When Welfare Undermines Work Ethic
Michael Tanner is a fellow at the Cato Institute. He recently co-edited “Replacing Obamacare: The Cato Institute on Health Care Reform.”
UPDATED MAY 5, 2013, 7:00 PM
There is nothing to suggest that people on welfare are lazy. But there is also nothing to suggest that they are stupid. If you pay someone as much for not working as you do for working, it should come as no surprise that many take advantage of the offer.
We know that one of the most important long-term steps toward avoiding or getting out of poverty is a job. Even a low-wage job can be the first step on the road to self-sufficiency.
Around the world, welfare states provide benefits well in excess of the entry level wages that an individual with limited skills can expect to earn.
Yet, around the world, welfare states provide benefits well in excess of the entry level wages that an individual with limited skills can expect to earn. The case of “Carina,” earning $2,700 per month on welfare, is not unique, or limited to Denmark.
In the United States, a person who receives a full package of welfare benefits (T.A.N.F., food stamps, Medicaid, public housing, W.I.C. and free commodities) can receive more in every state than they would earn from a minimum wage job, according to a forthcoming Cato study.
This discourages recipients from moving from welfare to work, especially if, as the Congressional Research Service points out: “Leisure is believed to be a “normal good.” That is, with a rise in income, people will “purchase” more leisure by reducing their work effort.” In other words, an increase in benefits could encourage people to reduce their work hours.
We’ve seen this with unemployment benefits, which increase both the rate and duration of joblessness.
In the aftermath of the British riots during the summer of 2011, it was noted that “the welfare state really has left a generation of young people feeling both dependent on government handouts and entitled to more.”
Even President Obama has acknowledged, “as somebody who worked in low-income neighborhoods, I’ve seen it where people weren’t encouraged to work, weren’t encouraged to upgrade their skills, were just getting a check, and over time their motivation started to diminish.”
The welfare state may well help make poverty more comfortable, and some government programs that target literacy and educational achievement or prevent unwanted pregnancies may have a positive impact. But when it undermines the work ethic, the welfare state does little to help people rise above poverty and escape the underclass.
-FROM THE BLOGMEISTER. I have done pretty good research on this subject AND have grown up in gut-wrentching poverty, so I believe that I have a frame of reference in which to expound upon the subject of welfare vs. initiative decline. Extreme liberals and one of my family members who is constantly excusing being a total financial failure, seem to think that sociological statistics are totally wrong and refuse to even research evidence that will assuage their cognitive dissonance. Never should anyone go back to the basic animal studies that show a positive correlation between giving an animal everything that it needs to survive vs. having it forage for food. This would just prove the outcome which is denied! Basic experiments have proven that this is fact and it is now accepted as an eventual outcome that if provisions are provided for an experimental population without expectation of toil, the given population will begin to expect the provisions.
I do not vilify the welfare population as much as the supposedly civilized system that doesn’t provide socialized college education. Graduating with a huge debt over your head is pure insanity in a world where stupid knee-jerk liberal assholes want to totally fund meth addict fucktools in the medical system. Why assist these assholes to live over funding the college education of people who are busting their fucking asses to get ahead? This is liberal insanity! Assist poor struggling students to get into a market that needs them and leave drug addicts and lazy assholes to fend for themselves.
If the drug addict actually WANTS to get clean then fuck yeah! If its a court order, then defer to education, fuck the addict. Get firm tariffs on foreign goods, enact penalty laws on job exporters and get the minimum wage to a point where starving students can live on it! The minimum wage was NOT meant to raise a family on and should NOT be raised as such. People should not be encouraged to work on minimum wage to raise kids, but should be given the ability to get a college degree, an employable college degree, on it, period! The colleges and the businesses should be working in tandem to assist graduates to transition into the workforce as legitimate wage earners with the ability to work their way up the ladder.
The system is broken and in favor of the 1% who rape the shit out of us on a regular basis. There are restraints that we should be putting on our Supreme Court and upon capitalism itself. We are being a host nation to a vampire 1% that will suck us into a husk and leave us as a trivial nation on the field of their conquests. We are asleep at the switch and feel lucky to have the scraps from ‘Longshanks’ table, and we villify the person who got fucked in the recession or who works at Starbucks with his pHD. This is truly fucked! As in Captain America 2, Rodgers found that his own government was the villain in the whole scheme. Is government to be trusted or reviled? Do we just accept that its every person for themselves and say to Hell with community effort? Government was created by the people to prevent this, do we just give up and blindly vilify a system that we put in place to protect us or do we prosecute it’s villains and replace them with trustworthy people? WTF folks, really? You created this monster and now you want to oppose it and act like you didn’t help create it? Get in the fight you milquetoast assholes and take back your own creation, take back your rights and stop marginalizing the very poor that you yourself created by apathy!!