Jane Chastain writes in her Aug. 14 WorldNetDaily column:
Some of you are old enough to remember an admonition from your parents to work hard and save a portion of what you earn so that “you don’t wind up in the poorhouse.” That was a fate worse than death to my father’s generation because it signified abject failure, loss of pride and a complete dependence on welfare, most likely for the remainder of one’s life.
The poorhouse, or more commonly the poor farm, was a place of last resort for those who could not support themselves in the 19th and early 20th century. Residents were required to work, to the extent they were able, in order to provide for their daily needs. Accommodations were sparse, and pleasures were few.
Most of our parents and grandparents of that era didn’t have big houses or drive fancy cars, but they had good-sized savings accounts. Why? When hard times come – and they invariably do – our folks didn’t want to end up in the poorhouse.
Chastain's justification for her poorhouse nostalgia? A Fox News program:
Last week, Fox News aired a special, “The Great Food Stamp Binge,” that should be required viewing for every American. The star of the show was a 29-year-old musician/surfer name Jason Greenslate. Jason is leading and promoting “The Rat Life” – living off others – so that he can wake up at noon, spend his days on the beach hitting on chicks and his nights drinking and partying with friends.
Jason proudly held up his EBT card, which was designed to look like a credit card to take away the stigma of using food stamps. He walked reporter John Roberts through the ease of obtaining such a card and then took Roberts grocery shopping where he hit the gourmet section and finished off with a lobster.
Jason is an example of why we need the modern-day equivalent of the poorhouse, where all individuals and families going through hard times and have no resources can go to be cared for and helped to get back on their feet. While there, all able-bodied people would be expected to pull their own weight and share chores. Entertainment would be minimal. One’s free time would be spent on education and job training. Once marketable skills are achieved, an agency would place these people in real jobs.
Chastain won't tell you that Greenslate is hardly representative of the typical food stamp recipient, or that the Fox News special was specifically designed to denigrate food stamp users as "losers" (which a Fox News reporter did, in fact, call them during the show).