Are you one of the "annointed?"

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I just love Thomas Sowell's writings. His column this week is most telling.



The Annointed



Nick

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Mr. Sowell, as you know, is obviously a sell-out and an Uncle Tom, shufflin' for The Man



    He is not to be counted or believed.



    The good Reverend would never say such things.



  • Reply 2 of 10
    Does he (and do you) really believe that a world without any welfare would be better?



    I can understand people finding fault with certain policies or arguing about priorities but there seems to be people who believe that the whole idea is wrong.



    Does that describe you? Can you justify this logically or is it just an emotional reaction to something you feel has gone too far?
  • Reply 3 of 10
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,461member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by stupider...likeafox

    Does he (and do you) really believe that a world without any welfare would be better?



    I can understand people finding fault with certain policies or arguing about priorities but there seems to be people who believe that the whole idea is wrong.



    Does that describe you? Can you justify this logically or is it just an emotional reaction to something you feel has gone too far?




    You have to understand the difference between what you call welfare and what he or I would call welfare.



    What most people call welfare is general relief/assistance. You get it simply because you file for it and you do nothing in return.



    What most conservatives prefer is called "workfare" which is sort of like the government as a gigantic temp agency. This is also how regulare "welfare" started out. Thus if you were unemployed you could go down and much like a day laborer, find work for that day. It might be "makework" like cleaning up grafitti, picking up trash, nothing terriblly complicated.



    This would keep you from starving but also cause you to seek something better.



    Here is the part of his column that addressed it best.



    One of the most dangerous things about the welfare state is that it breaks the connection between what people have produced and what they consume, at least in many people's minds. For the society as a whole, that connection remains as fixed as ever, but the welfare state makes it possible for individuals to think of money or goods as just arbitrary dispensations.



    I can't imagine anyone here being against the traditional form of welfare/workfare where you came down and they made some work for you to insure you didn't starve. However lots of folks are against dispensations of money with nothing expected in return.



    Nick
  • Reply 4 of 10
    What are disabled people (who might not be able to work, or pull their weight in a job) supposed to do? Are they covered by some other plan? What about their kids?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    You have to understand the difference between what you call welfare and what he or I would call welfare.



    "Workfare" sounds great to me, but is it practical now? The logistics of it and all.



    Still, I often walk down the street and wonder why the city (Chicago) isn't employing people to do smaller tasks like sweeping and cleaning, whatever.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,461member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac The Fork

    What are disabled people (who might not be able to work, or pull their weight in a job) supposed to do? Are they covered by some other plan? What about their kids?



    What is your definition of disabled and how do you determine it?



    What would they have done in the past?



    Do you understand that I said that no one has to produce perfectly, just that you shouldn't expect something for nothing.



    So again if there was a government work program that employed disabled people, even if it were just make work, do you think anyone would object? If you are talking about someone so profoundly disabled that they literally cannot do anything nor even feed or prepare food for themselves, that is more a medical care issue, not work.



    I will give you an example of modern day "disability." I live about 75 minutes outside of Los Angeles. (As the crow flies, not going through the god-awful traffic) I have a child in my classroom who had to go to a funeral in LA. He was gone 2.5 weeks. He ended up having most of those days declared "unexcused" but they really don't do much to enforce attendance of school. It becomes an officials word against a mother's and that means you need some serious evidence in this day and age.



    This child, when you check his records, has been absent roughly 60+ days of every school year he has attended. He is in fourth grade. Amazingly enough when he doesn't come to school, he doesn't learn as well as all the other children, thus he and his parents have now filed with Social Security for him being "learning disabled."



    That sort of "disability" I don't support. Someone being truly mentally impared (and not by 10 hours a day of television) I don't mind us generating work that would pay them a living wage and allow them to get by.



    However the sad part is that it seems that when government is involved the kid that needs a new wheelchair or hearing aid never gets one, and the people that are healthy and capable of working always seem to get what they want/need.



    Nick
  • Reply 7 of 10
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,461member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bunge

    "Workfare" sounds great to me, but is it practical now? The logistics of it and all.



    Still, I often walk down the street and wonder why the city (Chicago) isn't employing people to do smaller tasks like sweeping and cleaning, whatever.




    I think you would find that as the free money goes away, many of the problems and shear numbers associated with it go away.



    This leaves more left over for those who truly do need the assistance and has been the general trend for welfare reform so far. I would bet that if it were changed to workfare the number of people seeking it would drop dramtically because as I mentioned, its what you do not to starve. Most people can do better and would.



    Nick
  • Reply 8 of 10
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman



    I would bet that if it were changed to workfare the number of people seeking it would drop dramtically because as I mentioned, its what you do not to starve. Most people can do better and would.




