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 Post subject: Interesting thought...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:59 pm 
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From a friend. . .


Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I
have no problem.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their ASS, doing drugs, while I work. . . .

Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though . . .

Something has to change in this country -- and soon!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:08 pm 
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Well, if they're not on welfare, what are they doing? What *should* we do with these people? Say someone on welfare is drug-tested and it comes back positive, what is the next step? Are they abandoned to the streets? Even if you don't care about their fate, you might want to consider the increase in crime there's likely to be if every drug addict on welfare no longer has a home or a source of income.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 am 
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They should be in drug and alcohol rehab.

If they fail the test again, back in drug and alcohol rehab.

Unfortunately these people have to hit rock bottom before they can start climbing out. And sadly not everyone makes it out. But this is a problem with our health system in that these people can't afford the proper care.
With the proper care, drugs and counseling people can get out these problems. I've seen it. but rarely on the first try.

Unfortunately we see people on the news like Brittany Spears and instead of seeing someone with a health issue, we see someone out of control.

F.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:50 pm 
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GMattson

Good question.

Makes perfect sense--if you have to be drug free to work--and be able to prove it---then should not some basic standards be met by those that are benefiting from the hard work of others?

Presumably--unless your on offical meds---issued to you by a doctor---if you have the means to buy drugs/and or alcohol--you should not need the aid.

If your CHOSING to buy drugs and alcohol insted of food and paying the rent etc---then why should I be forced to udnerwrite/fund your poor life choices???

Makes little sense.

The aid should be going to people that really need it.

People that need the help should get it---those that are abusing it should not.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:25 am 
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Buying drugs and alcohol doesn't mean you have the means and have all your finances in order. We've all heard about the crimes for instant cash for coke and seen the homeless guy collecting dimes until he can buy beer first and food second.

Saying "no" to assistance for people who use, at least in this version, is about appealing to our sense of right and wrong and not about logic. Drugs and alcohol impair the ability to make good choices, and punishing and jailing those affected doesn't necessarily save the state money. If a serious plan along these lines were put forward, one would have to consider:

--how well tests pick up alcohol abuse, a huge problem
--how well rehab works for people there against their will--and how funding works, and how they are to be restrained (short version: they aren't; the programs are voluntary--just ask a Hollywood starlet--and there would have to be a major revamping of the system to make it all locked ward. You could make voluntary rehab a condition of check receipt.
--how much the tests will cost in comparison with benefits.
--what to do about the innocent parties affected when a parent is cut off of welfare.

Don't get me wrong--I pay a LOT of taxes and I don't like to encourage sloth. Anytime i see trash in the street or think about recycling I imagine jobs people could be doing for their funds. Truly completely disabled people are rare. As it turns out tho, misguided legislatures aren't excited about "value judgments" on recipients. Many of the local psych patients used to have a state appointed assistant who would dole out their benefits as needed for rent, utilities, food, etc--the government thought that was too nosy and now people are free to blow all their cash in days and then make additional "emergency" hospital trips toward the end of the month claiming all sorts of problems when in fact they're just broke.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:45 am 
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IJ

Except that people choose to drink and do drugs.

And they choose to stop or keep doing it.

Chooseing to steal and rob to support a drug habit and chooseing to spend all the money you can beg to buy booze is a choice.

I have little sympathy for anyone that choose's to put my life in danger to support their drug/alcohal habit.
Weither its attempted robbery or drunk driving--there is, IMO no excuse.

I see no reason why there should not be drug/alchohal test to recieve aid----as GM pointed out---most of us are taking them to work and earn money to pay the taxes to help those whom DON'T have to take similar test to get help.

I think its a resonable request---you want help, you need to be willing to do a bare minuim to get it---get off the drugs etc.

If your mentally ill you need help.

If your not--and you have the money to buy booze and drugs---you clearly don't need help---or at least help is NOT ones priority......and that would be their choice.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:47 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Perhaps there could be a tiered system. You get X amount of benefits for being drug free and on welfare, and X/2 benefits when you fail drug tests. You get nothing if there is no quid pro quo. In other words, they should have workfare instead of welfare.

