Thursday, June 25, 2015

Torrance: Another Welfare City?

I live in Torrance, CA, and I work at a grocery store.

I love my job. I get to meet all kinds of people, and I get to interact and hear interesting stories about their lives.

I also love living in Torrance, CA, and I hope that I can live here for the rest of my life.

Torrance, CA is a relatively conservative and well-off city. Most people own their homes, and working toward that goal. The aerospace industry still hires a large and influential number of engineers in the region, along with a legal and political class.

A large cohort of public sector employees and professionals live in Torrance, too.

Safe and prosperous, Torrance has a lot going for it, including the distinction of leading on water reduction during this year's unprecedented drought.

I see so many people on food stamps, who are dressed better than I am, who fetch out money to pay for hot, non-food items. There is a callousness about food stamp use in our times. One lady had traveled to Florida, and yet she was paying for groceries with government  money. What is this madness?

I have spoken with my co-workers, who have told me horrendous stories, people dressed in glitzy jewelry, designer clothes -- and buying groceries with EBT.

I get angry seeing people living off of other people's money, in such a brazen fashion. Even the United Food and Commercial Workers has called for legislation which would require businesses, corporations, and other for-profit firms to reveal how many of their employees are getting by on food stamps.

One lady complained that she could not purchase cooked food with her EBT card. She complained about it.

Excuse me? How about getting a job, or cutting expenses so that you can live within your means in stead of on someone else's?

Another gentleman had just gotten hired back at the firm where he had been laid off. He had forgotten what it was like to spend his own money, and candidly admitted it. There is nothing wrong a little assistance. People do find themselves in hard times. The state needs to implement a time limit, however. People should not live on the dole. Assistance should be just that -- assistance, so that the individual in need can start meeting their own needs.

Yet food stamps have become pervasive, even acceptable. People are working, and they still rely on food stamps. Are they not paid enough, or are they failing to spend their money properly? One lady I spoke with never sought a hand out. At one point, she was working two jobs, sixteen hours a day! Now that's a work ethic. Speaking of which -- what has happened to the glory and necessity of getting out and getting things done for yourself?

I know fast food workers in Torrance, and some of them buy their groceries with food stamps, too. Most people look at this trend and demand higher minimum wages. Granted, their frustration is understandable. The answer to the poverty issue is not more regulations and exacting higher minimum wages.

The solution is more opportunity, easier pathways for individuals to seek employment, gain training, invest their resources.

Of course, the politics of envy is more effective than the politics of responsibility, since running on a platform of "blame someone else" and advertising yourself as the solution ensures a long-term bench of support and power.

In the Woonsocket, RI post, I mentioned that the Torrance Farmer's Market was incorporating EBT payments. If people do not have enough of their own money to pay for products at boutique firms like those in farmer's markets, then they should not be shopping there at all.

Subsidized housing has taken up prime real estate in Torrance, as well. Senior citizens pay lower rent to live in Torrance for apartments set aside for older residents. One can adequately submit that these lowered rent prices are also a form of welfare. The Daily Breeze advertised the availability of "affordable" housing, too.

The city provides a number of free services for elderly residents, too. How do taxpaying members of "The Balanced City" feel about this arrangement?

Indeed, has Torrance become another welfare city?

1 comment:

  1. My understanding is that the homeless from Santa Monica have been transferred to Torrance. We must put a stop to this! Now to confirm the truthfulness of this info, though one cannot help notice the increase in homeless wondering the streets of Torrance with their bags in hand.