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To: albie

“...it was never “meant” for that. It was portrayed that way but was meant to buy votes.
________________________________

True, true, true. In addition:

“The Issue is never the issue, the issue is always the Revolution.”
Unknown 60’s radical, quoted by David Horowitz.

“The mission of every government program is not to fix that problem, but to set up a bureaucracy that can expand its mission, and thereby get more funding and power.”


20 posted on 01/16/2012 7:35:55 AM PST by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: Sopater

“...Is it really this simple to obtain welfare benefits here in the United States?...”

Yes, it is.

“That being said, the students I know who use food stamps are hard-working, productive individuals whose parents won’t compensate them for the costs of college....”

“Parents won’t compensate”? Wow. And, this from a college conservative.


21 posted on 01/16/2012 7:37:44 AM PST by SuzyQue (Don't believe everything you think.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Yes, and retired people living on Social Security are not eligible (at least in DE). But then again, isn’t it government’s goal to kill off all the old people by the time they’re 70 years old? No benefits, but plenty of stealing money from workers’ wallets. Plus a steady base of political support for RATs.

Just wait until DeathCare kicks in; they’ll have 2 for 1 sales at funeral homes. Soylent Green factories shoot up.


22 posted on 01/16/2012 7:38:53 AM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: Sopater
I regularly shop in a grocery store where liquor is sold and on numerous occasions have watched people pay for their groceries with an EBT card and then make a cash purchase of beer and liquor. EBT cards are not restricted on food items and I often see EBT purchases are mainly for junk food and soda rather than healthy food. If Michelle Obama wanted to have some real impact on obesity and nutrition for children she should be fighting to prevent EBT cards from being used to purchase junk food.
23 posted on 01/16/2012 7:40:43 AM PST by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that pretty soon you run out of other people's money" M. Thatcher)
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To: bkopto

The fact that the author got what he got with NO IDENTIFICATION was very telling as well. The legal requirement that only US Citizens (or even legal residents) can get this aid is being blatently ignored. Every person who gets this aid is a vote for the Welfare State—something the bureaucrats and politicians understand very well. They have no problem building an army of parasites as long as they pull the right lever (legally or not) on Election day.


24 posted on 01/16/2012 7:42:51 AM PST by rbg81
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To: Sopater; Bill W was a conservative; verga; thesaleboat; Sick of Lefties; Chainmail; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


25 posted on 01/16/2012 7:45:40 AM PST by narses
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To: Sopater

Most welfare benefits are handled by each state. Which means there are at least 50 different data processing systems doling out the goodies. The last time I checked the federal governemnt does not do a very simple thing. Something that could be done for a few thousand dollars. Here it is:

1) Dump every SS# for every recipient in every state in to a data file.
2) Take the data files and find SS# duplicates.
3) Suspend benefits on all duplicate SS#’s until the recipient comes to the state in person and verifies their personal information.

The best thing they could do would be to simply connect all the various computers that run in every state and red flag SS# duplicates.

The states could do some other very simple things. For example, they could take the SS# and run it against credit data. If there is a loan on a vehicle or other things where the person has the income for paying for such stuff kick them off the dole.

The amount of fraud and theft is staggering. The states know it and the federal government knows it. But the people involved don’t care about that. It is not their money. In fact, they don’t even see it as money. Their mindset is so bizarre you would think they live on another planet. Believe me, I have been in countless DHS offices* and know this for a fact. There are hardly any controls in place to watch the money. And if you suggest ways to implement controls they fall on deaf ears. Why? Because a lot of people have government jobs who give out all this free stuff.

* Usually I was the minority in the building.


26 posted on 01/16/2012 8:02:43 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Sharia? No thanks!)
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To: SuzyQue

I’ve always said that I would teach my children the value of a dollar and the value of an education by letting them earn money for college and then paying for it.

