So last week I said that people who take Medicaid and Medicare need to follow their doctor’s orders if they want to keep that funding. This is completely just. Some may claim that this has a Big Brother aspect to it (which I will admit sounds like a credible complaint on its face) but it isn’t. Why? Because you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to under this system. You don’t want to follow the doctor’s orders you don’t have to. I just don’t have to pay for it if you don’t. My wallet is not the property of anyone who wants it. I would rather not give a goddamn cent of the money I HAVE EARNED to someone who has done nothing beyond exist, but if I am going to be forced at gunpoint (I don’t pay my taxes because I want to, I pay them because 1.) they are stolen from me before I ever see my pay check via withholdings, and 2.) even if they weren’t the government has guns and jails and would use them if I didn’t pay) then I will use what power I have to advocate for conditions for that money, and the government has the right to demand anything if you want money from them, if you don’t want to comply with what the conditions are, you don’t have to take the money. No one forced you to go on the dole (okay, you are forced to go onto Social Security and Medicare when you retire…but you don’t have to cash those blood money checks).
For this week I’m going to have another requirement.
Right now we have a lot of unemployed in this country. Why? Well it’s not because there are no jobs. We’re still importing lots of engineers, doctors, and specialists from all over the world–because there are jobs, just not enough Americans who are qualified to take them. Right now unemployment for the college educated is at a little over 4%, a little over 10% for those with a high school education, and over 14% for those with no high school diploma. (I can’t find the figures but while those with only an associates or technical degree are probably being counted in the 10% group, I would guess the numbers of this sub group are closer to the 4% than the 10%). Most Americans without jobs don’t have jobs because there are no openings, they don’t have jobs because they’re not educated enough to do the work that is available. Yes there are exceptions, lots of them, but I think that statement would apply justly to the majority of those out of work. Those with the proper education can amazingly find jobs when they need one even after being fired or laid off. I’ll admit that there are probably a lot of educated people right now who are under-employed (in a job below what they’re trained to do) but that’s better than being on the dole.
So what’s the new requirement? That anyone on welfare or unemployment has A.) 6 months to get their GED (do you know how easy it is to get a GED or high school diploma? 6 months is the generosity of a saint) or you’re off the roles until you get an education. As a part of this you need to make this fact very, very well publicized in school because a second part of this needs to be that a year after this law is passed you will not be eligible for welfare or unemployment if you don’t have GED or high school diploma. No education, no tax payer money, no exception. You do that and just watch the dropout rate in America all but disappear when there is no longer any safety net for not having a high school diploma. Dropouts may not be the brightest bulbs in the box but they can do the math on having nothing to catch them when they fall. I as a tax payer (and a teacher) refuse to pay for anyone who spat in my face when I offered them 12+ years of free education and then expects me to pay for their pathetic life because they can’t find a job because they don’t have the education to get one. If you drop out, that’s your choice, be prepared to live with the consequences.
Next requirement, B) if you take welfare or unemployment for even a week within 6 years of that first payment you must have an Associate’s degree or higher or you will be cut off from all further funding and will have to pay back every last penny plus interest. I am not paying for you to sit on your ass. If I have to pay for your existence you will better yourself in such a way as to make yourself employable and thus give me a return on my investment. Again, 6 years for a 2 year degree is the patience of a saint. But, what about people who get a job after a month on unemployment? They should still have a desire to better themselves…and if they don’t then it’s not like they took a lot in a month, even with interest it shouldn’t be that much (I’m not against setting up a payment plan for that repayment). The only people who might have a problem paying that much back are the people who have been on the dole for years; years which they could have been putting part of that money toward education and years they could have been educating themselves (after all it wasn’t like they had a job to go to)…hey, don’t many of us remember going to college and holding down a job? All I’m asking is they do one of those so that they can better themselves. How horrible and uncaring of me.
This nation is no longer a nation of manufacturing greatness which only required workers with bare minimal educations, and agriculture doesn’t require the uneducated level of manpower it used to (it hires people who work with documentation, but I’ve dealt with that problem in other blogs), and those industries will never again be the sources of employment they once were. We can now only succeed by being a nation of innovators, scientists, idea makers, and inventors. We can only survive by being a nation of the mind. And that requires education. If you are taking my money you will be educated.
(It’s disturbing how that makes me sound like a parent talking to a willful teenager…oh wait, most teenagers are brighter than most people on the dole, never mind).