    I would bet most people that are truly needy would appreciate the option as well. There are going to be some leeches that would be cut off, but those truly needy really do want to earn a living. If it could be combined with training, like jobs that help someone as well as give them a minimum amount of money, something they could (reluctantly or not) put on a resume, it would be a win for everyone.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    It generally makes sense. I have few challenges, though:



    Imagine a former labourer with, say, a permanent back injury. Maybe he needs opioids for pain, which makes him less than alert. Let's say his wife left him. He doesn't have the qualifications to do anything much outside of physical labour (the typical make-work project), and doesn't have the money to get training in a better office-type job. He doesn't really fall under the umbrella of health care. What sort of work would you propose for him? Even if you trained him, being on painkillers and having mobility problems would make him a difficult guy to hire.



    Imagine Johnny can't hold a job because of his temper, even though he does work hard while he's there. So he goes to workfare, and does his work, though poorly, since he's depressed at his situation, and he still lashes out at people. Do you bar him from workfare and let him starve until he changes (assuming he wouldn't just resort to criminal activity or suicide), or do you keep him on, and give him money despite a negative change, which is what workfare tries to avoid?



    What if low-level criminal activity ends up paying more than workfare?
  • Reply 10 of 10
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,461member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac The Fork

    It generally makes sense. I have few challenges, though:



    Imagine a former labourer with, say, a permanent back injury. Maybe he needs opioids for pain, which makes him less than alert. Let's say his wife left him. He doesn't have the qualifications to do anything much outside of physical labour (the typical make-work project), and doesn't have the money to get training in a better office-type job. He doesn't really fall under the umbrella of health care. What sort of work would you propose for him? Even if you trained him, being on painkillers and having mobility problems would make him a difficult guy to hire.



    Imagine Johnny can't hold a job because of his temper, even though he does work hard while he's there. So he goes to workfare, and does his work, though poorly, since he's depressed at his situation, and he still lashes out at people. Do you bar him from workfare and let him starve until he changes (assuming he wouldn't just resort to criminal activity or suicide), or do you keep him on, and give him money despite a negative change, which is what workfare tries to avoid?



    What if low-level criminal activity ends up paying more than workfare?




    Actually I see what you describe a lot more than I care to mention. My dad is a truck (big rig) mechanic. Likewise where I live a lot of guys make their living as contractors and construction workers. In otherwords lots of semi-skilled good paying blue collar working guys. What would likely happen to the first gentlemen you propose, and what I see happen repeatedly in real life is that they hit that age and are just past their prime earning years. They simply will not earn as much anymore. Most of them know this and finds various ways of dealing with it. They nurse their two beers at the bar each night, watch their sports, talk their politics, and basically mill about. (I assure you this does sound sad and it does sadden me) Their kids build a room for them in the garage and have to put up with them telling them that they don't mow their yards enough and don't know crap about cars...etc. They find ways of reducing their living expenses to match what they now make. I am of course assuming that for some reason he couldn't get workers comp at all.



    There are also jobs they could attempt that don't require extensive training. They could be trained to fix photocopiers for example instead of something profoundly physical. They could drive trucks, spray paint, etc. In construction a lot of guys work in a field until certain body parts start to break down and then move on to other body parts. It sounds harsh and it is. That is why they get paid well for it. You should see the workers compensation insurance amounts for say a roofer. You literally pay $44 for every $100 you pay the guy. But you will see say a carpet layer work into they have no knees, then they learn to paint or do knock down texturing, then when they can't take the chemicals any more they might drive a cement truck, etc.



    The way I described workfare is literally a day worker type situation. So if "Johnny" couldn't get his act together, sure he could be let go that day or as many days as he cared to act that way. I believe government should help out, not enable you to see how far you can be an ass and degrade yourself and others. I don't expect government to make the world perfect or give everyone a happy ending regardless of the life decisions they make.



    So assume the worse with Johnny. Assume that he works sporadically and has a lot of emotional trouble dealing with the fact his wife has left him now that the good times and earnings are gone. He gets some money from workfare and occasional projects. He lives in a camper on the back of his pick-up. He will probably end up working "security" for some construction sites, scrap by and likely drink himself to an early death.



    Not everyone gets the happy ending, if you believe that go write movies. We could ask about Johnny's education. We could ask why he never moved beyond the laborer role. He never bought some equipment for independent contracting to build some extra wealth. He never bought a house with his at times rather large and good earnings, but blew it.



    Government help won't buy this guy a happy ending now or ever. He likely didn't think he was mortal, found out he was and now has to live with the consequences.



    Just like now a mom who dropped out of school, got addicted to drugs, had 4 kids and has health conditions related to her boyfriends beating her. Hey guess what, no amount of money is going to give her the life expectancy, health and likely generally happiness of someone who didn't make all those decisions.



    Sometimes you just reap what you sow,



    Nick
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