But for discussion sake, lets say that 20% of the bottom 10% are the total losers who don't even try. They live lowly lives but they don't have to work or try at all. So, including every man, woman and child, we have a possible pool of 30 million people that comprise the bottom. If we take out the children (we don't expect them to work or have influence on their parents), recognizing that the bottom tends to have more children than average, we now have maybe 20 million adults (and I'm being generous). Lets say that 20% is comprised of 4 million people.
It sounds like a lot but in context, it's about 2% of the population. Of course we want them to get off their asses but a lot of those people are incredibly dumb, were raised without any positive influences and can't even express themselves properly. What do we do with them? I'm not trying to excuse them, I'm just trying to be realistic.
I'm an advocate of strict enforcement of misrepresentation that gains free money. But I wonder what might be done about this? It's unfair that a minority absorbs the funding that should be helping the more potentially productive. But unless we are willing to engage in harsh measures, such as banishment, we can't let this cause us to refuse all aid, particularly food.
Do you have any suggestions as to how we might solve this without being unfair to the more legitimate claimants? Now, we seem to be reducing food allocations but this affects all those in need in order to take revenge on a relatively small group.
I don't know what's with the baby thing either. How irresponsible people are. I'm an advocate of allowing children by permit only (nobody likes that idea of mine but heck, it's just an idea).
As far as the multiple programs, I'm as unhappy about that a you are. There should a much fewer and those should be far more effective. I was specifically referring to SNAP as being the least disturbing.
I know a few people "milking the system" but they are definitely NOT "super-smart".
What can be done? I'm open minded.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
I remember having to wear second hand clothes, unisex pants, used boots and coats in winter for the first few years, I hated my parents for that, as school kids are so unforgiving, but I endured it all. All through it, it never occurred to me to give up, or to join the ranks of welfare. Luckily my Mom avoided it because back then there was this thing about welfare, we called it shame, and being on it was considered taboo, not celebrated like it is today. It was very uncommon to know someone on welfare, even in the poor neighborhood we lived in, it really was rare. I'm not entirely sure how the shame went away, or when but it clearly has, and this goes to the point I believe you're making. There is no shame in taking when you KNOW you're capable of doing more for yourself. There really isn't. I see it all the time in the grocery store, at the beginning of the month, all those two grocery carts full of goodies.. I am lucky (and ambitious) and I taught myself about computers, and have become very successful as a data center systems integrator, but it was all self taught. Funny that what I went to school for and slaved over for 4 years has absolutely nothing to do with my present career.. Look nice on the wall though..
The point I'm trying to make is that ultimately we create our own situations, and our own brand of luck in life, and even when things look bleak, as long as you're willing to keep trying, and keep digging, you'll find some of that luck, or develop a skillset that employers are looking for. Intelligence, and education can only take you so far, and for me if I were to try and pick a single attribute for my success, I go back to my Mom's courage and sacrifice, and call it... Desire! I desired a better life for my kids, and I took no prisoners, and went after it. The idea that someone else needs to pay for my failure is ludicrous to me. If I'm not out every day trying to get better, and up every morning at the crack of dawn trying to pin-point opportunities, I'm failing.. If I'm not moving forward, I'm failing, and it's not anyone else's fault but my own.
I get the poor kids aspect of why it is politically difficult to reform welfare, and to me the only solution that addresses all of the difficultness of reform is work for welfare. It shows kids that there is no free lunch, and it empowers those on welfare to improve themselves, or at the very least to build up a resume of strong work ethic, and motivation.
I see no other politically bi-partisan approach that would work.
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.” - P. J. O’Rourke
“Socialism is great until you run out of someone elses money” Margaret Thatcher
Re: the bold, I *do* consider 2% of the population to be a very high number...but when I posted I was referring to not being a 'minority' of those on public assistance, not the general population, just for clarification.
And I've never seen anyone quite so honestly blunt about some of that minority, lol. I think much of it is not actual 'intelligence' but the same systemic cycle...but in terms of ignorance & lack of (value of) education rather than finances. But that is just IMO.
I only have one solution and it's expensive. Pay MORE to social workers and others in charge of the oversight of the $$ and the *people*. THis will ensure better quality of those working on our behalf (and the horror stories here in my state alone of the terrible quality of social services is an example of that) AND put more qualified people out on the streets working with individuals and families, ensuring they go to training, teaching them how to spend their money more wisely, shopping WITH them, making sure their kids are going to school, doing frequent and surprise home visits, etc. It takes more $$ and more qualified people. Yes, babysitting. I really think that these social services people have a huge responsibility, they require years of training, and should be paid what they are worth...and I dont think they are...which is why we get stuck with so many that suck....or get discouraged and there's not enough to compensate them.
And it will cost ALOT. But it's my hope that it would *break* that cycle and not be necessary after say, 25 years? It's just IMO.
I too advocate a well chosen and adequately rewarded management system in hopes of reducing chronic dependency. But we will never achieve 100% and we face a baby/bathwater situation here. For reasons too long and too uninteresting to detail her, I live among the poor, I am their landlord (7 of them anyway), their neighbor and their casual friend. Most of my assorted associates do work and look for opportunities to make additional income by doing odd jobs. Because of my age, my generally friendly demeanor and my monetary influence, I try to educate people about money. Some ar receptive, some are not.
One of my friends is a Social Worker and she is not very well paid. But she manages her income with great skill and in our monthly lunches, she is as likely to grab the check as I am. My respect for her is quite genuine. I also get some insight as to the weakness of the Social Welfare system.
There seems to be a lot of concern about "spending". But the problem IMHO is not how much we spend but what our ROI is. Any time I see someone break fee from the cycle, I applaud them. But some simply don't have the internal processing capability to take the opportunities.
So, I support your idea and regardless of the outcome, I do not want to use food as a form of punishment for anyone. We feed our prisoners and we have more of those than anyone else does. If we can do that - we can also feed the incompetent.