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Welfare and the like. Thoughts?
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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kung-pwn master

Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11292
Location: ann arbor
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There's a ton to unpack in your post but I'm not sure it's all necessary to do. Thanks for the response from the inside.

One thing that's clear from this conversation is that the Clinton-era blows to the welfare system (which sought to address the conservative talking points that Jake et al. have brought up here about "abuse," "generational poverty," and "why don't they make them a job") have had no effect whatsoever on the salience of those talking points to those who spout them.
Post Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:56 am
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Dan Shay

Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11254
Location: MN
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The primary benefit of social programs like welfare is keeping businesses from being able to drive wages to rock bottom levels for all unskilled and semiskilled laborers. Many people who complain about the programs first off A) don't make enough money to actually be contributing to the program in taxes B) benefit due to higher wages from help curbing desperate market competition.

Otherwise business would have Monopsonic power. An excess of capable workers allows business to name their price on wages and history has shown if given the opportuntity employers are willing to do this until they have to call in the National Guard to mow down the striking workers.

The biggest thing about welfare these days is just barely assisting the snowball effect of things like a car repair, an insurance bill, an acute illness, or malnutrition from keeping mass amounts of people dropping out of the workforce permanently.

Many people have safety nets they don't realize are even there when some of these eventualities happen to them, like family, savings or other liquidable assets.

THe current incarnation of Welfare also keeps unsightly homeless/poor people from public areas, making them travel from one government center/temporary work for hire/work today/paid today center to another. You have to go get your forms stamped/validated. It's actually a full time job, being on welfare, oddly enough. It's nothing to be jealous of.
Post Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:31 pm
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Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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British minister and social commentator Thomas Malthus believed that welfare shouldn't exist because it would cause people to rely too heavily on the government. In other words, they would be coddled into an utter lack of productivity. This was essentially an advocacy of social Darwinism, in which worm was rewarded and laziness was effectively punished.

In British India these Malthusian ideas were put into full effect by Lytton and Temple. The first was incompetent and totally inept (think of a latterday W Bush) and the second was a vengeful racist. In fact, he inacted something called the Temple Wage for Indian workers who were litereally giving their lives for the British imperial economy. This wage was, at least in terms of caloric value, worse than that of many concentration camps in WWII. It was horrific.

I've said all that to say this: I'd rather have a welfare system that is abused by some but also available for those that need it than some Malthusian/Temple alternative. My sister in law has two kids, lives in low-income housing, and doesn't make enough in a minimum wage full-time job to make it. But thanks to welfare programs she gets money for food and healthcare that help her out tremendously. For her the system works. But some revisions that discourage and prohibit abuse do need to be enacted. Welfare should aid people, not create a dependency.
Post Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:42 am
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