Recently, I had a discussion about the role that welfare payments plays in modern-day Orthodox life. Apparently, some families start signing up for "programs" like Section 8 and food stamps before the ink is dry on their wedding pictures. Some couples even go as far as not getting state marriage certificates. That way, they can be "single mothers" legally.
The irony of course, is that many of these families will denigrate the "sch******s" who supposedly utilize these programs. (For the record, the Boro Park WIC office has most of the minorities present BEHIND the desks. The nice ladies with the shaitels and the designer strollers--are getting benefits.) When questioned about this, the answer is always the same--"Why not use it? It's there."
Simple. These programs were designed to be TEMPORARY aid to people needing to stay on their feet during a financial crisis. They were not meant to be a way of life. Moreover, anyone with any pride would try to avoid these programs altogether, and, if forced on by necessity (it's a bad economy right now, and many people need these benefits to survive) try to get off of them as quickly as possible.
For the record, before I was married, I worked full-time and lived on my paycheck. Sort of. If you call a converted shed for an apartment and a tin-can on wheels "living." However, it never crossed my mind to attempt to even get food stamps. Maybe I just had too much pride, but I would rather live within my means, even if it meant skipping the more than occasional meal, than accept government handouts.
The irony of course, is that many of those on these "programs" are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. However, I am a lifelong Democrat.