Understanding Welfare

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So, today I was on Facebook, when I saw the following piece re-posted (or whatever you call it) on my news feed.

Written by a 21 year old female.....Make her PM

"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living"
This was written by a 21 yr old female who gets it. It's her future she's worried about and this is how she feels about the social welfare system that she's being forced to live in! These solutions are just common sense in her opinion.

Put me in charge . . ..

Put me in charge of Centrelink payments. I'd get rid of cash payments and provide vouchers for 50kg bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese, basic sanitary items and all the powdered milk you can use.
If you want steak, burgers, takeaway and junk food, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicare. The first thing I'd do is to get women to have birth control implants.
Then, we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce, use drugs, drink alcohol or smoke, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair.
Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried.
If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

Put me in charge of compulsory job search. You will either search for employment each week no matter what the job or you will report for community work.
This may be clearing the roadways and open spaces of rubbish, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you.
We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your dooff dooff stereo and speakers and put that money toward the "common good.."

Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realise that all of the above is voluntary.
If you want our hard earned cash and housing assistance, accept our rules..
Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin someones "self esteem," consider that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards those for continuing to make bad choices.

AND While you are on Centrelink income you no longer have the right to VOTE!
For you to vote would be a conflict of interest..... If you want to vote, then get a job.

Now, if you have the guts - PASS IT ON...

Now, this seems pretty bogus to me, but I'm wondering, just how much of this is bogus? And furthermore, how would someone come up with these solutions to their perceived problems? Comments and opinions, anyone?

For clarification, Centrelink is where you go for welfare money or handouts or whatever, Medicare is pretty self explanatory, a PM is a person the Australian people will attack or defend based on how much they like or dislike his opponent, and doof doof is a genre of music that only exists inside of a Subaru.

Reginald:

Now, this seems pretty bogus to me, but I'm wondering, just how much of this is bogus? And furthermore, how would someone come up with these solutions to their perceived problems? Comments and opinions, anyone?

I don't think it's bogus, seems quite genuine in that I think the person writing that is being serious. Of course, the type of person who spouts that kind of stuff likely hasn't had to lift a finger to get into whichever position they are in. Notice how it offers no actual solutions (it actually seems like it would cost a lot), it's all just a bunch of self-glorifying raving?

But on the other hand. You have giant killer spiders down there, among other things. If that doesn't kill you, some nonsensical politicking won't either, nor will "welfare queens"....

AHH.. A fine young evil dictator tyrant in the making, this the perfect example of who we need to make sure never has control over ANYTHING ever. People like this cannot see the results of their actions through their spite past the tip of their own nose.

If the end result they are going for is people turning to widespread crime and illegal means to live instead of the government, they should accomplish that easily with such a plan. If their goal is to have the poor grow in mass and turn against the wealthy and "take" what they feel is being horded by greed, and overthrow the "tyrannical government" this would be the perfect plan to accomplish that. When you corner desperate people and force them into even more desperate situations all the while flaunting the wealth of others in front of them, history has shown this never leads to good things. Of course if you wish to " keep the peasants in their place" by beating them down further, you can expect them to use any means possible to prevent that from continuing.

"Provide 50kg bags of rice, beans, basic living neccesities"
"Remove the right to vote"

What is this, the mix of horrible transitional-authoritarianism and Gilded Age Conservatism?

Yea.. No.. She's a horrible disgusting human being.

I dunno, I kind of could get behind the idea of government assistance being with held if you're using it to buy alcohol or cigarettes or any other kind of drug.

Everything else is just over the top government interventionism though.

the scariest thing about it is that by this stage many people will consider that all perfectly reasonable.

i used to think one of the most common sentiments upon learning the basic history of surrounding WW2 must often have been "but...how did the common German folk come to go along with...all that...?". i guess not.

regardless now you know.

i stand ashamed of my species.

Bentusi16:
I dunno, I kind of could get behind the idea of government assistance being with held if you're using it to buy alcohol or cigarettes or any other kind of drug.

Everything else is just over the top government interventionism though.

The problem with that though is withholding their funds doesn't treat the addiction. Rather than treating the addiction, you are cutting off everything and not treating anything. All this does is create desperate people who are going through serious chemical withdrawal and then not only are they poor and desperate, they become extremely violent and dangerous.

