General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

What will we do when the government has taken away health and human services, etc.?

Asked by tinyfaery (41823points) February 19th, 2011

When there are no services for the sick, poor and disabled? What will we do when no one can afford a doctor or medication? What will we do when all these people are living on the streets and crime rates go up?What will we do when millions of unwanted babies must be born due to no alternatives? What will we do when no one can afford to retire because their pensions have been stolen? What will we do when kids graduating high school can’t even do basic math?

I just don’t understand how cuts to basic needs will help this country, let alone create jobs. If all of this happens, what will America look like in 5,10, 20 years?

To all you religious people, Is this really what your God wants?

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77 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

I know what I’m going to do. I’m going home.

marinelife's avatar

It won’t happen. The Democratic Senate will stop it.

tinyfaery's avatar

@marinelife I wish I had your confidence.

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tinyfaery's avatar

This is the general section. Off-topic responses will be flagged.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The fear of this is what drives people to want to tighten their belts against the various services that provide these things you mention for illegals who don’t pay into their upkeep. It seems un American and un Christian to cut off caring for these people and their broods but the USA is broke- our own veterans and citizens go without.

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kess's avatar

That would be the day of ter liberation of mankind from the lies that covered out true Identity until for centuries since the beginning…

We would come to realise that all these things are just plain worthless..

For Life is always where it had always been and that is within each and everyone.

And this is the thing that we all shouldseek after not the satisfy of the isatiable desire of the flesh and the things that money can buy…..

zenvelo's avatar

@Neizvestnaya But the amount paid for illegal aliens is a drop in the bucket compared to those in need after the damage to the economy from 2004–2009. There are 50 million without health insurance. Compassionate care through emergency rooms is the most expensive way to deal with that problem, but the Republicans prefer that to a cost saving Health Care Reform. Why?

Jesus said, “feed the hungry, care for the sick, clothe the poor.” @Mikewlf337, that’s not being a bleeding heart.

flutherother's avatar

You have to ask yourself what is the purpose of government?

Mikewlf337's avatar

There are government programs and THAT is on topic. Every heard of the Welfare??? People apply for disability all the time. Those are government programs. I don’t know anyone who can’t do basic math. I don’t see the government taking those things away. Why did you bring God into this question? This question is about our government not religion.

WasCy's avatar


incendiary_dan's avatar

I’ll do what I always do. I’ll do all these things myself, and I’ll teach as many people as I can to do it for themselves. So no change, really.

bkcunningham's avatar

@psychocandy what you are describing in your original question is what is happening in America now with these government programs in place.

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BarnacleBill's avatar

Arm yourself, homeschool your children, and never leave your house.

CaptainHarley's avatar

What will we do? Probably have to re-learn how to actually do things for ourselves. What a revolting development THAT will be, eh?

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CaptainHarley's avatar

I don’t understand why YOU can’t understand that cutting out the fat from a bloated, self-serving, corrupt bureaucracy won’t free up money for private entrepreneurs to develop small businesses, which are the primary generators of new jobs in American!

CaptainHarley's avatar

No one was born with a certificate that said, “This person is entitled to fair and equal treatment.” You want “fair?” Go out and make “fair” for yourself. Don’t just give up and lay there and wait for someone else to take care of you.

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BarnacleBill's avatar

I guess I don’t see cuts in government support as a welfare state – I see cuts in government programs as no subsidized student loans, no Medicaid to keep my mother in an Alzheimer’s unit now that she has spent all of her retirement savings on care because she has outlived life expectancy and I can’t afford the $40,000 a year nursing home care AND college tuition for my daughter AND to save for my own retirement, no federal funding of building projects, no federal programs to keep drinking water safe (that’s already been decimated in many states with the last administration’s policies), no farm subsidies that keep the cost of food low.

What I don’t really see is poor people bilking the system. I see plenty of people, who like in the middle ages, are serf-class people. We have a lot of people who are really only interested in/capable of working factory work or manual labor. Not everyone is white collar material, not everyone is capable of running their own business, not everyone gets a job that pays enough to live on.

SuperMouse's avatar

@CaptainHarley you seem to be very passionate about this subject. What exactly should we do with those folks who are unfortunate enough to fall on hard times, or to be born into crushing poverty, or who were victims of this recession? Are we just going to write off an entire segment of society?

