Understanding Welfare

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thaluikhain:
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.

On unemployment alone? No, they don't get that much. However, when you factor in things like food stamps, public housing, utility payments, medicaid, and other available public assistance programs Hawaii offers a person who is taking full advantage of these programs benefits that would equal nearly $30/hr. Now Hawaii is the highest point. However, 35 of the 50 states are above minimum wage as I said and 15 of those 35 are above $15/hr.

Super Not Cosmo:
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.

See, I see this as more of a condemnation of minimum wage than of the welfare system. Quite frankly, the minimum wage in America is disgustingly low. It should not be preferable to stay on welfare over getting a job, but not because we turn welfare into a punishment. ANY job should be able to afford you the necessities of life. That should be the goal of reform, to allow people to make their way upward through their own work. Right now, that isn't the case. You cannot pay for college flipping burgers anymore. You'll never save enough money. All jobs should pay a livable wage, and until that happens it is entirely wrongheaded to blame the welfare system for people preferring not to work.

Y'all do realise that this is a chain letter/email/post thing that's been going around for at least five years that I know of, possibly longer than that. It's not like it's anything new.

Aris Khandr:

Super Not Cosmo:
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.

See, I see this as more of a condemnation of minimum wage than of the welfare system. Quite frankly, the minimum wage in America is disgustingly low. It should not be preferable to stay on welfare over getting a job, but not because we turn welfare into a punishment. ANY job should be able to afford you the necessities of life. That should be the goal of reform, to allow people to make their way upward through their own work. Right now, that isn't the case. You cannot pay for college flipping burgers anymore. You'll never save enough money. All jobs should pay a livable wage, and until that happens it is entirely wrongheaded to blame the welfare system for people preferring not to work.

I'd argue that what qualifies as a livable wage is misunderstood by some people. A "livable" wage is just that, livable. Meaning you can afford to keep a roof over your head and eat. That doesn't mean you have a cell phone, or you have money for a car or a television or whatever. It might mean you have to share a house with people. It might mean you have to rent a room in a shitty apartment building. You can indeed live on, not comfortably mind, a 40 hour a week job paying minimum wage. Money for things like cell phones, televisions, internet, junk food, cigarettes, and so forth are all luxuries and are things that someone making minimum wage shouldn't expect to be able to afford.

Furthermore, I would argue that if we raise the minimum wage and people flipping burgers are now making upwards of 12-15 per hour are we simply supposed to raise all wages by the same amount? Is the guy that's making 10 bucks an hour spraying for bugs getting boosted up to 17? Or do we just raise the lowest wages and remove the incentive to do harder jobs, like factory work. Because why should I take a 12/hr job in a 100 degree factory when I can make just as much asking people if they want fries? None of this speaks to the problems you will encounter with all these companies that employ these minimum wage workers raising their prices to accommodate for the increased wages they are now paying. Nor does it address that minimum wage jobs are not meant to be careers or even long term jobs.

Simply giving people more, or more accurately forcing businesses to do so isn't the answer. What you call a punishment people like myself see as incentive. We aren't wanting to kick these people on the street. Instead we are just wanting to make sure that they won't be getting a better quality of life than they would get by going out and earning it rather than living off the hard work of those that do pay their own way.

Super Not Cosmo:
I'd argue that what qualifies as a livable wage is misunderstood by some people. A "livable" wage is just that, livable. Meaning you can afford to keep a roof over your head and eat. That doesn't mean you have a cell phone, or you have money for a car or a television or whatever.

That's enough money to survive on, certainly, but the assumption is that life is about more than survival. Can't afford a phone? Can't take job interview calls. Can't afford a car? Vastly reduce your employment opportunities. Can't afford a PC and internet access? Cut off from enormous amounts of online job advertising.

Super Not Cosmo:
It might mean you have to share a house with people. It might mean you have to rent a room in a shitty apartment building. You can indeed live on, not comfortably mind, a 40 hour a week job paying minimum wage. Money for things like cell phones, televisions, internet, junk food, cigarettes, and so forth are all luxuries and are things that someone making minimum wage shouldn't expect to be able to afford.

On that one, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm of the opinion that a 40-hour week on minimum wage should afford a basic standard of living, which is more than just having a place to sleep and the cheapest possible food to eat. You're working 40 hours? Fucking right you deserve some luxuries.

Super Not Cosmo:
Simply giving people more, or more accurately forcing businesses to do so isn't the answer. What you call a punishment people like myself see as incentive. We aren't wanting to kick these people on the street. Instead we are just wanting to make sure that they won't be getting a better quality of life than they would get by going out and earning it rather than living off the hard work of those that do pay their own way.

I dunno how it works where you are, but here in the UK Jobseeker's Allowance is a pittance; it's survival money, not living money. A friend of mine has been stuck on it for ages, despite wanting to work, because minimum wages are low enough and under-employment is such a huge issue that every job he finds is going to make him less than unemployment benefits will. Add in the travel cost, as he can't afford a car, and he'll be losing a huge chunk of money every month compared to where he is now.

