@C Eden Di Bianco@facebook I think you two may be missing the point of the article. No where in this (well) written piece do I get the impression that the author is whining about things being too difficult and that that somehow entitles her to government assistance. I think what she has written, however, is an intelligent and provocative (as shown by the number of responses) account of her own ethical dilemma related to government assistance and what it means to be poor (as well as who, in this over educated and competitive economy, gets to be considered poor). Though I understand the impulse to weigh in on the situation based on your own experiences, and those described by the author herself, I think its more important to consider this article in a much broader context than just NYC and working in "media." Getting started in a career that you have invested tens-of-thousands of dollars in is a competitive business these days, in more places than NYC. Often this requires time spent in low paying, or un-paid internships. Are we to limit these positions - that obviously provide a huge competitive advantage - to only those young people that have parents that can support them while they work for no money? Government assistance (like food stamps) can provide a safety net for those that do not come from means to participate in the competitive and low paying, entry-level internship world. Food stamps should not be seen merely as a last resort for those at a dead end, but also as a crutch for those still aspiring to the idea of upward mobility. A temporary tool to "level the playing field" with the truly entitled and privileged. Whether or not you value someone's aspirations for achievement is not the criteria for whether or not they receive this help - it's a numbers game. Feel how you like about the author's career choice and geographical location, but perhaps also use this discussion as a catalyst to consider the complicated economic situation we are in and the greater implications that things like rising student loan debt, shrinking social programs, and unpaid internships, have on the notion of "the american dream." Hopefully these programs can continue to be used as a spring board to allow debt ridden students the opportunity to one day be financially stable while pursuing what they are passionate about (and not just reserving that right as a luxury for those that already came from money to begin with).