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SENSE & SENSITIVITY

Abuse of public assistance angers ‘producer’

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 10:30 am

Q.: I agree with your response to the college graduate (producer) whose old friends (moochers) were living with him while they were trying to “get on their feet.” He was getting tired of it and needed more space, etc. Your advice was that he set a date for them to move out and be as helpful as possible until that time.

How different is that from the welfare, Medicaid and public assistance housing folks who have been mooching off the government and taxpayers (producers) for years at the expense of others? It is really the same thing, but on a smaller scale. And it's getting worse, because the moochers are hyperbreeding and causing a continuation of the problem with no hope of it changing or slowing down. I'd love to discuss this with you. How do we stop this insanity? – Small Producer, Memphis, Tenn.

A.: This is obviously a controversial topic, and I am not an expert on it.

I see your point. I do not think that anyone should assume that someone else – be it a parent, a friend or the government – will take care of them forever. But I also firmly believe in supporting those in need. I feel that it is an important part of humanity.

I appreciate the public assistance programs that our government offers and know they serve millions of people who otherwise would be in dire straits. At the same time, I firmly believe that each of us has the duty to do our best to improve our lives and become independent.

I know many stories of incredibly successful people who at one point needed and used the services of the government to tide them over while they repositioned themselves. I believe that public assistance is good. I do not believe it should be guaranteed for life.

Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or C/O Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.