To a certain extent the rehab is a lot of money down a black hole. A certain portion of the population doesn't want to be drug free, and another portion with schizophrenia doesn't want to take their meds. Ultimately you can't make people do the necessary rehab or take necessary meds. But then we don't have to give them welfare and/or freedom either.

It is about motivation and choices in the end. I'm a big believer in incentives - both carrot and stick. That affords dignity to people who deserve it. People unwilling to do the bare minimum frankly deserve nothing - at the most.

Those engaged in criminal activity IMO can do their "workfare" behind bars or on a chain gang. Not far from my home they are constantly blasting in a rock pit. Our neighbors would appreciate it if we could instead put some of the criminal scum to work breaking rock with a sledge hammer. Hard labor is a wonderful drug. 8)

- Bill


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 Post subject: How about...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:21 pm 
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one rule being: Before you can take from a joint account, you must first contribute to that account. If you've never held a job, paid taxes, and contributed to the government's safety-net system, then you aren't allowed to start taking payments.

At some point we'd need to address the fact that none of us want to punish children because of their parents' poor/bad choices... suffice it to say that there are and should be ways to help out innocent children without giving a windfall to the adults. Every child should be given every opportunity; unfortunately, that opportunity is sometimes taken away by their parents' choices and in some cases is destroyed by their parents' very bad example. I don't really have an answer for this, but it is a "tough issue" that needs to be thought about... IMNSHO, naturally...
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Location: Somerville, ma.
Bill Glasheen wrote:
People unwilling to do the bare minimum frankly deserve nothing - at the most.


Okay, so what do we do with them then? What do we do with the person who is totally unwilling to do anything but collect welfare checks and smoke pot all day? It may be cheaper to just let them waste their life that way than to say, send them to prison or pay for the repercussions of however they get money. In other words, it may be cheaper to give them food than to hire police that will catch them stealing bread.

It may be infuriating to think that people are living on your nickel, but ultimately it's kind of like the weather. There's going to be snowstorms, so you can either plow the road or take the hit of people not going to work. The cost of doing nothing can be more than one expects.

Quote:
Every child should be given every opportunity; unfortunately, that opportunity is sometimes taken away by their parents' choices and in some cases is destroyed by their parents' very bad example.


This is a tough question. Personally, I think children need to be taken away from terrible parents more often. Being raised in an orphanage carries many downsides, but maybe not as many downsides as being raised by a crackhead who forces you to drop out and get a job (or steal) to feed her habit. Maybe taking these kids and sending them across the country to less hopeless areas. But that will never sell since nobody likes the idea of paying for a bunch of other people's children to be brought up in situations possibly better than their own.

It'd be nice to keep people from having babies as long as they're on welfare, but many (idiots, imho) would refuse to go on welfare if they know it means not being able to spawn.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:29 pm 
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VAl

In the case of someone that can work--but simply refuses to do so?
That refuses to anything but "collect welfare checks and smoke pot all day."

Cut them off and then if and when they commit a crime--punish them harshly.

The REAL problem is that once people get the idea tha being "on the dole" is on the whole better than they can get by actually working---more and more people will start dropping out...so to speak.
With less and less people paying the taxs for social programs EVERYONE starts to suffer---those at the bottom suffer the most and suffer first.

In a very real way this guys choice to do nothing but "collect welfare checks and smoke pot" actually hurts people---his refusal to conribute to the general welfare--of which HE is an active particpent means LESS for someone else.

I say government work farms--actual farms where they can help feed themselves and other in need might help.

Its his choice--but "I" should not have to subsidise his lifestyle--its unfair to me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:24 pm 
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Location: Somerville, ma.
cxt wrote:
Cut them off and then if and when they commit a crime--punish them harshly.


Punish them harshly how? Keeping people in prison is going to cost a lot more than welfare. It may be satisfying to cry out "take that you lazy bastards!" but at a certain point I think it's cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Quote:
The REAL problem is that once people get the idea tha being "on the dole" is on the whole better than they can get by actually working---more and more people will start dropping out...so to speak.


