Should people who receive welfare be required to do community service?

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AnOminous

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Interesting. I didn't know that didn't exist in the UK. Besides the US, what other first-world countries have at-will employment?

So far as I know, actually calling it that is unique to the United States. Most of the countries considered civilized don't have it, and having a low level of employee protection is generally not considered good. There are certainly other countries with worse protection of employees than the U.S., but those generally also have a shitty quality of life in general, such as having barely functional court systems, no unemployment insurance, being outright failed states, etc.
 

Holdek

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So far as I know, actually calling it that is unique to the United States. Most of the countries considered civilized don't have it, and having a low level of employee protection is generally not considered good. There are certainly other countries with worse protection of employees than the U.S., but those generally also have a shitty quality of life in general, such as having barely functional court systems, no unemployment insurance, being outright failed states, etc.
I generally agree with you. But, on the other hand they do create a more flexible labor market. And in many countries with due process for workers companies get around that by hiring people under temporary contracts (with few benefits), then evaluating them every year.
 

Jack Haywood

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I see this debate pop up now and then and I'd like to see what my fellow Kiwis think.

Personally, I don't see how this has a downside. Of course, some people would be exempted (like the disabled and people who are taking job training courses), but I think if you have a healthy body and you're receiving government benefits you should be required to do a few hours of community service per month. People should also be allowed to choose what they want to do (be it working in an animal shelter, a food kitchen, a library, organizing events, etc).

I've seen people complain about how "insulting" this is to welfare recipients, but is it really? There's nothing bad about giving back to the community that's been supporting you. Plus, volunteer work is good for the soul; I've worked in animal shelters, food kitchens, and other places and I have nothing but positive things to say about my experiences. I'm sure that a lot of other Kiwis feel the same way. Getting out and helping other people never has any downsides.

If they're deliberately refusing to work, YES.
 

Enclave Supremacy

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The system is broken. The "strivers vs skivers" rhetoric is a deliberate tactic pushed out through a compliant media industry to distract from the fact that the real con trick is happening at the top, rather than the bottom.

As much as I don't like welfare cheats, obviously, stealing what amounts to a penitence versus rampant theft by officials is inexcusable. All those whom obviously gamed the system during the MP's expenses scandal should have been tried. Public money for a fucking moat cleaning.
 

autisticdragonkin

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Maybe we should make welfare recipients wear blue badges in addition to working in workhouses like they were required to do in the English poor laws
 

Enclave Supremacy

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Maybe we should make welfare recipients wear blue badges in addition to working in workhouses like they were required to do in the English poor laws

Do you really think that the homeless would object to being given accommodation, food and some wages in-return for being given work to do or do you think that they'd make references to Charles Dickens and sleep out on the streets. Reading is full of the poor bastards.

I'm trying to imagine the kind of life you lead where you even have a fucking moat to clean, much less the brass balls to charge the public for it.

It has to be the most Upper-class thing I've ever heard.
 

Magpie

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People are absolutely off their goddamn rockers if they think people who are on benefits because they need benefits are living the high life. You're willing to tell me that not even £60 (edit: and this is for TWO ADULTS) a week translates to rolling in dough? Jesus Christ, are you from the 1800's? I would love a job but at the entry level there are none to be had, and when someone is disabled and the gov is clamping down and fucking over said disabled things get really twisted, really fast.

The poor shouldn't be punished for being poor - that's just kicking those who are already down.
 

Dudeofteenage

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As much as I don't like welfare cheats, obviously, stealing what amounts to a penitence versus rampant theft by officials is inexcusable.

It's impossible to run a large complex system without some people taking unfair advantage of it, and it's impossible to effectively administer benefits in anything other than a very small country without a large, complex system. This isn't to excuse welfare fraud, which is and should be considered a crime, but minimising welfare fraud shouldn't be the main goal of welfare policy.
 

Enclave Supremacy

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It's impossible to run a large complex system without some people taking unfair advantage of it, and it's impossible to effectively administer benefits in anything other than a very small country without a large, complex system. This isn't to excuse welfare fraud, which is and should be considered a crime, but minimising welfare fraud shouldn't be the main goal of welfare policy.

Yeah obviously. We're talking about 70 million people. That's what I am saying. Welfare frauds must take so little compared to the rich and at-least the welfare cheats are probably poor, probably have kids and stuff.
 

autisticdragonkin

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The poor shouldn't be punished for being poor - that's just kicking those who are already down.
If that doesn't happen then it will reduce the incentive for productivity in the capitalist economy
This is meant as a criticism of both capitalism and ethical socialism
 

Magpie

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I still find it amusing that people will always give the poor guilt trips and shame them for being "leeches on society," daring to need help to get their daily bread. Then the same lot will never question the obscenely wealthy who have so much money they couldn't spend it in 10+ lifetimes, and will go so far as to not only not contribute to society, but actively take from it as well. Do the people born into that work for their money? Of course not. Or if they do they get a job through nepotism. How about they get forced into community service - they already have the financial security to give them anything they could possibly want and need in life.

