Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Doesn’t government aid nurture the desire to stay on it?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21075 points ) 2 months ago

For instance, if a woman gets a set amount of State Aid per child, and if she has 6 kids, even if they are not all from the same father, and the total sum of aid for all those kids is more than she would get if she was working fast food, or some mall retail outlet, etc. Why would she go to work? If by her education, for example, she was only going to pull in minimum wage for a p/t job, and her pay would only be $650—$700 a month, thereabouts, if she missed no days, by the time taxes, rent, utilities, food, etc. is deducted she may have nothing left, or even be in the hole. She certainly won’t have any left for babysitters while she worked. But for simplicity sake, let’s say she receives monthly $500 per child, with 6 kids she would make way more sitting on her butt than she would working p/t. So, would not the government be nurturing a desire for her to stay on aid as long as possible because she can survive better than if she actually worked? In other words, what incentive would she have to go get a job when doing so would cut her monthly income by more than half?

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36 Answers

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Not for everyone. Many people won’t take a government handout unless there is simply no other way out.

But what other way is there other than to turn our backs on these people and let them starve to death, homeless, jobless, pension-less…just like the banks and real estate people did to hundreds of thousands globally 2004 to 2009?!!?!

cheebdragon's avatar

2004–2009? That shit was decades in the making..

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is the government aid nurturing this desire in this woman to stay on government aid, or is the non-livable minimum wage nurturing that desire?

stanleybmanly's avatar

A truly extraordinary imagination is required to visualize a single mother with 6 kids “sitting on her butt”. But there is indeed logic in the fact that if a woman’s meager living allowance from the state exceeds the wages the STATE requires she be paid by an employer, she’d be a fool to work for LESS. So up pops the simple remedy of eliminating the government pittance——problem solved. Notice how the 6 kids have disappeared from the argument? Whatever crumbs the government tosses at the woman and her 6 children, it is certainly a joke compared to the amount of money required for the state to house, feed and care for the kids independent of their mother.

jerv's avatar

I think that says a lot about how low wages are compared to the cost of living. There’s no place in the US where 40 (or even 50) hours at minimum wage will pay rent, let alone leave enough for utilities, food, or healthcare. Yet many think the solution isn’t to improve conditions for low-income people, but rather to let them starve.

The government system is a bit flawed in that it actually has a better idea of what the actual cost of living is, and doesn’t worry about profits. But if the private sector cared about the overall economy rather than just their own finances, government aid would be less necessary, which would lead to lower taxes for all. The catch is, that would mean returning to the old days when executives only earned 30–50 times what most workers did instead of 500–2000x, and many find that unacceptable.

JLeslie's avatar

Government aid can help nurture a desire to stay on it. Not only when working earns the person less, but also when it is very hard to get aid, once on, the person doesn’t want to let it go and have to go through that whole rigamarole again.

A few solutions to consider. Raise the minimum wage. Decrease public assistance for every baby born while the mother is on public assistance, or maybe don’t give public assistance for babies in the first place. I’m ok with having social programs for the kids, I want children to have the basics, but don’t hand the money to the mother.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s no coincidence that those opposed to the minimum wage are invariably the same folks opposed to unemployment benefits, school lunch programs, anything resembling a social safety net. The debate raging in the country is really about how we are to be defined as a society. There is a constant incessant drone from the right to define those at the bottom as shiftless defectives eager to embrace the government dole. Why? Did you ever notice that those seeking to define ours as a nation with a lazy former workforce preferring government handouts to honest work, never bother to explain how this is possible while those at the top amass an ever growing share of the country’s wealth? In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find the fattening of the rich mentioned in the same paragraph with the plight of the country’s besieged middle class. It’s as though the 2 realities have absolutely nothing in common.

chyna's avatar

@JLeslie or maybe don’t give public assistance for babies in the first place. I’m ok with having social programs for the kids, I want children to have the basics, but don’t hand the money to the mother. How do you expect babies to have the basics? Who but the mothers are going to take care of them?

