Making Welfare Recipients Work For Benefits.

Someone on xanga whose name I will not mention as I do not want to give them any more attention, did a blog (perhaps deliberately inflammatory to get hits) in which they suggested something I’ve heard now and then from conservatives – that if someone is on food stamps or public housing (or in that blog even medicaid) then they should be picking up litter on the side of the highway or sweeping the streets or performing some other public service in exchange for what they get.  On the surface this seems logical, but if you think about it for two seconds, a few problems emerge. 

Not the least of which is that this has actually been tried before and while it was popular for many many years a similar policy was eventually repealed… by the emancipation proclamation.  Making people work for just food and shelter is called slavery.  If you want to offer people on welfare an actual fucking job doing any of these things and pay them actual money so they have some control over their life then that’s great, but trapping someone in a system of “if you stop working for your benefits for a week you will starve to death” where they have no way to earn money or savings to get out of that cycle is literally just owning slaves.  And those slaves would be… guess what, mostly minorities.   I’ve even heard proponents of this plan suggest that rather than paying for the cost of an actual home or apartment welfare recipients should be made to live in cheaper dormitories…

These few conservatives are, whether they realize it or not, suggesting we bring back slavery.  And that’s sadly not the only problem with this – another problem is that a lot of people on public assistance already work, many of them full-time.  If you want to get people off of the public teat the best way seems to be to promote general prosperity so most people don’t need it anymore.  Raise the minimum wage more than once a decade so poor peoples’ wages aren’t gradually shrinking.  And not deregulating the financial sector so the ultra-rich can fuck the economy up the ass and then do a few lines of coke afterward might also be a good idea.  Because creating an economic system with 10% unemployment and around 20% underemployment where the bottom 50% of wage earners control only 2.5% of the wealth is not exactly a great strategy for getting people off of welfare.

Republican politicians sneer at the thought of welfare as though it were some annoyance.  It’s not.  In reality, it’s the only thing stopping the poor who have been and will continue to be fucked worse than anyone in this country from cutting off their heads.


About agnophilo

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76 Responses to Making Welfare Recipients Work For Benefits.

  1. I disagree. I think community service is a fair exchange for a welfare check. As UnrevealedTruth xo stated, there are many states and local governments that already have this in place. GAO released a brief on the subject as early as July of 2000. This isn’t a new policy, it actually has been around for quite a while. It isn’t slavery and actually a pretty neat concept. Some TANF work site programs are targeted to those who have limited job experience which is great because their experience on the work site program provides more experience for them to help them attain jobs (pg9). Its not just picking up trash on the side of the road. While it seems that working in exchange for welfare is a fairly conservative concept, the states with the most notoriety for these programs are considered fairly liberal areas. New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, West Virginia, California, etc. As the GAO document shows, there is actually less than 50% of recipients that are participating in the working for community service checks. The only exception to that rule is New York where they had 54% participating in the program (pg 14). This policy isn’t like slavery because in some areas you can actually earn more than the grant site, and actually end up employed by the grant site in some states (pg 16).If anything we should be encouraging these types of programs run by Massachusetts and Oregon because they help lower unemployment, ease people off of benefits, and help people become financially independent of the state. If anything being forced to live off of meager state benefits with little to no hope of finding a job in a bad economy is slavery. These policies are helping people to become financially independent of the state as they learn new workplace skills that can benefit them in a real workplace environment! Sorry to site so extensively from a government document in my post but it seems like there is a lot of misinformation about this topic out there.

  2. joooolie says:

    I like your ideas. I do think that the system could use some kind of transitional program to assist people to get off of welfare. In our current system, if you make over X amount of money they you’re automatically knocked off from all benefits. Knowing people who have been on food stamps, etc., they have honestly expressed the fear that getting another job (or a better paying one) would make it so they don’t qualify for benefits and at the same time can’t make ends meet. So they stay right where they are. If there was something to help them transition over or a grace period where they could still be getting benefits with their new jobs, that would encourage people to succeed rather than punishing them for moving up. Also if they beefed up the employment assistance programs to help people find jobs too.