It's rarely, if ever, so simple as "poverty will act as incentive to work"

SonicWaffle:
That's enough money to survive on, certainly, but the assumption is that life is about more than survival. Can't afford a phone? Can't take job interview calls. Can't afford a car? Vastly reduce your employment opportunities. Can't afford a PC and internet access? Cut off from enormous amounts of online job advertising.

While I admit all three of these things make it easier to find employment they certainly aren't required by any stretch. Even if they were most people have access to a number where messages can be left for them and most public libraries have free internet access. If need be you may end up having to walk to put in applications and check back in person. The lack of internet, a phone and a car hardly makes it impossible to find a job.

SonicWaffle:
I dunno how it works where you are, but here in the UK Jobseeker's Allowance is a pittance; it's survival money, not living money. A friend of mine has been stuck on it for ages, despite wanting to work, because minimum wages are low enough and under-employment is such a huge issue that every job he finds is going to make him less than unemployment benefits will. Add in the travel cost, as he can't afford a car, and he'll be losing a huge chunk of money every month compared to where he is now.

It's rarely, if ever, so simple as "poverty will act as incentive to work"

So let's say that your friend was cut off from his benefits tomorrow. Would he take one of those jobs he's turned down then? I bet he would. He would likely have to. Or I suppose if could find a relative or friend to move in with but my point still stands. Beyond that though even most minimum wage jobs offer avenues of advancement. Anyone that can figure out how to go an entire shift without shitting themselves can likely make it to management in the fast food industry. Sure, you might have to start at minimum wage but eventually it goes up. How quickly is a matter of some variance but it does go up eventually. Bite the bullet, take a bad job, do it well, show some initiative, and that alone will probably put most people above their fellow co workers in the fast food world and in place for a promotion. So it could be that your friend may well be turning down jobs that could very well have him making more money within a year or likely less.

Super Not Cosmo:
I'd argue that what qualifies as a livable wage is misunderstood by some people. A "livable" wage is just that, livable. Meaning you can afford to keep a roof over your head and eat. That doesn't mean you have a cell phone, or you have money for a car or a television or whatever. It might mean you have to share a house with people. It might mean you have to rent a room in a shitty apartment building. You can indeed live on, not comfortably mind, a 40 hour a week job paying minimum wage. Money for things like cell phones, televisions, internet, junk food, cigarettes, and so forth are all luxuries and are things that someone making minimum wage shouldn't expect to be able to afford.

Where do you find a 40 hour a week job that pays minimum wage? I have legitimately never seen one. Because anyone working "full time", even at minimum, is entitled to benefits. Which means that rather than have one person work 40 hours, the company hires two people for 20 hours each and doesn't have to pay anything on top of that.

So now, to barely scrape by in life, you need to find two jobs and hope they'll schedule around each other. And, really, good luck finding a job anywhere these days without the internet? I went job hunting over the summer. Put in about fifty applications. ONE of which was in person. The rest? "Apply online". An internet connection is pretty much mandatory for life in 2013.

None of this speaks to the problems you will encounter with all these companies that employ these minimum wage workers raising their prices to accommodate for the increased wages they are now paying. Nor does it address that minimum wage jobs are not meant to be careers or even long term jobs.

If these are not meant to be careers or long term jobs, then they need to allow a way to advance out of them. Which means going to school to train for a real career. So, again, that means that these jobs need to pay enough that you can live AND save for schooling.

Simply giving people more, or more accurately forcing businesses to do so isn't the answer. What you call a punishment people like myself see as incentive. We aren't wanting to kick these people on the street. Instead we are just wanting to make sure that they won't be getting a better quality of life than they would get by going out and earning it rather than living off the hard work of those that do pay their own way.

"We aren't wanting to kick these people on the street", we just want them to either be homeless or cram themselves into an apartment like sardines, because welfare/minimum wage means only the barest of bare necessities. Frankly, I'm less concerned about the quality of life of those on welfare, and much more concerned with the quality of life of those who do want to work, and are getting screwed because of it. The US is disturbingly behind in pretty much every measure when it comes to working. Longest work week, fewest days off, shortest maternity leave, to say nothing of "at will" employment which means that the employer can fire you at any time for almost any reason. If working is seen as worthwhile, fewer people will rest on welfare. But it is so much easier to squeeze them than it is to improve life for everyone, isn't it?

Super Not Cosmo:

While I admit all three of these things make it easier to find employment they certainly aren't required by any stretch. Even if they were most people have access to a number where messages can be left for them and most public libraries have free internet access. If need be you may end up having to walk to put in applications and check back in person. The lack of internet, a phone and a car hardly makes it impossible to find a job.

I'm sorry, but you're saying it's okay to make it as hard to find jobs as it goes, as long as it's not provably impossible?

SonicWaffle:

So let's say that your friend was cut off from his benefits tomorrow. Would he take one of those jobs he's turned down then? I bet he would. He would likely have to.

Let me make this perfectly clear.

IF IT COSTS YOU MORE TO WORK THAN IT COSTS YOU TO BE UNEMPLOYED, THEN THE ECONOMY IS DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

Beyond that though even most minimum wage jobs offer avenues of advancement. Anyone that can figure out how to go an entire shift without shitting themselves can likely make it to management in the fast food industry.