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna I mean I am ok with free nursery school, and some other support systems, but something has to be done to discourage babies being born into the system. I don’t know the perfect solution, but I know right now the system encourages more babies, not discourages it. I don’t mean that everyone who is poor has a child for more money, I don’t think that, but if they were going to lose money, maybe they would really think about birth control.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Moved mom into senior living last Friday. Gov pays more than half her rent and assists in utilities. She pays the rest out of her SS. Had this not been so, she would be forced to give up her car. Then she couldn’t go to my sister’s house and sit for nephew. Then sis would have to pay extra for daycare.

So my sister and nephew are actually also benefitting from gov aid to mother. Trickles down. None of us have any desire for gov assist to stop. Makes me feel a little better about my huge tax load. But then again, I’d much rather save the taxes and give the money directly to mom.

Thanks Obama.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies My family benefits from my aunt receiving disability Medicaid. It definitely not only affects the individual, but the family also. Having multiple babies is very different than haing an elderly mother or sick aunt. Don’t you think?

Saving taxes probably would not pay for your mom’s bills altogether. Or, maybe it would? Part of the reason social services work is because many people are paying into the pot. If we each have the individual responsibility of supporting our relatives, for some people it is impossible. As I have said before, I don’t know the perfect solution, I don’t think we can do away with social services altogether and rely on people just taking responsibility to save enough, or take care of their relatives, and there are some people out there without any real family.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Honestly @JLeslie, with the amount of tax dollars spent on war, the corruption of banks and politicians, and the corporatocracy we suffer at the hands of lobbyists making special back door deals that squeeze the public interest, I’m a bit shocked, and pissed off, that every U.S. citizen doesn’t enjoy completely free quality health care, and our elderly and disabled are not completely taken care of… on the government dole… which is not their money at all, but instead belongs to the citizens of the most civilized nation in history… civilized enough to address all of the above for a fraction of the cost we currently endure.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Other countries have proven that socialized money is less expensive overall, but America resists. I agree with you about the corruption and back door deals, it’s awful.

jerv's avatar

IMO, those who are against government aid are also against any and all forms of insurance that collect premiums from many to pay for service for a relatively few. GEICO, Allstate, Aetna…. all are no better than the government in that respect. So if you are against government aid, you are also against a highly profitable industry that pays their executives 8–9 figure compensation packages.

@JLeslie How many abroad get paid $10m/yr or more though?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

So much money wasted. So many people, our families, suffering. No one should have to worry if their fellow countrymen care about them, especially in their elderly years.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv The more socialized countries have higher pay, no question. They also have higher cost of goods usually. I am all for raising the minimum wage at least a couple of bucks, maybe more. I can’t see it as high as say $14 which some people have suggested. Not on this Q, I just mean I have heard it thrown around. I am for government aid, but want a system, a total economic system, that encourages what is best for society. I think it is best to provide healthcare and educate everyone. I think it is important to take care of our mentally ill and elderly. I think it is important to have a safety net for when people hit an unexpected difficult time.

I am disgusted by some of the enormous compensation packages for the CXO level. It is out of control. I am disgusted that my bank is only paying me .3%.

I also am annoyed with people who make plenty of money who are not being more prudent and not saving for rainy days and for the future. Their carelessness costs us all. They bother me much more than the poor receiving help.

When a poor person has a baby at age 16 they have not given themselves a chance to save and get ahead of the eight ball. When I earned $25k when I first graduated college, if I had been 18 with a baby would I have received public assistance? I lived with a roomate to get by and my parents had bought me a used car a few years before that I was still using. I was able to save a little before I got married, if I had had a baby I would easily have had to go into debt. At one point I took a pay reduction to $8.50 an hour, which was ridiculous, I wound up quitting, the company was plain stupid to even ask employees to do that to get ahead. I probably could have received public assistance, but it never even occured to me.

jerv's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies That is a pretty big “if” though. We are talking about the US here, where altruism is seen as weakness, and many feel that the “common good” is either mythical or outright evil.

