Drug Testing for Welfare recipents

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Killer Joe, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, I kinda assumed some program would be devised/expanding concerning the regulation of charities if it went this way, but I guess it needed to be said :)

    Well, there are nationwide ones, like Make-A-Wish and the National Cancer Foundation one(s). But yeah, welfare basically provides an additional source of income, right? I don't think there are charities that do the same; rather, they provide a service maybe that the income might be used for as an equivalent.
  2. turgy22 Nothing Special

    That's a good point and perhaps what EricBess was trying to get at. Charities provide services, not money. So you'd want to set up one or more broad charities that provide the services that welfare is supposed to be paying for (e.g. food, shelter, clothing, sanitary needs, health care). I don't know if a new charity is exactly the way to go on this, but perhaps all welfare could be modified to act more like food stamps. Instead of offering welfare recipients cash, give them vouchers that can only be used for rent or specific grocery items. Or the govt/charity could buy up apartment buildings and set them up as "welfare hotels" that provide free meals, housing and sanitary supplies (soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc). That way, you know the benefits aren't being misused on things like illegal drugs or alcohol.
  3. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    Ok, I like the way that this is going with the charity idea. I would like to hear EB expand upon it because I have the same questions that have already been expressed...plus one other. If it is to be suggested that in the harder economic times (lower donations, higher need) that the government step in and assist said charity(ies), then it will become just like our current welfare. Not on the surface, but with greater government involvement, comes a greater inefficiency and all. The government has proven (both Rep. and Dem) that they cannot stick thier nose into something without trying to change they way it works (usually with some hidden agenda that benefits certain people). This is the problem with most government-run programs (and incidently will be the biggest problem with government healthcare, but that is a whole different topic).

    BTW, some charities will offer money, but what they do is highly regulated. Without going into details, at one point about 7-8 years ago, I lived with a family (working as thier house keeper...don't ask) whose little girl burned down the apartment. Luckily my stuff was fine (just smelled like smoke) but all thier stuff was ruined. They did the smart thing and approached several charities. The Salvation Army for some reason decided that a family with 3 children and one income (and a lower income at that), did not need assistance when suddenly struck homeless, with no money (it was in a wallet inside that burnt too). The Red Cross, however, jumped into action immediately, providing a bag of toiletries and toys for the children and adults. Then they assisted with the security deposit and first months rent for a new apartment, as well as a card that had some cash on it for meals and such (not sure how much was on it, but the money was not restricted because they knew that with no kitchen etc...that eating out was pretty much a neccessity for a few days).

    This is the only example I have of any type of charitable help for the needy, and I do not want to say that the Salvation Army is worthless, however I will never donate to that organization as long as I live. All my donations go to the red cross (and a christian resale shop that helped the family get some good deals on furniture and clothing, but wont go into that here).

    ok, yes, I rambled, and maybe rabbit trailed a bit, but figured this background into the way a charity helped someone may help define something here.
  4. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    I think it matters, I think it matters a lot. So, you think the government should just hand out money to people who might commit a crime to keep them from committing a crime? I can't agree with that logic. There is no end to it. Maybe we should get ex-cons everything they want, because they might do something in the future and we would just pay for it then.

    Welfare is to help people out in bad times, not a way of life. There should be a limit and no more for more kids.... I say give them less for every extra kid they have that they can't afford.... ok that's a bit extreme, but the thought is that poeple that can't take care of their kids don't need more, because they get more money from the government.
  5. train The Wildcard!!!...

    So much to touch on - so little time. I will get back to everything else shortly - but to answer a question about limiting food stamps to "no tobacco" - yes this is entirely possible, and with the new barcodes being introduced, other products can be excluded as well.

    In the Grocery Technology industry there are not just POS application parameters - but also some state and federal guidelines that determine how different items and methods of payment interact in transactions.
    WIC, Food Stamps, Prescription/Non-Prescription Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol etc. already have much of this functionality available - inherent to the applications.
  6. EricBess Active Member

    turgy, I think the "not going to provide equal treatement for everyone" agument is part of the reason why government feels like they need to have a welfare program. Honestly, we should be less worried about "equality" and just be satisfied that people are getting help.

    When things are particularly tough, people band together. It happens now when charities make fund drives. Celbrities get on the TV and encourage everyone to help. Look what happened with the recent Haiti earthquake, for example. It's when times are good that the charities have a harder time getting enough money to help everyone. But as long as people see it as the government's responsibility, they are going to be more reluctant to donate to that specific cause.

    Spidey - Americans have become spoiled when it comes to jobs. I've heard that same argument about Americans not wanting other jobs as well. A lot has to do with opportunity costs. Why aren't American's willing to work in the crab industry? Look at the opportunity cost. If they get a job working in the crab industry, they have to give up their welfare check. Remove the minimum wage and welfare from the equation and I bet you would see a lot more Americans willing to take those jobs.

