July 6, 2014
To fully understand what a stereotype is, someone first must know the true definition. According to the Webster Dictionary the noun definition of stereotype is, “…a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment.” There are several different types out there that people classify because of looks, age, race, religion and so on. Those who do this are just ignorant to what people are truly like. They will miss out of some extremely amazing people because they are so close minded to the world and what it holds. One of the most common stereotypes in Stockton is that all people who are on welfare are just lazy and want to live off the government as long as they can; which is very far from the truth. Some people just assume that because a person is on welfare that they are not working, too lazy to get up and find work or just simply enjoying free money. In the state of California the unemployment rate is 7.6%, as of 2014. As of 2012 the population was 38.04 million people, which means that 2,891,040 people are unemployed. According to factcheck the number of people that are on cash aid is 1,412,397; 4,107,543 people on food stamps and 7,367,600 people on medical. Which in total, is 12,887,540 people receiving help from the government. So according to the numbers that means there are 9,996,500 people working in California and receiving some sort of help from the government. So that completely disproves that stereotype right there. Yet, there is much more evidence as to why not all people on welfare are to lazy to find work. San Joaquin county is a fairly decent and cheap place to live, for a California county. The average house payment when you own a home is around two-thousand dollars. If you are renting an apartment it is around eight hundred a month. This obviously does not include any utilities, child care and other needed expenses that go with having a place to stay. Here, they give a family of two, $515 a month for cash aid and $378 a month for food stamps. That is not even close to being enough to survive on. Yes, it is only supposed to aid a person that does not make enough, yet there are some people that do not have a job for many different reasons. Yet, for those people who do have a job minimum wage just went up to nine dollars an hour in California. If a person where to work thirty hours a week at a minimum wage job they will make a little over a thousand dollars before taxes. Also, the more a person makes at a job the less welfare will be received. That still does not put people into the bracket of being able to pay for everything that needs to be paid for. So there are those who need some extra help due to the fact that living in California is super expensive and a person cannot make it on minimum wage alone. Some people who are on welfare simply do not have the education to get a job that pays high enough for everything. As shown before, a minimum wage job does not cut paying for needs. Also, a woman named Steffani, who is 35 years old, stated, “I believe welfare is designed to keep people from getting off of it. Certainly there are those who like to stay on the system and not work, but it's my understanding that it's more of a penalty system rather than rewards. i.e. You lose benefits as you excel and make more money. How can you motivate people to become self-sufficient if you make it hard on them as they get closer to being self-sufficient? Also, the cost of healthy food and good childcare almost make it impossible to get ahead without government subsidization.” This statement truly hits the nail on the head.