On the weekends I work for a black owned business in Watts and one thing that blows my mind is how many black folks have EBT cards. I would argue that roughly 90% of the black population that frequents the store uses an EBT card to pay for their food. Some people even have multiple cards. It’s not only shocking that they have EBT it is shocking that they have nice cars, bags and clothes yet have EBT and live in the projects. For the record, people can have nice things and still be poor. The problem is we buy what we want and beg for what we need (food, housing, schooling, etc).
Free stuff keeps you poor
I am heavily against government assistance because it keeps you poor. This is because you have to have low income to get the free stuff and the free stuff is easy. As a result, people stay small and stay poor for the free. They stay disabled. They stay unemployed. They stay uneducated. All for a few hundred dollars worth of food. I see the motivation though. A lot of what I talk about is the idea of an infinite return where you make a bunch of money for little to nothing out of pocket using leverage and bank money. EBT and welfare are an example of a lot for a little. It is hard to pass that up, especially when you are only thinking about yourself. That selfishness is a topic I will save for another post. The point here is that while you might think you are getting an infinite return of groceries or housing you are actually shooting yourself in the foot.
You are shooting yourself in the food because you are allowing a free $300 in groceries or $5000 tax refund to keep you from the millions that you could create. Additionally, you are allowing that $300 by comparison to the potential millions to prevent you from developing into a giant. This smallness does a disservice to your children and grand children because you can’t inherit anything from someone that played life small. There is no honor that comes from someone who played their life small EVEN if they had every reason that they could stay small. Nobody can live up to what you accomplished if you never accomplished anything. Kids tend to out do what their parents accomplish and expose them to and not accomplishing anything but free groceries robs them of the best inheritance ever, a last name. The only inheritance these kids get is their own EBT card at 18. This is generational poverty.
I always tell people about how my parents had every excuse built in. All of the reasons most people don’t achieve are things that my parents pushed through. My step father was raised by a welfare mom who kicked him out of the house at 18 but he worked two jobs, bought a home and then rented it out and has gone on to do some amazing things as an executive at a large corporation. My mother was divorced with two kids and no degree. She went on to not only get a degree from a major university but become a CPA and now she is a supervisor at a major CPA firm. All because they refused to stay small or allow someone to make excuses for them.
Free stuff keeps you comfortable
I have told this story over and over but there was a time when I wanted to get an EBT card. I was in college and not working and it was hard. I told my mom I wanted to get an EBT card and she was hugely against it. This pushed me to get a degree that mattered. A lot of times people who get all this free stuff are never pushed into doing what is hard. Entitlements prevent you from grinding. They feel good but they hold you back. This is also important because when entitled people don’t get what they feel they deserve they then complain about it instead of going to work.
The key is that everything you want is outside of your comfort zone. All of the liberation and justice you want cant come while you sit on the couch. You get all of those things that BLM protests for by working. This is evidenced by all of the successful college grad friends that I have. I see all my friends who are quick to put up a BLM hashtag out here traveling the world. I really think that a lot of this is based in the fact that most of them are first generation so they still have a line of thinking that comes from victims in the hood. Now that they have been exposed to a better way I doubt they will raise social justice warriors. The point is that people who get the free stuff are never stretched they are never held accountable. They get all the excuses in the world so they never develop. they stay sitting on the couch and as a result their community suffers. We cant win until we are willing to give up our comfort and that comes with giving up the free stuff.
Free stuff holds you back
Since Todd Capital is all about black wealth I have to touch on the things that hold us back. This reliance on the government is a huge hindrance to our liberty as a people. Too many people do nothing while they lay in wait for the check. In doing so they stunt their creativity and drive and ultimately do nothing to serve or add value to their community.
For example, you might be a great painter or builder or chef but you never take the time to refine your skills because doing so would take you off of government assistance. This is unfair to your community because you stunted your potential millions down to a few hundred in free food and housing. We have all these skills that we don’t tap into and as a result the community is robbed of its creative resources. You effectively hold yourself back.
I have seen so many people that find all the reasons why something cant work. Like I always say, there are a bunch of ways to not drive to Vegas. You cant get there going south west or east but you only have to find that one way to get there. In all actuality you could get there going all those directions depending on where you are coming from. This shows that all things are possible. However when you get paid no matter if you find a solution and when you get to eat no matter if you find a solution you tend to find reasons why it cant work, especially if it comes with hard work. If you were without that government check or built in excuse I guarantee you would find a solution just like our ancestors who were actual inventors did.
Free stuff stunts your worth
The truth is that you are worth way more than someone is willing to give you to stay small. You have unlimited energy and creativity and should be tapping into that to add value to your community. One thing that I have experienced in dealing with folks who live on ebt and other handouts is they don’t have to develop or polish themselves such that they could function in a corporate environment. Most of us who work corporate have to learn how to operate in the customs. You learn how to speak proper, how to conduct yourself and how to have proper attire. For those that don’t have to do this to get food or a check they don’t have to develop. Its like they not only stunt their career and creativity but themselves. They lower themselves because if you aren’t low you cant get help.
The biggest thing holding us back is this idea that someone has to save us. The idea that someone has to see our worth so we can be deemed worthy. I don’t know where this idea came from but it needs to go somewhere. I am not striving to be the wealthiest black man or the first black x, I am striving to be the wealthiest man and the first ever x. That is because my worth isn’t tied to what white people do and my freedom and growth isn’t stunted in waiting for them to save me.
My main point here is that we cant be great if we all aren’t great. All of this playing small is keeping the culture small. All of this playing small is unfair to our ancestors who fought for your freedom and unfair to your heirs who deserve to walk into more than section 8 housing and food stamps. Be great. You deserve to be great, you are great.