Benefits/Welfare.
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29-09-2012, 11:58 PM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
I only read the first page so yea...

I have mixed feelings about welfare and social programs in general. On the one hand there are people out there who legitimately need the assistance. There are people who legitimately cannot work and there are people who want to work but can't find a job. On the other hand there are a lot of people who don't want to work because its easier to just suck off the governments tit.

Example, I lived in California for a few years where I was sharing $1200/mo rent on a townhouse with a friend. The townhouse directly next to mine was a little bit bigger than ours and a little bit nicer than ours so it rented for $1750/mo. There was a Family living in that town house consisting of the mother, the father, two children under the age of 4 and the fathers dad who had just recently gotten out of prison for drug charges. One day, the son got fired from his job for smoking Marijuana on his lunch break and coming back to work stoned off his gourd. He applied for Welfare along with some other social program where the government pays a portion of your rent for you and received both. His portion of the $1750/mo rent which was not covered by the entitlement program was $37.50. The taxpayers covered the rest of his rent for him. About a year later the police busted in his front door and raided the townhouse. In the house they found the garage converted to a pot farm with 168 marijuana plants growing in it. There was marijuana growing in all the closets and in one of the spare bedrooms. They found two large jars of seeds, $7500 in cash, two loaded handguns with the serial numbers filed off and a crazy amount of paraphernalia. This along with another house that got raided at the same time turned out to be the largest drug bust in Lompoc's history. The guy who was growing and selling the stuff had been collecting welfare and rent assistance for over a year.

Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone on welfare are drug dealers. I'm simply thinking that the welfare program needs to be a lot more personal. Each welfare recipient needs a case worker. That case worker should be visiting their home and checking up on them. That case worker should be helping them look for appropriate work and verifying that the welfare recipient is at least trying to get off the public dime.

So here is what I would do. No more food stamps. Each welfare recipient would get a "Welfare" debit card which is only good at the welfare store, thift shops like goodwill and the salvation army and other approved welfare stores. the card cannot be used for cash and can only be used to purchase items deemed necessary for the continuation of life. That means they can buy unprepared food and clothing and toiletry items and thats about it. No tobacco products, no alchohol. Clothing only from thrift stores etc. It could not be used to purchase any kind of luxury items so sorry welfare people, no more Dubs for your escalades.

Next, the first step to going on welfare should be declaring bankruptcy. Your Welfare case worker will oversee the liquidation of all of your stuff which you do not need to survive so that your debts can be paid. They will leave you a place to live, clothing, food but things like your 60 inch plasma screen TV will go by by. They will leave you with basic transportation if you live in a place that does not have adequate public transportation. So if you are driving a $60k car when you go on welfare they are going to take your car, sell it and give you a cheap, reliable entry level American made POS which will be more than adequate to drive you back and forth to job interviews and the welfare store. Next, the welfare office will take over payment of your bills. They'll cover your rent or mortgage, your car payment and all of your utilities. The money to cover your bills will be subtracted from the amount they deposit into your debit card account each month.

Finally, Welfare recipients will have a choice. While collecting welfare they can follow one of two paths. The welfare office will also perform the functions of a temporary employment office. If a farmer needs people to help pick his crops he can call the welfare office and ask for X number of day workers to be sent out. If the welfare office looks at your file and see's that you are capable of doing a needed job, they call you and you turn down the work you forfeit your benefits for that week. If they call and tell you to pick up trash on the highway and you don't show up for road duty you don't get paid. The other option would be education. The welfare office will provide educational opportunities to welfare recipients which will put them on a path towards their next level degree or technical certification. They will assist with finding them money to pay for college or technical schools so that they can learn a skill or a trade that will improve their chance of finding a job. If they chose this option their welfare payments will be considered a loan a percentage of which will have to be paid back either through monetary contribution or through volunteer work in the community within a specified time after they come off welfare. Here I am taking the teach a man to fish tactic. (Give a man a fish and he'll eat today, Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime)

There is a lot more to it than just this. My basic idea is that receiving welfare should not be something to be proud of and it should not be comfortable. Welfare should provide you with only what is absolutely necessary to survive and nothing more. It should provide those who will take advantage of them the help they need to become self sufficient and force those who do not have the drive or motivation to improve themselves to do something to earn their benefits. The success of the welfare program should be judged based on the number of people who leave the welfare rolls, not the number of people entering welfare.
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30-09-2012, 03:07 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
Both my parents were on welfare for 6 years. It had downsides, because I couldn't earn anything on the side (it would be subtracted from the welfare), but it's not like there were any jobs around anyway.

I just want to say, it was the happiest and most productive time of their lives. My folks developed a great range of activities, together and solo, they translated and published books, coordinated study groups, organized group meditations and did lectures. They also of course earned some money by counseling without the state knowing about it. I dare to say my folks were much more useful to the community on their own, than employed as a secretary or a salesman.