I'm sorry but hat the actual fuck? Since when is "making it to management" a measure of success and quality of your job? What if I prefer to be personally involved with the actual work that's being done? I mean, yeah it sounds crazy, I mean, as a rational person I should strive to be paid as much as possible to work as little as possible, but seriously!?

Sure, you might have to start at minimum wage but eventually it goes up. How quickly is a matter of some variance but it does go up eventually. Bite the bullet take a bad job do it well and show some initiative and that alone will probably put most people above their fellow co workers and in place for a promotion. So it could be that your friend may well be turning down jobs that could very well have him making more money within a year or likely less.

Again this "taking a minimum wage job so that you have a chance to be in a management position one day" is complete and utter bull. People should not be punished for being better at the more hands-on tasks than they are at management tasks.

There's a guy at the place I work at, the best technician we have. If he quit, we'd have a large crisis on our hands. Doesn't he deserve to be compensated fairly for that despite being in a position where he does the wetwork? I mean, seriously, promoting him to management and hiring a scrub to replace him would actively harm the company. So why not give him a proper salary and keep him where he is, instead of coaxing him with management position promises if he works hard? What the hell is it with this belief that anything outside management is zero-skill work anyone can do?

Aris Khandr:
-snip-

When people think of god awful minimum wage jobs they almost immediately think fast food. Now you say that these jobs should offer some advancement. I got news for you, there is a shit ton of advancement opportunities in fast food if you are the least bit motivated. In most fast food jobs if you show a little initiative and pride in your work and show up on time every day and stand out from the other employees who treat it like some undiscovered circle of hell then eventually you will advance to full time and most likely management in a very small amount of time.

Now it may well mean that the first handful of months will be incredibly unpleasant and it may mean that for a while you could do better by suckling at the government tit. Eventually though, if you prove yourself to be better than the rest of the minimum wage workers they will very likely promote you.

Now I will say this fast food management sucks. The hours are bad, the pay is certainly nothing to write home about and most of the time you will feel more like a baby sitter than a manager but it's something. If nothing else it's actual management experience that you can parlay to better things down the road if you stick it out.

Vegosiux:
snip

I think you misunderstand me. In the fast food industry managers are incredibly hands on. They do everything. They clean, they make food, they handle the money, they take orders, they are trained on every station. Even the store manager usually isn't afforded the luxury of being exempt from work. Very few fast food managers are able to just sit in an office and ponder fuzzy things they pull from their navel. And the ones that do don't keep their jobs long.

Super Not Cosmo:

I think you misunderstand me. In the fast food industry managers are incredibly hands on. They do everything. They clean, they make food, they handle the money, they take orders, they are trained on every station. Even the store manager usually isn't afforded the luxury of being exempt from work. Very few fast food managers are able to just sit in an office and ponder fuzzy things they pull from their navel. And the ones that do don't keep their jobs long.

Oh yeah, I forgot, "fast food industry" is the only place with minimum wages and stuff.

I'm sorry, I don't mean this as an offense, but I really think you know a whole lot less about the job market and work process than you think you do. I'd wager there are a load of minimum wage jobs that you won't ever know they even exist. (I'm sure there are some I don't know about)

Do you have a TV? When you turn it on, you expect whatever's in the schedule to be playing, right? Have any idea how much work, manpower and equipment it takes to have one TV channel operating properly? I do. And the pay is nothing to write home about, despite the fact that you can't just hire a random bum from the street to do the same tasks.

Vegosiux:

Super Not Cosmo:

I think you misunderstand me. In the fast food industry managers are incredibly hands on. They do everything. They clean, they make food, they handle the money, they take orders, they are trained on every station. Even the store manager usually isn't afforded the luxury of being exempt from work. Very few fast food managers are able to just sit in an office and ponder fuzzy things they pull from their navel. And the ones that do don't keep their jobs long.

Oh yeah, I forgot, "fast food industry" is the only place with minimum wages and stuff.

I'm sorry, I don't mean this as an offense, but I really think you know a whole lot less about the job market and work process than you think you do.

Do you have a TV? When you turn it on, you expect whatever's in the schedule to be playing, right? Have any idea how much work, manpower and equipment it takes to have one TV channel operating properly? I do. And the pay is nothing to write home about, despite the fact that you can't just hire a random bum from the street to do the same tasks.

And what exactly is your point? Are you trying to bemoan the fact you work in television and are unhappy with your pay? If so then . . . uhhh well I guess well I'm sorry to hear about your displeasure in your current line of work and wish you the best in your future endeavors? Or are you trying to say that there are more industries that fast food that have shitty pay? Now if that's your point then I will concur that there are a lot of industries where there are shitty paying jobs. Most of them though have avenues of advancement and last I checked we weren't forcing anyone to work anywhere against their will. I was simply using fast food as my example because it's what most people think about when they think of low paying dead end jobs. Even though fast food jobs are oddly enough anything but "dead end jobs".

Super Not Cosmo:

And what exactly is your point? Are you trying to bemoan the fact you work in television and are unhappy with your pay? If so then . . . uhhh well I guess well I'm sorry to hear about your displeasure in your current line of work and wish you the best in your future endeavors?

Cute. But I'm going to overlook the jab this time around.