  3. apb102088 says:

    When I had my baby, we had to go on food stamps for a month. If we had not done so, we would’ve lost our apartment. To all those who advocate “working” for food stamps, it was a little hard for me to work while on bedrest 🙂 I thank God for programs that help people who actually need it. Yes, we all know there are people who abuse the system. There are lazy people who feel entitled to government help and they have no motivation to better themselves, and then there are people who work under the table and don’t report their income so that they can keep receiving government aid. But that’s just how some people are and it can’t be helped. But we need to remember there are honest, hard-working people who really need help sometimes to even survive. (As a Christian, I think other Christians need to step up and help others more. We’re called to love and serve the poor, not ourselves)

  4. ildatch10 says:

    I think people on welfare should be able to get help to make there lives better but the welfare company needs to take a stand to people who use the system. They also need to stop just handing people things. I new a old women who was only able to get $10 in food stamps. something needs to be done to fix our messed up system. but not slavery

  5. Stanelle says:

    For once,..I agree with you.

  6. momofjenmatt says:

    I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being conservative, I am definitly more liberal if I had to lable myself and I have always voted democrat.  Having said that, I work for at risk youth.  Most of these boys are from the WORST areas of Chicago, and maybe even the worst areas in any major US. city.  I know our west side was on nightline.  Anyway, these boys have told me story after story about how their families totally misuse the welfare system, food stamps etc.. These families sell drugs, even grandma. Not all, but many.  They have more money than me.  Given the information I have learned many, ( not all) take advantage of the system, it needs to be revamped in some way.  At least in my opinion.  Not everything is black and white, sometimes there is grey.  And I too think slavery is MUCH TOO strong of a word, it actually does a diservice to people who were actual slaves in this country.

  7. Aprilmax7303 says:

    @DivaJyoti – Are you gonna base your comment on something other than Gods sake?

  8. Aprilmax7303 says:

    @firetyger – Agree – 100%, get back on their feet – Not be dependant.

  9. tsh44 says:

    I don’t like the system the way it works and I also agree that turning it into slavery is a crazy idea too. I’ve always proposed a middle ground but middle grounds are hard to get past the voters because they don’t really give anyone exactly what they want.

  10. liquor90 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – You’re in my most recent post. You should read it to get an idea of why I bother you/you bother me so much. And comment! I won’t hate you if you comment!

  11. @apb102088 – The government has no business in the charity business.It’s unethical. But that does not mean that people in need should have no resources. It’s just that those resouces should come from private institutions.

  12. @liquor90 – You don’t bother me. I don’t even know who you are. My beef is with catastrophic, civilization-destroying philosophies and ideas like atheism and liberalism.

  13. liquor90 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – I’m just curious if my post bothers you because it lays a pretty clear picture of why I don’t like your ideas

  14. @liquor90 – Your post doesn’t bother me. It is simply a string of self-righteous proclamations like every other liberal post on Xanga.You supply ZERO reason in support of your statements and proclamations, much like agnophilo.And, like all other liberals I have ever seen you redefine the opposition to suit your needs instead of addressing actual opposing arguments.

  15. liquor90 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – Meh, I’m pretty sure my post makes people like you into losers

  16. liquor90 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – but I’d rather you comment it so we don’t bother agno

  17. @liquor90 – Why should I lend support to such a hateful person like you? Why don’t you bother fellow haters like Da Vinci or Godlessliberal and have them comment on your blog.I don’t even think you mentioned me by name in your post. That makes you a pure wierdo in my book. At least they could name their pain.

  18. liquor90 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – I mean loser in the most chivalrous of ways. And I posted this on facebook, I think saying “LOBORNELYTESTHOUGHTPALACE SAID….” would have been the weird thing to do

  19. @liquor90 – Most people just refer to me as LoBo, or LoBorn or if you are a real psycho, Curtis.

  20. liquor90 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – I wish there was a mini that said “Focus!”

  21. apb102088 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – I would agree with that. Sadly though, no one else helped us out! I wish there were more help available for those who truly need it.

  22. @apb102088 – In my small town the Catholic churchs are always helping people who need a hand.It’s just that when the government gets involved, the needed help becomes an entitlement and poor people became a permanent underclass.And that only serves the needs of politicians who use the situation to garner votes.

  23. apyus says:

    i thought i would sell lampshades on eBay

  24. jaydedheart says:

    You’re intelligent. And some of your posts make points that are really sound. But, in the end i think you sabotage your reach when you tie your arguements to party politics. I think you’d have a lot more reach if you just made your point, like in this case about the similiarity between people working for miniscule welfare checks and slavery, without finding an enemy in the process. Anyone who has held a different view then you is automatically going to shut their ears and eyes off the minute the words “conservative”, “republican”, “right”, ect and a negative thought are minced. Which leaves you preaching to the choir. To be sure, many people would still shut you out even without those words. But you’re really sealing the deal when you divide it up into sides. Leave your thoughts open for everyone to be on your side, and you know you might find a few people starting to see what you see, that didn’t before.

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