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Thread: If you could reform welfare type benefits

  1. #41
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    That's true, my brother-in-law buys EBT card balances for <50 cents on the dollar or sometimes with just a case of beer. He's then able to use the majority of his $1600 per month disability benefit (for back pain that doesn't exist) for heroin.

    Our welfare state enables a thriving black market economy.
    When my brother asks me for money, I always have to weigh whether he will be using it for food or alcohol. I will sometimes give him the benefit of the doubt, and he'll use it to get drunk. But then there are the times that he uses it to get help. It's like playing roulette.

    He's definitely been a part of that black market economy, but he would dead otherwise. He doesn't have the mental bootstraps to pull himself out of his financial situation. So, maybe he'd be better off dead, so he could help decrease the surplus population.
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  2. #42
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    When my brother asks me for money, I always have to weigh whether he will be using it for food or alcohol. I will sometimes give him the benefit of the doubt, and he'll use it to get drunk. But then there are the times that he uses it to get help. It's like playing roulette.

    He's definitely been a part of that black market economy, but he would dead otherwise. He doesn't have the mental bootstraps to pull himself out of his situation. So, maybe he'd be better off dead, so he could help decrease the surplus population.
    BIL calls my wife every so often looking for money, usually because he's neglected his utility payments and is on the verge of being dis-connected. In those cases, my wife pays the utility company, never giving money to him as that almost certainly wouldn't solve the problem at hand.

    It's always a gamble dealing with people like him. We believe it is often the worst thing you can do to enable an abuser but on the other hand, do you want them to go without heat in winter or water? My BIL has the mental bootstraps, but lacks the motivation to change his situation. It's a challenge for those of us on the periphery.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  3. #43
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    BIL calls my wife every so often looking for money, usually because he's neglected his utility payments and is on the verge of being dis-connected. In those cases, my wife pays the utility company, never giving money to him as that almost certainly wouldn't solve the problem at hand.

    It's always a gamble dealing with people like him. We believe it is often the worst thing you can do to enable an abuser but on the other hand, do you want them to go without heat in winter or water? My BIL has the mental bootstraps, but lacks the motivation to change his situation. It's a challenge for those of us on the periphery.
    Agreed, Alan. Very challenging and sad to watch.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #44
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    When she was waiting to get through the tunnel, a homeless guy was weaving through the cars that were waiting in line. My daughter's window was open so she was a great target.
    I would not look kindly on that guy and he's the last homeless person I would ever give money to. There is a guy like that where I drive, they are going to create an accident as I see it, someday someone paying less attention, entirely by accident and not deliberately is probably going to hit that guy with their car. Why? Because they are @#$# wandering in the middle of a busy crazy street between cars begging for money. Yea maybe mentally ill and so on, but that's one behavior I WON'T reward. Because someday someone (maybe also being rather stupid and not paying enough attention to hazards) is going to have running over someone on their record and maybe cause a bigger accident with other cars as well, because of homeless guy thinks wandering between cars in traffic makes sense.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  5. #45
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    This illustrates another reason why it's a blessing to have government programs and long may they continue, because it's unlikely a miracle will happen where without them even the irresponsible people on them suddenly get responsible. So in reality many would become the responsibility of their loved ones, and frankly not all of their loved ones are in as good a financial position to help out as catherine and Alan. So it's not really truly the irresponsible people that are punished much less reformed by cutting benefits. It's responsible people with big hearts. So kind of the best of people that this society has to offer are the ones that get the punishment.

    (Usual disclaimer: I don't believe everyone taking benefits is irresponsible, some just can't get work that pays enough etc.. Afterall if we REALLY believed in everyone working we would tailor our policies to making sure there were living wage jobs - or even just jobs - for everyone that wants them, and that's the last thing we do and we don't even take the most minimal measures to prevent existing jobs from leaving the country etc.. So we're not really serious about that. But regardless it's perfectly fair to stipulate that a few irresponsible people do exist, they may be a minority of those taking benefits, but nontheless. And regardless of whether a person is entirely irresponsible or just can't find work that pays enough to live, without benefits they either die as surplus population or become the responsibility of their loved ones who are often barely above water themselves).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  6. #46
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    If parents spend their stipend on cigarettes, drugs and booze, what happens to the kids?
    What happens to those kids today when people *not* on benefits choose to poorly-raise their children?

