Holes in the state safety net

The Latin words in the motto of our state read: “Esse quam videri” The meaning of those words is: “To be, rather than to seem.”

Could those words perhaps be taken out of order and placed in a phrase that might be more acceptable to the original government of our “fair” state?

Our North Carolina General Assembly adopted these words in and 1893. (North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 144, Section 1444-2).

Why, upon its foundation could that Latin phrase not instead be as complete as was the phrase written by Cicero in his definition of the original phrase?

“Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt,” which translates to, “the numbers of the really so virtuous are not as great as they appear to be.” (Cicero, De Amicatia “On Friendship,” page 29)

Notice that he not did say “not as poor,” “not as needy,” he did not define us as “not as weak.” His definition was “not as great.” Other translations are: “Fewer possess virtue than those who wish us to believe that they possess it.” “The fact is that fewer people are endowed with virtue than wish to be thought to be so.”

I am not going to argue the fact that there are many people taking advantage of the services offered by our state — “robbing the government” as we often tend to say. I have witnessed it. I have seen companies so-called “community support” offering support when in all actuality all they were companies operating a babysitting service for families who I have always heard them described as driving “fat-back Cadillacs.”

But does that give reason for our state to rob the others who actually show the need for such services, to the ones who live on potted-meat sandwiches and have to buy their tennis shoes at Walmart and Dollar General as a means of transportation?

For those suffering a medical condition, as some may describe it, a medical disability, who have the true need for assistance from our “fair” government?

How many on the committee that our government has assigned, how many as such should be assigned to determine that need? How many are medical professionals?

I was formerly employed by a company in Richmond County supported by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. I know myself that service did not even come close to the number of workers needed.

I also know that the ones assigned have no familiarity with the conditions that they determine as justifiable or worthy enough to get assistance.

I have seen children, as well as adults, who were denied assistance because someone on that committee saw no need.

I am familiar with determining conclusive evaluations that were made by Value Options.

I have seen the way that some families and even companies have robbed Value Options and have taken advantage of our state by submitting false documentation, by rendering false service notes. These evaluations were made just as was the adaptation of our state motto — only part of the original statement was used.

I know that several of the caseworkers actually used “cut and paste” false notes on the work with their clients’ inpatient treatment reports, their person-centered plans and their service notes were falsified as the owner and manager needed in order to convince Value Options to “stretch out” the number of units of necessary service.

I had already applied for disability but had to wait another year for my case to be reviewed and denied again and again. Finally after having a stroke and then appearing before a judge, it was approved. I began receiving a monthly income. But, my monthly SSI income stopped the assistance from Medicaid and EBT.

Medicare begins in September of this year. I received a letter last week from Medicare offering me assistance with medicine. They also said that with my income, which is as they described as “135 percent lower than federal poverty level,” I was eligible for additional assistance from the state referring to EBT.

Despite federal approval, I was still denied by my state office. Why?

I am not submitting any type of fabricated information nor am I requesting any type of assistance unneeded or undeserved. I am simply asking of them, of our “fair state” a question that should be answered.

We hear or read quite often on the news of the good things that are happening that might bring businesses to our state. These things might provide jobs for the ones who have for a long time been in need of employment. But how often are we seeing positive news about support for the ones who can’t?

It is not my intention to simply make negative comments about what is happening. What I am doing is asking questions about the things that could be, should be and aren’t.

If we can take the time to advertise and promote the ones we vote for, why can they not take the time to actually listen to the ones who are voting?

Constant criticism is being made by our government toward people who are simply asking to be listened to. They fail to realize the truth that they, too, deserve the kind of criticism that they are getting.

Sir Walter Raleigh said: ”Whoso taketh in hand to frame any state or government ought to presuppose that all men are evil, and at occasions will show themselves so to be.” (“Maxims of State,” Chapter 26, the Cabinet Council, 1751)

I do not think that he was saying that all men were drastically “mean.” I believe that he was telling the people that they to stop trying to be so authoritative, taking from the people the things that they need without looking for a reason to confirm it. They were showing themselves to be “mean.”

Anyone who is unwilling to listen is unable to learn.

“Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt.”

“The numbers of the really so virtuous are not as great as they appear to be.”

Fred Helms is a former Richmond County resident who now lives in Knightdale.