@JLeslie True, but much of that higher pay gets given back in the form of taxes, whether it be income tax to pay for the social safety net and better roads, or VAT that drives up the price of goods. Thing is, their balance of wages and costs is far more fair and sustainable than our’s, as well as being better about complying with the UDHR.

Here, all it takes is one simple mistake to be ruined for life. And “mistake” includes getting into an accident, getting laid off, any form of illness more serious than a cold, or merely being born poor. And yet, many would blame you for not clawing your way to millionaire status, call you lazy and worthless, and push for policies that make our current probelms even worse.

In the big picture, the real flaw is our society of selfishness, greed, and sociopathic lack of empathy. That leads to corporations doing what they do, and people seeking to weaken our government to allow them to do more of it while demonizing those that do care about anybody other than themselves. Again, altruism is weakness.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Paid back in taxes? No it doesn’t. The very wealthy pay about the same percentage in tax as the middle class. Some pay much less. I’m sure you have seen me write before that the top 400 earners in America make over $200 million a year and pay an average of 17% in federal tax. CEO’s with million dollar salaries might not be quite in that category, but they also have loopholes and write offs they can use.

As far as VAT/sales tax, the wealthy get away like bandits relatively speaking. Granted, some items have a luxury tax, but if someone makes $75k, almost all their money is spent to pay for life. The person who makes $2 million a year gets to save and invest loads of money. If you look at the sales tax as a percentage of total income for an individual the poor and middle class pay much much more than the rich, unless the rich are actually spending every penny they make. I think that is a rare occurance. It of course depends on how you define rich, but safe to say the higher income people rarely spend everything every year.

RocketGuy's avatar

In a corporation, more pay at the top means less pay at the bottom. I wonder if they realize that more money at the bottom means people will have money to buy the products that the company sells? Wouldn’t that get the economy humming?

Another thought is that e.g. Walmart pays so little that employees need public assistance. Basically Uncle Sam is paying the difference. Taxpayer money going to a big corporation! Nice!

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie I think there’s been a misunderstanding here. I was talking about abroad where marginal rates are a bit (up to 14%) higher and the curve a bit steeper.

As for sales tax/VAT, I know they’re regressive. I’m merely pointing out that the US does things a little differently.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv I did confuse it. I thought we were still talking about America. Thanks,

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stanleybmanly A truly extraordinary imagination is required to visualize a single mother with 6 kids “sitting on her butt”.
Well, maybe that is not all the way true, sometimes they are at the mall, the nail salon, the club, or over at one of many lover’s bed making brother or sister number X. Some are smart, they know how to pawn the kids off on grandma, aunty, uncle, or their siblings.

But there is indeed logic in the fact that if a woman’s meager living allowance from the state exceeds the wages the STATE requires she be paid by an employer, she’d be a fool to work for LESS.
And there is the rub, some people out of pride will fight tooth and nail to NOT take a handout, government or otherwise. Others will see it as being there to use, and more profitable than busting one’s hump for way less; that would be illogical. The government has not seen the folly of this yet, or at least seen it and don’t care.

There is a constant incessant drone from the right to define those at the bottom as shiftless defectives eager to embrace the government dole.
Because some are, they know how to ”game” the system and teach others how to do it as well. Some use it as a way to get the government to pay their dope habit. These are the people that paint the canvas that the rest of you see, and some think it is all the people on the dole, and not a small number of them.

@JLeslie Not only when working earns the person less, but also when it is very hard to get aid, once on, the person doesn’t want to let it go and have to go through that whole rigamarole again.
That is part of the reason people I know on a fixed income don’t want to tinker with it. If they tried to crawl out of the hole, the government could kick them back down in an instance, but trying to get back to the lips of the hole again could take far longer. There should be no penalty for trying to get off state aid even if it means you for a time earn more than they want you to have.

