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Letter: The bureaucracy of welfare

I am writing neither to condemn the growing dependency of millions of Americans on the food stamp program, nor to speak in favor of it.

I am writing rather to balance an article's criticism and to expose a sad truth.

Please refer to the leading article on page A9 of the June 10 issue of the West Central Tribune.'

The article discusses the suffering of countless dependent food support applicants who don't receive benefits in a timely fashion.

What the article doesn't discuss is the pressures and frustrations of the workers attempting to deal with the ever-growing onslaught.

Immense and intense stress is endured daily by the thousands of dedicated and hard-working welfare workers who must deal with constant incoming phone calls, endless interruptions from demanding clients who walk in, and the complicated computer programs that occasionally fail, causing huge setbacks in processing time.

In Minnesota, most welfare workers work with food support in combination with other cash assistance programs and various medical assistance programs. All these various benefits require extensive knowledge and experience with constantly changing rules as dictated by social wizards who relentlessly see minuscule program holes to be plugged, necessitating doctoring and changing the various computer programs used to determine the benefits issued.

How do I know this? I recently retired from this madness. Thank God.

Errol Bluhm