Today was Cheque Day in MetroVancouver, also know as Mardi Gras around the Downtown East Side of the City because "everyone parties like they're a millionaire on a holiday" which lasts about 3 days and then the soup kitchens have their usual queues numbering over 100 souls.
I drove past one of those Hipster Haven places just before 9am and there was already a queue of about 50 people wanting to buy take away beer. The Astoria bar on Hastings street has seen some changes, lots of gigs and dances during the week nights, but this morning...it was very sad looking out there. Not a Hipster to be seen...
90% of the people I noticed on the streets today "living the good life" were men. Why is that I thought? Then it hit me! I wager the majority of women that take Social Assistance each month, are home with kids trying to make ends meet while the dad of the kids is nowhere to be found...save the Astoria type line ups.
I personally know many people on the dole that in my all knowing opinion, shouldn't be. They COULD work. They're around every day and able-bodied.
The snag in the plan though, is that they might have to take a job paying $12 an hour that offers no benefits. After taxes,they might see $1600 a month in which to pay shocking rents (thank you Mayor Gregor) buy food, bus tix, toiletries etc.etc.
Not possible! So, go on Welfare and get your below poverty level tuppence, get medical and dental when its an emergency, take a curse or upgrade, hit the food banks and soup kitchens, dumpster dive, drink, smoke watch tv and enjoy the summer. Quite the scam! (I know a Native guy who not only has his Status Card, but he lies about where he lives for cheapICBC truck insurance, draws a disability cheque AND works full time! Oh yeah, he's on meds paid out by WCB and uses medicinal weed. His wife is a full-time nurse (different last name) they live in a Condo and just bought another one to rent out...)
What the BC Government offers as theSocial Safety Net is not enough to sustain a good lifestyle anywhere in the Province. It does however, create lots of Provincial jobs to insure things barely roll along.
Before you start chirping about drug addicts, drunks, ex-cons etc.etc, allow me to point out that if you've "got it made" I'm willing to bet you had help and support along the way. I don't know too many people that started with nothing. Maybe I'm wrong? I do know this though, life is very difficult and if you haven't got money, friends and family to get you started...you too could end up in very difficult situations.
I saw a guy pissing in an alley today and said hello. (after he was done) He told me that no stores will let him use the toilet. Here's the thing, I stand to piss outdoors too!
I couldn't really see a difference between that man and a hungover Hipster in Gastown on Sunday morning. I guess the difference is that the Hipster could afford to BUY something and in so doing, gain the right to use the toilet.
What a messed up attitude!
I guess a hungry guy with a full bladder can do more damage to the toilet than a half drunk Hipster. (think about that for a moment)
I was walking past Save On Meats (google them, you can help people thru them) and these 3 idiots behind me were talking very loudly, mocking people and places: "OH YEAH, I SO WANT TO LIVE IN EAST VAN. CAN'T WAIT TO GET DOWN HERE..." I found myself surprised by my emotion. I wanted to slap the 3 20-something pukes back to the Suburbs to the safety of their parents closeness.
I gathered that they were fortunately NOT moving into the area and were simply passing through to enjoy their playdate together.
Funny isn't it? I'm as bad as they are...different target group p'raps but the ignorance and rudeness is in tact.
Side thought for free: I wonder how much crime has to do with gaining money? I bet if greed and riches were off the table, crime would plummet!
So there I was today, driving truck around the GVRD noticing people with extra large pizzas and other takeaway foods living good. Big money to be made in poverty.
Truth is, if poverty was eliminated, I'd be out of my 2 jobs.