I think not all people have the same potential. For some the work is an improvement, for others it is below them. Yet they usually must have some ordinary job, because the economy doesn't allow them freelancing. Hell, even freelancing in this society must be made into profit, some kind of mundane goods and services, in order to be possible at all.

I don't see anything that could be done about this, except some deep changes in the whole society and economy. I heard that in some ancient cultures in region of India the life was divided into roughly 3 phases, first 20 years it was about learning and being taken care of, then they married, had a family and took care of the parents. Then after their 40's people entered a stage of spiritual practices, meditations and teaching. Apparently, in these days of economy it was easier to get by and the employment office wasn't so strict on people.

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30-09-2012, 04:54 AM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
It is interesting to note that many people only support welfare if they were in a position in which they required it (and they only support the type of benefit program they required). Other people, namingly the upper middle class and the wealthy, tend to view it as part of a monetary leech to society.

I tend to support it, even though I have never been in a situation in which I needed benefits or welfare. Unlike most people, I can grasp and understand what it means to be knocked off your feet. Life frequently does so. It alarms me that so many people lack empathy, even if they have never actually experienced the problem.

Just speaking my mind here.

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30-09-2012, 01:42 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2012 01:48 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
(30-09-2012 04:54 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Other people, namingly the upper middle class and the wealthy, tend to view it as part of a monetary leech to society.

According to this site, I'm apparently one of the top 10%. I don't view social safety nets as leeches on society, I see them as prophylactics against fucking pitchforks and torches in the street.

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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30-09-2012, 05:26 PM
Re: Benefits/Welfare.
Yes. In terms of percentages welfare is a small piece of the pie compared to everything else the government spends on. I don't think it's a major drag on the economy. I just remember how much of a problem it was when I, at 16 wanted to get a job to earn money for a car. I did get a job and I was limited on how much I could earn before it affected the benefits we received. Mom was just too Damn honest I guess? She didn't want to cheat the system that was helping her/us survive. I just wanted a fucking car. I ended up doing construction jobs under the table and thumbing my nose at what the "law" said about extra income to the household. After a while I thumbed my nose at a lot of things that were supposedly against the law and started making money hand over fist. Who needed school when those chumps never seen the kind of dead duckies I was carrying around. Then, I got busted and realized the game was fixed and I fell right into it. I dunno. I was never an angel but the welfare trap made cheating the system as a gateway into crime all too rewarding and easy.

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30-09-2012, 05:47 PM
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
(27-09-2012 07:26 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  
(26-09-2012 11:32 PM)Diablo Wrote:  I don't think the word you are looking for is inflation. I think the words you are looking for is prices escalation. The corporations would just raise the prices, so in the long run they make the same, if not more, money.

Its happening right now with the insurance companies, and I still can't figure out how their expenses have went up at this point, or ever from the new health care laws. They just got million of new customers...

Cigarettes is another great example. Govt taxes them, they just jack the price up to compensate.

Do you think these aristocratic leeches are going to lose a dime of their bonus money do you? Of course not..

That is like exactly what inflation is.
Wages go up, prices go up and overall nothing changes apart from things that use to cost $1 are now $2 and where you earned $10 you now earn $20.
Devaluation of the dollar.

As for cigarettes, that's the general idea of increasing tax on them that price goes up and then hopefully people are deterred from buying them. Cigarette companies still make the same profit no matter the price on each pack.
It's the same with petrol, service stations make the same amount per liter(or galleon if you're country is crap and doesn't use metric) no matter the price (yet I'd always get an ear full when price goes up... yes because as someone who pumps gas and serves on till I am in complete 100% control of petrol prices and I'm obviously just raising them to fuck with everybody... fucking moron town doesn't understand global concepts). Or even refineries, we have a family friend who owns a refinery, his profit margin remains the same no matter gasoline prices.
Cost of petrol goes up yes but so does the price of crude

That is not what inflation is. Raising minimum wage does not create more currency, aka inflation, it redistributes the wealth more towards the bottom. The cost of items does not suddenly go up, because poor people now have slightly less money. They go up because the corps readjust the costs due to increasing expenditures on employment. And even that would only happen with companies who employ lots of minimum wage employees.

No, the general idea for taxing cigarettes was to get back some of the money the govt loses paying health care bills every year. The deterring price factor is merely a side bonus.
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30-09-2012, 07:04 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2012 08:31 PM by earmuffs.)
RE: Benefits/Welfare.
(30-09-2012 05:47 PM)Diablo Wrote:  
(27-09-2012 07:26 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  That is like exactly what inflation is.
Wages go up, prices go up and overall nothing changes apart from things that use to cost $1 are now $2 and where you earned $10 you now earn $20.
Devaluation of the dollar.

