entitlement reigns

Well, I survived a hurricane. We evacuated, but we survived.
We stayed at a company camp of a family friend with about 15 family members and another family. It was a big place.
The entire time we were there, one of the family friends was on the phone trying to register for her FEMA money so she could make sure she could get as much assistance as she could. The day that the guys and I went back to town to survey the damage and gather supplies, she and the rest of the girls went to the local civic center and library where she finished her registration and brought home two large boxes full of food donated by residents of the area. Perhaps I should note here that none of us are wallowing in poverty. Her justification the entire weekend was that she has paid all her taxes all her life and now she’s finally going to get something back.
This attitude infuriates me. I can understand if you have a tree through your house, or if it has just been swallowed by the ocean, but these people had no substantial damage to their house. Others in the area weren’t so well off. Sure, her husband lost a week of work, but she works for herself selling artistic works. It’s not like they’re going to have to get food stamps and stand in the unemployment line for 6 months while their city is being rebuilt. Her husband is going back to work on Monday.
Even worse, my mother is planning to apply for food stamps as evacuees. My dad rents heavy equipment, which means the next six months for him are going to be extremely busy and equally profitable. They also have zero damage to their home. My mother has only been working a few temp jobs here and there because she hasn’t found a permanent one, so she lost no wages. And my father was actually paid his base salary (no commission) for his time off. Taking any monetary assistance would be nothing short of theft.
But because assistance is available, they’re all going to get theirs. They doesn’t need it, but they’re going to get it. They could just as easily buy the food they need to live at the camp. It’s not like they’re still paying a light bill or anything while they’re up there.
Harris County where I live was finally declared a federal disaster area this past week. That means we too are entitled to compensation and various forms of reimbursement for expenses for our evacuation and/or losses. However, we didn’t lose anything except some time off work, and our evacuation was little more than a long weekend vacation.
Sponging off the good will of others or worse, the government, when you aren’t in dire need of succor is pathetic and disgusting. Take care of your damn self.

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