Frederick County’s Welfare Swamp

Art by Vladimir Tolskiy

Over the past 20 years, Frederick has become a satellite of Greater Washington: it has acquired many new residents, new cars, new roads, and new businesses.

However, our welfare system is not keeping up with the changing world.

I was brought to Frederick in 2001. I was raised in an abusive environment, had low self-esteem and a strong sense of guilt for many years. I fell ill with a chronic condition and could not finish college. Then I worked as a mechanic until my health deteriorated. After that I had to apply for a humiliating disability status.

There was a period of my life when I wanted to help other suffering people like myself by working for a charity. The most reasonable approach was to volunteer, to build connections and then to apply for a paid position. (Because I also want to eat three times a day, have a roof over my head and to start a family.) I considered going back to college to study social work.

What I had witnessed turned me into a fighter for justice, caused me to abandon the idea of working in this corrupt area.

When I was a volunteer, I met many single elderly working-class men of a near-retirement age who were homeless. Many are working homeless.

Our welfare system would be very generous to a single mother with five children.

However, if you are a man with a severe health condition, you are out of luck. You would never be a high priority client, even if you worked and paid taxes all your life and then survived a massive heart attack. (Based on a true story.)

Frederick News-Post does not publish Letters to the Editor describing the corruption in our welfare sector. Many have tried. Instead, it embraces the self-congratulatory attitude of the grant-funded non-profit directors and officials that run social services; all while working class natives are pushed out of Frederick by high rent. Portion of the gentrification revenue is redistributed to the local grant-guzzlers via the Community Foundation, keeping them loyal and quiet. More funding comes from our taxes.

I am yet to see a high-ranking official or a non-profit director express their gratitude for the tax money and surplus that they are blessed to redistribute.

The prevailing attitude in the welfare sector is very symptomatic of left populism: “there are too many of you Oompa Loompas out there, sorry there is no way we can help you all”. The treacherous ideology of identity politics makes men of European descent an ever-lower priority for help.

Our safety net reminds me of up-side-down feudalism: lords’ channel federal and state funding to loyal vassals. The retinue of those vassals helps redistribute the breadcrumbs to the ‘peasants’, or the people in need.

The administrative overhead is why it costs so much and helps so little: nobody considers how much we spend on feeding directors and staff vs how much remains for aid. Power grid engineers have a term “Transmission and Distribution losses”.

Positive outcomes for the clients do not concern high ranking officials.  If they eliminate the problem, on whose behalf would they get paid? Efficiency metrics generally do not consider people who “graduated” to be a benefit. The system does not appear to be interested in clients returning to work and contributing to the treasury. Peasants remain peasants, or even farm animals.

I had many conversations with our local/state Democrat officials about the welfare services and I received few straight answers to my questions. Most of my emails and public comments remain unanswered to this day, all while politicians prepare for a Climate Emergency.

Local welfare would only prioritize local taxpayers if taxpayers hold it accountable.

Maybe one day, when all native sons and daughters of Frederick will be taken care of, we would vote for our welfare to help people from the outside. Yet who is inside?

I strongly believe that it is a time to thoroughly audit our welfare services for efficiency, to drain the local swamp and to give our native workers a safety net that they deserve.

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