I have two part time jobs and go to school full time (in my last semester of course work) and I can’t afford health insurance. Should I just be written off because I cannot afford insurance? Is hoping for some kind of treatment or at least some access to affordable preventative health care considered “sucking off the government’s tit” to you? That seems rather short-sighted to me, leaving three children orphaned as opposed to my being here to finish raising them to be contributing members of society merely creates more tit suckers doesn’t it?

CaptainHarley's avatar

What did people do before there was health insurance?

Who said anything about “poor people bilking the system?” It was not I!

Are the things that happened to you MY fault?

BarnacleBill's avatar

I work with a woman whose 19 year old daughter had a baby and has never held down a job. The father of the baby is 20 and is a dishwasher. Her daughter is signed up for every single government program – food stamps, ADC, subsidized housing, Passport health insurance for the baby. The mom is counting on some miracle happening and her daughter finding a way to go to college and turn her life around. I’m not sure how that’s going to happen without subsidized day care and federal funding for a program to get unwed mothers into school, because the mother is not interested in giving her daughter financial assistance; she has 4 other children herself, and is on her third husband. However, she thinks that her situation with her daughter is somehow “different” than other people on assistance. I don’t see it – the daughter used $300 she got as baby shower gifts to get a new tattoo – while pregnant.

I come from a family where my great-grandfather was an illiterate immigrant. My grandfather had a 3rd grade education. My uncle was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. All of my cousins and siblings went to college, except for one. It only happened because of federal assistance.

bkcunningham's avatar

@psychocandy you ask: “What will we do when no one can afford a doctor or medication? What will we do when all these people are living on the streets and crime rates go up?What will we do when millions of unwanted babies must be born due to no alternatives? What will we do when no one can afford to retire because their pensions have been stolen? What will we do when kids graduating high school can’t even do basic math?”

These very things are happening now with the government’s programs in place. How effective can these programs be in the first place?

SuperMouse's avatar

@CaptainHarley seriously? You got from my response that I am blaming you personally for things that have happened to me? I would posit that there was a time when greedy corporations did not control the nation’s health care system and medical insurance was not the necessity it is now.

Do you propose that we write off everyone in society that is not as fortunate as you? How do we decide when to write someone off? When they can’t afford food for a week? A month? When they are unemployed for a week? A month? Six months? If they were once well off do they get a longer grace period?

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 Source

CaptainHarley's avatar

There are basically two kinds of people who depend upon the government to take care of them: those who cannot take care of themselves and have no family or other support system to fall back on, and those who are “playiing the system” in a ( usually successful ) attempt to avoid having to work for a living.

If you can find a way of separating the two so we can kick the loafers in the butt and concentrate on those who truly need assistance to exist, please let me know!

Facade's avatar

@CaptainHarley That seems like a very selfish point of view you have. An “I got mine; you get yours” attitude will bite the holder of that attitude in the ass one day. Honestly, why is it so hard for people to (to put it in the simplest terms:) share with the less fortunate if they have extra?
Any Christian with this attitude needs to go read their Bible again.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Don’t presume to guote the bible to me in this context, please. That was an admonition to individual believers to help their fellow men and women, not a mandate to government.

Unless you’re checking my mail, you have no idea to what organizations I donate.

chyna's avatar

@CaptainHarley No, there are more than two kinds of people who depend on the government to take care of them. There are those in my position who saved as much as I could and worked for 30 years at the same job, but they are laying off people so the jobs can be sent overseas or they can try to get one person doing the jobs of five people. I have a savings account, I did not live beyond my means, but now I find myself without a job and no one is hiring. I am using my unemployment benefits which I have never used before to supplement my savings while I find a job. I hate it, but that’s what I have to do. I no longer have insurance, so I can only hope I don’t get sick and need to go to the Dr. or hospial.
Note: I just got a job after 50 weeks of being unemployed.

CaptainHarley's avatar

My brother has made about $7,000 over the last three years, so I am familiar with unemployment and its effects. I have been unemployed several times in my own life as well. Using your unemployment benefits is not “sucking off the government tit.” It is using benefits which you have earned.

The same is true of Social Security: this is simply your own money being returned to you. If I had been able to save all the money which i was required by law to contribute to SS, I would probably be a rich man right now.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Without the federal government, you get this from the private sector. I have no faith in business to do the right thing. Small business, yes. Big business, no. The needs of big business are not the needs of small business. Unfortunately, the conservative agenda is big business.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I am not a conservative.

buster's avatar

We will help ourselves just like it people did before F.D.R.