    I go into a lot of homes without the inhabitants having time to gussy up the place. There's a lot of horrible things going on behind closed doors, even in the nicest neighborhoods...

  7. #47
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I dont know what changes I would make, if any. A big important change was made in 1995 under
    Republican Congressional leadership when the AFDC program was eliminated and financial support after 5 years was cut off to mothers with children. To me, and to the American public who supported this policy change, it changed the path of lifetime welfare dependance.

    I dont understsnd why people choose to have children with no visible means of support, but that's life. I also dont understand why people choose a life dependent on paltry governmrnt handouts because it is a life of struggle, but again, people will do as they will.

    I like the idea of universal basic income, but the devil is in the details.I expect there would be all Kinds of unintended consequences that progressives would poo poo but that would matter in our societal fabric.

    As far as the polygamy families collevting welfare, I say what an odd focus on such a tiny, tiny portion of the population. So Lainy, you would deny welfare payments to women with children because of what sounds like philosophical differences betwern you and them? Would women who deliberately choose not to legally marry at all get a free pass from you, then? I ask because there are a whole lot more of them. Im not sure polygamous wives can even be counted.

  8. #48
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    What happens to those kids today when people *not* on benefits choose to poorly-raise their children?

    I go into a lot of homes without the inhabitants having time to gussy up the place. There's a lot of horrible things going on behind closed doors, even in the nicest neighborhoods...

    i just asked because the basic income could theoretically replace free breakfast and lunch for school kids depending on how it is structured.

    i am guessing in the long run it would eliminate a whole lot of workers and jobs that would save money that way. People to verify and administer welfare benefits, people who make school lunches, in fact part of the philosophy could be to eliminate school lunches all together. Plus heating assistance and so on. Interesting how many things that the US does as a country that could be eliminated. Plus getting rid of the complicated social security system. Imagine everyone getting the set amount regardless of work history or disability status. Would make it much easier on employers for sure and those who figure all this stuff out. What would happen to kids who have illegal parents but were born here. Just think of all the complicated programs that the government administers that reach into the fabric of our lives.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I must admit a struggle regarding government's role as a welfare state. As a LEO in a largely rural area, I hated the trailer parks. Lots of people making bad choices that turn into crimes there. Not much happiness and lots of poverty supported by government programs. All these programs do is create lifestyle choices. What you see is a product of these programs and some of it is hard to look at. First you have retailers of junk food and cigarettes and the government lotteries, the local bars. How do you look in the mirror and say.....this is it, this is my life with no light at the end of the tunnel. There isn't much left to feed the kids with. They are dirty and roaming the countryside getting in trouble, breaking into places, stealing, maybe using drugs. It is a real crap fest. But they are contained in their little corner of the community where the rest of us don't have to look at them.

    Sprinkled in amongst them are people who are working for real bare minimum wages. Living month to month in a dog eat dog environment. Maybe they escape and get a marginal house in a difficult neighborhood. I don't see the government has done anything but set up a game with rules to break in order to survive.

    So here is a real life example. I have three children. One just bought a quarter million dollar house in Texas. He and his wife work in the food service industry. My daughter is a state employee with a husband that works in a privately owned janitorial supply company. They just bought a nice ranch home. And my oldest who works in tool and die, divorced with child support, lives with a girl friend who also works in tool and die. They are looking at buying a $19,000 trailer in a seedy trailer park. All three were raised with the same opportunity, given the same financial supports. And have turned out markedly different due to......choices.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    All three were raised with the same opportunity, given the same financial supports. And have turned out markedly different due to......choices.
    Well, there are many out there interested in regulating our choices in ways both profound and trivial. They feel they have a superior understanding of our "best interests", and would like to do us the favor of imposing it on us.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

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