I don’t know the perfect solution, but I know right now the system encourages more babies, not discourages it.
Society doesn’t help either. A better system would be to use the money that is being spent now more effectively. Part of which would be to take some of the money and use for job training, free job training. The government should have live-in training centers where the rent is dirt cheap, there is free childcare, and job training all at the same campus, and then no one has to spend money on commuting, and they won’t have an excuse why they could not make their classes. Since the utilities, etc. and housing is handled; if there were not a free cafeteria there on campus they give the clients an ample stipend for clothes, toiletries, food, and such. That would IMO be a more efficient way to spend some of the money they are wasting now.

@jerv In the big picture, the real flaw is our society of selfishness, greed, and sociopathic lack of empathy.
That is something we can agree on. Just curious, where do you think that came from?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Selfishness, greed and sociopathic lack of empathy fit very well with an agenda designed to funnel money to the top. In fact if the process is to continue, the point must be reached when it is the ONLY way for it to continue. We are already well beyond that point. This is why the majority of proposals and policies from the right seem cold and heartless. THEY ARE! The push on the society for dog eat dog, beggar thy neighbor solutions to the nation’s ills is absolutely RELENTLESS. As the flow of money uphill defies the laws of gravity and the torrent increases, the social norms which define a working society must be dismantled and blame for it directed at the victims themselves. The call goes up “EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF” The former middle class staggers toward poverty, and the blame is placed on the lazy and undeserving poor (the former middle class). Both the physical and social infrastructure crumble in front of us. The cities are broke, the states are broke, federal deficits continue to balloon, and—————————- the rich get richer.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The new Mayor of NYC is trying to get universal nursery school for the city. I don’t remember what he calls it.

Pres. Clinton did try welfare to work. There were problems with it, I don’t remember exactly what the problems were. I also have no idea if we still have remnants of it in our system now.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Socialized country here. Yes I am on the dole. It’s not enough to live on, but sure helps to feed all my children. Healthcare is a non issue it is free. Or should all my kids be homeless and have to live wherever, the way I did as a teen? I would not wish that on anyone. Yes I have seen the weaves and false fingernails. I have no idea how they pay for it. Minimum wage here is 16.40$. There are not enough jobs. All people want to be self supportive, but it’s just not possible in today’s world.

RocketGuy's avatar

@trailsillustrated – I was going to rib you about being on the dole, but wasn’t sure how you would take it. My family was on food stamps for a while (my single mom, my brother, and me). We hated pulling those things out to pay, but it put food on the table. We got off as soon as we could. I took govt grants for college too. Free money. Now I’m making good money and paying plenty of taxes. I don’t complain if people need govt help. Everyone needs help one time or another. I just hate hearing about people taking advantage of the system.

jerv's avatar

@RocketGuy But that’s all you ever hear about, even though it’s only a small minority that does that. And usually from the same people screaming about voter fraud rates of <0.00001% being an epidemic worth disenfranchising millions of voters to eliminate.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@RocketGuy I don’t complain if people need govt help. Everyone needs help one time or another.
I would not balk at people needing government help either. Between the governments creating a scenario where they give a person a raft but no paddle and those who game the system it needs an overhaul. IMO government help should be to stabilize a person or families position so they can regroup, and do as your family did, and get back on their feet, without penalty for earning money. If what you earn extra gets hacked off the bottom, you really have not gained any more altitude than you had before, so you get nowhere.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@RocketGuy you can rib me all you want. Here, they pay it into your bank account. It’s not a card or some other identifying thing. Yes I buy booze and tobacco fuk ya’ll.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated Your situation is what welfare in America was created for, and I think almost everyone agrees with helping to support someone to bridge between jobs. I think a working wage needs to be better than the “dole” wage or what is the incentive to work? Which is another reason I think the minimum wage needs to be increased in America. I don’t know if your children were born when you were on ublic assistance since that was a while ago, but helping your children now is different than if you got pregnant today. Would you feel comfortable having another baby while you can’t support yourself fnancially? You have both perspectives. You have made a good income and you have lived with government help.

