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Old 10-20-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: West Texas
2,441 posts, read 5,245,515 times
Reputation: 3094

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Here's a can of worms that I don't know the answer to.

Let's preface this by saying I'm not against social programs (welfare, WIC, medicaid, medicare, foodstamps, etc.) - I am against what I believe is the rampant and wanton neglect and abuse of those systems, or the fact that they enable people to not find work.

There's always the pros to social programs. Let's face it. People run into hard times from time to time. People will need help to get back on their feet after a job loss, a company folds, or even if a loved one who was the primary (or sole) bread winner passes on. These programs can help keep those people fed and housed until they are back on their feet, but they should be moving that direction.

What I have experienced is that there are people on social programs that continue to have children from different men (or men that father children with different women). Additionally, individuals do nothing to try to get jobs that would pay (through taxes) back into the economy. These examples are not necessarily crooked, but they do take advantage of the system. But, the system is also robbed by people who have different identities and claim multiple social dollars based upon these different identities.

To me, it's pretty clear how to fix some of the problems, but (of course), I don't know the intricacies or costs of these fixes:

1. If you apply for a social program, you sign documentation that you will not get pregnant (or get someone else pregnant) while collecting tax dollars to pay you. (Grandfather clause would apply, of course for those already expecting children.
2. You must show proof that you are actively trying to get a job (much like for unemployment benefits). Any proof that you are not seriously pursuing a job will result in social benefit termination.
3. Social programs are paid out for a finite amount of time. Only under specific situations will exceptions, which must be petitioned, filed, and investigated by the social service responsible.
4. If proof of social program recidivism (hold a job for 2 weeks, then quit, over and over, etc.), then no benefits will be recieved in the future.

These are just a few ways. And I think we owe it to tax paying citizens to make sure our dollars go to someone who sees it as a helping hand, not a way of life. I find it hard to say that anyone in a city/town should be on any social program if there are "help wanted" signs in the city. If they cannot work for physical/psychological reasons, they should be on disability anyway.

But here's the problem. If we cut off social service programs, what happens to the people? If they have no job, receive no income, the only way of life they may have to resort to is crime. So, if for any reason, we actually make them try to be part of society they are sponging off of illegally (or abusers of the "system"), and we take the money from them, do we not resign them to a life of crime (thereby making the life of the responsible person possibly more dangerous)?

Anyone have any thoughts? Do we keep them on welfare, allowing child-producing factories to continue raping our tax dollars, or do we possibly submit to a higher crime rate?
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 7,863,957 times
Reputation: 1925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rathagos View Post
What I have experienced is that there are people on social programs that continue to have children from different men (or men that father children with different women).
Need shouldn't be based upon whether or not a woman's children all have the same father. That part of the argument is really a non-issue.

Quote:
But, the system is also robbed by people who have different identities and claim multiple social dollars based upon these different identities.
Do you happen to have reliable statistics on the incidence of this?

Quote:
1. If you apply for a social program, you sign documentation that you will not get pregnant (or get someone else pregnant) while collecting tax dollars to pay you. (Grandfather clause would apply, of course for those already expecting children.
You can't take away someone's right to have children. A better option would be that a family only gets compensation for the first two kids, and after that no extra. Accidents can happen. Would you require someone to unwillingly get an abortion if that were the case?

Quote:
2. You must show proof that you are actively trying to get a job (much like for unemployment benefits). Any proof that you are not seriously pursuing a job will result in social benefit termination.
Reasonable. I would add that an extra supplement could be given for schooling, as long as a certain GPA was maintained and as long as definitive progress was made towards getting a degree (ie, you have X number of years to complete your schooling before benefits expire).

Quote:
3. Social programs are paid out for a finite amount of time. Only under specific situations will exceptions, which must be petitioned, filed, and investigated by the social service responsible.
Good, as long as you have some sort of training/schooling happening during that time to aid the welfare recipient in becoming self-sustaining after their benefits end.


Quote:
4. If proof of social program recidivism (hold a job for 2 weeks, then quit, over and over, etc.), then no benefits will be recieved in the future.
I'd be more for a maximum possible benefit over the course of a person's life. For instance, perhaps four or five years that they can draw benefits, and once they're gone, that's it unless they can show very good extenuating reasons for an extension.

Quote:
These are just a few ways. And I think we owe it to tax paying citizens to make sure our dollars go to someone who sees it as a helping hand, not a way of life. I find it hard to say that anyone in a city/town should be on any social program if there are "help wanted" signs in the city. If they cannot work for physical/psychological reasons, they should be on disability anyway.
I think there's as much fraud in the disability system as in the welfare system. Also, just because there are jobs available does not mean that a person is capable of getting to that job, capable of performing that job, or capable of making enough at that job to pay their bills and childcare.