I'm sure at some point this is true, but welfare does not provide a nice life. If we have people choosing to live on the dole we should fix the root of that problem, since people with hope and self-respect don't *want* to live on charity that way. I don't believe that deterrence is going to do squat.

Quote:
In a very real way this guys choice to do nothing but "collect welfare checks and smoke pot" actually hurts people---his refusal to conribute to the general welfare--of which HE is an active particpent means LESS for someone else.


It absolutely does, but in a very real way having the government build, staff and maintain prisons for welfare abusers is going to cost and therefore hurt taxpayers even more than just paying out welfare.

Quote:
Its his choice--but "I" should not have to subsidise his lifestyle--its unfair to me.


It absolutely is unfair to you. The thing is you're kind of screwed either way. As long as we have people who can't envision a better life for themselves than being on welfare, it's going to be costing us money. Whether that is directly in the form of charity, or indirectly in the form of additional law enforcement, it's still a cost we're forced to bear.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:26 pm 
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Val

Flawed argument to say "prisons are more expensive than welfare."

That maybe true but your the last person I would have expected to invoke an ecomonics arguement when there is principle involved. ;)
And in this case what your suggesting is essentially bribary--and as a taxpayer I would rather pay more for prisons than kow-tow to what boils down to a "give me more welfare or I'll hurt you and break thingd" demand/threat.

Millions for defense not one cent for tribute as the saying goes.

Since your want to discuss the ecominics of the situation. ;)
I'd save money by cutting out all programs that don't relate directly to keep the prsioners healthy--no TV,no DVD's, no weight rooms--if they want exercise there is always breaking rocks--and there is no reason for socitey to allow predator to get bigger and stonger lifting weights while we pay for it.....IMO a person convicted of a viloent crime should be the LAST person that gets to pump up their bodies like a circus freak at the expense of the taxpayers----why make them MORE dangerous?
Meals would hit all the food groups in terms of nutrition--but I would probably cut rations to just what was needed to keep them healthy and no more--unless your on the rock breaking crew. ;)

A lot of waste to cut in prsions that would not really hurt the prsioners--they might hate it--but AGAIN, its prision--they are SUPPOSED to hate it.

Besides, making them work--almost any kind of work for the welfare checks could considerably defray the cost to the taxpayers.
You want your check?
I want all of these envelops stamped by 5:00.
I want these things delivered by 3:00
I want you to empty the trash in this houseing unit.
I want you to pick up all this garbage around the buliding.
I want this spraypaint cleaned up off the walls.
I want you to make sure those plants in the City park are watered and the trash in the Park picked up. etc.

As would having the prisioners labor to defray the costs of their feeding and houseing etc.
Plenty of farm work that trusties could do---laying asphalt, building roads and bridges--might give someone who needs it a career for when they get out.

Lots of stuff that you could do to reduce the costs while not crushing anyones rights.

"welfare does not provide a nice life"

In context with the discussion--it does if you have enough money to spend it on booze and drugs--while my taxs keep a roof over your head and food in your belly.
If drugs and booze are what important to you---it most certainly does.

People that actully need help are a whole different catagory BTW.

"its a cost were are forced to bear"

No, its a cost we CHOOSE to bear--and we could just as easily choose otherwise--but that would intail making people take responsibity for their choices--such as the aforementioned guy that just wants to "collect welfare checks and smoke pot all day."

And I would much rather pay for more LEOS and more prisons than I would pay more so some dude could "collect welfare and smoke pot all day."

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Last edited by cxt on Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:17 pm 
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In the end, it's about dignity.

Where is the dignity in giving somebody "money for nothing" and allowing them to screw their lives up?

For those who don't know... I had a "tough" period of my life where I was trying to free myself from controlling parents and find my own path to happiness. I didn't want to do what others thought was the best thing for me. So I took a break from my academic track.

Do you know the first job I took? With 2 years of college and 3 years of engineering school, I accepted a job as a dishwasher at Howard Johnsons Restaurant on University Avenue in Charlottesville. I did that job for 4 months.

I couldn't make enough money to pay all my bills and eat. But I got nearly free food every time I worked. Hojo pancakes and eggs taste REALLY good when you are hungry. Trust me...