I don’t know how I feel about the alcohol and cigs, but I do know I am against telling food stamp recipients what food they can buy. There is a big push for that in America right now and I think if people want to spend the money on all prepared food and no fresh veggies I am fine with it. Probably ish came to shove I wouldn’t dictate much at all about what food stamps can go towards unless babies and children are starving because their parent was using up all the money for themselves. That would be neglect though, and I guess the government would interviene. Eventually interviene.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@JLeslie I certainly don’‘t know. I have alot of children. I am on welfare. If I didn’t have welfare I don’t know what I would do. I have a post-graduate degree.. I spend some of my welfare on booze and smokes. shock. I don’t know what the answer is but I would hate for it to be an american answer. I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated I was under the impression you have two children, not that it matters. I have never been on a Q where you talked about all of them at length. In my mind I think of you as my go to person for dental questions, your perspective on America as a transplant, and info on what it is like in Australia.

I vaguely remember you have had addiction problems in the past, so isn’t the alcohol not a great idea? I honestly don’t remember what your addiction was, and I myself have avoided doing things I need to do with fluther, and other things I could probably call addictions, so I am not judging, I am just wondering how you look at it. Do you think if you were working you would be less likely to drink? What I’m getting at is, I think if I was working I would be more productive in general, and be participating in less behaviors that aren’t helping me. I’m really thinking about myself as I ask you this question.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@JLeslie I have two children. Those two children have friends that haven’t any place to go. So I have four children. I have a DDS and also a Phd in Social Science. Where’s that getting me now? You know I have a past herion addiction which had nothing to do with me me losing my dental licence. How does a homeless person pay professional fees and yearly licence renewal? Answer is they don’t. I live in a drinking country i don’t know, or care.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated I didn’t remember it was heroin. Those details generally don’t stick with me, unless I see it in someone’s answers. As in when people answer fluther questions and seem obviously drunk or drugged. There are only a few jellies I think of as not being clear headed sometimes when they fluther. For all I know more jellies than I realize are hi than I realize. Doesn’t matter.

I also didn’t know you were no longer licensed, which also doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t affect your knowledge of dentistry whether licensed or not, I still value your knowledge and opinion.

I don’t want anyone to be homeless. I became very interested in the Singapore model where the majority of their housing is provided by the government. The leader of the country who put that into play (I don’t remember his name) believed that people need to have basic needs met like shelter so they can focus on more productive matters. Kind of like Maslow’s Heiracrchy of Needs. I agree. I think a hybrid of social systems and capitalism is the ideal solution and America is fighting hard against socializing more. I think the “fight” the adversarial attitude in politics surrounding issues of social systems makes it impossible for America to make our systems run better. We can’t expect everything to work as we first planned, but when it proves not to be working well we need to be willing to spend time to change and perfect it rather than stick with ideas that don’t function or scrap something altogether. We suck at it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@JLeslie what happened was this: I was having panic attacks at work. Crazy as it sounds, I did not know what they were and thought it was an allergy! to plastics or latex. I sought help. I was put on lorazpam, which worked great then I was switched to Buspar, which quit working so I took more and more and it boomaranged and I got arrested for fighting. I couldn’t keep going to the Dr. so I started self medicating, bad move, and you probably know the rest. It’s okay now I haven’t done drugs for 7 years.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated I can completely empathasize with wanted to medicate oneself. Right now I am pretty full of anger, anxiety, and very weepy, and I know Xanax would help me right now. I want to ask for some from my doctor, but I hate asking for anything from any doctor, especially benzos. If they check my pharmacy record they will see I haven’t taken any triplicate drugs in years, except for a pain medication when I had my accident, and I only filled half the script. But, most doctors just say no out of hand when you ask for benzos.

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