Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Laws the GOP should pass #20: A series of compromises Part 5: Welfare Reform

One third of this nation is on welfare of some sort! 10% is unemployed. And you and I the people who A.) got an education that would make us recession proof, B.) didn’t give into getting fired or laid off and got a job no matter how much below our dream job it is because we know it’s simply below our dignity to take money for nothing, well, we’re paying for these people to not do anything.
Now you may claim that’s it’s the economy, or bad luck or whatnot. Perhaps. That they need to have some kind of help, and for the unemployed they have paid into the system (nowhere near as much as they’re taking out if they come under that extension that Congress passed last year, and the same goes for most of the people on Social Security who are taking out far more than they ever put in). But they need some kind of help in these bad times you claim.
Fine. I’m not going to argue with that right now.
But I do have a compromise.
The Republicans should not oppose further extensions so long as we get a couple of concessions.
The first, all federal money to states for welfare, unemployment or any kind of dole program is tied directly to each recipient passing an initial drug test and random drug tests after that. This little provision has been floating around the internet and general conversation for years, and now it is the perfect time to put it into practice. I’m a civil libertarian on most things and I don’t care if you’re using your own money to get high in the safety and comfort of your own house where you’re not bothering anyone…but that does not mean I intend to fund your habit in any way, shape or form. And that includes liquor and nicotine. I’m sorry but those are not necessities, and if you’re wasting money on things like that when you’re surviving only on the graciousness of society, you don’t need them and if you’re using them—no money for you.
The next provision to get any welfare or unemployment checks is that we are going to require you to work. We have highways that need picking up, we have graffiti that needs removal, hell, if you’re on disability and can’t move we can put you in a chair on a street corner with a radio to call the police if you see anything that resembles criminal activity. Improve whole area through a version of the broken windows theory of crime prevention on speed. (And if, as my liberal friends want to complain, there are lots of people who have an education but can’t find a job, well then we have massive amounts of students who need tutoring). All we need to require is that you work two weekdays and one weekend day. That leaves three days a week for job hunting or job training and one weekend day for relaxation. But everybody works for their money doing some form of community service. Sounds fair to me.
Some of it may not be the most enjoyable work that we’ll be giving to these people, but that’s also a good thing. It acts as an incentive to get a job. More people will find that a minimum wage job that pays better than unemployment is worth taking since they’ll be required to work either way, which in turns means we’ll be throwing away less money. And you know how that cycle of money being earned and pumped back into the system works. And let us not forget that this offers some job experience and references which perhaps some people need to get off of the dole.
Thus, we as a country will at least get part of our money back. We’ll be spending less in the long run and the country and economy overall will be better for it.

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