Keep it, but it needs SEVERE reform.
What we really should do is let it die a nice painful death. To my glee that will happen and no meaningful reforms will come to pass. The government will just continue to add more and more welfare programs and will never get around to fixing their other pet projects. Still, I would love to just end the little bastards.
However, the REASON I'm doing as well as I am is very indicative of exactly what I said.
The reason I am doing well is that although I am 24, I have not yet finished college, because I refuse to go into more than a few thousand in debt.
I am lucky enough to be one of those people who was simply born knowing what I want to do, so I am more skilled simply through practice than most people my age, degree or not. However, it is no sin to not be born knowing what you want to do.
Most of my peers tried to go to college right away, and they were starting with skill development from scratch, because most people don't know what they want to be at 5 years old. So they went into huge amounts of debt in their teens, some to the point where they could not finish, and now they were stuck with the debt, but couldn't get a good enough job to pay it back.
Even those who did finish are being pushed out of entry level jobs by a combination of unpaid internships and older people taking lower-paying jobs that fresh college grads would normally take.
The fact that I didn't try to do college all at once, and that I am "one of those people," is the only thing that has saved me from being in dire straights.
There is no reason that going to college should put you in a worse socio-economic situation than you started, but that is exactly what is happening.
oh it will end with a bang not a whimper
But why is working less favorable to so many people's survival? There is a problem in the job market.
I don't think it is wrong for a government to have a system in place to help people stay alive when they have experienced a run of bad luck. And that can happen to even the most motivated us -- see my personal example.
However, in the absence of incentive to work or means to improve ones working prospects, and in the presence of employer abuse as a rule, both working and welfare become disempowering to a great number of people.
Welfare was not always an abuse system. It was a highly effective system that played its small role in America's most prosperous years. If you want to speak of the knowledge and prudence of the poor, perhaps we should stop robbing them of opportunities to get an education, and allowing employers to abuse them.
The reason welfare has proliferated concurrently with the rich getting immensely richer is because they are using welfare to prolong the status quo and prevent social unrest.
Again I must quote Malthus:
"The rich, by unfair combinations, contribute frequently to prolong a season of distress among the poor."
"The knowledge and prudence of the poor themselves, are absolutely the only means by which any general and permanent improvement in their condition can be effected." - Thomas Malthus