I agree, reform needs to happen. But it needs to be planned very carefully so as to not hurt people in geniune need. I'd rather pay out a few extra bucks to fraudsters than see someone who really needs help not be able to get it.

But here's the problem. If we cut off social service programs, what happens to the people? If they have no job, receive no income, the only way of life they may have to resort to is crime. So, if for any reason, we actually make them try to be part of society they are sponging off of illegally (or abusers of the "system"), and we take the money from them, do we not resign them to a life of crime (thereby making the life of the responsible person possibly more dangerous)?

Anyone have any thoughts? Do we keep them on welfare, allowing child-producing factories to continue raping our tax dollars, or do we possibly submit to a higher crime rate?[/quote]
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:11 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
Reputation: 17978
#1 is impractical at best. I do believe that unlesss disable they should be seeking work and take work that is offered in most cases.I also think it is time to include all aid given such as state and federal in the poverty definitions. We aklso need to fix the poverty definition to include all aid given the same as income;now only income counts. We might then find that many not getting aod actaully are poorer than those that get it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,119 posts, read 12,716,950 times
Reputation: 7215
Helping folks in need is fine--but they can't STAY in need forever. It's supposed to HELP, not support them for life! There has to be a time limit and restrictions of some sort!
I do agree that not having kids while on welfare is the "responsible" thing to do, but many (not all) of the folks using the system just aren't responsible!
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Southern Maine, Greater Portland
511 posts, read 774,587 times
Reputation: 512
I think that social services should be a hand up not a hand out. There are certain circumstances where there is a real need for continuous assistance but the system is hugely taken advantage of. Educate people how they can be self sufficient.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Aiken S.C
765 posts, read 1,680,569 times
Reputation: 388
If they drug tested welfare recipients it would empty the rolls fast..
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:48 PM
 
119 posts, read 197,716 times
Reputation: 113
Most of the crime in my area is committed by welfare and section 8 people anyway. I don't think that giving them money will lower the crime rate.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:53 PM
 
56 posts, read 138,426 times
Reputation: 45
You should read up on the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Several of your suggestions have actually be in place for well over a decade.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Location: West Texas
2,441 posts, read 5,245,515 times
Reputation: 3094
Okay... I'm going to admit I talk too much. I guess my point got lost in my boring diatribe. I'll step off the soapbox and ask again simply:

Do you think we (as a society) should continue to pay those (including freeloaders) welfare for life, considering the alternative might be an increased crime rate. Or, do we vet the system, taking a hard look at all those using social programs (our tax dollars) and give the money to those that need it, letting those who abuse it or are too lazy to get/keep a job fend for themselves?
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:52 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,202,743 times
Reputation: 45815
Well, I think the OP makes an excellent point--we are merely arguing with the details.

No matter how much we want to believe in the good of humanity, there are a tiny sliver of society who will avoid regular work as much as they possibly can. They are immune from the need for dignified employment, and will sponge of anybody they can for as long as they can. This is simply working the system for all it's worth.

In 1996, over the strident objections of many, Welfare Reform was passed. Those opposed to it claimed that millions of households would be thrown out on the street and the homeless would overwhelm us. So what happened? Absolutely nothing. Suddenly, the government was facing a significant surplus of funds, all because the career welfare collectors were no longer on the dole.

Now, I believe strongly that, in a post-industrial age, welfare is a legitimate function of government. There is no question in my mind that a factory worker who loses his job deserves the help of society.

But I got an eyeful of the welfare mentality two years ago when I did a consulting job for a public housing bureau. Over a two-day period, I had to interview dozens and dozens of people who lived in public housing. About one third of those people had a legitimate need for public housing--the mother who had lost her job, the family that went through a terrible ordeal when the husband was injured, the and the woman who worked two minimum-wage jobs.

But the other two-thirds? They were healthy enough, but did nothing to take advantage of all the programs that were offered them. The job training. The education. The placement services. The myriad of support that the state offered to them. I asked one woman of normal intelligence and normal health how long she had been in public housing, and this woman said, 35 years. When I asked what she did with her days, she said, "I just watch TV." How long since her last job? "Oh, fifteen years or so. I just don't like to work."

So, why should we feel bound to support a person like this with thousands and thousands of public dollars every year? I really don't have a good answer for that, do you?
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