官方APP下载:英语全能特训(微信小程序版,支持苹果手机、安卓手机)

创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
公众微信服务号
英语全能特训(微信公众服务号)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

第4册 - Unit 3, Section A - Longing for a New Welfare System

阅读次数:


VIP会员专享下载:(非VIP会员无权下载!如果想下载,但还不是VIP会员,请点此订购
下载方式:使用鼠标右键(注意是鼠标右键!)点击下面的MP3音频/MP4视频链接,然后选择“另存为…”。
MP3节目录音 MP3节目录音 
文章正文
同步字幕

A welfare client is supposed to cheat. Everybody expects it. Faced with sharing a dinner of raw pet food with the cat, many people in wheelchairs I know bleed the system for a few extra dollars. They tell the government that they are getting two hundred dollars less than their real pension so they can get a little extra welfare money. Or, they tell the caseworker that the landlord raised the rent by a hundred dollars.

I have opted to live a life of complete honesty. So instead, I go out and drum up some business and draw cartoons. I even tell welfare how much I make! Oh, I'm tempted to get paid under the table. But even if I yielded to that temptation, big magazines are not going to get involved in some sticky situation. They keep my records, and that information goes right into the government's computer. Very high- profile.

As a welfare client I'm expected to bow before the caseworker. Deep down, caseworkers know that they are being made fools of by many of their clients, and they feel they are entitled to have clients bow to them as compensation. I'm not being bitter. Most caseworkers begin as college-educated liberals with high ideals. But after a few years in a system that practically requires people to lie, they become like the one I shall call 'Suzanne', a detective in shorts.

Not long after Christmas last year, Suzanne came to inspect my apartment and saw some new posters pasted on the wall. 'Where'd you get the money for those?' she wanted to know.

'Friends and family.'

'Well, you'd better have a receipt for it, by God. You have to report any donations or gifts.'

This was my cue to beg. Instead, I talked back. 'I got a cigarette from somebody on the street the other day. Do I have to report that?'

'Well I'm sorry, but I don't make the rules, Mr. Callahan.'

Suzanne tries to lecture me about repairs to my wheelchair, which is always breaking down because welfare won't spend the money maintaining it properly. 'You know, Mr. Callahan, I've heard that you put a lot more miles on that wheelchair than average.'

Of course I do. I'm an active worker, not a vegetable. I live near downtown, so I can get around in a wheelchair. I wonder what she'd think if she suddenly broke her hip and had to crawl to work.

Government cuts in welfare have resulted in hunger and suffering for a lot of people, not just me. But people with spinal cord injuries felt the cuts in a unique way: The government stopped taking care of our chairs. Each time mine broke down, lost a screw, needed a new roller bearing, the brake wouldn't work, etc., and I called Suzanne, I had to endure a little lecture. Finally, she'd say, 'Well, if I can find time today, I'll call the medical worker.'

She was supposed to notify the medical worker, who would certify that there was a problem. Then the medical worker called the wheelchair repair companies to get the cheapest bid. Then the medical worker alerted the main welfare office at the state capital. They considered the matter for days while I lay in bed, unable to move. Finally, if I was lucky, they called back and approved the repair.

When welfare learned I was making money on my cartoons, Suzanne started 'visiting' every fortnight instead of every two months. She looked into every corner in search of unreported appliances, or maids, or a roast pig in the oven, or a new helicopter parked out back. She never found anything, but there was always a thick pile of forms to fill out at the end of each visit, accounting for every penny.

There is no provision in the law for a gradual shift away from welfare. I am an independent businessman, slowly building up my market. It's impossible to jump off welfare and suddenly be making two thousand dollars a month. But I would love to be able to pay for some of my living and not have to go through an embarrassing situation every time I need a spare part for my wheelchair.

There needs to be a lawyer who can act as a champion for the rights of welfare clients, because the system so easily lends itself to abuse by the welfare givers as well as by the clients. Welfare sent Suzanne to look around in my apartment the other day because the chemist said I was using a larger than usual amount of medical supplies. I was, indeed: the hole that has been surgically cut to drain urine had changed size and the connection to my urine bag was leaking.

While she was taking notes, my phone rang and Suzanne answered it. The caller was a state senator, which scared Suzanne a little. Would I sit on the governor's committee and try to do something about the thousands of welfare clients who, like me, could earn part or all of their own livings if they were allowed to do so, one step at a time?

Hell, yes, I would! Someday people like me will thrive under a new system that will encourage them, not seek to convict them of cheating. They will be free to develop their talents without guilt or fear - or just hold a good, steady job.