And the whole "Confiscate their Xbox's they received from the angel tree charities!" only punishes the charities and the children, it does nothing to improve their situation.

Bentusi16:
I dunno, I kind of could get behind the idea of government assistance being with held if you're using it to buy alcohol or cigarettes or any other kind of drug.

They tried that in the Northern Territory. It didn't work.

Drug testing is a really terrible idea, unless your wife happens to own the testing company, which they tried somewhere in the US (California?). I'm led to believe that it was a great success for that guy and his wife. The cost of drug testing and not getting everything wrong...no. More money is lost by Centrelink by incompetence than by dole bludgers/whatever.

Forcing women on birth control? Yeah...also really not a good idea. Forced sterilisation and so on has been tried in various places, by those governments we tend to treat as strawmen.

Taking away people's votes because of a conflict of interest. Taking away votes from people has been tried and...yeah, you know how that goes.

Bentusi16:
I dunno, I kind of could get behind the idea of government assistance being with held if you're using it to buy alcohol or cigarettes or any other kind of drug.

Cigarettes or alcohol? Sales tax, and you're creating business for stores. Not like you're not putting the money back in the economy.

Of course, I don't expect self-absorbed individuals like the person from the OP to understand that welfare money doesn't disappear to offshore accounts; that it actually keeps circulating.

Everything else is just over the top government interventionism though.

And I would wager a pretty penny that the person from the OP would describe themselves as "libertarian".

I can get behind the philosophy of needing to work for a living, but all the 'solutions' given are just ridiculous. As a condition of unemployment benefit you should have to go to state-mandated training, or providing service for local councils that doesn't interfere with paid jobs. Hell, you could even put the unemployed on giant hamster wheels for a few hours each day and generate some electricity, which would leave society better off than in the current system. (mostly joking in case anyone takes that seriously)

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect people to work hard to get off welfare, or to earn it, it's just most people express that opinion in a misguided way that won't solve the issue, such as taking away civil liberties.

Reginald:
So, today I was on Facebook, when I saw the following piece re-posted (or whatever you call it) on my news feed.

This looks almost exactly the same in format, topic and general wording as I've seen in at least twice in the last ten years - except it's been converted to Australia, where the other two were UK and USA. I rather suspect some lazy twat just came across a version and used it as a template, changing a few relevant details to fit Australia. On the other hand, much as I deplore the crass plagiarism, there's no reason to think whoever did it doesn't mean every word of it.

There is little of any intellectual merit to that vitriolic screed. It really serves the purpose of emotional impact. Attitudes towards people in less favoured situations are chiefly governed by sympathy and disgust, and the key tactic of left and right with respect to the unemployed is to generate feelings of sympathy or disgust respectively, and the more instinctive and deep the feeling the better.

I'd like to speculate on where these 'solutions' or the motivations for devising them actually came from. There's a fair bit about voting in the piece, and we've got an election coming up. I know the only paper in my state has frequently referred to the Greens and the Labor party as both socialists and communists, is someone scared?

If there's anyone here who shares the views of the author, I'd really appreciate being able to hear your reasoning for the belief.

I'd also like to know what sort of background you guys and gals think she might have, so we can judge her based on that.

Agema:
There is little of any intellectual merit to that vitriolic screed. It really serves the purpose of emotional impact. Attitudes towards people in less favoured situations are chiefly governed by sympathy and disgust, and the key tactic of left and right with respect to the unemployed is to generate feelings of sympathy or disgust respectively, and the more instinctive and deep the feeling the better.

Quality insight! Thank you. I know the guy who shared this thing believed the message is firm Liberal voter, and it also struck a chord with another conservative acquaintance of mine, who (oddly enough) used Government assistance to pay for her university course.

Reginald:
I'd like to speculate on where these 'solutions' or the motivations for devising them actually came from.

Motivation: vote conservative before you ruin the country (Liberal Party in Australia as I recall).

As I said above, this has minimal intellectual merit. It is not based in a sound understanding of economics, unemployment, democratic process, or any number of crucial factors that should govern policy. It is an emotive piece designed to elicit hate for the unemployed.

Bogus how?