Or are you trying to say that there are more industries that fast food that have shitty pay? Now if that's your point then I will concur that there are a lot of industries where there are shitty paying jobs. Most of them though have avenues of advancement and last I checked we weren't forcing anyone to work anywhere against their will.

I've already addressed the kind of "advancement" you're talking about and why it's hogwash. I could start why motivation based on a potential future improvement is a bad way to motivate people, but, frankly, I do not have time for that right now since I have somewhere to be 10 minutes from now.

I was simply using fast food as my example because it's what most people think about when they think of low paying dead end jobs. Even though fast food jobs are oddly enough anything but "dead end jobs".

Citation needed that most people think about it and citation needed that it's an adequate example to cover the general gist of it.

Vegosiux:
I've already addressed the kind of "advancement" you're talking about and why it's hogwash. I could start why motivation based on a potential future improvement is a bad way to motivate people, but, frankly, I do not have time for that right now since I have somewhere to be 10 minutes from now.

So how would you prefer to motivate them? Should we just start scooping up dropouts throwing a four figure designer suit on them shove them in a corner office and tell them to let us know when they have the fourth quarter earnings projections ready to present to the stock holders?

Vegosiux:
Citation needed that most people think about it and citation needed that it's an adequate example to cover the general gist of it.

Citation needed that I actually need citation that most people think of fast food when they think of dead end jobs (That just blew your mind, didn't it?) . . . . I kid I kid . . . but seriously I'm going to need that citation on my desk by lunch.

Super Not Cosmo:
When people think of god awful minimum wage jobs they almost immediately think fast food. Now you say that these jobs should offer some advancement. I got news for you, there is a shit ton of advancement opportunities in fast food if you are the least bit motivated. In most fast food jobs if you show a little initiative and pride in your work and show up on time every day and stand out from the other employees who treat it like some undiscovered circle of hell then eventually you will advance to full time and most likely management in a very small amount of time.

I worked a retail job for three years. When I quit, they had to hire three people to replace the workload I carried during part time work. At no point was I even considered for a promotion to management, because there were no management positions open. Moving upward requires there to be vacancy. They don't just say "You work hard, you're a manager now." If the managers stay put, you stay put.

Now, with that said, I never said that the jobs "should offer some advancement". I said that they should pay well enough for anyone holding them TO AFFORD TO SAVE FOR SCHOOL SO THEY CAN ADVANCE THEMSELVES. See the difference? If you're poor and want to become a doctor, or a teacher, you may as well give up your dream now, because you'll never get there. You simply cannot work enough at a minimum wage job to afford to go after that dream. And the US is in desperate need of more doctors and more teachers. So by confining people to be unable to afford to educate themselves, you actually hurt the entire country.

Aris Khandr:

Super Not Cosmo:
When people think of god awful minimum wage jobs they almost immediately think fast food. Now you say that these jobs should offer some advancement. I got news for you, there is a shit ton of advancement opportunities in fast food if you are the least bit motivated. In most fast food jobs if you show a little initiative and pride in your work and show up on time every day and stand out from the other employees who treat it like some undiscovered circle of hell then eventually you will advance to full time and most likely management in a very small amount of time.

I worked a retail job for three years. When I quit, they had to hire three people to replace the workload I carried during part time work. At no point was I even considered for a promotion to management, because there were no management positions open. Moving upward requires there to be vacancy. They don't just say "You work hard, you're a manager now." If the managers stay put, you stay put.

Now, with that said, I never said that the jobs "should offer some advancement". I said that they should pay well enough for anyone holding them TO AFFORD TO SAVE FOR SCHOOL SO THEY CAN ADVANCE THEMSELVES. See the difference? If you're poor and want to become a doctor, or a teacher, you may as well give up your dream now, because you'll never get there. You simply cannot work enough at a minimum wage job to afford to go after that dream. And the US is in desperate need of more doctors and more teachers. So by confining people to be unable to afford to educate themselves, you actually hurt the entire country.

So McDonalds should pay the people hocking Big Macs enough to go to medical school? Yeah, I just don't see that happening nor do I think it's realistically something we should expect from these companies. The burden does not lie on places like McDonalds and other such companies to finance the up-til-then poor life choices of their workers. If you want to be a doctor study hard in school, get good grades, and go be a doctor. However, don't expect private companies and individuals to a salary that's above and beyond what the work you are doing is worth so you can go peruse your chosen career path. The cold hard reality is simply that it's not McDonald's fault that a given person didn't perform well enough in high school to get a scholarship to study in their chosen field. McDonalds is in the business of selling shitty food at a low price not paying people crazy amounts of money to do menial work.

Reginald:
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.

Is this prison? The only thing I agree on is searching for a job once every week. It's not hard to take 3-4 hours of your day to do that if your unemployed.

Super Not Cosmo:
-Snip-

I snipped your post were you basically agree with this. Not in everything, but in enough. I'll give you my mums situation, one that's covered by the current system, to see how you would handle it due to the fact you agree with a lot of the OP:

Mum got married at 26 and had 3 kids. Dad bought a sports car, crashed it, and it wasn't insured so he had to leave the navy to get the payment for it. This left them homeless, due to the no longer having the navy housing, so she moved back to live with her mum and dad in the UK. Dad decided that he'd stay in the US, disappear, and never contact or pay for his kids ever again.