Nullo's avatar

I dunno, maybe people will learn to take responsibility for themselves and their neighbors?

Jaxk's avatar

I read a story a few years back about a reporter that was writing a story about the Eskimos. She was interviewing a mother with a small baby in an Igloo. During the interview the baby crawled up to the fire in the middle of the Igloo with the obvious intention of sticking its hand into the fire. The reporter saw this and mentioned it to the mother. The mother said “he will learn”. A cruel lesson but an important one. And a controlled lesson.

We have unemployment and no one is proposing it be eliminated. But at the same time it supposed to be a bridge not a career. It is unfortunate but the longer you remain unemployed the less employable you are. Employers will shy away from someone that hasn’t worked for a few years in favor of someone that has shown steady employment. It may seem cruel to force someone off unemployment to take that minimum wage job that is actually paying less than they got with unemployment but if you don’t do it, the problem only gets worse. Better to take the hit while you are still employable than to wait until you are not.

When Clinton eliminated welfare it was foretold that welfare recipients would be dying in the street. What actually happened was that poverty went down. Sometimes the solutions seem cruel or counter intuitive but the alternative is even more damaging.

Medicaid, welfare, disability all need to be reformed. For every case where its warranted there are those that merely take advantage of it. Generational poverty is a problem in this country. It won’t be solved by providing even more and easier to acquire benefits.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like many other people, I’ve never had any government assistence and I’m in my 40’s, doing ok, it unnerves me why so much assistence is needed by others. There’s nothing exceptional about me, why is it I’ve been able to get along and make do while paying my own way for medical, dental, food, shelter, utilities? It’s only recently I’ve had a job that has benefits, I don’t take these things for granted and no one else should either.

skfinkel's avatar

@BarnacleBill I know that you understand statistics enough to understand that even if you or someone you know knows an abuser of the system, that doesn’t mean that the others are abusing it. Here are some data: the top third on assistance have it for a very short time, and then get off—not abusing it. The bottom third are often traumatized, sick, abused and may have more needs. The middle third need assistance, but can get off it.

I suspect more corruption will be found among the rich who abuse the system in various ways, tax loopholes to mention one, than the poor.

bea2345's avatar

@CaptainHarleyIf you can find a way of separating the two so we can kick the loafers in the butt and concentrate on those who truly need assistance: The trouble with that approach is that too, too often the needy are forgotten in the effort to choke off the freeloaders.

tinyfaery's avatar

No one has answered me. What will America look like if all this happens?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Jaxk I have personal experience with unemployment and know many who have dealt with it who would willingly have taken any position offered, whether it was for minimum wage or a quarter million dollar annual salary. Also, I would love to see the statistics that back up your assertion that a solid 50% of recipients of government aid are bilking the system.

@psychocandy I think in the scenario you describe, America will begin to look like a pathetic shadow of what it once was and could be. All those folks running around saying we have no responsibility to those less fortunate than us will probably do all they can to profit from the misery these policies have begotten. On the upside there are probably some beautiful souls out there who understand the concept of community and the need to take care of the least among us who will take the opportunity to shine.

ETpro's avatar

We’ve been running this country in some very stupid ways for the last 3 decades. We give tax credits to companies that offshore work. We allow corporate raiders to use the cash reserves and even the pension funds of a long-standing, successful business as collateral for a hostile takeover. The raider then slashes jobs to try to service all the debt,. The interest on the debt is tax deductible. The losses the LBO produces can be carried forward to defray future taxes. Sixty percent of our corporations pay no corporate taxes. That includes Exxon-Mobil, the world’s most profitable corporation in all of history. Only the small corporations and start-ups that actually create most jobs get stuck with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

We give huge farm subsidies when six massive agri-businesses grow the vast bulk of all the food in America. Farm subsidies once meant to help small farmers are now corporate welfare. Likewise, we give the oil industry $40 billion a year in tax subsidies. The Oil industry is by far the most profitable business that has ever existed on Earth, and we give them corporate welfare. But sadly, there isn’t enough money to provide assistance for people in need. We are a corporatocracy, and the oligarchs calling the shots want ALL the money for themselves. Their perfect world would be a return to feudalism with them as the feudal lords. But I don’t think the American people will stand by and let them take us there.

