Stereotype Busted: Poor People Are Lazy Moochers

image of people in line at an Unemployment office

I’m sure many people have some evil thoughts about going to work, especially after what seems like a too short of a weekend. ‘Why don’t I just go on welfare so I don’t have to work. I want to lay around all day drinking and popping out kids to get more welfare. It has to be easier than my life.’ Those of us who actually have experience with public assistance knew welfare didn’t make all poor people lazy moochers looking for free stuff. Now some actual research backs us up.

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Florida Judge Finally Ends Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

image of a urine sample

U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven ruled on Tuesday that Florida’s law that required welfare recipients to have drug tests before getting benefits violated the 4th amendment against unreasonable search and seizure. The state failed to show that poor people are more likely to use drugs or that testing poor people should be squeezed into the limits allowed by the US Supreme Court.

The judge’s ruling pretty much followed my line of argument on this topic in a previous post:

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Why Can’t We Drug Test Welfare Recipients? I Got Tested For My Job

image of a specimen cup with urine

Friends of mine who are somewhat liberal ask me, Why can’t we drug test welfare recipients? I got tested for my job. It’s true, many people are tested for drug use before being employed. Even the government tests their employees. That still doesn’t make testing welfare recipients constitutional. If the Fourth Amendment means anything it means the government has to have probable cause to test you for drugs. Having a bias toward poor people, thinking they must all be dirty and on drugs isn’t probable cause and it also doesn’t match with the actual evidence of drug use by people on public assistance.

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“Actually, it’s a lot of work being poor” : Facts from one Ohio county

Long line starts early at Unemployment office

Just hearing the talking points makes me angry so forgive me if I sound angry. Someone will make a comment or bitch about “welfare queens” and about how these lazy poor people have wide-screen TVs and microwaves. If these comments come from friends and family, who should know better, it really drives me insane. Finally my hometown newspaper did me a solid and now I have some facts and figures to fight those biased FOX “news” talking points about poor people.

On Monday, August 22nd, the Findlay Ohio Courier had an article talking about the recent retirement of Judy Wauford, as director of the Hancock County Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). In Ohio, ODJFS handles the state and federal social safety net programs like unemployment, Medicaid, food stamps, and child support enforcement. The piece included some actual facts and data about the poor in Hancock county.

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