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Republican Gov. Mike Pence says not giving food to the unemployed will "ennoble" them

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Original published at Daily Kos

From youtube.com/watch?v=r459oA_xH7g: Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence
(Image by YouTube)
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I'm not sure lower-income Americans are going to be able to survive all the "ennobling" things Republicans are doing for them. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker already explained how preventing Americans from obtaining life-saving health insurance will help them "live the American Dream"; now fellow Republican governor and do-gooder Mike Pence wants to further "ennoble" state residents by cutting off their food stamps.
"The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced last month that beginning in 2015, it would no longer request a waiver to the federal work requirement for certain people who use the SNAP program. Up to 65,000 single Hoosiers could lose food stamp benefits unless they are working 20 hours a week or attending job training.

"Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Pence argued that 50,000 people had joined the Indiana workforce since 2008 so it was time to return to a "core principle" of welfare reform.

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[...]

"'I'm someone that believes there's nothing more ennobling to a person than a job,' Pence insisted. 'And to make sure that able-bodied adults without dependents at home know that here in the state of Indiana, we want to partner with them in their success.'"

There is at least one problem with this, which is that there are vastly more unemployed people in the Midwest than there are available jobs; Pence's policy is that Indiana will be staging the Hunger Games, and the losers don't get food anymore because they just didn't try hard enough.
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There's also the usual problems of skill mismatches, distance from available jobs, whether any part-time job will pay enough to cover the cost of getting to that part-time job, whether the state will actually have a "job training" program for all of these people to enter, what will happen after they've been "job trained" for jobs that still aren't there because that was the whole problem all along, and all the other problems that render Full State Employment or Piss Off a more complex proposition than simply telling people to go out and get themselves Ennobled. And speaking of ennobling Americans, I can think of quite a few things more ennobling to a person than having a job.

--Not having to eat garbage out of trash cans. That's pretty ennobling.

--Being able to save what little money you have to keep a roof over your head, rather than having to live under a snowy bus stop bench so that you can afford people-food instead of trashcan-food, thus in turn enabling you to also own clothes and take showers in accordance with what are needed in order to land an ennobling job in any sector of the economy in which either clothing or showers are required.

--Knowing you live in a society that does not force you to eat out of trash cans because a more wealthy man thought treating you worse than anyone else had been willing to treat you might boost his own chances of ennobling himself via a presidential run.

To paraphrase Pence, who had by this point lapsed into cliches, you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or you can not give him that fish and just keep the damn fish. This will teach him a lesson about not being able to find a fish in an economy that has far fewer fish than people looking for fish, and the poor man will be ennobled when he realizes, scrounging through a dumpster behind a fish restaurant, that you knew how the math was going to work out on that one the whole time.

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articles reprinted from Dailykos.com


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