View Poll Results: What would a welfare that rewards self-sufficiency look like? Select all that apply:

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  • 1.) It would not allow recipients more than is needed to survive

    7 46.67%
  • 2.) The reward for getting off welfare would be: recipients could afford more than necessities

    3 20.00%
  • 3.) programs would be temporary (recipients can only be on welfare for a certain period)

    11 73.33%
  • 4.) It would grant small monetary payouts for every step forward

    6 40.00%
  • 5.) Recipients would experience a sufficiently higher standard of living after getting off welfare

    6 40.00%
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Thread: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficient?

  1. #71
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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    You're a liberal because you care about everyone. I'm a conservative because I care about efficiency. Lines have to be drawn somewhere. Every bleeding heart story doesn't deserve full-on support from society. If mental health professionals declare that someone goes into a screaming hysterical fit every time they leave the security of their house, then I put that in the same category as having broken with reality - they simply can't function in society. People have to endure hardship - people get divorced, people get cheated, people get threatened, people get beaten, people get raped, etc this stuff goes on all the time.

    The role of the state is not to be everyone's mommy. The state can provide the barest of care for the very worst off. Any shortfalls that develop can be funded by good-hearted citizens like yourself. Private charity is awesome in that it allows caring people to actually demonstrate that they are caring by sacrificing some of their own wellbeing by donating to organizations who help others. That's a far more satisfying demonstration of being a caring person than the preferred alternative of many, which is that agitating for taxes to be raised on others so that the proceeds can be spent on the programs one thinks need more funding. Picking someone else's pocket doesn't demonstrate caring.

    Minimal welfare and enhanced private charity is the direction I prefer.
    What you just said doesn't really address what I just said.

    I contested that you discounted an entire mental disorder from ever being debilitating. I then gave a personal example, which by my own description was not debilitating, and explained from there that more severe forms of the disorder can definitely be debilitating. I then explained that we can evaluate the severity of the illness to determine whether or not it is debilitating. Which means some people will have more mild issues which are not debilitating. Others who are severe may be debilitated.

    You seem to understand this when it comes to depression or schizophrenia but somehow seem to think anxiety is exempt. And when I tell you that it isn't, you say I'm just a bleeding heart who wants to give everyone a Big Gov Mommy.

    The line here has nothing to do with what I said - like I said, you have already acknowledged this with other mental disorders. What's the roadblock in this case?

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    The line here has nothing to do with what I said - like I said, you have already acknowledged this with other mental disorders. What's the roadblock in this case?
    I made the distinction between disorders which are incapacitating and those which are not. When I referenced depression I didn't mean every instance of depression, I meant incapacitating depression. When I referenced anxiety disorder I used that as an example of a non-incapacitating disorder. If the mental illness, including anxiety, is incapacitating then it falls into the incapacitating category. I thought that was clear.

    You criticized my choice of examples but neglected to observe the incapacitating criterion I mentioned at the outset. I have no roadblock on mental illness which makes it impossible for someone to function in society. I have a lot of roadblocks on mental illnesses which simply make it difficult for someone to function in society. A one-off, or a short series, of severe anxiety attacks are different than chronic cases.

    In fact, as I'm thinking about this more, I'm starting to favor some restrictions on welfare for the mentally ill, such as, if the condition is so chronic and incapacitating that they can't function in society, then I'm actually willing to spend more money on them and institutionalize them. I'm not up to date on the research on this issue so my position is at this moment based more on a.) fraud prevention, in that I believe that this serves as a disincentive to game the system, and b.) professional help in more readily available in live-in situations than if the mentally ill person is living on their own or with family. I know that the reason that we've moved away from institutions was based on research which at the time pointed to home-care being a more efficacious alternative but I believe that there have been challenges to this paradigm. I'm really moving far beyond my threshold of knowledge on this topic, so I could be persuaded to abandon this institutionalization point if there was a good argument against it, but I still favor VERY stringent conditions for qualifying for mental health related welfare support. That's just the nature of the beast - if someone is a quadriplegic, there is no doubt at all about their affliction, but the same cannot be said, with the same degree of certainty, about many mental illnesses.

