Benefits/Welfare.
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22-09-2012, 04:47 AM
Benefits/Welfare.
Just thought id ask peoples opinions on benefits and welfare as ive been having some discussions with some friends of mine recently.

A couple of my friends are of the view that people who are on benefits are parasites that suck on societys tit.... that the reforms that the UK goverment are making are well within reasonable boundaries and long overdue.

One of my friends Martin said to me that if he was in charge he would stop benefits and make everybody get a job..... even though I reminded him that in the UK there is around 2.4 million people out of work and if he did that there wouldnt be enough jobs to go around Undecided

A few of my friends have never worked.... and they never will.... and this I am quite comfortable with.

If I was in charge of benefits then I would let people claim full entitlement for two years without question.... after that two years I would invite these people in and ask them if they are looking for work and if they wish they can continue claiming benefits forever IF they agree to work 10-20 hours a week doing something in their own local area, to better the community. This could be collecting rubbish off the street, cleaning graffiti, emptying bins etc etc..... because I dont believe that the goverments current proposals of making people work for nothing for corporations does anything for anybody except line the pockets of a few individuals.

I would get them to sign a legal document saying that if they dont turn up for "work" then they will forefeit their benefits for that week.

I think healthcare should be free forever...... I dont think you can really put a price on anybodys health or wellbeing.

I would also raise the minimum wage by at least £2 per hour to give more of an incentive for people who did want to work.

Just a few of my thoughts..... how would you peeps work the system????

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22-09-2012, 05:06 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
Raising minimum wage doesn't really do much in the long run (inflation and all) plus some times it can harm some small businesses.

Welfare is always an interesting topic, it deals with social issues. First it should be noted that there are people who do simply mooch off the system and don't do anything productive. But on the flip side is the single mom with two kids and part time job so...

So the problem then becomes the moochers.
I believe welfare is suppose to be a helping hand for those in need, not something to mooch off (that's what friends and family are for). So have it my way I would stop all payments (like lump sums that you currently get). I would then make a personalized experience. Someone is assigned to you, they then take a look at your financial position. The state then makes payments on your behalf for the basics (Mortgage, power, water, gas, internet). You then get food stamps in regard to your situation (so families would get more etc..). These food stamps can only be used for food and basics (shampoo etc..) and can't be used for smokes or alcohol. That's it, no money. Then as an incentive to getting people off the welfare system, the state offers an incentive to EMPLOYERS, the state will pay for half the wages of that employee for the first 4 weeks. This encourages employers to take a serious look and consideration of welfare people. The state will also supply the person with what they need for that job (so say you need a nice pair of shoes) to begin with. And as a last addition, drug tests. All welfare (unemployment mainly) recipients will be subject to drug tests at the request of welfare worker assigned to them (so they use their judgment as to who to drug test as to save on just simply "test everyone every X weeks"). And then if you fail you simply have your benefit cut.
You can also have additional things such as paying for children's school stuff. Actually that reminds of something being passed now. If your child's school attendance drops to a certain level then you have your benefit (the additional because you have that child) cut. I like that, so I'd do that too.

I think this way is far more of a helping caring hand then simply (here's $XXX, go away and come back next week). It'd be more cost effectively too simply because it would drastically reduce drug use (due to not having cash in hand to pay for it, making it harder to obtain). It'd get people in work faster.
It's overall just simply a better system then what a lot of countries have now.

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22-09-2012, 05:21 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
(22-09-2012 04:47 AM)bemore Wrote:  Just thought id ask peoples opinions on benefits and welfare as ive been having some discussions with some friends of mine recently.

A couple of my friends are of the view that people who are on benefits are parasites that suck on societys tit.... that the reforms that the UK goverment are making are well within reasonable boundaries and long overdue.

One of my friends Martin said to me that if he was in charge he would stop benefits and make everybody get a job..... even though I reminded him that in the UK there is around 2.4 million people out of work and if he did that there wouldn't be enough jobs to go around Undecided

A few of my friends have never worked.... and they never will.... and this I am quite comfortable with.

If I was in charge of benefits then I would let people claim full entitlement for two years without question.... after that two years I would invite these people in and ask them if they are looking for work and if they wish they can continue claiming benefits forever IF they agree to work 10-20 hours a week doing something in their own local area, to better the community. This could be collecting rubbish off the street, cleaning graffiti, emptying bins etc etc..... because I don't believe that the governments current proposals of making people work for nothing for corporations does anything for anybody except line the pockets of a few individuals.

I would get them to sign a legal document saying that if they dont turn up for "work" then they will forefeit their benefits for that week.

I think healthcare should be free forever...... I dont think you can really put a price on anybodys health or wellbeing.

I would also raise the minimum wage by at least £2 per hour to give more of an incentive for people who did want to work.

Just a few of my thoughts..... how would you peeps work the system????

Not being an economist, I can't comment on the minimum wage thing. There are likely many unintended consequences I don't see.

