(Closed) You're abusing the system comment from my "friend"

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
Member
646 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

railroaderwifeyxo :  Probably best not to talk money with a single mother who is living below the poverty line. To her, you are incredibly privileged. 

Post # 32
Member
656 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I mean, In My Humble Opinion you probably don’t need the baby bonus either. Are you honestly saying you couldnt make ends meet without it? Now, that doesn’t mean you’re scamming or taking advantage of the system either since it’s offered to everyone. 

But as someone who just got a notice that our gas is getting shut off because we couldn’t pay the bill, I’d be annoyed if my friend who makes over  $100k was posting about how they “need” food stamps too. 

You’re not doing anything wrong by getting this bonus, I’m just saying you should realize you don’t NEED it to survive like your friend does. 

Post # 33
Member
9580 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Ok so if she gets $800/month, plus the 33%, she is still raising an infant alone on $13k. If you get zero baby bump you would raise your baby with a partner and 10x as much money.

that is no fault of yours

but still, it’s pretty obvious why she’d lash out. I’d be very anxious if I were her and any conversation about it with you would piss me off, even though I’d know it’s not your fault.  

The only right thing to do is be sympathetic and avoid drawing attention to the vast differences in your situations.  even though whatever struggle you deal with is real, to her it is still enviable.

Post # 34
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Just to clarify the conversation that we had was about how the government will give you 18 months but I was saying really who can afford to stay home that long at 33%? It does make a difference in finances. 

My friend mentioned that her baby bonus would be 500-800 a month so she could, which was fine. I just mentioned it’s based off income, and that not everyone gets 500-800 in a baby bonus.

The critical point that you’re missing is that *even with her baby bonus* and any other assistance, her total monthly income is almost certainly *still* less than you’d be making with your husband’s income plus your 33%.

When you say “Who could really afford that?”, you’re missing the point that she *does* manage to get by on that unbelievably low amount of money every single month. This is her life.

So when you make what’s meant as an innocent statement, that you’d take a big hit to your finances by giving up 67% of your income for 18 months, you’re inadvertently implying that your lifestyle is so much above hers that it would be horrible for you to live like her for even a short period of time.

TL;DR: You have to think about all the implications of your statements, not just their surface meaning. As a general rule, if you’re living comfortably, it’s best just not to complain about your finances in any way. There are plenty of people who are worse off than you.

Post # 35
Member
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

She obviously doesn’t understand how our compensation system works. EI is specifically for people that have worked enough hours in the past year to qualify for employment insurance benefits which they and their employer pay into every pay cheque as a payroll tax. It also maxes out at around $2000 a month so you technically overpay your tax compared to the compensation you receive if you make over around $75,000 a year. There is also a childcare benefit that fluctuates inverse to income. Everyone gets a minimum per child and then it goes up the less your income is. This is where she’s getting a bigger dollar amount. Her saying she’s entitled to it and you aren’t perfectly shows what’s wrong with the thinking of many people in a socialist society. You paid much more in income tax and your EI contributions to cover the slack of poorer families that recieve more back than they ever contributed. I’m fine with the setup but the people that receive more than they contribute really need to understand they are basically taking money right out of more financially successful people’s pockets and maybe act more grateful for our system and those that support despite giving more than they ever receive. 

Post # 37
Member
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Wylie231388 :  hit the nail on the head. 

railroaderwifeyxo :  just curious and I know this is off topic but…where does your friend live that she can manage living off of $10k/year.  That’s below the welfare rate (and poverty line) for a family of 2 in Ontario. 

Post # 40
Member
4567 posts
Honey bee

Honestly, part of this feels like when people say they are “colorblind” or “don’t see race”.  Seeing race isn’t racist – it’s what you do with that knowledge.  Saying you’re colorblind is saying you refuse to acknowledge that there is a difference in how different races have been treated – it’s disavowing their struggles and experiences both current and historical – it’s a failure to acknowledge that there is a systemic failure for some because you see things as completely equal due to being “colorblind”.  Being colorblind is part of the problem, not the solution.

You seem to be colorblind to the fact that you and your friend are not equals when it comes economics and family situations.  When you say things like “Who could afford that?” you’re basically disavowing that it’s a very real fact of life for your friend and that your position of privilege allows you to CHOOSE for yourself in a way that it doesn’t allow for her.  I have a friend paying $1600/month in daycare costs for his two children.  That’s more than what your friend gets in benefits and almost double what she would be making in a month if just working.  I have another friend who went back to work after two children because she wasn’t happy being a stay at home mom.  Her husband makes a good living and she didn’t have to work for financial reasons.  She got pregnant with #3 and discovered that she’d actually be losing $50/week by going back to work because of the daycare costs for three kids.  The average cost of daycare where I live is over $13,500/year for one infant.  Someone with minimal skills to advance in the workforce and no partner to provide additional financial support or childcare likely couldn’t afford to work.

You need to understand your audience does not have the same historical and current life experiences as you and be able to understand how what you say is colored through that filter.  A little humility and empathy goes along way, especially when there is such a glaring disparity involved, close friendship or no.

Post # 41
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

railroaderwifeyxo :  Still, my basic point remains the same: it’s not appropriate for someone with an income well above average to comment on how hard it is to live on a lower income.

People who live on that income know it’s hard. They do it anyway because they have to. They don’t need to see someone much more fortunate than they are reminding them that it’s not a great situation, and saying that no one who had a choice would choose to live like they do.

Post # 42
Member
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Your friend is out of line.  Both you and your husband have been paying a lot in taxes and shouldn’t be made to feel bad about getting something back at this time in your lives.  

Post # 43
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

railroaderwifeyxo : I can definitely appreciate having friends who you’re completely open with. At the same time, I think it’s good to draw the line at saying things that are unnecessarily hurtful, even if it’s by mistake. No matter what your intentions, I think your post had the effect of rubbing in how much better off you are than she is. It would probably be worthwhile to apologize for your thoughtlessness—even if she was in the wrong as well.

Post # 44
Member
411 posts
Helper bee

Then again, 33% of her income may not even cover childcare for a 12 month old, so she may actually come out ahead by taking the extra 6 months. So to your point of, how can anyone afford it, for her it may well be the better financial choice. We roughly worked it out, where we live, you, individually, would have to make around 35-40k to make it financially worthwhile to go back to work.

Of course you aren’t jobbing the system, you have paid I to it and you are entitled to it. And yes, I’d be ticked about her coming at me with arguments like that too, especially the insinuatuin that you personally are doing this vs just a certain income bracket. But, I think you should just be the bigger person here. She’s obviously got a lot going on and yes, I’m sure she is jealous of your financial position. I’d just let this go and avoid such discussions in the future, even if she is the one instagating them.

I’m with you though, the 18 month mat leave is just a smokescreen to draw attention away from the fact that little is being done to address the need for affordable childcare, which (I believe) to be a much bigger issue.

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