My oldest son worked for 2 years after highschool as a laborer in a factory and saved all his money and now he’s in college studying engineering. My second son is currently working in the same factory saving money to go to college in a year or so himself... Such good boys. :-)


27 posted on 01/16/2012 8:07:26 AM PST by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: Gaffer
Shame is virtually non-existent today. In fact, shame has been replaced with arrogant defiance. I see it in the demeanor of each EBT leech I get behind at WalMart EVERY time I go buy something. The only cash they have to pony up for their visit is for cigarettes, wine or beer. They are disgusting. This will all come crashing down one day soon.

Yep. What we should do here is get rid of these 'debit' cards and go back to the old school stamps. As I recall, one of the reasons given for the switch was to save these 'poor' souls the embarrassment of using them.
28 posted on 01/16/2012 8:54:31 AM PST by Svartalfiar
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To: Sopater
earn money for college

For most people going to college means they have made the decision they want a traditional job working for someone else. They might as well get used to the idea of working. A college degree for someone allergic to work is a pointless waste of time and resources.

29 posted on 01/16/2012 8:54:46 AM PST by Reeses
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To: Svartalfiar

They don’t even care about the stigma any more. So many of them use them that it is now a status symbol among the slothful.


30 posted on 01/16/2012 9:05:02 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Sopater

And, such a great parent!


31 posted on 01/16/2012 9:05:42 AM PST by SuzyQue (Don't believe everything you think.)
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To: Svartalfiar

With UPC codes it would be very simple to set up the EBT cards to authorize ONLY “appropriate” food/goods for the users....rice, beans, fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken, tuna, diapers...etc.


32 posted on 01/16/2012 9:05:42 AM PST by goodnesswins (2012..."We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor")
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To: isthisnickcool
1) Dump every SS# for every recipient in every state in to a data file.
2) Take the data files and find SS# duplicates.
3) Suspend benefits on all duplicate SS#’s until the recipient comes to the state in person and verifies their personal information.


The best thing they could do would be to simply connect all the various computers that run in every state and red flag SS# duplicates.

The states could do some other very simple things. For example, they could take the SS# and run it against credit data. If there is a loan on a vehicle or other things where the person has the income for paying for such stuff kick them off the dole.


Also, start mandating drug testing for welfare recipients as well. Between these two ideas, we could probably cut welfare benefits in HALF.
33 posted on 01/16/2012 9:06:59 AM PST by Svartalfiar
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To: SuzyQue

34 posted on 01/16/2012 9:09:19 AM PST by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: Reeses
For most people going to college means they have made the decision they want a traditional job working for someone else.

Most who don't go to college have a traditional labor job working for someone else, and earning less money. Most of the people that I know who went to college did so so that they could earn more money using their brains than they could as a laborer using their muscles.
35 posted on 01/16/2012 9:11:56 AM PST by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: Svartalfiar
1) Dump every SS# for every recipient in every state in to a data file.
2) Take the data files and find SS# duplicates.
3) Suspend benefits on all duplicate SS#’s until the recipient comes to the state in person and verifies their personal information.

The best thing they could do would be to simply connect all the various computers that run in every state and red flag SS# duplicates.

The states could do some other very simple things. For example, they could take the SS# and run it against credit data. If there is a loan on a vehicle or other things where the person has the income for paying for such stuff kick them off the dole.

Also, start mandating drug testing for welfare recipients as well. Between these two ideas, we could probably cut welfare benefits in HALF.

If you wanted to cut them by 90% add the requirement of "volunteering" for working on public works improvements a certain number of hours per week - as little as 5 hours a week would probably be enough to make the majority quit.

36 posted on 01/16/2012 9:23:22 AM PST by Sparticus (Tar and feathers for the next dumbass Republican that uses the word bipartisanship.)
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To: Sopater

The Safety Net has become a Hammock.

In other news, Water is Wet.


37 posted on 01/16/2012 9:23:30 AM PST by Kickass Conservative (Liberals, Useful Idiots Voting for Useless Idiots...)
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To: Svartalfiar
I will actually one-up you on that. Don't go back to the old-style stamps; go farther back than that.

Give out "commodities."

Dried beans and peas, rice, canned tuna, peanut butter, flour, corn meal, powdered milk, raisins, cheese, maybe some other canned foods. I suppose these were purchased from farmers or food processors by the government and given out monthly. This was subsistence food. You might not eat royally, but you would eat well enough to keep body and soul together. That is what was done back in the 1960's.

