Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Series: Struggling in America

I want your story.  I want it raw.  I want to hear from real Americans.

I grew up Republican.  My family believed that everyone had a fair and equal chance of being successful.  If you were poor, it was simply because you didn't work hard enough.  If you lived paycheck to paycheck, it was because you were bad at handling money.  Even though my mother used the welfare system, we did so in secret and looked down on others, politically, for doing the same thing, viewing them as lazy.

Then I grew up and began to live real life.  I used the government to put myself through school and so is my wife, currently.  I used food stamps for many years while I struggled to make ends meet, pre-college.  Then, the government slowly weaned us off of them as my salary grew.  We also used federal medical assistance for years throughout all six of Kristine's pregnancies.  Now, our children are on the Minnesota state program for a fee and my wife and I are paying cash for our infrequent medical care.

We are a middle class family, one paycheck from disaster, looking to better ourselves in the future - and we used government help to do it.  But that isn't necessarily the kinds of stories I'm looking for.  I want to see real and raw life.  If you have never used government assistance, I want to hear about it. If you have used it, I want your story too!

No politician from any party has all the answers and even the good answers' best laid plans will not work for all situations (maybe even most).  Life is simply too nuanced to be able to fit onto a 30 page application.  I want to show the world this fact through your eloquent words.

Send me your story to crackedcornjimmy@gmail.com.  The only editing I will do will be grammatical and spelling.  I will keep the story intact.


I. C.


  1. What length are you looking for?

  2. What if I made lots of really bad decisions on top of being totally at the mercy of public services? I can definitely give you a story on the massive differences between a supposed welfare state such as Wisconsin and the 'let them eat cake' Florida.

  3. Before I forget, I want to give credit to blogger Libby Anne who posted: 'Worthwhile Reads: The Struggling in America Series' at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/07/worthwhile-reads-the-struggling-in-america-series.html, which has lead me hear. I am tempeted to send you my experience, and I have compiled a little "bio" a few times. Basically, everything I thought, had to change once my situation did. It may not be as horrible as some people's experience, and I do not know how willing I am to get really personal, seeing as I Google myself and got over 120,000 hits, I apparently leave many comment, very personal and passionate.

  4. Are you still looking for stories in this series?