If that doesn't happen then it will reduce the incentive for productivity in the capitalist economy
This is meant as a criticism of both capitalism and ethical socialism

"Incentive" my feathered ass. You can hardly be productive if you're being treated as subhuman by society. The stress of managing financial crumbs alone can make someone crack, so can looking for work so you can afford to live but not having success, and so can being sick/fucked up to the point that probably got you landed needing benefits anyway. Give people a life where they can do more than just cling to existence so they can actually have the means and energy to work.

Trust me, nobody and I mean nobody I know who is stuck on benefits wants to be. They all want work, but they can't find it. So instead they are stuck below the poverty line.
 

autisticdragonkin

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I still find it amusing that people will always give the poor guilt trips and shame them for being "leeches on society," daring to need help to get their daily bread. Then the same lot will never question the obscenely wealthy who have so much money they couldn't spend it in 10+ lifetimes, and will go so far as to not only not contribute to society, but actively take from it as well. Do the people born into that work for their money? Of course not. Or if they do they get a job through nepotism. How about they get forced into community service - they already have the financial security to give them anything they could possibly want and need in life.
The topic being discussed is not the rich but the poor
"Incentive" my feathered ass. You can hardly be productive if you're being treated as subhuman by society.
There should be a form of government assistance to assist people in being productive. Probably the best thing would be a negative income tax and some sort of program to help negate job search costs. But allowing a too generous benefits system will disincentivise productivity both on the sides of the rich who will suffer from increased taxation and the poor who will suffer from welfare cliffs both in the conventional financial form and in the opportunity cost form
Trust me, nobody and I mean nobody I know who is stuck on benefits wants to be. They all want work, but they can't find it. So instead they are stuck below the poverty line.
We should eliminate the minimum wage to reduce unemployment. Additionally the majority of these people would be able to find a job if they spent 100 hours a week trying to get a job for most of their life.
 

Jewelsmakerguy

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I personally think it depends on how bad the disability is. For example, if the person is unfit to work, be it heavy mental illness or a physical disability that makes them unable to move around for more than a few minutes at a time. Then I don't think they need to do it.

However, if you're still fully capable (and most people on Welfare tend to be), then get off your lazy ass and find something constructive to do.
 

Vitriol

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The greens had an interesting idea: give every household £50 per week and offset the cost by doing away wuth tge entirety of the dwp. Housing benefits and ct benefits would be unaffected as these are carried out by local authorities. With this system there is no way to game the system and anywork leaves one better off than on benefits alone.

The greens never stood in my constituency so i never checked their costing but its an interesting idea at least. I believe something similar has been proposed elsewhere as a 'citizens dividend'.
 

Ravenor

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The greens never stood in my constituency so i never checked their costing but its an interesting idea at least. I believe something similar has been proposed elsewhere as a 'citizens dividend'.

Yea they got savaged for it, the amount was to little and the savings they would make by axeing the DWP didn't quite work out. It's a nice idea but not workable the way they wanted to do it. The Citizens Dividend might have leg's however and it's being pondered as a way of combatting baseline poverty but it's a tricky balancing act we won't see get used at least in our life times.
 

moorhen

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I'm sort of on the fence about this, because in the UK, the majority of people who are claiming something like Job Seekers or whatever the fuck it's called now, are actively looking for work, and there are different kinds of benefits in the UK depending on your age and if you have kids. It's a complicated system.

I will, however, that while I was unemployed there were people who I see when I was signing on that were actively cheating the system. The kind of people who'd sit next to me while I was tearing my hair out because I couldn't find a job (I was a drop out at the time, made it super hard to get places to take me seriously), and brag about how they'd forged their job book (while claiming job seekers you have to apply to a certain amount of jobs a week, and if you get a certain amount of job offers and turn them down, you'll get your benefits revoked. It's an online system now that makes it easier to track, I believe) and spent all their JSA on weed.
Those people should have to do some community work. If you've been claiming JSA for over 6 months and are not showing up to job interviews or actively rejecting jobs, then something should be done about it.

Although in the UK (I'm not sure if they still do this) if you're on JSA and you go a certain amount of time without finding work, they start to submit you to training courses in your fields of interest, and if you refuse to do the courses, your benefits will be stopped. (Everything you do while you're there, down to food and travel, is paid for by the job center.) Which I think is fair.

Obviously this doesn't apply to other benefits like Disability or Child Support or Working Tax, because those are in place to help you while you're working.

That being said, I think arranging that would be a huge draw on an already overworked system, and that the people who're actively trying to find work will end up getting fucked over. It's one of those "you either believe everybody or believe nobody" deals, and it'd end with a lot of innocent people getting unfairly pushed into things that would detract from their job search, etc.