Saturday, September 29, 2007

Our Welfare State

The definitions of welfare are curious because they are in some ways opposite. One definition is Welfare-good-fortune, health, happiness, prosperity etc. Another is Welfare-a government agency that provides aid to people in need esp. people unable to work.

I personally don't think welfare is what the people who envisioned it thought it would be. For one...just in the definition-'unable to work'. I'd say the majority of people I see who are on welfare are capable of working. More than capable of working, they chose not to. Then, because they can gain greater 'prosperity', they do what they can to get it, it's almost a job to them. Have a few more babies...get a little more $$$.

And, in my opinion, there is no way that government welfare can lead to 'good-fortune, health and happiness'. I believe that part of being a happy person is being a productive person. I think that there is more to being a productive person than having children that you can't support without the means of 'welfare'.

People who chose a life on welfare are almost choosing NOT to live. The money they do get is not enough to support themselves and their children. How discouraging it must be to try to have any quality of life for your child or yourself on the pittance that welfare pays. Welfare seems like a viscous cycle of degradation that is perpetuated in future generations. People who want a better life nearly have to claw their way out of the whirlpool of welfare dragging them down, cause I think welfare is self perpetuating. I don't think they really try to help people get off welfare. I have so much respect for people who use welfare for what it is meant help in times of need, then to get back on their feet. I have an equal amount of disrespect for people who see welfare as a career. Especially people who have at least $40 manicures, starbucks coffee, cell phones, chunky hi-lights and kids without shoes that fit, and 'no money' to get OTC tylenol for their childs mild fever.

I could go on, but I may save that for another time....


Bruce said...

There is no doubt that people abuse the welfare system. My wife taught last year at a school where almost 100% of the kids qualified for free lunch, but lots of them (and these are 6-8th graders, by the way) had fancy cell phones, etc.

The thing that makes it hard is that everyone (except maybe Ann Coulter :) agrees that there ARE circumstances that justify people receiving government assistance. And there are definitely people under the current system that deserve help but are "economically not qualified" to receive it (by the way, that last statement was paraphrased from a panel discussion I attended recently with reps from a local food bank and the salvation's not just my opinion).

So what's the answer? We could make it easier to get welfare, so that the idea of the "working poor" would cease to exist. But then the abuses that we already see would increase exponentially.

Or we could go the other direction, and try to tighten up all the loopholes that allow abuses, so that only truly deserving people get government help. But then you would have even more people who are deserving and can't get help.

I think the way each of us needs to answer this question is as follows: would I rather take care of the deserving people (while allowing cheaters to cheat), or would I rather not let anyone cheat (and keep folks who everyone agrees really deserve help from getting it).

For me, it's a no brainer. With all the wealth we (and by we I mean the average person in this country) have, I will gladly resign part of my paycheck every two weeks to the cheaters so that all the truly needy can be helped.

Those of us who are "middle class" in the US are LOADED by the standards of the rest of the world. If you make $30,000/yr, you are richer than 93% of the worlds population (according to

Just something to think about.

Mudme said...

I would rather see money that is called 'Aid For Dependent Children' go to the care of the children. There has to be a better way than what we have.

I don't think that any cash money should go into pockets that then by fake nails and take out coffee. I make a good living, but when I am being frugal I don't buy 2 dollar coffees.

I think people who are on welfare and physically and intellectually able to work should be required to take parenting classes and not be rewarded for having more babies they can't take care of.

I see too many people who have a genuine need not be able to afford their medications while others who are in their early 20's who didn't finish HS have child after child and party all weekend on my dollar.

I was a single parent, I worked my way through college. Could I have given up and gone on welfare...sure. That's not how I was raised. And, now my son is a responsible adult. Hard working, home owning. If I chose welfare I doubt that would be the case.

I don't have a problem with free lunch, some of these kids wouldn't get a nutritious meal without it. No child in this country should go hungry. Unfortunately some of those parents are more concerned with providing luxuries for themselves than food for their own children. They feel entitled to things that people who work hard cannot afford.

scalpel said...

I think any woman who receives welfare should be required to also receive mandatory depoprovera shots as long as she is supported by taxpayers. And every person on welfare should be required to undergo mandatory drug testing.

Mudme said...

Yeah, Scalpel...that's what I'm talkin' bout! :)

Shells said...

I think this "no cash" thought is one that should be looked at. Welfare is what? Something that should help with our most basic needs. What are our most basic needs? Food, clothing, shelter. Seems to me that each one of these things could be taken care of without giving cash to the recipient. In example, I worked as a child care provider for a woman who truly did need welfare to get through a tough situation. She did not abuse the situation and indeed held down 3 jobs until she was able to get out of it. I was paid directly by the state, it was a pittance, but it didn't come from her. If we could do this for food, shelter, clothing, health care, then the people abusing the system would have to look elsewhere to maintain their desired lifestyle. Perhaps taking a job that would get them out of the situation in the first place.

I am sure I am over simplifying things, but obviously some change is needed!

twinsx2 said...

Whites form the largest racial group on welfare; half of all welfare recipients leave in the first two years; and teenagers form less than 8 percent of all welfare mothers.

Here are the statistics on welfare recipients, believe them if you want:
Traits of families on AFDC (1)

White 38.8%
Black 37.2
Hispanic 17.8
Asian 2.8
Other 3.4

Time on AFDC
Less than 7 months 19.0%
7 to 12 months 15.2
One to two years 19.3
Two to five years 26.9
Over five years 19.6

Number of children
One 43.2%
Two 30.7
Three 15.8
Four or more 10.3

Age of Mother
Teenager 7.6%
20 - 29 47.9
30 - 39 32.7
40 or older 11.8

Individual welfare benefits declined between 1970 and 1991. The purchasing power of benefits for the typical AFDC family fell 42 percent, primarily as a result of state and federal cuts.

aureality said...

This maybe late but....HHmmm-Welfare State...apparently great for those who have spent their working lives paying taxes to pay for their care and WELFARE in their dotage only to see a succession of British Governments move consistently to the US/Euopean model. It breaks my heart dealing with 'boomerang' admissions to A&E for those chronically ill/acute patients who are sent home too early to meet 'targets'. No rehab, no social care, no follow up. The government has already spent the money...and rapidly the goodwill of the staff forced to face inequality in the face of overwhelming middle management....targets, targets etc...etc...I find now more time to be caring as a senior ER nurse when I ignore the 'pt flow' and deal with 'anticipation and fear' for the patients who have no idea what happening becuase the RN looking after them is trying to deal with triple what they should and has no time to even talk to them..if they speak english.....maybe I should retrain as a psychiatric professional before I join the ranks on sedation...

Lisa said...

The problem is not welfare; it's an ignorant mentality. I have a female, single mom relative who has a job but has no money for her children for necessities such as shoes, clothing, or swimming lessons, or time to take them to the doctor for check ups yet finds money and time for starbucks, manicures and pedicures for her 5 year old girl, nordstrom shoes, designer handbags, mall shopping, and driving 30 miles for her booty calls. She tries to get relatives to buy the necessities for her kids and when that doesn't work, she buys inappropriate apparel for her little girls such as platform shoes, spaghetti strap tops and short shorts for school. Disgusting.