My next job was as a lab tech. In a year, I was promoted to a full-fledged chemist. I bought a brand new 750 cc motorcycle, and started enjoying life.

I cleared my head. I got the ability to get loans for my education because I was financially independent. I went back to school. I got a trainingship grant from NIH for graduate school in a field that my parents thought wasn't a good path to a "career". The rest is history.

Do you know what? One of the happiest times of my life was those 4 months as a dishwasher. I worked my butt off. I would come home at 1 AM, and couldn't fall asleep for 3 hours because I was so jacked up. I cleaned dishes by the ton. I mopped floors. I cleaned the most god-awful things out of the women's restroom.

But you know... the waitresses were all UVa students. And one night, the evening (female) manager asked me over for a glass of wine. She was lonely, and wanted some company...

There's ALWAYS a silver lining - if you look for it - in every situation. The worst thing you can do is create a scenario where a person can never find that path. One thing is for damn sure. They won't find it at home stoned and alone. And they won't find it on the street at night with nothing constructive to do.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:56 am 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Bill Glasheen wrote:
In the end, it's about dignity.

Where is the dignity in giving somebody "money for nothing" and allowing them to screw their lives up?

For those who don't know... I had a "tough" period of my life where I was trying to free myself from controlling parents and find my own path to happiness. I didn't want to do what others thought was the best thing for me. So I took a break from my academic track.

Do you know the first job I took? With 2 years of college and 3 years of engineering school, I accepted a job as a dishwasher at Howard Johnsons Restaurant on University Avenue in Charlottesville. I did that job for 4 months.

I couldn't make enough money to pay all my bills and eat. But I got nearly free food every time I worked. Hojo pancakes and eggs taste REALLY good when you are hungry. Trust me...

My next job was as a lab tech. In a year, I was promoted to a full-fledged chemist. I bought a brand new 750 cc motorcycle, and started enjoying life.

I cleared my head. I got the ability to get loans for my education because I was financially independent. I went back to school. I got a trainingship grant from NIH for graduate school in a field that my parents thought wasn't a good path to a "career". The rest is history.

Do you know what? One of the happiest times of my life was those 4 months as a dishwasher. I worked my butt off. I would come home at 1 AM, and couldn't fall asleep for 3 hours because I was so jacked up. I cleaned dishes by the ton. I mopped floors. I cleaned the most god-awful things out of the women's restroom.

But you know... the waitresses were all UVa students. And one night, the evening (female) manager asked me over for a glass of wine. She was lonely, and wanted some company...

There's ALWAYS a silver lining - if you look for it - in every situation. The worst thing you can do is create a scenario where a person can never find that path. One thing is for damn sure. They won't find it at home stoned and alone. And they won't find it on the street at night with nothing constructive to do.

- Bill


I dunno...in my social work coarse they talk about the reason poor and under privalaged folks either fall hard or rise up depends on social support. Some people, like my dad are able to work hard and push themselves and live comfortable lives, and im sure you had people who loved you.

So essentially, one reason people can pull themselves out of the gutter is because they have an emotional and social network that can help them climb out.

But others simply do not have this, and cannot get themselves out of the gutter.

Ill see if i can get more out of this as the coarse goes on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:20 pm 
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AAAhmed

I agree some people need help--and those that need help should get it...no question about it.

Its just that the focus IMO should be on the "need" part.

Most of the folks in this discussion have no interest of "climbing out" of anything.

They are having their basic needs met my the work sweat and toil of others so they can concentrate on what they really want--which is to be able to drink and do drugs.

In getting back to the first post---if someone is serious about "climbing out" then I see no reason why they would object to having to be drug and alcohal free to get help.

Presumably PART of the "social support" and "network that can help them climb out" would be to get them off the alcohol and drugs
Things that might be a reason for them being in the "gutter" in the first place........or part of the reason they are still there??

Like I said, people that need help should get it.

I just don't feel that some reasonable benchmarks for getting help are out of line.

If I/we have to take a drug test in order to work and earn money---then shouldn't a person being given my/our money have to at least take one to get it?

Just does not sound that unreasonable to me.

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