Well in terms of being the real opinion of a 21 year old woman, a bit of googling shows that it's a chain email that's at least a few years old and was originally written by a woman in Waco. Texas.

In terms of the argument, horribly bogus for a variety of reasons.

For one, there are far more people then there are jobs. This isn't a case of people being lazy and this therefore somehow being justified. Punishing people for something that is out of their control is simply sadistic.

For two, what happens if they fail to live up to this high ideal? Will you throw someone out of their military barrack style housing if it isn't in the condition you expect? Stop giving a mother money to pay for basic essentials if it turns out she's been daring to drink alcohol or own a television? The threat is empty. You can't leave people to die. You can't imprison people for failing to meet these arbitrary standards (which would cost a lot more than welfare payments). It's empty posturing.

For three, this is seeming to push for an unequal society with a great stratification of wealth and income between the poorest and richest. There is massive evidence to show that inequality corresponds with a host of negative factors like crime, education, employment, health, etc across the entire country even for people who aren't in the lowest stratas and the evidence is large enough and strong enough that it is highly likely this link is causal rather than mere correlation.

Fourthly, this falsely assumes people on welfare are unemployed. Massive amounts of people who receive welfare of one kind or another are actually employed. Presumably for daring to need government aid to meet a barely adequate standard of living these people would have to allow the government to regulate their every waking moment just as unemployed people would.

But really I shouldn't need to list these reasons and the true point should be obvious. This is treating people inhumanly, making them live in the worst possible conditions purely for the crime of being poor even though it's due to no fault of their own. To most moral people this is simply incomprehensibly evil.

Overhead:
For one, there are far more people then there are jobs. This isn't a case of people being lazy and this therefore somehow being justified. Punishing people for something that is out of their control is simply sadistic.

Well, not really, the Australian unemployment rate is relatively low. Of course, this means that there are relatively few people on unemployment benefits.

Actually, not sure where people on unemployment benefits greatly outnumbered people who are employed, at least in the real world.

thaluikhain:

Overhead:
For one, there are far more people then there are jobs. This isn't a case of people being lazy and this therefore somehow being justified. Punishing people for something that is out of their control is simply sadistic.

Well, not really, the Australian unemployment rate is relatively low. Of course, this means that there are relatively few people on unemployment benefits.

Actually, not sure where people on unemployment benefits greatly outnumbered people who are employed, at least in the real world.

A quick google shows your unemployment rate is hovering over 5% and searching of some news articles shows there are several times more people looking for work then there are vacancies with the Northern territory doing best at 2 unemployed people for every job and Tasmania doing worse with over 10 unemployed people for every job.

Of course this doesn't factor in the dual problems of people who are unemployed but not shown on government figures as such and those who are under-employed, who have a job of some sort but are trying and failing to find a job with more hours.

But yes, as I pointed out there are plenty of people on benefits who do work.

thaluikhain:

Well, not really, the Australian unemployment rate is relatively low. Of course, this means that there are relatively few people on unemployment benefits.

But there are still more people than jobs they can fill. That's pretty much always the case (and intended to be the case because under capitalism, if everyone has a job it's bad for the economy).

Actually, not sure where people on unemployment benefits greatly outnumbered people who are employed, at least in the real world.

More strictly, the piece says more people vote than are employed, which is obviously true. At its harshest and one of the (many) reasons that rant is ill-thought out, this is equally an indictment of old-age pensioners, non-working spouses, the disabled, some students, etc.

Of course, given non-working spouses are receiving things like child benefit, OAPs have state pensions and disabled benefits, it's possible that more people could be receiving benefits whilst not working than are employed. Bearing in mind many employed people also receive benefits of some sort (such as income support), it's very plausible that more people receive benefits (of some and any sort) than are employed.

Damnit, landed here again... Those Red 'new' signs should stop tempting me to go in here... I need a rant.

I'm an idealist, when I look upon this. My hopes and dreams crack, and I start to feel so incredibly empty. Knowing that they, are what stands between a good and kind world, and the hellish shithole world. Makes, me, weep.

For these people will always be there.

Apathetic, Greedy, they are both, possible more. What a terrible shame that is.

They want me to feel disgusted by the less fortunate? I feel disgusted by them.

This post has been to every corner of the internet, and it originates from Austin Texas from an anonymous. Around 2011.

