They may be gaming the system when they don't know they are. To say that there isn't infinite opportunity out there for people if they want it is being absolutely blind. Otherwise, I don't know how a latchkey kid like myself could have all the degrees I have, including an MBA. Stands to reason that I should be in the gutters, trying to beg for bread to sustain my misery one more night.I've worked with thousands for homeless people, single mothers on food stamps, senior citizens who lost their savings in the stock market crash. There is a multitude of reason someone needs help. From personal experience, I have encountered far more people painfully embarressed that they are food stamps for any length of time, then I encountered people scaming the system.
I am not at all saying that there are not people who work the system, there are plenty and that should be addressed. However, if you think that is the majority, I believe you are sorely miss informed.
There is no incentive to work. The effective wage for McDonalds or Wal-mart is so much lower than minimum wage because of our "money for nothing" system. Why work for 200 dollar a week (after taxes) when you can do that for sitting on your ass? What's worse is that women that have children have a route to use emotional extortion to work the system that much more. Bad decisions are subsidized by good people.
Do you honestly, and I mean honestly, think that those people you discussed are going to attempt to succeed through the system and then pay it forward for the next crop of people who "slip through the cracks"?
That's a hopelessly optimistic viewpoint.