Cost benefit analysis – the welfare trap

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  _Robert_ 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #25721

    Asianne
    Participant

    I received a lot of criticism for having received any type of welfare benefits. I making a concerted effort to get off of welfare but finding it very difficult to do so. If I’m really being honest, it’s actually a lot easier to stay put. And in many ways safer to do so. Do you think there is anything wrong with being on welfare?

    #25722

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I’m grateful for being on welfare.  It’s not my fault I can’t work, and I try to be a good member of the community.  So I don’t see anything wrong with being on welfare.  It’s there for people like me.  Thanks to welfare, I can be productive.

    #25723

    Noel
    Participant

    My 2 cents.

    I don’t see a problem with someone getting assistance if it means not going hungry or living in the street in the dead of a Chicago, Illinois winter. I’ve never been on welfare; come to think of it, never collected unemployment insurance either. Have always been lucky enough to land work I guess.

    But sometimes I think that assistance programs can become a weapon for government. If the government can keep someone dependent on them then they can, in effect, control the path that the individual takes and thereby, if there are enough individuals on government assistance, the community as a whole. I see it in my home country. Generations upon generations completing the same vicious cycle, collecting their government assistance, living in projects or substandard housing, sending their children to substandard schools, and all the while thinking that its perfectly fine. My thinking is that if I’m the government and I can continue to keep someone dependent on me and, every once in a while, threaten to cut off that assistance I can keep the masses from thinking about such things as rebelling against the system and my practices.

    Too much? Sorry. Whenever I hear or run into this topic I tend to get all “Che Guevarra”. LOL. Nothing wrong with not going hungry. Touche.

    #25724

    If only we could have Capitalism Plus.

    #25727

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I am disappointed every year I pay my $40,000 plus IRS tax bill, knowing that it supports a corrupt welfare system that discourages productivity.  Throughout my 40 year career I recall 70 hour weeks, working over holidays, stressful deadline one after another. So this “privileged white male” is really just a plough horse dupe paying into the system that denigrates me every chance it gets. I look forward to seeing all these “strong independent” single mothers also working 70 hr weeks to support me in my retirement as I finally collect my measly entitlements. Right.

    #25728

    Unseen
    Participant

    In the future, as automation makes many low- and mid-level jobs go bye-bye, will we have to consider everyone being guaranteed and income simply to keep the economy going? and to keep people from rioting in the streets for food and shelter?

    Will taking that money be considered “welfare” and will people be shamed for taking it?

     

    #25729

    _Robert_
    Participant

    In the future, as automation makes many low- and mid-level jobs go bye-bye, will we have to consider everyone being guaranteed and income simply to keep the economy going? and to keep people from rioting in the streets for food and shelter? Will taking that money be considered “welfare” and will people be shamed for taking it?

    Good luck with that. Didn’t happen when farms automated crop tending decades ago, shedding field workers which comprised the lion share of workers back then. If big government attempts to burden the wealthy intelligentsia in supporting some non employable, non trainable class, they will take great pains to find ways around it. There will be large segments of the economy where automation is too costly and new segments we can’t imagine will arise.

    #25730

    Noel
    Participant

    Yeah Reg, saw that Bill Maher piece too. Dealt with the happiest countries and what they had in common, mainly government sponsored health care which comprises most of northern and Western Europe. What did we come in? 17th?  I’m still waiting for the great part when some misinformed yahoo screams about making America great again. Highest health care on the planet, high mortality rate among pregnant women,; yeah great!

    #25731

    Unseen
    Participant

    In the future, as automation makes many low- and mid-level jobs go bye-bye, will we have to consider everyone being guaranteed and income simply to keep the economy going? and to keep people from rioting in the streets for food and shelter? Will taking that money be considered “welfare” and will people be shamed for taking it?

    Good luck with that. Didn’t happen when farms automated crop tending decades ago, shedding field workers which comprised the lion share of workers back then. If big government attempts to burden the wealthy intelligentsia in supporting some non employable, non trainable class, they will take great pains to find ways around it. There will be large segments of the economy where automation is too costly and new segments we can’t imagine will arise.

    It simply hasn’t reached critical mass yet.

    #25732

    _Robert_
    Participant

    It simply hasn’t reached critical mass yet.

