Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
And the 7-12 percent of people who can't get jobs because they don't exist should what, starve to death? I'm really curious. Do you really think that putting people through more hardship is going to solve social problems?
First off, I already mentioned that the reason many of those people can't get jobs is because of where they're living, not because there aren't sufficient jobs *anywhere*. And they're living there because that's where the social services have set them up to live. This is doubly prevalent in the UK, btw.
Also, how much of the UK's GDP is being spent providing that housing and medical care and food? The US government, even with its ridiculous recent spending increases, spends 25% of its GDP. The UK spends 50% of its GDP. Can you even for a second entertain the possibility that us conservatives might just be right and that by taking that much money out of private hands, you cause the problem of fewer jobs in the first place?
It's a catch-22. You tax that money away to pay for social services which are needed by those who can't find jobs. But the people can't find jobs because you've taxed the money away from their potential employers. I'd laugh at the ironic symmetry, but it's not really funny.
I see you offer some anecdotes which to you, prove that it is welfare that creates social problems - but there is no evidence to be seen here, none at all.
I didn't say that welfare "causes" social problems. I said that welfare makes existing social problems worse by institutionalizing them within a population. If you are poor and there is no welfare, you'll fight to not be poor anymore. There are good odds that you or your children will not be poor. If you are poor and on welfare, the odds that your children will also be poor and on welfare are dramatically higher than the odds of your children being poor if you were poor without any welfare. Welfare turns poverty into a generational problem. And, as I pointed out earlier, this effect is amplified when the government actually designates areas in which to put welfare housing (council housing), since everyone who isn't on welfare eventually moves away, taking the jobs with them. This leaves the welfare recipients stuck in an area in which they can't get jobs and can't get out of the system.
Sorry, but I don't give a damn if some people sit around on welfare smoking weed. I really don't. Not if the only solution you can come up with, is starving people out to force them to become respectable.
That's not my solution though. That's the straw man version of my solution which you've chosen to pretend is the only alternative. To be fair to your point though, I will acknowledge that once you get as far along in this process as the UK and France have (in terms of housing specifically), it's incredibly hard to undo. You have these large populations living in areas which can't sustain them. That's a hard knot to untangle.
I'm kinda using those examples as reasons why we *shouldn't* pursue that same course here in the US. We're not quite as far along (although some inner city areas are similarly bad). It's hard to fix the problem, but relatively easy to avoid it. You just have to choose *not* to make the same mistakes.
Cause people who have been living on the street - they are likely to get jobs when unemployment is over 10 per cent and tons of people who are better suited to work intellectually, and emotionally, who live in houses with showers and laundry are going for them???!?
So since it's hard, we should just give up, right? It's exactly that sort of attitude that makes this such a big problem.
Just cause you believe that people are made bad by welfare doesn't make it true. You knowing a friend of a cousin or something who is a douche on welfare doesn't make it true.
Every person I've met who's ever been on welfare has given more or less the same story. Some manage to get off welfare, but only because they have a strong work ethic. If you have even a decent streak of "find the path of least resistance", you'll find it easier to work the system instead of working a job. A hell of a lot of people fall into that trap, and a large percentage of them never ever get out of it.
And that 14 year old you are talking about - yeah, I have no doubt her crappy parents and crappy home environment have helped make her what you say she is - but don't you think that what you are doing is actually arguing for more government interventions to support her where her parents fail?
No. I'm arguing that if the government didn't intervene in the first place, her parents would have been far far less likely to fail. Never underestimate the maturing effect of having to provide for yourself and your family. When we have a government which makes it easy for parents to sit on a couch and collect a disability/welfare check, why be surprised when the number of people who end out sitting on a couch collecting those checks increase? And why be surprised when people who do this turn out not to be very good parents?
I would say that 14 year old is evidence of how almost two decades of conservative-led attacks on the public education system has led to vulnerable youth not receiving the supports they need to thrive despite crappy home environments.
WTF? What does this have to do with anything? But for the record, over the last two decades, the amount of money spent on education programs designed to help troubled kids has increased dramatically. It hasn't helped though, has it? It's because the left continues to believe that the way to solve social problems is by spending more money. It never occurs to them that what they're doing is counter productive.
The public school system isn't ever going to be able to correct for bad parenting. Anyone who thinks so is freaking moronic.
Do you think having her parents on the street would have been better for her than welfare? You can say "oh they would have smartened up and gotten jobs if there was no welfare" but you have no evidence that this is the case, especially when there is this thing, called an unemployment rate, which hasn't been at 0 per cent in my life time.
Unemployment rates don't work that way. Also, in this particular case, both of them were employed
. They both developed mysterious back injuries (the type which creates lots of pain which needs medication, but of course doctors can't really definitively say exists or doesn't) and quit their jobs to take disability and welfare (for the kids). It's almost hysterical because I know the family well and they'll have some get together at the grandparents house and there's a whole huge extended family, some of them into their 80s, all healthy and walking around, and these two mid-30s people hobble in making a big deal of using their canes and grunting and groaning and moaning the whole time. Then they plop down on chairs and complain about their lives the whole time, whilst everyone else looks at them in disbelief.
Gee. What a coincidence that the only two people who have some mysterious injury which prevents them from working is that one married couple? Both of them? Within a year of each other? Sorry, it's BS. They could work if they want to. They choose not to. A choice that is made possible because they can work the system.
At least she had food in the fridge and a home to sleep in at night.
And pretty much zero prospects for ever having a better life. I'd rather suffer a few hungry nights if I know that I have opportunity available to me to improve my life. People in prison have food and a place to stay. I just don't think that in a free society those things should be given more weight than the opportunity to make something of yourself of your own free will. Edited, Aug 11th 2011 5:03pm by gbaji