So at age 34 she was left jobless, homeless, and with 3 kids aged 7, 4, and a few months, who weren't being supported by the father. To complicate matter even further she realised that she wouldn't be able to support 3 kids alone unless she went back to university and studied for a better job. She did this through the Open University (a stay at home uni), but her degree was going to take her 6 years to get.

So, if you were in charge of welfare, what would you do given this situation? She's going to be jobless for at least 6 years, and she has 3 kids to support. To boot she doesn't even smoke, do drugs, and only lightly drank about 4 times a year on certain occasions.

Even though this situation sounds obscure it's basically just a single parent entering welfare who wants to study for a better life.

the reason we have welfare, is to prevent criminality.
i dont do crime, because i live in a nice house, with nice stuff it in. wouldnt want to lose it by going to prison.
you know what else? i wont join a revolution because i would lose my nice stuff as well.

give people bread and games, and they will not riot. give them an ilusion of power, or maybe even freedom, and they will be content.

everything seems easy when you ignore things that happen after more than 3 steps from now on.

im all for food packs for the poor (and limited) money, but i know it most likely wouldnt work. it seems to me the same like shelters for homeless who forbid alcohol, but still decide to allow it in the winter, less the alcoholics would die.
if someone is addicted to drugs, they would just sell the packs for lower price.

also, im 21 as well. at this age, you know jack shit. let me guess, middle or higher class parents, attended at least reasonable school, got paid by their parents right into their late teens. am i close enough?

The Gnome King:

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/

It's not libertarianism, it's objectivism god dammit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

"In the 1950s, Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand developed a philosophical system called Objectivism expressed her ideas in her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as in other works which influenced many libertarians.[139] However, she rejected the label "libertarian" and denounced non-Objectivist libertarians."

Schools of thought of Libertarianism, according to Wikipedia:

Agorism
Anarchism
Anarchist communism
Autarchism
Christian libertarianism
Consequentialist libertarianism
Free-market anarchism
Fusionism
Geolibertarianism
Green libertarianism
Individualist anarchism
Left-libertarianism
Libertarian Marxism
Libertarian socialism
Minarchism
Mutualism
Natural-rights libertarianism
Paleolibertarianism
Panarchism
Right-libertarianism
Social anarchism
Voluntaryism

I am a libertarian who HATES AYN RAND AND OBJECTIVISM. Fuuuuck.

Super Not Cosmo:

thaluikhain:
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.

On unemployment alone? No, they don't get that much. However, when you factor in things like food stamps, public housing, utility payments, medicaid, and other available public assistance programs Hawaii offers a person who is taking full advantage of these programs benefits that would equal nearly $30/hr. Now Hawaii is the highest point. However, 35 of the 50 states are above minimum wage as I said and 15 of those 35 are above $15/hr.

Of course many people earning minimum wage are also sometimes entitled to some of these benefits. But you left that part out because it screws with your argument.

Super Not Cosmo:

So how would you prefer to motivate them?

Compensating them fairly for the work they actually do, establishing a positive atmosphere, and letting people know that their contribution matters, that they're part of a team. That's a bit hard to explain to someone whose stance is that the "reward" for loyalty and hard work is a management position sometime down the line and all the work and effort put in up to that point is just some kind of a "rite of passage" before you're entitled to the fruits of your own labor.

I'll fall back to my personal work experience. My main motivation for putting everything I have into it is simply this: If it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well. Not because I have to, as stressful as my job gets at times (and these days it's downright horrid because of a couple of huge projects, I tell you, and I sure do want to foreclose on some people's faces now and then), but because I can't leave work with a clear conscience if I haven't done everything I could to make sure what leaves my hands is actually good, not merely good enough. And I don't want a management position. I enjoy what I'm doing way too much to replace it with delegating. I like fiddling with the equipment, I like fiddling with videos. I'm in my element when I'm at it. I work hard because of what I'm doing right now, not because I'm looking up the corporate ladder with awe and envy. Why should my corporate ladder rank be the defining factor of my social ladder rank, so to say?

This logic that "work hard now so that in half a decade you start earning more money while shaking off the stigma of the lowest corporate ladder rank" is just infuriatingly perverted to me. Specially since different position take entirely different skills. There's also the entire Peter Principle thing. The fact that management positions are made out to be something anyone who's "serious" about their career should covet, and anything below that is just the drudgery one has to endure before they're considered "worthy" of that prize is just beyond retarded. And it fosters the frame of mind that actual, hands-on labor is worth less than that (if not actually worthless).

Should we just start scooping up dropouts throwing a four figure designer suit on them shove them in a corner office and tell them to let us know when they have the fourth quarter earnings projections ready to present to the stock holders?

Oh for...

Bentusi16:

I am a libertarian who HATES AYN RAND AND OBJECTIVISM. Fuuuuck.

OK. Most libertarians I know are quite fine with Ayn Rand objectivism and indeed consider her one of their idols. I must admit you're one of the first libertarians I've met who says they "hate" Ayn Rand objectivism.

Out of curiosity, specifically which parts of objectivism do you reject and what does your "libertarian" philosophy look like, then?