The work thing is complicated. There are really many people who are really not able to work, nor would we want them doing things that would result in dangerous situations. However being exposed to healthcare, there is a LOT of abuse by some, (few), those who have access, and not enough access in the US for many, others. Example : there are people in the US getting repeat organ transplants, ($100,000++) which are necessary due to avoidable behaviors, (drugs and drinking), while some kids can't even get shots.

The work thing is also abused by some. The Social Security system in the US has no gradations. You are either disabled or not. That is really stupid, and antiquated. Many people could be retrained, and work at least a little, and be productive, doing something. Instead they do nothing. The SS disability thing is a HUGE industry in the US, (lawyers, and companies that do nothing else but live off that system of appeals and applications). Sometimes you wonder, "where is the money coming from, is ANYBODY working ?".

My pet peeve is : routinely, people come in, and providers are asked to sign language waivers, so people on the immigration waiting lists, of various status, are "exempted" from the language requirement. They are certified as "unable" for many reasons, when in fact they could easily take the class, which would not then not necessitate hospitals and clinics to use expensive translation services. Many times, you see a patient who speaks no English, and ask how long they've been here, and they say, "oh 20 years" !! If you say "no", to the waiver, they just go somewhere else. It needs to be mandated, with consequences, so no provider can sign without a good reason. I suspect the SS system is fraught with that sort of abuse.

I like your idea of tighter control, and part time work, for some , if they are capable.

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22-09-2012, 06:08 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
Benefits are a good thing. It's ashame that a few people are exploiting a system set up to actually help people that need it. Because they are the ones the media blow out of proportion and make it harder for legit claimants to get help.

The people who complain about people on benefits, when they loose their job they are always the first ones down at the job centre with a new claim.

What they seem to forget is what the alternative is. How much more do they think it would cost if all the people on benefits lost it and had to become homeless. Or how much crime would increase as more people have to turn to crime to make money.

It's not as simple as just going out and getting a job. I've been unemployed for over 2 years, places reject you because they need to save money by keeping staff numbers down. Or they give you the bullshit "you don't have enough experience".

I'd love to see the critics of benefits try to live off £50 a week and still say its an easy life.

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22-09-2012, 06:28 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
They suck, but it's OK. Global economic collapse is imminent. That'll sort it. Big Grin

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22-09-2012, 08:00 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
Benefits are not only good because they help people in need, it's also good for the economy as it increases the demand of some products and that help some of the local industries.

I agree though that it's necessary some kind of control, the problem with that is who pays the gov employees who control? it can be a drain in of the public budget.

on the other hand, not having a backup work force (unemployed people) is a risk for the economy as unemployment is needed to satisfy the workers need of growing industries.

It's a complex issue, I tend to agree with such things because without an efficient and practical solution I think we have to resort to "default" values to decide whether they're good or bad, and human dignity should be sustained. But that's a temporary decision Confused

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22-09-2012, 09:00 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
I have mixed feelings about it. I see people who need help, and think it's good. I've seen people use food stamps where were barely making ends meet and I've seen people who were in dire circumstances that needed some form of help.

In situations like that, I'm glad people can get help.

I've also seen people who brag about using their food stamps to go buy pizza for their friends (since where I live, you can go to a take and bake place, since it's not baked pizza or goods, and can buy it that way) or buy stuff for parties. Or they buy their friends donuts. I have seen people outright lie about their income just so they can get a special housing program and pay nothing for rent and then turn around and use the same food stamps to get pizza. I've even seen people turn down perfectly good jobs so they could KEEP their assistance going.

It's those types of people that make me go, "Are you fucking KIDDING ME? I'm paying for your fucking pizza party and housing because you're a fucking piece of shit leeching off the rest of us? FUCK YOU."

But I see the people that need help and it makes me wonder, "is it worth putting up with the bullshit if it means helping these people?" and to some degree I say yes. But I really wish there was a better way to weed out the leeches.
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22-09-2012, 09:02 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
I think you put some interesting Ideas across 'muffs but I am a little bit wary of why you include the drug testing???

For one not every single person on benefits is on drugs.... so it would be a huge invasion of privacy on the majority of people. Also stopping peoples benefits because they are on drugs would in my eyes just mean that they would find other means to acquire the money, possibly turning to crime which would cost you more in the long run (policing, prison etc etc) so it is easier and cheaper to give people the money, unless you were willing to spend more of a budget on rehabilitation (or legalistation which is another subject entirely) Plus whats the difference betweenn somebody working who takes drugs to somebody who doesnt work??? Like Scotty said in the UK in particualr you get given barely enough to live off as it is.... so the money isnt really enough to fund a huge drug habit, I have no problem with people spending a little bit of money on some weed or something, I would prefer people smoke a teeny bit of weed to drinking cheap and nasty super strength alcohol/cider any day of the week.

Just because somebody is unemployed doesnt mean they should not have a decent quality of life.