  3. #73
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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    I have worked with clients and counseled people who were/are on welfare; I also studied social work (in addition to counseling, psychology, sociology and computer tech) in college, so I know the local welfare system fairly well .. as far as I know welfare includes:

    All the following services are provided as a percentage of income below poverty level - the more you make the less assistance you get and then once you are above the poverty level the assistance is cut-off - I believe all require that you are working or volunteering until you work - also there are waiting lists for certain assistance types (not sure exactly which ones though):

    Temporary cash assistance: a small amount of cash supplement - program based on need basis i believe and that is temporary (not sure how long) and requires that recipients do education, if they don't have a GED I believe they have to do adult classes, then participate in approved trainings for jobs, or enroll in a degree based system that will likely ensure them a better job

    Housing assistance (there are different types, some for those with disabilities, some for the elderly, some for people in poverty) - I believe the one for people in poverty requires all the people in the household to be working or if they can't find work, volunteering until they can - assistance is figured by charging rent that is like 30% of your monthly income - via voucher or in association with certain housing foundations - I believe there is a government assisted home owners version that is much more expensive, but less so than buying a house outright and people rent to own - very long waiting list

    Cell phone can be provided for those in poverty with a small amount of minutes mainly meant enough minutes for emergencies and work related calls

    Food Stamps - like 14% of income worth of food is provided (increases with family size)

    Healthcare - covers doctors visits (not dental) and medications - there is one for the elderly and one for those in poverty - I believe this takes like a couple months or so to get accepted

    Dental - some cities have dental clinics that offer lowered rates/sliding scale fees for those in poverty

    Heating Assistance - minimum estimated heat cost is calculated then assistance is given via a voucher

    Higher Education Assistance: there's a program call inspire or something that helps pay for books and transportation to college

    Student Loans - government student loans help with tuition and a little bit of living costs depending on family size and one's age (under 25, students get much less assistance) - subsidized and unsubsidized loans - i.e. some loans accrue interest while the student is in school and some do not accrue interest until the individual is out of school - I believe you need to be getting a C or better in all your classes to continue to get student loans

    Social Security - for people with disabilities helps with basic needs in the form of cash (i.e. a check) - I think this is next to impossible to acquire unless you are paralyzed or paralyzed from the waist down, or have been diagnosed with MR before the age of 18 - and I think it could take up to a year or more if you have any other kind of disability

    That is all I can think of off the top of my head - Not sure if there are differences from State to State

    The main problem with these systems is that there is a sudden cut-off of assistance - i.e. assistance abruptly stops at a certain income level - this encourages people to keep lower incomes because they wouldn't be able to afford their bills if they got off the system - it's pretty sick if you ask me - whoever thought the system up either were complete morons or there is some conspiracy to keep people on welfare

    don't quote me on all of those, but that's what I can remember from talking to people and from college
    - oh and the assistance is calculated so that a total of everything combined (unless you are handicapped) will only allow for necessities - food, shelter, refrigerator, stove, enough to travel to work and back, but not to own a car, a few pairs of clothes from goodwill per year, and for what the state decides they will pay for in terms of healthcare

    also there has recently been earned income tax credits which social workers are not required to disclose (partly because it changes every year) that give a little cash back for those that work .. the more one works as long as they are under the poverty level, the more they get back - again, amounts vary per year and people only find out about them if they do research or a tax agency helps them on their tax return - so the downside to this is that people don't know that they can actually be rewarded for making more in a year - the downside is the same as with all the other welfare programs in that there is an abrupt cut-off after a certain amount of money is made (I believe this is the case anyway with this) - which may encourage people to make less money

    oh, also, the WIC program: which provides something the minimum amount of milk, peanut butter, a few kinds of cereals, and juice .. sometime farmers market checks I believe as well? oh, also baby formula if the mother isn't breastfeeding, and certain vitamins - they encourage breastfeeding - assistance is cut-off after the child is like 2 years old or around there

    oh and another point to keep in mind .. some middle-class families (those above poverty) who are just barely middle class, who have high medical bills or certain illnesses, would actually be better off on welfare because they can't get through their jobs or afford good enough insurance to not incur a yearly debt, thus another reason the system actually traps people into welfare .. the other option of course is that they try to find a much higher paying job or start a business, both of which have low success rates

    I think the state is either completely ignorant or a bunch of geniuses - either they want people to stay on welfare for some reason or they aren't able to comprehend basic human motivation - a system needs to encourage people to get off welfare .. not stay on it
    Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 08-26-11 at 02:57 AM.

