There was a time in this country when self respect had value, that time has passed. Twenty five years ago, when I was 9, being on food stamps was horrifyingly embarrassing, getting GAWD AWEFUL government cheese and powdered milk teaches you that it's not the way you want to live in your future. Now in 2012 you get a debit card with more food money on it than you can spend and the "food" includes Mountain Dew, Cheetos, and Ho Ho's. It's no wonder all the government check people are so freaking fat. Add in the free health care, housing assistance and all of the other "benefits" and I start to wonder, who's really smarter here? My stupid ass that's breaking his back and going no where or my neighbor that hasn't put pants on before 2pm in five years?
Thats about it too. When the incentive to work is not there then its only natural for people to opt out. I mean, many of them are only going to fetch about $8 to $12 bucks an hour for menial labor work at a crappy factory with a miserable boss. So, they can deal with all that BS, get hardly any benefits, pay a lot for gas just to get to work, and probably be on eggshells the whole time they are there. OR.... they can skate by with the Barry & Michelle plan. I hate to say it.... but can you blame any of them? Sure, you and I may have not been raised like that or whatever but it is what it is.
Its not just laziness either. Companies shipping decent entry-level jobs offshore and trying to milk every last cent of profit(even when they are already making bucketloads of money) does cause some of this. Remember when you could get a decent paying job right out of high school or with some basic training? Thats what drove the middle class. Its what probably many of our dads and grandpas did. Now, they want a stoopid degree from some overpriced institution just to talk to you about a pretty basic job. And, even peoples high-tech jobs are one shareholder meeting away from being sent to Pakistan or where ever.
In fairness, some of these jobs are lost due to Govt regulations, enviromental garbage, political correctness, etc, etc. That crap has to go too.
I dunno - as much as the moochers piss me off, I can see why they think they way they do. Their Govt makes it fairly easy for them to be leeches. Most organisms take the path of least resistance to get what they need or want. No different here. If its easy to acquire freebies then people will do it. Heck, like you mentioned, they even took the stigma away - you get a fancy looking Visa card now.
I even seriously "joked" to the wifey the other night that if I get laid off or whatever and cant find a comparable gig, we should get divorced so shes suddenly a single Mom with two kids ages 10 and 13. Start sending the checks!!!!