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The importance of social welfare.

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Posted: 07/16/2014 7:28 AM

The importance of social welfare. 


This is the best article I've ever read about why social welfare is important to the lives of those in need as well as a boon to our economy.


This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps


"I grew up in a white, affluent suburb, where failure seemed harder than success. In college, I studied biology and journalism. I worked for good money at a local hospital, which afforded me the opportunity to network at journalism conferences.

"Two weeks before my children were born, my future husband found himself staring at a pink slip. The days of unemployment turned into weeks, months, and, eventually, years.Then my kids were born, six weeks early.

"In just two months, we’d gone from making a combined $120,000 a year to making just $25,000 and leeching out funds to a mortgage we couldn’t afford. Our savings dwindled, then disappeared.


"So I did what I had to do. I signed up for Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children."

Last edited 07/16/2014 7:29 AM by JustinZ

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Posted: 07/16/2014 7:31 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


The other salient point made by the author is just how distrustful we are of welfare recipients (and for no particularly good reason), and how condescending. The irony of her situation vis-à-vis the harassment she was subject to and the shame she felt inside is striking.
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Posted: 07/16/2014 10:46 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


I read this article last week.  It's an interesting insight into those utilizing food stamps, their internal conflict, and the outside judging that happens to those that need them.

That said, I think only those on the fringes would rally against this woman using food stamps.  She's the model for how the safety net should work.  People that rally against the welfare state are generally against long-term welfare and policies that encourage people to stay on the public dole.

This article had little to do with that aspect of the welfare debate.

But judging people solely because they need government assistance is dumb. As the bumper sticker says, "sh!t happens" and we may all need a safety net at some point in our lives.
E

***The opinions stated by BigESunDvl are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of DevilsDigest.com or its staff.***
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Posted: 07/16/2014 10:48 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


43,000,000 people do not need to be on Welfare.  I am not against welfare but I am against the current qualifications to receive welfare and the amount of time you can be on it.  It was meant to help you get back on your feet not live off of it for years.   Strengthen the requirements to get it so only those in real need can get it and shorten the time they can have it and you will get broad support from a majority of Americans outside of the Tea Party.


Bear Down on this!!!  41-34 and 58-21 'nuff said
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Posted: 07/16/2014 11:04 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


When you have a poverty-level minimum wage and corporations abusing that fact to basically use public funds as subsidies for their enterprises, then yeah, unfortunately that many people are forced to be on welfare. If the minimum wage were livable, you wouldn't have this.
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Posted: 07/16/2014 12:05 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


this. people want to work for the most part.
JustinZ wrote: When you have a poverty-level minimum wage and corporations abusing that fact to basically use public funds as subsidies for their enterprises, then yeah, unfortunately that many people are forced to be on welfare. If the minimum wage were livable, you wouldn't have this.
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Posted: 07/16/2014 12:11 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


There will always be losers. And by losers I mean lazy good-for-nothings. That's true in every society.

By and large, these are not those people.

I'll even come right out and say, if I didn't have every socioeconomic advantage, from growing up upper-middle class, having an excellent high school education paid for by mommy and daddy, not to mention college and law school tuition, being white, being male, being straight, and for much of my life being Christian, I'd not have a tenth of what I do. I'm lucky--in contrast to a poor person, I can be lazy and both survive, and not be looked down upon as if I'm lazy!
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Posted: 07/16/2014 1:59 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



JustinZ wrote: When you have a poverty-level minimum wage and corporations abusing that fact to basically use public funds as subsidies for their enterprises, then yeah, unfortunately that many people are forced to be on welfare. If the minimum wage were livable, you wouldn't have this.
This statement is directly contradicted by the government's own numbers.  However, it is a very nice argument to stoke the anti-corporate fires.  

According to the gov's 2013 numbers, only 4.3% (roughly 3.3 million people) of the hourly wage population earns minimum wage and roughly half of those earning minimum wage are exactly the types of people expected to earn minimum wage - those under 25.  Keep in mind that the 4.3% number represents only hourly workers, not the workforce as a whole.  That percentage would fall drastically if total number of workers was in the denominator instead of hourly workers.
E

***The opinions stated by BigESunDvl are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of DevilsDigest.com or its staff.***
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Posted: 07/16/2014 3:11 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


What the study doesn't report is #s and %s of hourly workers who make within a dollar or so (above) the federal minimum wage and the % of younger workers employed hourly vs. previous periods. My general understanding is that unemployment for those 25 and younger has gone up significantly since 2007/2008, that many older employees are doing that work now, and as a result, one would expect a fair to good % of the latter workers to be earning just a little above the minimum wage.
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Posted: 07/16/2014 3:15 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