The Gnome King:

Bentusi16:

I am a libertarian who HATES AYN RAND AND OBJECTIVISM. Fuuuuck.

OK. Most libertarians I know are quite fine with Ayn Rand objectivism and indeed consider her one of their idols. I must admit you're one of the first libertarians I've met who says they "hate" Ayn Rand objectivism.

Out of curiosity, specifically which parts of objectivism do you reject and what does your "libertarian" philosophy look like, then?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

This most agrees with my own views.

I consider objectivsm as many people spout it to be morally bankrupt and short sighted and based on utopian idealism, and I have a serious hate-boner for any argument brought forth from utopian idealism.

Super Not Cosmo:
So McDonalds should pay the people hocking Big Macs enough to go to medical school? Yeah, I just don't see that happening nor do I think it's realistically something we should expect from these companies. The burden does not lie on places like McDonalds and other such companies to finance the up-til-then poor life choices of their workers. If you want to be a doctor study hard in school, get good grades, and go be a doctor. However, don't expect private companies and individuals to a salary that's above and beyond what the work you are doing is worth so you can go peruse your chosen career path. The cold hard reality is simply that it's not McDonald's fault that a given person didn't perform well enough in high school to get a scholarship to study in their chosen field. McDonalds is in the business of selling shitty food at a low price not paying people crazy amounts of money to do menial work.

No, McDonald's should pay enough that someone can live on their wages and afford to go to a community college for an Associate's/Bachelor's degree, that they can then use to find a better paying job and continue their advancement. However, your idea that a minimum wage job shouldn't even pay enough to afford a cel phone, much less any sort of saving for personal enrichment, still flies in the face of what, in every other nation, is common freaking sense. There's a reason that the US ranks among the lowest in first world nations on social mobility, and it has a lot to do with the low minimum wage and high cost of tuition, both very big factors in keeping people poor in perpetuity.

Bentusi16:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

This most agrees with my own views.

I consider objectivsm as many people spout it to be morally bankrupt and short sighted and based on utopian idealism, and I have a serious hate-boner for any argument brought forth from utopian idealism.

The main problem(s) I have with classical liberalism:

"Core beliefs of classical liberals included new ideas-which departed from both the older conservative idea of society as a family and from later sociological concept of society as complex set of social networks-that individuals were "egoistic, coldly calculating, essentially inert and atomistic" and that society was no more than the sum of its individual members.

These beliefs were complemented by a belief that "labour", i.e. individuals without capital, can only be motivated by fear of hunger and by a reward, while "men of higher rank" can be motivated by ambition, as well."

My own views:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism

And why:

"It was not until emergence of social liberalism that child labour was forbidden, minimum standards of worker safety were introduced, a minimum wage and old age pensions were established, and financial institutions regulations with the goal of fighting cyclic depressions, monopolies, and cartels, were introduced."

The Gnome King:

Bentusi16:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

This most agrees with my own views.

I consider objectivsm as many people spout it to be morally bankrupt and short sighted and based on utopian idealism, and I have a serious hate-boner for any argument brought forth from utopian idealism.

The main problem(s) I have with classical liberalism:

"Core beliefs of classical liberals included new ideas-which departed from both the older conservative idea of society as a family and from later sociological concept of society as complex set of social networks-that individuals were "egoistic, coldly calculating, essentially inert and atomistic" and that society was no more than the sum of its individual members.

These beliefs were complemented by a belief that "labour", i.e. individuals without capital, can only be motivated by fear of hunger and by a reward, while "men of higher rank" can be motivated by ambition, as well."

My own views:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism

And why:

"It was not until emergence of social liberalism that child labour was forbidden, minimum standards of worker safety were introduced, a minimum wage and old age pensions were established, and financial institutions regulations with the goal of fighting cyclic depressions, monopolies, and cartels, were introduced."

Obviously I don't follow it in a strict literal interpretation, it's a philosophy from a hundred thirty years ago.

But either way, calling objectivist libertarians is like someone calling you a communist becausey our left of center.

Pluvia:
I snipped your post were you basically agree with this. Not in everything, but in enough. I'll give you my mums situation, one that's covered by the current system, to see how you would handle it due to the fact you agree with a lot of the OP:

Mum got married at 26 and had 3 kids. Dad bought a sports car, crashed it, and it wasn't insured so he had to leave the navy to get the payment for it. This left them homeless, due to the no longer having the navy housing, so she moved back to live with her mum and dad in the UK. Dad decided that he'd stay in the US, disappear, and never contact or pay for his kids ever again.

So at age 34 she was left jobless, homeless, and with 3 kids aged 7, 4, and a few months, who weren't being supported by the father. To complicate matter even further she realised that she wouldn't be able to support 3 kids alone unless she went back to university and studied for a better job. She did this through the Open University (a stay at home uni), but her degree was going to take her 6 years to get.

So, if you were in charge of welfare, what would you do given this situation? She's going to be jobless for at least 6 years, and she has 3 kids to support. To boot she doesn't even smoke, do drugs, and only lightly drank about 4 times a year on certain occasions.

Even though this situation sounds obscure it's basically just a single parent entering welfare who wants to study for a better life.

