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

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Pope Gregory IX

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Ultimately I think this depends on what you actually think the purpose of these benefits are, not to mention which benefits specifically..

If you think that the majority of people on them are transiently out of work, and are just waiting for the economy to pick up before the estates will all head en masse to Glaxo Smithkline to sign up for their shiny new temporary contracts, then I suspect you will find this a good idea. I also suspect you have the kind of dinner conversations that make me want to swallow a bread knife.

We pay roughly 10% of people a bearably acceptable amount to stop them from flipping out and setting fire to our cars and shopping centres. We do this because they are superfluous to the economy. Not now, not for five years, but for most if not all of their lives (I'm covering the US and UK in these sweeping statements, although I acknowledge the differences). You think McDonalds is hiring that single mum in her 40s with no work experience who needs to leave at 3pm to collect her brood, or are they gonna hire Akshay the Engineering Student/Mexican/Indian with a fibre optic connection? Who the fuck do you think is coming along with all these jobs for people with 5/10/15 year employment gaps? Monsanto?

The majority of people on a long-term benefit will not get off it, or if they do then they are shunted to another. Helps the figures.

Questions like this seem to come from a rage directed at the people on benefits, but that rage is necessary to make you pay for those benefits. You'll pay it, only if you can stomp and shout and feel the power first... But you'll pay. This is the system, and you and these questions form part of it.

Enjoy it. It won't change in our lifetimes.
 

Jack Haywood

Interested in psychology, games and adventure
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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.

Thank you very much for your amazing insight. It's clear that you're much better at this politics stuff than most people are.
 

AnOminous

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You could have said the same thing about pretty much any innovation throughout history

It wouldn't be an innovation, though.

It would be a radical, reactionary move back to the past before we had it.

Most people don't think things were particularly great back then.
 

autisticdragonkin

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It wouldn't be an innovation, though.

It would be a radical, reactionary move back to the past before we had it.

Most people don't think things were particularly great back then.
A lot of things good and bad have happened between 1389 and the present. To say that something that was implemented in 1389 would be necessarily good today or even in 1389 is ridiculous. Technological improvement was what improved things, not price regulations. The same argument could have been used against the adoption of democratic political systems citing the improvement in standards of living between antiquity and the Baroque period.

Why should minimum wage exist in the first place. Why cannot the free market simply provide the equilibrium wage for unskilled labour (or possibly efficiency wages)
 
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introman

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MarvinTheParanoidAndroid

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I thought the whole point of welfare was that the people receiving it couldn't work or were working but don't make enough? Wouldn't that just be a government job by that point?
 

moorhen

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I thought the whole point of welfare was that the people receiving it couldn't work or were working but don't make enough? Wouldn't that just be a government job by that point?

In the UK, if you're not working you can claim Job Seekers Allowance, which is supposed to help you get back onto your feet and find a new job.
There are stipulations, like you can't claim for a certain amount of time if you quit your job rather than getting laid off or fired, or you have over a certain amount in savings, and you have to meet certain criterion each week for them to give you the money.
Unfortunately, as you can imagine, it's pretty easy to game the system, and once you've signed on, they'll pay certain bills for you (like rent and council tax) and some people just think it's easier to stay on welfare/benefits rather than find a job.
 

ToroidalBoat

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I think it's a good idea. Even if someone is too disabled to work, they should still contribute to society somehow if they're able to.
 

Varg Did Nothing Wrong

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Germany does something similar (at least as far as my relatives have told me). If you collect the German equivalent of welfare you sometimes get a phone call or a letter telling you that you'll need to do a certain job (yard work for a local church, sweeping something, etc) for a few hours of a certain day. There's no welfare police making sure you show up, but if you miss too many of these little appointments you stop getting welfare eventually.

I think that's a fair way to do it, IMHO. Someone is not looking for work 100% of the time they are on welfare. You can take a few hours out of one day every week or so to go sweep some gutters or help the local pastor weed his churches garden, because you are getting room and board and money to spend from the government. It's fair to give the government a little of your time in return. IMHO.
 

Big Nasty

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I am afraid that any form of welfare state is unsustainable in the long run. The welfare state as we know it was probably only affordable when we had a long period of increasing industrial output, which we don't have anymore. I don't think we have any choice but to cut back on benefits.
 

Joan Nyan

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If you're doing work and receiving pay contingent on doing that work, that's a job. The real question being asked here is "Should the government do away with welfare and instead employ people to work at charitable foundations?" With the coming of self driving cars and other automation that will destroy millions of jobs, the government as an employer of last resort might be a good idea.
 

Manah

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Sounds like commie talk to me, op.

e: How did you manage to dredge a thread up from 2 years ago?

I think it's a good idea. Even if someone is too disabled to work, they should still contribute to society somehow if they're able to.

Typically people want to be doing something as opposed to sitting and thinking about how meaningless life is, so it's win-win.
 
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DNA_JACKED

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I am afraid that any form of welfare state is unsustainable in the long run. The welfare state as we know it was probably only affordable when we had a long period of increasing industrial output, which we don't have anymore. I don't think we have any choice but to cut back on benefits.
Well, that is one way of looking at it. I respectfully disagree.

Rampant corruption at the federal level costs more then any cut in benefits could make up. Just look at the cost of supplies for the military. The F-35, a plane originally budgeted for 233 billion, is currently over 1 trillion, years late, the cost per plane has ballooned to over 600 million for it's total lifetime, ece. The DOD also seems to have terrible bookkeeping records, with billions if not trillions going missing. The military also pays obscene amounts for things. Back in '85, the military was paying nearly $700 for an ash tray, $37 for a common screw, over $7k for a coffee machine, ece, and it has only gotten worse.

there are also ridiculous pork projects shoved into congressional bills. The most famous pork barrel project was the "bridge to nowhere, which would have cost $389 million https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravina_Island_Bridge

And even forgetting all that, the US spends more per citizen on things like healthcare then any other western civilization, yet receives worse care due to ridiculous pricing. This graph from 2010 is particularly sobering:
davis_mirror_2014_es1_for_web.jpg


I am sure we have a lot of fat that could be cut in welfare spending, but I also feel there is a LOT of corruption and pork that we could cut, without cutting people's benefits, and get a much larger return from. Unscrewing healthcare costs alone could probably fund welfare needs for quite some time.