人人都觉得福利救济对象是在骗人。

当我认识的许多坐轮椅的人面临与宠物猫分吃生猫食的窘境时,都会向福利机构多骗取几美元。为了能领到一点额外的福利款,

他们告诉政府说他们实际上少拿了200美元的养老金,

或告诉社会工作者,说房东又将房租涨了100 美元。

我选择了过一种完全诚实的生活,

因此我不会那样做,而是四处找活,揽些画漫画的活。

我甚至还告诉福利机构我赚了多少钱!

哦,私下里领一笔钱当然对我挺有吸引力,

但即使我挡不住这种诱惑,我投稿的那些大杂志也不会去给自己惹麻烦。

他们会保留我的记录,而这些记录会直接进入政府的电脑。

真是态度鲜明,毫不含糊。

作为一名福利救济对象,我必须在社会工作者面前卑躬屈膝。

社会工作者心里知道,许多救济对象在欺骗他们,因此他们觉得,作为补偿,他们有权让救济对象向他们点头哈腰。我并不是故意感到忿忿不平。

大多数社会工作者刚开始时都是些大学毕业生,有理想,而且思想开明。

可是,在这个实际上是要人撒谎的体制里干了几年后,他们就变得与那个叫"苏珊娜"的人一样了──一个穿运动短裤的侦探。

去年圣诞节过后不久,苏珊娜到我家来了解情况,看到墙上贴着新的宣传画,

便想知道:"你从哪儿弄到钱来买这些?"

"从朋友和家人那儿。"

"那么,你最好要张收据,真的,你接受任何捐献或礼物都要报告。"

她这是在暗示我:得哀求她了。

但是我却将她顶了回去。

"那天在马路上有人给我一根烟,我也得报告吗?"

"对不起,卡拉汉先生,可是规定不是我制订的。"

苏珊娜试图就修理轮椅的问题训斥我。由于福利部门不愿意花钱好好地修理,所以它总是坏。

"您是知道的,卡拉汉先生,我听说您的那辆轮椅比一般人用得多得多。"

我当然用得多,

我是个工作很积极的人,又不是植物人。

我住在闹市区附近,可以坐着轮椅到处走走。

我真想知道如果她突然摔坏臀部,不得不爬着去上班时,会是什么感受。

政府削减福利开支已经导致许多人挨饿受苦,我只是其中之一。

但它对脊柱伤残的人的影响更为突出:政府已经不管我们的轮椅了。

每次我的轮椅出问题,掉了螺丝,需要换个新轴承,或刹车不灵时,我都打电话给苏珊娜,但每次都要挨训。

她最后总会说:"好吧,如果今天我能抽出时间的话,我会找医务人员的。"

她该通知医务人员,由医务人员来确认问题确实存在,

然后打电话给各家轮椅维修公司,拿到最低的报价。

接着医务人员就通知州政府的福利总部,

他们再花几天时间考虑这件事。而这期间我只能躺在床上,动弹不得。

最后,如果我幸运的话,他们会给我回电话,同意维修。

当福利部门获悉我画漫画赚钱时,苏珊娜就开始每两个星期"拜访"我一次,而不再是每两个月一次了。

她寻遍每个角落,想找出我未上报的电器,或者是女仆、烤炉里的烤猪、停在房后新买的直升飞机什么的。

她从来都是一无所获,但最后我总要填厚厚的一叠表格,说明每一分钱的来历。

如何逐渐脱离福利照顾,这在法律条款中没有明确规定。

我是一个独立的生意人,正在慢慢建立起自己的市场。

要脱离福利救济,一下子每月挣2, 000美元是不可能的。但我很想自己负担部分生活费用,不必在每次需要为轮椅买点配件时都去尴尬地求人。

真需要有一位律师来捍卫福利救济对象的权利,因为这一福利体制不仅容易使福利提供者滥用权力,也很容易使救济对象滥用权力。

前几天,由于药剂师说我使用的医疗用品超出常量,于是福利部门派苏珊娜到我的住所调查。

我确实多用了,因为外科手术中切的排尿孔的大小改变了,尿袋的连接处发生渗漏。

她正做着记录,我家的电话铃响了。

苏珊娜接听了电话,是一位州议员打来的,这使她慌了一下。

数以千计像我这样的福利救济对象,如果允许的话,可以慢慢地负担自己的一部分甚至全部生活费用,对此,我要不要在州政府的委员会里尝试着做点儿什么呢?

还用说吗?我当然要!

总有一天,像我这样的福利救济对象将在一种新的福利制度下过上好日子,这种制度不会千方百计证明福利救济对象在欺骗,而是要鼓励他们自立。

他们将能自由地、毫无愧疚、毫不担忧地发挥他们的才干,或拥有一份稳定的好工作。

网友的学习评论(0条):
版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台