Edited for Canada/UK. Australia too. It's pretty widespread, and overall its met by disgust. Except by Commonwealth/American conservative forums (Otherwise it is not likely it would have been localized for most commonwealth countries)

And what I can take from that is these libertarians, who agree with this. Any of this. Are to me, horrifying creatures.

Hey, I've been looking for a job for a couple of years now, that little twat wants to take my ciggies away from me?

Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed? Yeah probably not, she sounds like the kind of person who always got everything handed to her.

Libertarians often are like that, at least in my own experience.
Let's take all the contacts and safety nets away from libertarians, see how well they swim in the deep end.

Compassion, generosity, ethics, tolerance, patience, wisdom... No Libertarian has any of these qualities, they only pretend.

THERE. ARE. NO. JOBS!

Ignoring the morality of the scenario, yes those ideas would work.

The question is how good would it be at putting people into work and what kind of person would come out of a system like that.

I do agree that a welfare system needs to extract some work hours from the population on welfare for both parties' sakes but the logistics of such an enterprise are terrible.

I have been on unemployment benefits for a year and a half and it was not a pleasant experience. If something went wrong you were fucked. Car broke down? Can't attend interviews or reliably travel in some cases. Clothing worn? Look shit at interviews. Food choices? Limited, get fat on junk. Finally get an interview? Been unemployed for too long, considered too rusty when compared to other applicants.

If you want people on welfare to work you can not make it cost the worker any money, they're struggling enough as is. Provide them with working clothes and transportation to the job sites. Maybe a mandatory work day for every person on welfare and give a small "bonus" should those workers meet their quota to ensure the workers will actually work and not just show up for their weekly pay cheque.

This way they're still getting SOME work exposure and not completely losing their edge.

Abomination:
Ignoring the morality of the scenario, yes those ideas would work.

Not really, the OP's post relies on the fact that people enter welfare as a "blank slate". It doesn't take into consideration the numerous situations like the current one does, like people having kids before they enter welfare.

Not at all shocking in how myopic that viewpoint is; it's shared among the far right in the US as well. I could go on and on about exactly what is illegal, but sadly, those arguments will fall on deaf ears for those who are hell-bent on insisting that those on welfare do not deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Also, who's seen Logan's Run? Because that woman's vision of the future sounds an awful lot like that...just with fewer holo-deck whores.

ShipofFools:
Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed?

Of course not. How many of these welfare-bashing fuckheads have ever found themselves out of work and dependent on the State to make it from week to week (or fortnight to fortnight for some countries)? If it's more than the number of digits that a quadruple amputee can hold up, I'd be surprised.

Her goal in life is probably to own a fish and chip shop in regional Queensland.

RhombusHatesYou:

ShipofFools:
Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed?

Of course not. How many of these welfare-bashing fuckheads have ever found themselves out of work and dependent on the State to make it from week to week (or fortnight to fortnight for some countries)? If it's more than the number of digits that a quadruple amputee can hold up, I'd be surprised.

Her goal in life is probably to own a fish and chip shop in regional Queensland.

i kind of disagree.

supposedly on average people go through 4 career changes during the course of their lives.

that includes gaps in between to some extent one would assume.

its one of the arguments against seeing "the unemployed" as a static group.

people like those exemplified in the post will go through this also.

but many tend to see themselves as having fought through such periods "off their own back" even if they had made use of the state and often their dealings with the state simply feeds into their low view of it or its functions.

they just don't expand the appreciation of circumstance or effort to those they see as "others".

in short what i'm saying is many such people go through "lack of gainful employment" but do not necessarily change their view.

when they bounce off things and they are perfectly capable of freely fashioning narratives that fit their pre-existing prejudices.

ofc i'm entitled to my tax back...

the job centre would be like an apple store of it was privatised...

perhaps they relatively quickly get a job through a friend or social contact and they wonder why can't everyone else do the same...

and so on...

and ofc their just "temporarily" out of work...not like those people.

the truth is, in relation to the wider topic, the numbers of "long term unemployed" (which in the UK is officially people out of work for 5 years or more) are always far lower then "the unemployment figures" at any given time and that can only mean one thing: most people who are unemployed enact a change in their circumstances within a timescale that is under the threshold that would see them being officially counted as "long term unemployed".