LargerParcel wrote: What the study doesn't report is #s and %s of hourly workers who make within a dollar or so (above) the federal minimum wage and the % of younger workers employed hourly vs. previous periods. My general understanding is that unemployment for those 25 and younger has gone up significantly since 2007/2008, that many older employees are doing that work now, and as a result, one would expect a fair to good % of the latter workers to be earning just a little above the minimum wage.
In my comments, I estimated that twice the number of minimum wage hourly workers would land between the current min wage and new min wage.  That is obviously just an estimate and can be debated.

But the overall point still stands, IMO, that min wage is not really what's driving the welfare roles, as suggested by Justin.
E

***The opinions stated by BigESunDvl are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of DevilsDigest.com or its staff.***
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Posted: 07/16/2014 3:22 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



BigESunDvl wrote:
LargerParcel wrote: What the study doesn't report is #s and %s of hourly workers who make within a dollar or so (above) the federal minimum wage and the % of younger workers employed hourly vs. previous periods. My general understanding is that unemployment for those 25 and younger has gone up significantly since 2007/2008, that many older employees are doing that work now, and as a result, one would expect a fair to good % of the latter workers to be earning just a little above the minimum wage.
In my comments, I estimated that twice the number of minimum wage hourly workers would land between the current min wage and new min wage.  That is obviously just an estimate and can be debated.

But the overall point still stands, IMO, that min wage is not really what's driving the welfare roles, as suggested by Justin.
Gotcha, Chief! cool And I tend to agree with your last point as well.

(To be clear, I mean "Chief" in a non-slur way, like "Ace", "Boss", "Slick", "Bud", etc., and without reference to Native Americans per se. Are we good? biggrin)

Last edited 07/16/2014 3:31 PM by LargerParcel

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Posted: 07/16/2014 3:31 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



LargerParcel wrote:
BigESunDvl wrote:
LargerParcel wrote: What the study doesn't report is #s and %s of hourly workers who make within a dollar or so (above) the federal minimum wage and the % of younger workers employed hourly vs. previous periods. My general understanding is that unemployment for those 25 and younger has gone up significantly since 2007/2008, that many older employees are doing that work now, and as a result, one would expect a fair to good % of the latter workers to be earning just a little above the minimum wage.
In my comments, I estimated that twice the number of minimum wage hourly workers would land between the current min wage and new min wage.  That is obviously just an estimate and can be debated.

But the overall point still stands, IMO, that min wage is not really what's driving the welfare roles, as suggested by Justin.
Gotcha, Chief! cool And I tend to agree with your last point as well.
It's very difficult to get reliable data on this stuff.  I'd like to see how long people received public assistance.  If everyone that received it was off it in six months or less, I think we could all agree that it's a unmitigated success! But we all know that's not the case and it's hard to judge whether the safety net is really a safety net or a nice hammock because data is both difficult to find and also hard to rely upon since even the gov revises data constantly (e.g. temps in the US in the last couple decades).
E

***The opinions stated by BigESunDvl are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of DevilsDigest.com or its staff.***
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Posted: 07/16/2014 4:21 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


Interesting figures, certainly. And I'm totally down with welfare-to-work programs because that is in essence "teaching a person to fish" to paraphrase a recent well-timed Chinese proverb. But the point still remains, that even $11/hour only amounts to only slightly more than $20,000 a year, and if you have children, that's still poverty-type stuff. It should be the absolute minimum exactly because it should be extremely young people who are making that and nobody else, and it should go up from there.

Last edited 07/16/2014 4:28 PM by JustinZ

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Posted: 07/16/2014 5:26 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



JustinZ wrote: Interesting figures, certainly. And I'm totally down with welfare-to-work programs because that is in essence "teaching a person to fish" to paraphrase a recent well-timed Chinese proverb. But the point still remains, that even $11/hour only amounts to only slightly more than $20,000 a year, and if you have children, that's still poverty-type stuff. It should be the absolute minimum exactly because it should be extremely young people who are making that and nobody else, and it should go up from there.
$20,000 per year isn't great but it's a livable wage for a single 20 something.  If you mean that minimum wage needs to be set a level that a single parent can support four kids on it, we'll have a strong difference of opinion.
E

***The opinions stated by BigESunDvl are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of DevilsDigest.com or its staff.***
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Posted: 07/16/2014 6:58 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