I also disagree with the token system..... it is embaressing and hard enough for people to be unemployed and to go to a shop and hand them tokens would mean that everybody there would know that you were unemployed, which is absoloutley none of their business..... as you will probably get labelled sterotypically like what the tabloids would have you believe most people on benefits are like.

You get given money to live off..... its up to the individual on what they spend it on in my eyes.

My Idea behind making people work in the community for their benefits does have its advantages.... for one if people are looking after the area they live in through a small amount of grafting then they will take pride and not want people to ruin their hard work.... which means if you get people cleaning graffiti.... they will probably discourage people from doing more graffiti .... because they would then have to work harder to get rid of it, and it is undoing all of the work they put in.

Also the small percentage of people this would apply to will never ever work.... they may get forced into a job but can quite easily get fired for multiple reasons and then they claim again... and their claim will be reset back to that of a new jobseeker, which gives them more time to chillax until forced into work again.

So this problem will never go away, its better to face this problem and try a new alternative in my eyes.

I think it would differ from area to area on how many unemployed people you get working in the community.... but these people would save huge amounts of money that you would otherwise be paying somebody to do.... yes this may put some people out of a job but with a honest authority (yeah I know im dreaming) they could inject the money saved back into helping people back into work.... or subsidising small business with your wages.

You could even get some of the people to work on allotments growing fruit and vegetables which then in turn get given back to the community to feed people.

With regards to the NHS system over here it took many years for people to get such a system in place.... people fighting tooth and nail. The current Con-Dem coallition are privatising the fucker.... which they say offers competitivness to prices... however I dont think you can do this because once people try to start making a profit off healthcare then corner would be cut to achieve this.... cutting corners could quite easily cost somebody their life.... which is why I think the NHS should have a bottomless pit of money being fired at it.... in comparison to the money spent on Trident nuclear missles... the money syphoned off to the European Union for nothing back.... pales in comparison.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

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22-09-2012, 09:20 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
Quote:I think you put some interesting Ideas across 'muffs but I am a little bit wary of why you include the drug testing???

For one not every single person on benefits is on drugs.... so it would be a huge invasion of privacy on the majority of people.

Thus the "up to the person you were assigned to make a judgement".
Sure not everyone is on drugs but it's way to stop those who do just take the money and spend it on drugs.
And the difference between unemployed and on drugs and being employed and on drugs is that most employers have it in your contract that they can do "random" drug tests anyway, so if anything it's catching up to what already happens in the work place.

Quote:Also stopping peoples benefits because they are on drugs would in my eyes just mean that they would find other means to acquire the money, possibly turning to crime

Maybe, but I think the threat of losing your benefit is a good enough deterrent that you wouldn't risk doing drugs if you know you can be tested.
Sure you can turn to crime, but crime is risky, where as the benefit as it stands now is a guaranteed lump sum every week.

Quote: Like Scotty said in the UK in particualr you get given barely enough to live off as it is....

Barely enough to live off if you are living in a normal situation. If you're some drug addict you're probably mooching off friends or living on the street or whatever in which case you don't have regular bills and hence effectively have all this disposable income to spend on drugs.

Thus a system where instead of a lump sum, the state takes on your weekly bills.

Quote:Just because somebody is unemployed doesnt mean they should not have a decent quality of life.

But it shouldn't be comfortable either or there is no incentive to change.

Quote:I also disagree with the token system..... it is embaressing and hard enough for people to be unemployed and to go to a shop and hand them tokens would mean that everybody there would know that you were unemployed, which is absoloutley none of their business.....

We got a similar system here with some things (like petrol) and I used to get them all the time in the gas station, seriously, nobody cares.
Plus, if you are so worried about, again, another incentive.

Plus it doesn't have to be tokens, it could be store credit (like gift vouchers).

Quote:as you will probably get labelled sterotypically like what the tabloids would have you believe most people on benefits are like.

Well a lot of people on benefits are exactly how the tabloids portray them.

Quote:You get given money to live off..... its up to the individual on what they spend it on in my eyes.

You want freedom to do whatever you want with your money? Then get a job and earn YOUR money. Benefits are not those people's money, it's money given to them by the tax payer as a means to help them out of a rough spot.
Thus it should be regulated.

Quote:My Idea behind making people work in the community for their benefits does have its advantages.... for one if people are looking after the area they live in through a small amount of grafting then they will take pride and not want people to ruin their hard work.... which means if you get people cleaning graffiti.... they will probably discourage people from doing more graffiti .... because they would then have to work harder to get rid of it, and it is undoing all of the work they put in.

The problem with forced community work is:
a) it takes away time from the individual they could be looking for proper work
b) it's effectively slave labor and puts actually working people out of work
c) you're making people do something they don't want to do and hence are not going to do the best job
d) they're not trained or experienced to do the job

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22-09-2012, 09:29 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
(22-09-2012 09:20 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Well a lot of people on benefits are exactly how the tabloids portray them.

Sorry bro.... end of conversation between me and you on the subject.

Come back when you have more life experience.... I know thats a shitty thing to say but you are way off the mark here.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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