As for cigarettes, that's the general idea of increasing tax on them that price goes up and then hopefully people are deterred from buying them. Cigarette companies still make the same profit no matter the price on each pack.
It's the same with petrol, service stations make the same amount per liter(or galleon if you're country is crap and doesn't use metric) no matter the price (yet I'd always get an ear full when price goes up... yes because as someone who pumps gas and serves on till I am in complete 100% control of petrol prices and I'm obviously just raising them to fuck with everybody... fucking moron town doesn't understand global concepts). Or even refineries, we have a family friend who owns a refinery, his profit margin remains the same no matter gasoline prices.
Cost of petrol goes up yes but so does the price of crude

That is not what inflation is. Raising minimum wage does not create more currency, aka inflation, it redistributes the wealth more towards the bottom. The cost of items does not suddenly go up, because poor people now have slightly less money. They go up because the corps readjust the costs due to increasing expenditures on employment. And even that would only happen with companies who employ lots of minimum wage employees.

No, the general idea for taxing cigarettes was to get back some of the money the govt loses paying health care bills every year. The deterring price factor is merely a side bonus.

It has a flow-on effect though.
So yeah minimum wage goes up, products go up (some yes) but then as those products go up less is spent elsewhere and so other companies are losing money and so their prices go up and eventually everything goes up and nothing changes (poor still poor rich still rich). The poor may become less poor for a short while but eventually it reaches equilibrium again and so the government increases minimum wage again (to compensate for poor people poor) and the whole process repeats itself until you have for example in 1920 where a car would cost $200 to today where a car costs like $20,000.
Yeah I understand there are other factors that give rise to inflation yes, but what I'm saying is that increasing minimum wage is just one of those factors.
You don't change anything in the long run by increasing minimum wage.

In a true free market there wouldn't even be a minimum wage. (Not saying I'm for this I'm just saying). Supply and Demand determine "minimum wage". So like now in America for example, job unemployment is high and so in a true free market there is competition in those for those jobs in the form of "I'll work for less then what he will" and so average wages comes down. As the economy picks up and jobs are created etc.. demand shifts in the other way in the form of "come work for me I'll pay more then what he will".
But of course this will never occur because people see this as immoral, but this too has a play on effect because if overall people are earning less then they are spending less and so prices compete too and come down in price. The problem with today is that there is a minimum wage and so prices will never fall below this equilibrium of everyone working at the minimum wage rate. And so when you get unemployment at like 8% (or whatever it is) and you have people on welfare which is less then a minimum wage job then they can't get to this price equilibrium and so you get really poor like what you have currently.
Sure in theory prices should come down if those 8% are earning less (bringing the average down) but "being poor" is concentrated to those 8%. If you have a true free wage market then unemployment will, in theory (I get that this is all theory), be very very minimal and "being poor" will be shared across all the population.

Example: (Because everything is better with an example) 100 people in a country. Each earn $10 and spend $10. $1000 total earnings and spending right.
Say a recession hits in the form of the country has to pay $100 (economy is in a slump). Hmm this is really hard to give an example for, maybe this is not better with an example, I mean I know you'll get what I'm saying... wait got it.

Each earns $10 and spends 50% and a recession hits and everyone's spending goes up 25%. The big boss man that everyone pays the spending money too always wants 50% back on wages he pays (so he pays $10 and wants $5 back) but the people also want 50% of their wages left over. God damn I'm just complicating things, oh well too late now I'm committed.
So each of the 100 people spend 25% less so they're spending $5 (but only $2.5 is going to the boss man). So the boss man is now getting only $250 back (25%). So he has two options, increase prices (say $2.5 worth of goods now is vital to each persons survival so increasing the cost means each person is forced to pay more) or reduce wages, or cut jobs. He can't legally reduce wages so he either cuts jobs or increases prices.
Lets say he cuts 50 jobs. So he is paying $500 and 50 people are paying him $125. BUT lucky for the 50 people who lost their jobs the government gives $5 in unemployment welfare. So 50 people now earn $5. But because they need to survive they still pay $2.5 to the boss man. So now the boss man pays $500 but receives $250 which is the 50% return he wanted.
The problem with this is that 50 people now earn $5 and 50 earn $10 which is a clear split and so they become two groups know as "poor" and "rich".

What I'm saying with a true free wage market the boss man can instead reduce wages to say $7.5 on everyone. He then pays $750 and everyone spends 50% of their wages, $3.75 and so the boss man then still sees that 50% return. (and in this example a bigger return actually).

The 25% hit to the market is then spread out over all 100 people as opposed to just a percent of those 100 people.



Little off topic but I was on a train of thought so just kept going.


edit: wait no that doesn't sound right... I'll get back to this, cbf right now.

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