m0r60n's avatar

I’m guessing we’ll all die. :)

dreamer31's avatar

@SuperMouse you said it all, The problem with that would be that most of the beautiful souls are usually in my experience the ones who do not have very much themselves.
@ETpro good points

YARNLADY's avatar

More people will suffer and die from preventable medical problems.

tinyfaery's avatar

Will there be people roaming the streets in droves and setting up tent cities under the freeways? Will people kill each other for food? Will the rich drive by in bullet proof vehicles while children with no shoes run after them. Will we become a 3rd world country?

bkcunningham's avatar

@ETpro I’ve heard other people say the same thing you said about farms, but it isn’t true. According to the USDA, family farms account for 98 percent of farms, and they account for 82 percent of farm production in the US.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Indeed we will, if we don’t get a handle on the mountain of debt we’re leaving for our children!

bkcunningham's avatar

@psychocandy have you been to DC lately? What you are saying will happen, is happening with these wonderful government programs already in place.

tinyfaery's avatar

@bkcunningham I mean on a mass, nationwide, level.

@CaptainHarley I don’t see how lessening the debt creates jobs and this is not the question to discuss it.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@psychocandy, I can tell you what it looks like. I do a lot of historical research, and have a pretty good idea what “the good old days” really looked like:
Little or no environmental standards for water, air quality or waste removal. City dumps may burn, toxic waste dumped into areas that feed water supplies (Pre-EPA)
More people die or are disabled because they cannot afford health care. (We are already seeing some of this because of lack of access to affordable health care or health insurance)
Multi-generational families living together out of economic necessity (again, we are seeing this with foreclosures)
Children dropping out of school to work or care for younger siblings so parents can work.
Children abandoned because parents cannot care for them; perhaps an increase in private orphanages.
Increase in violent crimes, because of accessiblity to handguns.
Decrease in divorces, increase in domestic violence. Increase in women and children abandoned, without financial safeguards.
Return of workhouses for poor people.

tinyfaery's avatar

And these cuts are supposed to be good for us? Yikes!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Surely you can see that it’s not going to help to “throw the baby out with the bathwater?” Keep things we know are necessary, toss the things that are unnecessary or which only encourage people to suck off the government tit. Were you aware that, in some major metro areas, there are families who are moving into their FOURTH generation on welfare? Now what is it that causes this? Are they just too stupid to work at a real job? Or have they just been trained by the system to be dependent?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yeah, that’s the perfect answer from a Statist: I’m obviously too stupid to understand your position, so there’s no real point in trying to point out to me where I’m wrong.

BarnacleBill's avatar

People are on their 4th generation of welfare because the modeled behavior of success isn’t there. The “role models” for kids in poor neighborhoods are drug dealers, sports figures and thugs, and television portrayals of life. You cannot turn a life around by your bootstraps if you have no idea what ‘self-reliance” looks like. Heck, 10% of the kids in this country only eat what they get from school lunch programs; there’s not food at home on the weekends.

Part of a solution would be to repeal/revise the Nanny Tax laws. Allow marginalized people to earn untaxed money from working for other people. For many families, this used to mean the difference between being on welfare or not.

CaptainHarley's avatar


And you learned this where?

cockswain's avatar

What a loaded question. Let’s imagine it does happen: those without enough money will not be able to afford treatment to have a clogging heart artery cleared or a cancerous tumor removed. So people will die, plain and simple. The earth doesn’t have the resources to support an industrializing world of 7 billion and counting, so a lot of death is going to happen at some point.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham I would very much appreciate a link to support your claims about farm production percentages. I repeated what I had heard on a newscast. I can’t find a link to it, but I did find stats on the USDA site that lead me to believe that your claimed numbers are perhaps based on numbers of farms and not production volume.

Statistics are a tough subject, and it’s easy to tell the truth and spin it in such a way that it supports what is far from true. For instance, who owns what percentage of farms. Yes, there are a huge number of small farms, many hardly deserving the term farm. The Census “figures “farms thus “The official definition of a farm for census purposes is “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold or normally would have been sold during the census year.”

Contract farming has grown quite common today and further muddles any attempt to sort out who actually owns the productivity of even the family farm. Under contract farming, the subsidies generally flow to the firm holding the contract.

