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Liv talks about growing up on welfare.


CofCC.org News Team

Liv stars in her own internet videos on youtube and is trying to start an acting career in Los Angeles. In a new column she wrote, she describes growing up on welfare.

I just want to expand a little on my latest Ron Paul Girl video, and why I feel the way I do. I actually know a thing or two about the “queen bees” I spoke of. I should, after all. I was raised by one.

I spent my entire childhood, until I left home at age 17, on welfare. The last job I can remember either of my parents ever working was when my stepfather was a fry cook, for about a week, when I was about 5. There were four of us kids, and the message taught to us at home was clear: You’d have to be nuts to go out and get a job!

Our family received public assistance (a monthly check), food stamps, and Medi-Cal (California’s free Medicaid program). However, far from being a stop-gap while we got back on our feet, welfare was a way of life. We were still poor, but as long as my parents didn’t have to work, it was good enough for them. What was growing up that way like? Well, as clichéd as it sounds, most of our monthly check actually did go to buy cigarettes and beer. And in spite of the free health coverage, I literally never saw a doctor, except for the immunizations required by the school. My parents did earn a little extra money, by reselling junk they’d bought at garage sales. But they never reported the income, lest our benefits get cut. When my paternal grandparents opened up a college savings account in my name, my parents were “forced” to spend the money, or else we’d lose our food stamps for having too much in “liquid assets”. Luckily, they did allow me to keep the fast-food job that I got when I was 16, though, because the paltry amount that I earned only caused a tiny dip in our benefits.

They thought I was crazy for taking that fast food job, though. I’ll never forget my stepfather telling me that he thought anyone who went to work every day was crazy. That’s the lesson that kids on welfare are taught, plain and simple. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just naïve. My best friends in the neighborhood growing up, all of their parents were on welfare, too. And let me tell you, there was no sense of shame, no sense of ever needing to rise above, no sense of anything other than entitlement. The last time I spoke to any of those old childhood friends I was 18, and most of them were already welfare mothers themselves.

Welfare doesn’t work. Period. It’s just a way of life for far, far too many people. And I, for one, don’t want to be forced to subsidize it. The “queen bees”, getting fat and lazy on our tax dollars, are all too real, and all too common.

I used to consider myself quite a liberal. In spite of the abuse of the system that I witnessed at home, I still believed that some people truly needed help and that the kids shouldn’t be penalized for their parents’ laziness. As an adult, however, I’ve finally started to realize that welfare never actually helped my family. What would have really helped is if there had actually been some incentive for one or both of my parents to get up off the couch and get a job. That’s what would have helped them, by giving them some sorely needed sense of self-worth. It would have helped us kids, too, by teaching us how to take care of ourselves. And it would have helped everyone else, by removing the burden of having to foot the bill.

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