We would do well to be thankful for what we have
In response to the letter “We are drowning in our own waste” (July 16), while I understand Mr. Lee’s frustration, perhaps it would have been beneficial to check out the facts first.
Having done so myself, I would like to address his concerns. There was actually an overhaul of the welfare system over 10 years ago during the federal and state welfare reform movement. The Welfare to Work program requires that the majority of recipients work, obtain higher education and/or volunteer in order to continue to receive any benefits. (There are a few exceptions such as being the only available caregiver for a disabled child etc.) In addition there is also a time limit of no more than 24 months to achieve these goals and gain independence from welfare assistance, with a lifetime limit of 60 months and any child born during that time is not eligible. So, in actuality, the program that Mr. Lee suggested is already in place. Thus, the stereotypical welfare mother birthing a brood of babies at the state’s expense is no more, if she ever really existed at all (as stereotypes are notoriously suspect).
In regard to the contention that inmates not be allowed any legal recourse; last time I checked, those serving time in U.S. prisons do not become non-citizens, therefore they do not lose all legal rights afforded citizens in the constitution. If this were not the case, those who are incarcerated could be subject to unmitigated abuse with no recourse. This would be a human rights violation not unlike policies practiced in countries our government has accused of being barbaric, backward and inhumane. Thank goodness we live in a country where even in prisons we try to treat people as human beings.
And lastly, in this county and many others, state workers are among the highest paid and afforded the most benefits for the amount of education and experience they have attained as compared to their counterparts in the private sector. That is why hundreds of job seekers apply for each state position that opens. They all seek a well-paying job with security and excellent benefits hoping to provide their families with a higher standard of living. I am among the employed in Del Norte County, and I would most certainly welcome a position with the state even with the cuts that are lamented by current employees. And I’ll bet many of the working poor who still require welfare assistance to help feed their families would jump at the opportunity.
I think we would do well to be thankful for what we have and stop pointing the finger of blame at those less fortunate than ourselves.
I would be willing to volunteer my time and sign a release stating that I would not hold any of the above entities responsible for me or anything that may occur at the cemetery while I am there. If we put a flag at every veteran’s grave, take them down the day before they mow and then put them back after they mow, that should fix the flag problem. We (the volunteers) could raise money or pay for the flags ourselves at no cost to the cemetery, the work wouldn’t involve any cost to the city and by signing a release none of the aforementioned would be liable for us.
Mr. Cochran and the good people of Crescent City, let’s concentrate on how we can make this happen instead of finding reasons why we can’t make this happen.