The biggest problem I'd likely have with this scenario is the length of time. To be unemployed and on government assistance for six years seems a bit much to me. The one area the OP didn't bring up that I do support is a time limit for certain services. That's not to say we should cut people off all together but I would like to more heavily incentivize getting off of assistance once a person has been on it for a certain length of time. How long? Hard to say.

Beyond that it seems to me that six years to get a degree is a bit much as well. Ok, if you want to better yourself get a two year degree on the tax payers' dime then, I can assure you that with the right two year degree you can make a tidy living for one's self that would be more than enough to support a single mother with three children. Then, if you still want that six year degree, do it on your own dime.

None of this is to say I don't think this was a good thing. More education is always a good thing even though today's society grossly over values a college education and there are more and more degrees by the day that aren't worth the paper they are printed on but that's for another thread and another time. My only real problem is the length of time. Six years is really pushing it in my opinion. If this story ended with a two year degree, even if it took say three years to get, I wouldn't have any real problems at all.

Super Not Cosmo:
The biggest problem I'd likely have with this scenario is the length of time. To be unemployed and on government assistance for six years seems a bit much to me. The one area the OP didn't bring up that I do support is a time limit for certain services. That's not to say we should cut people off all together but I would like to more heavily incentivize getting off of assistance once a person has been on it for a certain length of time. How long? Hard to say.

Beyond that it seems to me that six years to get a degree is a bit much as well. Ok, if you want to better yourself get a two year degree on the tax payers' dime then, I can assure you that with the right two year degree you can make a tidy living for one's self that would be more than enough to support a single mother with three children. Then, if you still want that six year degree, do it on your own dime.

None of this is to say I don't think this was a good thing. More education is always a good thing even though today's society grossly over values a college education and there are more and more degrees by the day that aren't worth the paper they are printed on but that's for another thread and another time. My only real problem is the length of time. Six years is really pushing it in my opinion. If this story ended with a two year degree, even if it took say three years to get, I wouldn't have any real problems at all.

So basically a time limit on education to support yourself and such poverty that only basic food, not even meat, is provided for the 3 kids? Effectively a punishment for being born and for looking after your 3 kids?

As an aside, should we also force drug tests on people in high ranking government jobs? They could do a lot more damage than a random unemployed person. Suppose Obama and co get really high and try to give the country to Mexico?

What about high ranking people in private industries? If the wrong people got high, there could be another GFC.

thaluikhain:
As an aside, should we also force drug tests on people in high ranking government jobs? They could do a lot more damage than a random unemployed person. Suppose Obama and co get really high and try to give the country to Mexico?

What about high ranking people in private industries? If the wrong people got high, there could be another GFC.

I imagine High people in the U.S banking sector was what ended up funding Hitlers war machine.

Heh.. I invoked a law.

Let Government run rampant and they spend lots of money on poor people! Let rich people run rampant and they fund nazi world domination schemes!

Pluvia:
So basically a time limit on education to support yourself and such poverty that only basic food, not even meat, is provided for the 3 kids? Effectively a punishment for being born and for looking after your 3 kids?

While the intentions of the given scenario are certainly noble I would still argue six years is too long for an able bodied person to willingly stay on government assistance. I mean if the government was willing to put myself and my wife up for six years I'd come out on the other side of it with my masters and in my wife's case her doctorate (as she already has her masters) and she'd have two years left over.

Again, don't get me wrong, I think it's great people on public assistance are looking to get some education and better themselves. That being said there are ways to better yourself and provide a comfortable living for your family that take a LOT less than six years. In the US you can become a registered nurse in two years and those jobs start out at incredibly generous salaries and are usually in fairly high demand to boot. If you are more technically minded you could spend a third of that time foregoing traditional college completely and focus on getting various certifications instead. Depending on what you get certified in those jobs have high demand and a high rate of pay as well. Or barring either of those thing you can also get a plain old Associate's Degree in many other wide ranging fields of study.

Now maybe the field of study she wanted to take absolutely required six years I don't know. What I do know is that we simply don't get what we want all the time. Sometimes we have to make compromises. An unemployed worker with no post high school education can better themselves in far less than six years. Would it be nice to have six years to sit around and study? Absolutely, but the government shouldn't be in the business of putting people up and supporting them while they go off for six years to study.

The fact that you refer to how I would handle public assistance as punishment says a lot. Public assistance is supposed to be something that keeps people from being homeless and starving. I don't care how meager the existence may be I wouldn't consider it a punishment when someone or some organization steps in and keeps me from living on the streets and starving. Being given free food when you would otherwise have none isn't a punishment. Being given a free place to live when you would otherwise be homeless isn't a punishment. If the people who are on these programs feel so strongly that they are being punished they are free to give them up at any time. I'm sure there are people in various third world hell holes who would line up and fight to the death for what you refer to as a punishment.

The cold hard reality is that the tax paying public typically are not the people responsible for the bad places people end up in their lives. With that in mind the tax paying public owes these people nothing. Whatever they get does nothing but help them. To think that the tax paying public owes any single able bodied person six years of support free and clear, regardless of the reason, seems absurd to me.