in short most of "the unemployment figures" at any given time represent a group people in state of "churn", who are actually dutifully going through the motions of trying to getting back on their feet and "the unemployed" simply aren't a static grouping of people.

its also a truth that around 5% unemployment is required for our economic system to function correctly as basically "the unemployed" are also "the labour market" (and 2% unemployment is recognised as "a labour crisis" as RhombusHatesYou noted recently) and because of that fact (and the "churn") i for one believe there is a moral/ethical obligation on a society making use of such a system to ensure that their/our (mostly temporary) hardship on their/our collective behalf does not equate with persecution and destitution.

Sleekit:

RhombusHatesYou:

ShipofFools:
Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed?

Of course not. How many of these welfare-bashing fuckheads have ever found themselves out of work and dependent on the State to make it from week to week (or fortnight to fortnight for some countries)? If it's more than the number of digits that a quadruple amputee can hold up, I'd be surprised.

Her goal in life is probably to own a fish and chip shop in regional Queensland.

i kind of disagree.

supposedly on average people go through 4 career changes during the course of their lives.

that includes gaps in between to some extent one would assume.

its one of the arguments against seeing "the unemployed" as a static group.

people like those exemplified in the post will go through this also.

but many tend to see themselves as having fought through such periods "off their own back" even if they had made use of the state and often their dealings with the state simply feeds into their low view of it or its functions.

they just don't expand the appreciation of circumstance of effort to those they see as "others".

in short what i'm saying is many such people go through "lack of gainful employment" but do not necessarily change their view.

when they bounce off things and they are perfectly capable of freely fashioning narratives that fit their pre-existing prejudices.

Gah... You'd think a psychology student would be able to spot an obvious fundamental attribution error at work without needing it pointed out.

You're spot on... I'm just showing my age and my biases. When I was a lad most of the criticism I was hearing was from Baby Boomers who still thought you could walk out of school and into a job at any time and a single lifetime career was an expectation if you didn't get bored with it and do something else.

Now those same Boomers are pissy about the Old Age Pension (OAP) being insufficient or how means testing means they're ineligible for the OAP and blah blah blah fought in the war blah blah deserve blah gimme free shit blah blah.

ShipofFools:
Hey, I've been looking for a job for a couple of years now, that little twat wants to take my ciggies away from me?

Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed? Yeah probably not, she sounds like the kind of person who always got everything handed to her.

Libertarians often are like that, at least in my own experience.
Let's take all the contacts and safety nets away from libertarians, see how well they swim in the deep end.

Compassion, generosity, ethics, tolerance, patience, wisdom... No Libertarian has any of these qualities, they only pretend.

THERE. ARE. NO. JOBS!

To go off topic, as a libertarian screw off on this one eh?

Stop telling OTHER PEOPLE WHAT THEY BELIEVE.

Yeah, so I would like to make sure people aren't abusing a system. I want that to be the same for every system. Including, say, taxation on business.

Jesus christ, you literally just said like a huge chunk of the population is moralistically and ethically bankrupt.

OT: Yeah ok, I said I wouldn't mind the drug thing, but only from a theoretical standpoint. I know it's impossible to pull off in a realistic manner. I really don't need three people telling me the same thing.

Bentusi16:

ShipofFools:
Hey, I've been looking for a job for a couple of years now, that little twat wants to take my ciggies away from me?

Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed? Yeah probably not, she sounds like the kind of person who always got everything handed to her.

Libertarians often are like that, at least in my own experience.
Let's take all the contacts and safety nets away from libertarians, see how well they swim in the deep end.

Compassion, generosity, ethics, tolerance, patience, wisdom... No Libertarian has any of these qualities, they only pretend.

THERE. ARE. NO. JOBS!

To go off topic, as a libertarian screw off on this one eh?

Stop telling OTHER PEOPLE WHAT THEY BELIEVE.

Yeah, so I would like to make sure people aren't abusing a system. I want that to be the same for every system. Including, say, taxation on business.

Jesus christ, you literally just said like a huge chunk of the population is moralistically and ethically bankrupt.

OT: Yeah ok, I said I wouldn't mind the drug thing, but only from a theoretical standpoint. I know it's impossible to pull off in a realistic manner. I really don't need three people telling me the same thing.