I hope you will agree that this article from the Heritage Foundation is not some loony-leftist propaganda. The Heritage Foundation is a right-wing think tank of high reputation. They classify the $171 billion farm bill “Corporate Welfare.” Their words, not mine.

Yoman's avatar

@psychocandy I do not share your vision of how helpful the federal government has been to society with all the spending that has increased dramatically since George W. Bush became president. The federal government is practically bankrupt. What will I do when Congress takes courageous steps to downsize the federal government? Breathe easier. Many of the “national priorities’ that have fueled runaway spending can be more effectively addressed in a free market.

tinyfaery's avatar

@CaptainHarley You don’t even know me. You assume too much.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ETpro the information is in the two links I provided in my above links. Read through the material. It explains the income levels associated with the farm sizes as well. “Ninety-eight percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 82 percent of farm production.”

This isn’t intended to be an arguement between the two of us. It is a joint research effort based on facts. The Heritage Foundation link is a good one. The subsidy program is flawed IMO.

Here they are again:

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Heres what it should look like…
“I had a vision of a way we could have no enemies ever again, if you’re interested in this. Anybody interested in hearing this? It’s kind of an interesting theory, and all we have to do is make one decisive act and we can rid the world of all our enemies at once. Here’s what we do. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense every year? Trillions of dollars. Instead, if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded… not one… we could as one race explore inner and outer space together in peace, forever.” Bill Hicks

Yoman's avatar

@psychocandy In your opinion, is there any program that the federal government does that should be either downsized or eliminated?

dreamer31's avatar

To all of you who think you know everything about people on government assistance:
you work at a job for $7.15 hr(mw) even with a massive amount of overtime and see how far you get without ANY assistance. Unfortunately, wonderful opportunities are not availiable to everyone, especially the poor.
Poverty does not always equal drugs/dealers as role models/neighbors, the rich do more drugs they just hide it better cause the poor are the target Some of the richest people are the main drug dealers Wealthy communities have just as many if not more teens/youth on drugs as in a poverty stricken neighborhood.
I am willing to bet that if you found someone on government asst. and offered them a good paying job that would enable them to live w/out any assistance, they would take it in a heartbeat and be better at the job than you could imagine.
This attitude of disrespect is disgusting and unfortunately a big reason why people cannot seem to dig themselves out of the hole, many were born in. If you have not been there personally, you should not assume you know.
After all some of the rich only continue to be rich because the IRS has not found out about all of the $ they have hidden and swindled by finding loopholes to get out of paying taxes so in all reality, I suppose they are sucking the governments’ tits more than the poor!

Jaxk's avatar


I got distracted so let me give you a sample of the fraud in Government assistance for government workers.


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cletrans2col's avatar

@dreamer31 I wouldn’t call using legal tax loopholes as swindling the government out of money. Just close the loopholes.

cletrans2col's avatar

Going back to my original statement that the question posed is drama-queenery, the government is not going to eliminate these programs for the poor and sickly. Should we look for waste and misuse of these programs? Of course. But I have always believed that these programs are not the whole source of our country’s financial problems. Until we look at real reform of entitlement programs and the real waste in our defense budget (something that even conservatives will acknowledge is true), we will go nowhere.

dreamer31's avatar

@cletrans2col any legal tax loophole that includes people hosting/participating in so called charity events for social status/the amenities and gifts that are included should not be legal at is criminal and disgusting. There are many more loopholes like this that are abused.
These loopholes should be closed but it is still sneaky and what I would consider swindling.

mattbrowne's avatar

The situation you are describing is what people in Africa are facing today. Therefore millions of them keep trying to get to Europe. This is understandable, but to me it makes more sense to help Africa develop.

Now I can’t believe that the United States loses all its prosperity and sense of solidarity and become like Africa. Liberals and moderate conservatives will care for all Americans, not just the rich ones.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham Sorry to be so late getting back to you. The USDA stats are extremely misleading and I have to think deliberately so. It is true there are many small farms but over 60% of the food production is controlled bu the 6 largest agri-businesses. They use contract farming. They control the means of production, the standards, timing, the quality, the inputs and the distribution. On paper, if you ignore contract farming, then the family farm is alive and well. In reality it is a dwindling breed. There are welcome signs in moves to buy local produce and in free-range meats. But this is a small and relatively expensive part of modern American agriculture that only a small percentage of Americans can currently take advantage of.

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