BigESunDvl wrote:
JustinZ wrote: Interesting figures, certainly. And I'm totally down with welfare-to-work programs because that is in essence "teaching a person to fish" to paraphrase a recent well-timed Chinese proverb. But the point still remains, that even $11/hour only amounts to only slightly more than $20,000 a year, and if you have children, that's still poverty-type stuff. It should be the absolute minimum exactly because it should be extremely young people who are making that and nobody else, and it should go up from there.
$20,000 per year isn't great but it's a livable wage for a single 20 something.  If you mean that minimum wage needs to be set a level that a single parent can support four kids on it, we'll have a strong difference of opinion.
I'd strongly disagree on the "livable" wage for single mom w/ 4 kids too. I do think a single mom ought to be able to get subsidized child care for one or two kids so that she can work full time to support said kids if she has no other help. Beyond that, I start feeling less sympathy for the mom and more like maybe she's at least a good part responsible for the crap situation she's in.
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Posted: 07/16/2014 8:21 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


Why can't the government implement a work program where they pay people to do odd jobs in order to collect the money that used to be distributed via welfare? 

Keep it simple... maybe have a bus that drives around town and picks up people who need money. The bus takes those people to parks, highways, etc.... and they can clean up, paint over graffiti, plant trees, etc...Then at the end of they day they get money added to a debit card. 

This would reduce unemployment, generate tax revenue, and improve the appearance of cities and towns.
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Posted: 07/16/2014 8:35 PM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


Probably cause the administrative costs would be huge!
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Posted: 07/17/2014 4:13 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 



the42yardline wrote: Why can't the government implement a work program where they pay people to do odd jobs in order to collect the money that used to be distributed via welfare? 

Keep it simple... maybe have a bus that drives around town and picks up people who need money. The bus takes those people to parks, highways, etc.... and they can clean up, paint over graffiti, plant trees, etc...Then at the end of they day they get money added to a debit card. 

This would reduce unemployment, generate tax revenue, and improve the appearance of cities and towns.
You could fix the infrastructure this way
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Posted: 07/17/2014 7:40 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


If there is so few people who actually make the minimum wage, why do conservatives always argue that raising it will hurt our economy? If that is all that is making the minimum wage we are really close to the free market capitalism that conservatives claim all our economic problems will be solved, surely 4.3% of the population can't possibly bring this whole economy down.


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--- BigESunDvl wrote:


JustinZ wrote: When you have a poverty-level minimum wage and corporations abusing that fact to basically use public funds as subsidies for their enterprises, then yeah, unfortunately that many people are forced to be on welfare. If the minimum wage were livable, you wouldn't have this.
This statement is directly contradicted by the government's own numbers.  However, it is a very nice argument to stoke the anti-corporate fires.  

According to the gov's 2013 numbers, only 4.3% (roughly 3.3 million people) of the hourly wage population earns minimum wage and roughly half of those earning minimum wage are exactly the types of people expected to earn minimum wage - those under 25.  Keep in mind that the 4.3% number represents only hourly workers, not the workforce as a whole.  That percentage would fall drastically if total number of workers was in the denominator instead of hourly workers.

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Posted: 07/17/2014 9:02 AM

Re: The importance of social welfare. 


Probably for the same reason Dems use minimum wage to paint pictures of dead babies in the street and make it an example of widespread institutional racism - it riles up the base.


---------------------------------------------
--- 99sundevil wrote:

If there is so few people who actually make the minimum wage, why do conservatives always argue that raising it will hurt our economy? If that is all that is making the minimum wage we are really close to the free market capitalism that conservatives claim all our economic problems will be solved, surely 4.3% of the population can't possibly bring this whole economy down.


---------------------------------------------
--- BigESunDvl wrote:


JustinZ wrote: When you have a poverty-level minimum wage and corporations abusing that fact to basically use public funds as subsidies for their enterprises, then yeah, unfortunately that many people are forced to be on welfare. If the minimum wage were livable, you wouldn't have this.
This statement is directly contradicted by the government's own numbers.  However, it is a very nice argument to stoke the anti-corporate fires.  

According to the gov's 2013 numbers, only 4.3% (roughly 3.3 million people) of the hourly wage population earns minimum wage and roughly half of those earning minimum wage are exactly the types of people expected to earn minimum wage - those under 25.  Keep in mind that the 4.3% number represents only hourly workers, not the workforce as a whole.  That percentage would fall drastically if total number of workers was in the denominator instead of hourly workers.

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E

***The opinions stated by BigESunDvl are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of DevilsDigest.com or its staff.***
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