Just responding to what I have seen, man, just responding to what I have seen.

I don't like it when people abuse the system either, but thankfully this happens much less then popular opinion would like you to believe.
Again, just from personal experience, my believes and opinions are not set in stone.

And if Libertarians and objectivists and the lot aren't morally bankrupt, why don't you show me this to be the case instead of just denying it?
I don't tell people what they believe, believes are not important. Actions and words are what counts.
You won't change my mind by going "nuh-uh!", you know what I'm saying?

ShipofFools:

Bentusi16:

ShipofFools:
Hey, I've been looking for a job for a couple of years now, that little twat wants to take my ciggies away from me?

Does she even know how much it sucks to be unemployed? Yeah probably not, she sounds like the kind of person who always got everything handed to her.

Libertarians often are like that, at least in my own experience.
Let's take all the contacts and safety nets away from libertarians, see how well they swim in the deep end.

Compassion, generosity, ethics, tolerance, patience, wisdom... No Libertarian has any of these qualities, they only pretend.

THERE. ARE. NO. JOBS!

To go off topic, as a libertarian screw off on this one eh?

Stop telling OTHER PEOPLE WHAT THEY BELIEVE.

Yeah, so I would like to make sure people aren't abusing a system. I want that to be the same for every system. Including, say, taxation on business.

Jesus christ, you literally just said like a huge chunk of the population is moralistically and ethically bankrupt.

OT: Yeah ok, I said I wouldn't mind the drug thing, but only from a theoretical standpoint. I know it's impossible to pull off in a realistic manner. I really don't need three people telling me the same thing.

Just responding to what I have seen, man, just responding to what I have seen.

I don't like it when people abuse the system either, but thankfully this happens much less then popular opinion would like you to believe.
Again, just from personal experience, my believes and opinions are not set in stone.

And if Libertarians and objectivists and the lot aren't morally bankrupt, why don't you show me this to be the case instead of just denying it?
I don't tell people what they believe, believes are not important. Actions and words are what counts.
You won't change my mind by going "nuh-uh!", you know what I'm saying?

Well for one thing, it's impossible since I don't know you. All the traits you listed have to be exhibited in real life.

Secondly, it sounds like what you're actually arguing against is the objectivist, a philosophy that was married to libertarianism by Ayn Rand, but who said 'Any libertarian who doesn't follow these ideas isn't an objectivist", meaning that objectivism is a sub form of Libertarianism.

To me any abuse of a system is to much abuse, but there is a common sense factor of "Ok, how much abusei s actually happening and what do we need to fix it", not "there's abuse happening, let's throw the entire system out the window and try again."

To me whats far more dangerous is not abuse of this system but unnecessary reliance upon it. I live in a state that the democrats have essentially turned into a welfare state. They maintain control because they quite literally imported people from other states by offering them free housing and medical care, and in turn tell them that if they DON'T vote democrat, they're going to lose all the nice free stuff they get given. They also gerrymander the shit out of it.

Do I blame these people? Partly, for allowing themselves to fall into the trap. I mostly blame the people who are basically conning them, and the people on the other side who aren't smart enough to deal with it, and those who could make a difference allowing it to happen.

This is the insidious part of welfare states. People become reliant on the system and then one political party can go "And if you don't vote for us, they'll take away your wonderful life!" and that's a very powerful driving factor in peoples decision making.

Vegosiux:

Bentusi16:
I dunno, I kind of could get behind the idea of government assistance being with held if you're using it to buy alcohol or cigarettes or any other kind of drug.

Cigarettes or alcohol? Sales tax, and you're creating business for stores. Not like you're not putting the money back in the economy.

I think it has more to do with the common sense factor of not continuing an unneeded habit when you can't afford food.

Shadowstar38:

I think it has more to do with the common sense factor of not continuing an unneeded habit when you can't afford food.

Well in that case it should be stated that way. As it is here, it's about "lazy moochers contributing nothing to the economy", which is not true, seeing as whatever money you spend on anything is contributing to the economy, regardless of the source of that money. So even if you're crazy and spend all the welfare money on smokes and booze, you're bringing revenues somewhere, and those revenues in turn contribute to that business being able to operate and pay the people who work there.

