Monday, April 4, 2011

The days of government subsidies

Like most of us, I spent the first couple years out of college doing a combination of figuring shit out, exploring what my mind was capable of, experimenting and just plain slacking. They were great times, looking back, but I definitely wasn't making much money.

One day I was having a conversation with the drummer in my band and he mentioned being on public welfare. I was surprised because I thought welfare could only work if you were poor and supporting a family. But apparently single people can qualify for it too. My friend was a self-proclaimed socialist and said it was one of the few social programs in this country that young, struggling people can take part in. Well, I took a look at my own situation....I was always scrounging for the cheapest food, selling cd's and books sometimes to get by, shoplifting toiletries and doing the occasional dumpster diving. Yeah, I pretty much qualified for food stamps.

It was easy to get. Just an interview with a government employee to prove you fall under the minimum earnings category. Within a week I was waiting on line at the welfare center, picking up my food stamps. That was all I needed it for. Free food. I didn't know anybody besides myself, except my drummer, who took part in the program. I couldn't understand why because pretty much all of my friends qualified. Maybe there was some shame involved? I don't know, I certainly didn't have a problem with it. It was a good way to get by in the lean years of my youth. Indulging in self exploration; giving myself some time to stretch out and be creative without the pressure of a full time job.

By the way, identity thieves, don't get excited by the personal information on the card. I jumbled all the numbers around in photoshop.

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