I remember it well because I had relatives on "welfare" who got these government commodities. Some of the items they "wouldn't eat." These items were given to my mother by the relative and we ate them. (Our menu choices at home were "take it or leave it.")

If anyone is truly in need of the food and assistance, they will take the commodities. If they refuse this type of assistance, then they aren't in that much need. It's pretty hard to trade your dried beans or rice for drugs, too.

I suspect that going back to the commodities would decrease the amount of $$ spent on "food assistance" dramatically.

38 posted on 01/16/2012 9:26:40 AM PST by susannah59
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To: goodnesswins

Yep, I’ve mentioned on related threads before that the food stamp program should only be good for basic staples.

Of course, I’d feel kinda bad taking away Swordfish and caviar from the little people. Wait, no I wouldn’t.


39 posted on 01/16/2012 9:26:40 AM PST by Svartalfiar
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To: NTHockey
Some states do allow retired people on Social Security to get Food Stamps, if they qualify on the basis of income, etc. I've seldom run into many who get any substantial amount, however. I'm not sure that I've talked to anyone who gets as much as $200 a month here in Texas.

People with children in their households, such as grandparents taking care of grandchildren, usually qualify for more than older adults living alone or older couples.

40 posted on 01/16/2012 9:31:13 AM PST by susannah59
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To: goodnesswins
With UPC codes it would be very simple to set up the EBT cards to authorize ONLY “appropriate” food/goods for the users....rice, beans, fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken, tuna, diapers...etc.

But that still doesn't address the fact that money is fungible, so that the recipient could still always use the personal cash he saved (by using foodstamps) to purchase self-indulgent items.

Regards

41 posted on 01/16/2012 10:00:54 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: Gaffer

Or they trade the food stamps for cash, to buy whatever they want. No accountability, no shame, no honor...they wear the EBT card like it’s a badge of honor.

And we’ve got generations of people raised to think this way. Why work when you can stay home and get it all for free? Makes me want to puke.


42 posted on 01/16/2012 10:07:14 AM PST by ItsOurTimeNow (Can't afford a ticket back from Suffragette City)
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To: susannah59
I will actually one-up you on that. Don't go back to the old-style stamps; go farther back than that.

Give out "commodities."


One-up gladly taken. I will fully agree with you :)
43 posted on 01/16/2012 10:23:08 AM PST by Svartalfiar
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44 posted on 01/16/2012 10:24:43 AM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: Sopater
Most who don't go to college have a traditional labor job working for someone else, and earning less money.

Or they are traditional full time mothers, raising children rather than paying other people to raise them.

As John Kerry showed, the easiest path to a lot of money is to marry into it. And looks are obviously not necessary. If easy money is the goal, college is mainly one way to meet prospects.

College doesn't hand out brains, they just set up obstacle courses to see who has them. Of course there are many exceptions but most people say they use very little of what they learned in college.

Most self-made rich people and famous people did not have the time to spend 4 years of their youth in college. Smart people tend to make higher than average incomes no matter if they are college educated or not. College education does not necessarily mean more income, excluding government jobs. Correlation does not imply causation.

There's nothing wrong with having a college education, just that in the last 10 years it has become an overrated scam that takes advantage of people.

45 posted on 01/16/2012 10:35:18 AM PST by Reeses
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To: Gaffer

Nothing is stigmatized. Murdering your unborn baby is not stigmatized. Men sodomizing other men is not stigmatized. Being a lazy bum slacker is not stigmatized. Making other people support your lifestyle is not stigmatized. Taking welfare is not stigmatized. Living at home with your parents is not stigmatized. Having multiple bastard chidren with multiple partners is not stigmatized.

The communists won.


46 posted on 01/16/2012 10:43:23 AM PST by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (Repealing Obamacare is the ONLY GOAL.)
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To: Sopater

Where Democrats stay in power this is how. The throw crumbs to their clients.


47 posted on 01/16/2012 1:09:31 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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