Flaunting food stamps almost seems to be a trend. First, Mr. EBT released his now-infamous rap. Shortly thereafter, girls followed suit with their own version. Now, a night club in Montgomery, Ala., is hosting its very own “Food Stamp Friday” party. On April 6, the Rose Supper Club in North Montgomery will offer a discounted cover charge — and free shots — to any patron who flashes a food stamp card at the door. Not surprisingly, some Montgomery residents aren’t happy about the way the party seems to glamorize a life on government assistance. The Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas reports:
“I just don’t understand how they are promoting this without anyone saying anything about it,” Stephanie Pope, a Montgomery resident who has seen the fliers in gas stations, told TheDC. …
[Rose employee Richard] Thomas said he knows of at least three phone calls placed to the venue complaining about the party’s theme. He said a young party promoter chose the name.
“I don’t know what these young people are doing,” he said.
Taxpayers are right to be concerned about whether their dollars go to a food stamp program that actually helps those in need or to a program that enables a dependent lifestyle. Food stamp abuse is not uncommon and, in some places, a food stamp card will purchase luxury items like a Starbucks frappuccino.
Yet, taxpayers are arguably the least hurt by poorly designed federal programs that perpetuate or exacerbate the problems they intend to solve. Once upon a time, it was part of the American character to resist “charity,” which was seen as a slight to a capable person’s dignity. When it was accepted, it was accepted with the understanding that the beneficiary would, when he was back on its feet, “pay it forward” by helping someone else in need.
That’s not to say pride is always a positive: It’s appropriate to ask for help when help is truly needed and to accept it gratefully, just as it’s right to offer help when someone is struggling. Government programs, though, have so changed the face of “help” that beneficiaries have no one to thank — and eventually come to feel entitled. In the process, they suffer on a subconscious level the slight to dignity that individuals once registered consciously. They never experience the satisfaction and happiness of earned success.
When did we stop understanding innately that people feel better about themselves when they’re able to take care of themselves and their families? Maybe “Food Stamp Friday” parties and the like will remind us that it’d be better if we substituted a “social safety springboard” or “social safety trampoline” for the “social safety net,” which — all too often, it seems — turns into a “social safety hammock.”