Wrapping this up I will just say that for every single mother with three kids who is willing to take public assistance for six years so they can better their lot in life and provide a better life for their family there is another single mother with three kids who is busting her ass working multiple jobs for god knows how many hours a week because her pride won't let her take public assistance. And guess what? That mother doesn't get to sit at home for six years and get her degree. No, she gets to work like a slave to not only support herself and her three children but also support in part the single mother who is studying on the government's dime for six years and her three children as well.

Super Not Cosmo:
The cold hard reality is that the tax paying public typically are not the people responsible for the bad places people end up in their lives. With that in mind the tax paying public owes these people nothing. Whatever they get does nothing but help them. To think that the tax paying public owes any one single person six years of support free and clear, regardless of the reason, seems absurd to me.

The cold hard reality is the system cannot exist without them doing so and there is no hard dividing lines between the differentiations you are choosing to make between certain groups of people. statistically and over the long term "the tax paying public" ARE "the unemployed".

as i laid out before in the thread those temporarily "at the bottom of the heap" within a our Capitalist systems must exist for all others within it to thrive.

approx 5% "unemployment" (aka "fluidity in the labour market") is required for our societys chosen economic system to function properly.

they must exist en mass, out of work, and in relative poverty so that the rest of us might thrive.

this is a "cold hard reality".

therein lies our societal responsibility to them.

Super Not Cosmo:
Would it be nice to have six years to sit around and study? Absolutely, but the government shouldn't be in the business of putting people up and supporting them while they go off for six years to study.

shouldn't it ?

based on what exactly ? your idea that's too long a period of time to be out the job market for some arbitrary reason (even tho the act is potentially greatly raising earning potential) or your idea the state shouldn't help educate people so they better fit the needs of the labour market ?

life isn't school>college>job for life.

the average person has 4 different careers over the course of their working lives.

these careers changes are not all going to be leisurely and by choice and there will be "gaps"...

for the individual the difference between being unemployed and not being may very well be a case of attaining the new skills and qualifications so as better to fit the job market they find themselves in.

why shouldn't the state assist in that aim of self improvement when it leads to a non productive member of society becoming a productive one ? do you think that the burden of undertaking such a thing is best placed solely resting with those most unable to personally affect it ? does that sound like an efficiency to you ?

or its it perhaps fair to suggest that perhaps the more you enable education and training of the jobless to serve the job market the less time people are likely to spend outside of a decent and lasting job ?

turning a person who maybe works minimum wage at best in a consecutive chain of low end jobs, even over a period of years, into someone with degree or craft that can lead to them earn them 10s of thousands a year in "good steady jobs" doesn't just benefit the individual involved.

government supported "vocational training", access to "lifelong learning" or whatever you want to call it does exactly that.

Capitalism is a system based on the fundamental recognition that everyone seeks to improve their circumstances.

EVERYONE

no exceptions. "unemployed" included.

and, again as i laid out before, the unemployment statistics themselves prove that's exactly what the vast huge majority of people who find themselves unemployed actually do.

this is a "cold hard reality".

but if you want to lessen the "churn" level and get numbers down i would suggest a government could do a lot worse than thinking about educating and training people so they are actually able to take up the better quality employment rather than the insecure and low end jobs that cause people to keep popping in and out of the unemployment statistics repeatability and thus keeping the figures high.

in short, for all concerned, the quicker a person manages to change from one of their "4 different careers" to the next one the better.

Super Not Cosmo:

While I admit all three of these things make it easier to find employment they certainly aren't required by any stretch. Even if they were most people have access to a number where messages can be left for them and most public libraries have free internet access. If need be you may end up having to walk to put in applications and check back in person. The lack of internet, a phone and a car hardly makes it impossible to find a job.

One of the key things about unemployment is that you want to make it easier for the unemployed to find jobs, not harder. Similarly, for the employed-but-poor as well, you want to make it easier for the unskilled and untrained (those who have the will and capability) to get skills and training. Not dump them on their arses with the bare minimum to scrape by and tell them they're lucky to have that. It is absurd in the highest way possible to have a bunch of people who need jobs most and have the least access to resources to acquire jobs, and to block those capable of self-improvement from doing so by impoverishment.

Agema:

Super Not Cosmo:

While I admit all three of these things make it easier to find employment they certainly aren't required by any stretch. Even if they were most people have access to a number where messages can be left for them and most public libraries have free internet access. If need be you may end up having to walk to put in applications and check back in person. The lack of internet, a phone and a car hardly makes it impossible to find a job.

One of the key things about unemployment is that you want to make it easier for the unemployed to find jobs, not harder. Similarly, for the employed-but-poor as well, you want to make it easier for the unskilled and untrained (those who have the will and capability) to get skills and training. Not dump them on their arses with the bare minimum to scrape by and tell them they're lucky to have that. It is absurd in the highest way possible to have a bunch of people who need jobs most and have the least access to resources to acquire jobs, and to block those capable of self-improvement from doing so by impoverishment.

Alright, a hard-wire computers that puts you immediately upon bootup into a program designed to aid you in finding a job with a resume maker, submission thing, and a link to temporary employment agencies, maybe some sort of link to various want ad sites (newspapers, online classifieds).

As someone who is both poor and was previously unemployed I understand exactly how hard it is to find a job, even with qualifications. This system seems good.

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