Besides, beer is food. It's not the best choice for food, but you can draw sustenance from it, and it won't kill you any faster than most of el cheapo unhealthy food you are stuck with if you're poor.

Vegosiux:

Shadowstar38:

I think it has more to do with the common sense factor of not continuing an unneeded habit when you can't afford food.

Well in that case it should be stated that way. As it is here, it's about "lazy moochers contributing nothing to the economy", which is not true, seeing as whatever money you spend on anything is contributing to the economy, regardless of the source of that money. So even if you're crazy and spend all the welfare money on smokes and booze, you're bringing revenues somewhere, and those revenues in turn contribute to that business being able to operate and pay the people who work there.

Besides, beer is food. It's not the best choice for food, but you can draw sustenance from it, and it won't kill you any faster than most of el cheapo unhealthy food you are stuck with if you're poor.

Not many people argue that government and entitlement spending cannot contribute to the economy. The problem is that by introducing the government into the equation you produce inefficiencies. The result is that all other things being equal, government spending is not as good for the economy as private spending.

randomsix:

Not many people argue that government and entitlement spending cannot contribute to the economy. The problem is that by introducing the government into the equation you produce inefficiencies. The result is that all other things being equal, government spending is not as good for the economy as private spending.

I'm sorry but

image

I have asked this question so many times already. Why is it assumed that private anything is more efficient and "better" than government anything simply because one is private and the other is government?

Hell, I could go on and on about private sector inefficiencies just going from the place I work at.

Well these ideas are spot on in some places and are totally wrong headed if not outright illegal in others.

Put me in charge of Centrelink payments. I'd get rid of cash payments and provide vouchers for 50kg bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese, basic sanitary items and all the powdered milk you can use. If you want steak, burgers, takeaway and junk food, then get a job.

Love this idea! I would be all for the government getting rid of cash welfare payments all together and greatly restricting the items that you can purchase with food stamps. Yeah, it would suck eating surplus grade rice and beans and god awful cheese on a daily basis but living on the public dole isn't supposed to be luxurious or fun. Meanwhile in lieu of cash payouts meant to be spent on non food items and utilities I think switching that over to a voucher system that only covers the bare necessities would be great.

Put me in charge of Medicare. The first thing I'd do is to get women to have birth control implants.
Then, we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce, use drugs, drink alcohol or smoke, then get a job.

Well this part here is an area I almost completely disagree with except for the drug testing. Forcing birth control on women I am pretty sure is illegal and if these people can get others to buy them cigarettes or alcohol then hooray for them I guess. However, I'm all for drug testing those individuals who are receiving welfare/food stamps. I would add that rather than kicking them out of the system for a positive test I would instead make all future public assistance contingent on entering into a drug rehabilitation program. If they can't get their act together after that though then I would be fine with cutting them off.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair.
Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried.
If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

This is one where I think she has some good ideas but certainly some bad ones as well. The first half I'm all for. I'm even fine with limited inspections. However, I don't think we need to be inventorying people's belongings or prohibiting folks from keeping any nice things they may have acquired at a better time in their life or possibly been gifted.

Put me in charge of compulsory job search. You will either search for employment each week no matter what the job or you will report for community work. This may be clearing the roadways and open spaces of rubbish, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your dooff dooff stereo and speakers and put that money toward the "common good.."

I'm almost 100% on board with this one. In fact I think she doesn't go far enough truthfully. If you are getting public assistance and are able bodied then you should be giving back to the public. I would be all for seeing unemployed and able bodied people on welfare and/or food stamps required to perform community service of some kind or another. Maybe they pick up trash on the side of the road. Maybe they help out at various charities. Maybe they clean government offices or vehicles. There are plenty of things that they could be doing. The only place I differ is, again, we ought not be forcing people to sell their belongings.

Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realise that all of the above is voluntary.
If you want our hard earned cash and housing assistance, accept our rules..
Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin someones "self esteem," consider that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards those for continuing to make bad choices.

I see where she is coming from here. It wasn't too long ago that it was considered demeaning to be on public assistance. There used to be a much higher degree of personal pride taken in supporting one's self and one's family. Anymore though there has become less and less of a stigma that comes with being on the public dole. Working to support yourself and your family should be something people take more pride in.