    Perhaps, however the  technology gloom and doom predictions like the y2k apocalypse never seem to gain critical mass because the economy reacts swiftly and flexibly, Imagine energy costs rise again, well that favors local small scale farming and once again that requires manual labor. Perhaps new industries to support automation maintenance or the solar power farms that seem inevitable. Maybe a huge reaction against automation where people prefer human wait staff over robots. I await the first great novel or musical masterpiece written by a computer. I read an old article predicting that this would happen in the 1070’s.

    #25734

    Davis
    Participant

    I’m still waiting for the great part when some misinformed yahoo screams about making America great again.

    If you cannot afford health-insurance then you are a screw-up and you deserve to suffer and expire in the gutter. They can do whatever they like in those messed up European countries and scary places like Canada, but you’ll never take away individual freedoms and personal responsibility from America. It’s not cruelty or selfishness. It’s tough love. It’s not ignorance or bad mathematics, it’s a value…an important principle. You’re responsible for your own misery.

    #25738

    Noel
    Participant

    @ Davis: I’ve read a lot of your responses on this board and I know you have a lot more empathy than that.

    Aren’t you Canadian? Apologies if you’re not. But here, in Uusa, the majority of our income goes towards getting well. The medical and pharmaceutical lobbies in this country call all the shots. They’re powerful and can invest tons of money towards insuring that things like “Single Payer” (as we call government sponsored health care) isn’t talked about or voted on in Congress.

    When ever some Bozo tries to tell me how great we are I always ask them if they ever ridden a train or subway in Japan or England. I have and we’re not that great.

    #25750

    Davis
    Participant

    @ Davis: I’ve read a lot of your responses on this board and I know you have a lot more empathy than that.

    LOL. I’ve made the big mistake again of not dripping my comments with enough saturated sarcasm to be immediately apparent that it is sarcastic. I think that the text is clearly sarcastic and yet it can be taken as serious! Next time I’ll go over the top.

    Universal income is an inevitability in Europe/Canada/NZ/Aust etc. As automation takes humans out of the labour force the alternatives are an even hightened disparity between the employed/unemployed or a way to solve that along with the immense suffering, dangerous streets, homelessness, undereducation, hungry children, people dying outside of hospitals that come with it. There are always parasites who will suck as much as they can out of people but their numbers are also so extremely exaggerated and are insignificant compared to the people who don’t pointlessly suffer. If automation creates similar wealth with less human labour, is that a bad thing? I don’t see the problem with 25 hour work weeks, reduced labour, higher quality of lives. It is an inevitability. It could happen in a few US states as well (possibly Mass, Vermont, California) which are always much closer to Europe than most of the rest. I simply cannot imagine letting fellow citizens rot away in the gutter because of circumstances often beyond our control.

    #25762

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Whoever criticises you for being on welfare is an idiot.  Lucky them, that they don’t need it.  Some people don’t have a choice.

    I’m just studying camp-wide sharing in small groups of hunter-gatherers.  In small camps, everyone is fed and expects to share in every kill of large game.  Some people never contribute as much as they gain, but still, it is the expected norm that everyone is fed as much as they need.  Egalitarianism rules the day.

    #25767

    Unseen
    Participant

    It simply hasn’t reached critical mass yet.

    Perhaps, however the technology gloom and doom predictions like the y2k apocalypse never seem to gain critical mass because the economy reacts swiftly and flexibly, Imagine energy costs rise again, well that favors local small scale farming and once again that requires manual labor. Perhaps new industries to support automation maintenance or the solar power farms that seem inevitable. Maybe a huge reaction against automation where people prefer human wait staff over robots. I await the first great novel or musical masterpiece written by a computer. I read an old article predicting that this would happen in the 1070’s.

    You can mine coal with an IQ of 90, but I’m not sure you can do coding with an IQ of 90. Many of the jobs which are being eliminated are low-level low-pay jobs which are easily automated. These jobs are often held by vulnerable people, such as single mothers or retirees who desperately need the extra income.

    There are already restaurants where you can order your meal off an electronic menu. I don’t anticipate this happening at a high end French restaurant or steakhouse, but local McDonalds already feature an electronic menu.

    People used to make $20+/hr building cars, but now robots do a surprising amount of that and the auto workers are earning $12/hr at a lumber yard or are, worse, unemployed.

    In part because of automation and other efficiencies, many people are forced to take on two jobs just to provide themselves and/or their families with food and shelter.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  Unseen.
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