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    If you are a capable single person, just try living off of welfare. It is all the incentive you need.

    Most of our welfare programs are targeted to the unable, disabled, elderly, and single parents.

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    If you are a capable single person, just try living off of welfare. It is all the incentive you need.

    Most of our welfare programs are targeted to the unable, disabled, elderly, and single parents.
    Here's the real problem:


    In fact, a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program, according to Jean Daniel, spokesperson for the USDA.


    People who can't afford to have children are producing half of the children born in the US. Then those of us can manage our reproductive freedom responsibly end up paying for other people's children and marginally depriving our own.

    Things that cannot go on forever, won't.

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Here's the real problem:


    In fact, a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program, according to Jean Daniel, spokesperson for the USDA.


    People who can't afford to have children are producing half of the children born in the US. Then those of us can manage our reproductive freedom responsibly end up paying for other people's children and marginally depriving our own.

    Things that cannot go on forever, won't.
    Exactly the problem .. its sad when middle class families just above the poverty level who pay their taxes and work at least 2 jobs per household end up with as much and often less than those under the poverty level who have been accepted into the welfare systems

    Oh, just so you know .. at least in my State .. WIC is a pittance assistance .. it pales in comparison to the food stamp program

    -I don't know what Jean Daniel's agenda was, but he definitely called out the wrong program - if he's gonna bash any poverty food assistance program, bash the one that gives out the most (not that I think any of these programs should be bashed, except that I don't agree with the way they create an incentive to keep people on welfare)
    Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 08-26-11 at 03:03 AM.

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Here's the real problem:


    In fact, a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program, according to Jean Daniel, spokesperson for the USDA.


    People who can't afford to have children are producing half of the children born in the US. Then those of us can manage our reproductive freedom responsibly end up paying for other people's children and marginally depriving our own.

    Things that cannot go on forever, won't.
    WIC spending is around around $17 billion, which is nothing in relation to overall government spending. Calling it unsustainable is a misnomer, to say the least.

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    WIC spending is around around $17 billion, which is nothing in relation to overall government spending. Calling it unsustainable is a misnomer, to say the least.
    Exactly, the program pales in comparison to Food Stamps who's spending is $73 billion a year (see link for source):

    U.S. Spending On Food Stamps At All-Time High, Sparking Debate Over Welfare | FoxNews.com

    Again .. I'm not against such welfare programs .. I am just against the way the system encourages those on welfare to stay on it

  9. #79
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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    WIC spending is around around $17 billion, which is nothing in relation to overall government spending. Calling it unsustainable is a misnomer, to say the least.
    WIC is the tip of the iceberg. It's not WIC that is unsustainable, it's the situation of people having kids when they can't afford to have kids. Read that snippet again - "49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements " - that's saying that half of all babies born are born to families that are ALREADY receiving aid. If you can't afford to feed your family why on earth are you having more kids?

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    Re: Is it possible to create a welfare system that rewards people to be self-sufficie

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Here's the real problem:


    In fact, a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program, according to Jean Daniel, spokesperson for the USDA.


    People who can't afford to have children are producing half of the children born in the US. Then those of us can manage our reproductive freedom responsibly end up paying for other people's children and marginally depriving our own.

    Things that cannot go on forever, won't.
    How do you propose to stop poor people from having children? Oh I agree that from pragmatic viewpoint it would be better for everyone if the birthrate among the poor was lower, but I am realistic enough to know that our likelihood of effecting meaningful change on that front doesn't lie in conservative policies like doing away with welfare. You won't stop the babies from coming, you will only increase the number of them that are not merely poor, but poverty stricken.

    Consider this: Those "other peoples children" are potentially the parents or grandparents of your own descendants as well. You have no control over who your children choose to procreate with, nor your grandchildren and so on down the line. Given the distribution of capital in this country, it is more likely than not that within two generations your own grandchildren will be among those poor that you currently despise so much, and it will be due to people that think the way you do.

    If you want to effect meaningful change that will do your descendants any good, you need to address the reasons people are poor or poverty stricken.

    Hint: It isn't because they are lazy and have welfare to rely on.

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