AND While you are on Centrelink income you no longer have the right to VOTE! For you to vote would be a conflict of interest..... If you want to vote, then get a job.

This is one spot she's entirely off the mark. You shouldn't remove people's right to vote. I think that is going a bit over the line.

I think a lot of the problem is that right now people can live comfortably on public assistance. In some states living on public assistance is worth as much as a high paying job. In 35 states in the US welfare pays better than a minimum wage job. In 13 states it pays better than a $15/hr job and goes as high as almost $30/hr at it's highest point in Hawaii. There is basically no incentive to go out and get an entry level job when you can live a higher quality of life by simply remaining on the public dole.

If we want to fix the welfare state we are creating we need to remove cash payments all together, greatly restrict the remaining benefits, and then require something in return from those people who are able bodied. We need to put these people in a situation where they are going to work one way or another. They can either do busy work for the state and get the bare necessities in return or they can go out and look to better themselves. Meanwhile the current option of not working at all and getting a relatively comfortable free ride courtesy of the tax paying public needs to be a thing of the past.

Super Not Cosmo:
However, I'm all for drug testing those individuals who are receiving welfare/food stamps. I would add that rather than kicking them out of the system for a positive test I would instead make all future public assistance contingent on entering into a drug rehabilitation program. If they can't get their act together after that though then I would be fine with cutting them off.

Who is going to pay for this? This would be massively expensive, probably costing much more than what is lost to people abusing the system anyway. Secondly, this presents another way for Centrelink to get it wrong. They do that enough already, I'd not trust them with drug testing people and sending them of to rehab.

That is an absurdly bad idea unless the intent is to punish people for requiring welfare.

Super Not Cosmo:
I'm almost 100% on board with this one. In fact I think she doesn't go far enough truthfully. If you are getting public assistance then and are able bodied then you should be giving back to the public. I would be all for seeing unemployed and able bodied people on welfare and/or food stamps required to perform community service of some kind or another. Maybe they pick up trash on the side of the road. Maybe they help out at various charities. Maybe they clean government offices. There are plenty of things that they could be doing. The only place I differ is, again, we ought not be forcing people to sell their belongings.

That's called work for the dole. In Australia, after 6 or 12 months Centrelink will send you to an employment provider, and after 6-12 months they've go out of their way to make things as difficult as possible for you, and also make you do work for the dole.

Super Not Cosmo:
I think a lot of the problem is that right now people can live comfortably on public assistance.

Comfortably? For a given value of comfortable, perhaps.

Super Not Cosmo:
In some states living on public assistance is worth as much as a high paying job. In 35 states in the US welfare pays better than a minimum wage job. In 13 states it pays better than a $15/hr job and goes as high as almost $30/hr at it's highest point in Hawaii. There is basically no incentive to go out and get an entry level job when you can live a higher quality of life by simply remaining on the public dole.

Citation needed there. $30 an hour? A full time $30/hr job is $1200 a week. I somewhat doubt someone is getting that just on unemployment benefits.

Reginald:
So, today I was on Facebook, when I saw the following piece re-posted (or whatever you call it) on my news feed.

21? Sounds about right. No experience with life yet. She found an Ayn Rand book, read "Atlas Shrugged" and is now a libertarian until the first time she encounters some difficulty in her life and realizes we're all very much interconnected and that no man is an island unto himself.

I have hope that she will grow out of this "every man and woman for themselves" philosophy, though, and her "punish those lazy poor!" idealism.

Most people grow out of the Ayn Rand phase (the libertarian phase) sometime after they graduate, have kids, and realize how easy it would be for them to lose everything due to one bad stroke of luck, or they meet poor people that they can identify with, or they just gain some life experience.

I'll tell you this surely - you will find many, many fewer 40 year old "libertarians" and Ayn Rand devotees than you will find 21 year old "libertarians" and Ayn Rand devotees. ;) (The few old Ayn Rand people that stick around tend to have huge trust funds left over from mommy and daddy that they feel completely entitled to, without having to work for, while they make the poor feel guilty about "splurging" on a hamburger. They seem to like to enter American political life as Tea Party members. See: Rand Paul, etc.)

I'll end with this.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-politicians-will-never-understand-about-poor-people/

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