    I do agree that we can't have it both ways. We can't complain about "illegals taking jobs from Americans" when Americans don't want those jobs. BTW - one of the reasons this happens is because the illegals often get paid under the table because the industry cannot afford to pay minimum wage and stay in business.
  7. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I keep hearing this thing about welfare recipients not wanting jobs because they don't want to "give up their welfare check". I looked up the numbers, and the average single-person welfare recipient receives about $200-$300 a month. If someone's working at a full-time minimum wage job, they'd earn about $1160 a month. That's a difference of $860. Maybe I'm underestimating how wonderful it must be to live on $300 a month while not working, but I really don't think anyone's going to turn down the opportunity to nearly triple their income.
  8. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    Turgy, it is not the average single-person that is usually a problem (at least not to me). It is the average family with 3-4 kids that becomes the issue with thier family size being large enough to outhweigh (or at least be really close to) minimum wage with thier welfare check. This kind of goes in line with what Mooseman was saying, and I agree with him.
  9. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I'll agree with that, as well. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find statistics about what percentage of welfare money goes to large families and what they might receive and whether or not they continue to have more kids once on welfare. But, yeah, it's probably problematic and I think Mooseman's solution is sensible. (I don't know how the system currently works.) Or maybe birth control should be mandated for single mothers on welfare, as I would think they would be the ones most likely to fall into that situation.
  10. EricBess Active Member

    It's not just the money, though. They also lose their food stamps, their subsidized housing, etc. We lived in an apartment complex that provided government subsidized housing. There were people there that paid $8/month for rent. We were paying around $500/month. Some of these people had big-screen TVs.
  11. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Yes EB, that is a problem and it does happen. But do you really want welfare people put in clustered housing? we have that, its called housing complexes and that is where most of the crime and police money go to.
    Maybe it should be if you get a job you get to keep the food stamps and/or housing for longer time, say 1 or 3 years. I think this would be an incentive for those who want off welfare to be able to.
  12. train The Wildcard!!!...

    When the amount of drugs society "needs" is reduced, new dealers won't have product to move. They may move on to other crimes, maybe different drugs temporarily - but there's a reduction in the use. Demand/Supply shift.

    You big fat liberal... :p

    I'm good for that.

    If anyone applying for the recent $8000 tax credit for home purchase had to pass a drug test before they could receive it, that wouldn't imply suspicion. No different than police officers, individuals involved in vehicle accidents, athletes going through random testing, etc.

    Well - that may be the problem altogether. Unless you reduce, eliminate and simplify so many of the programs/policies - beefing up continues to happen, and then they are too complex to enforce. Ala tax laws that kept getting beefed up in order to prevent fraud, provide discounts, make exemptions, etc.

    Good for that.

    Right - see my previous post noting reducing the amount of drugs society needs...

    As I noted before - this can be done, and actually the technology is getting better for it to be done.

    Agreed - reduce or eliminate.

    But any use affects others - it's not just the end product that must be analyzed, but the production, distribution, etc. and anyone hurt along those paths.

    In regards to posts 38 and 39 - one of the major problems is that Americans have actually stopped going after their success... Instead, its handouts, and don't want to move, maybe can't move mentalities that determine whether they allow themselves to pursue success, otherwise, they become stagnant and allow the rest of society to take care of them.

    Many charities receive government funding for programs they provide, in addition to contributions they receive. But much of the rest of your statement is on target.

    Actually some provide money.


    There's actually a lot more to it than that... there are many other programs that 'supplement" welfare, so not off welfare alone, but off the whole system, you can make much more. Not paying excess taxes, utility provision programs, food/medical programs, some free/reduced housing programs, etc all paid for, cover so much alongside welfare. EB notes this later on.
  13. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Charities are fine, but as noted before, the decisions of recourse allocation is now in the hands of those running the charities and they don't always make the best choices.
  14. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    Are you implying that the government always makes the best choices? Excuse me while I guffaw loudly.
  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Wow, so much to reply on...

    Again, that's not what I'm saying. I *am* saying you need to look at the full effect of what such decisions will do and decide is it better for money to be spent "as a prevention", for people on welfare, rather than spending it later on down the line in the legal system or whatever. Ounce of prevention, pound of cure, all that. Why did welfare spring up to begin with? I daresay because people looked at crime and some causes and figured out it was better to prevent some of them.

    Now I agree with the "help in bad time", but for many, "bad times" are constant. Onne of you will have to definitively show me that it's the majority of people who stay on welfare because "it's the easy life", rather than impressions.

    I'm not sure of the statistics, but it was my impression that it was not necessarily people on welfare not wanting to do the jobs.

    Why stop there? Why not put all females AND males on mandatory birth control when they hit puberty. Then when they can demonstrate that they can take care of themselves and a family, they are allowed off it.

    And.... you are 100% positive that they used their government money for the TVs, as opposed to gifts from relatives or something?

    A society's drugs "needs" will never be reduced, face it. It will remain constant but probably grow, thanks to the growing population and thus greater amount of people available. Did the 80's "War on Drugs" reduce need, for instance? I don't think so...

    Indeed. But that's a one-time event, not an ongoing thing as welfare.

    <shrug> Then the simplifying can happen. But as someone mentioned last week, adding drug tests would further increase the system anyways...

    Production and distribution don't hurt anyone if they're left "strictly" alone, turf battles notwithstanding. It could be argued that production provides income to those who would otherwise be poor and fit the welfare model anyway ;) But it's all part of the legalization argument anyways.
  16. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    Why would somebody's family give them a big-screen TV if they're in such financial straits?

    And you continue to beat the "the government gave me this check, but I spent other money on my non-necessities" horse. I still do not understand your feelings on this, and you seem rather alone on that point. Would you be completely unbothered by knowing somebody who collects welfare checks but has enough spending money to buy things like big-screen TVs?
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Who knows? Because even if someone's struggling financially (and maybe they're getting by with welfare and whatever), they still deserve something nice? Because maybe the relative can't support them continuously as a source of income, but wants to give them something to enjoy?

    Does it matter that I'm alone (at least on this site)? I would be completely bothered if someone spent their welfare money on luxuries and I've been consistent on that point - see my fraud/waste argument. But I'm bothered that everyone else seems to jump to conclusions about what a welfare-receiving family can and cannot afford; it's like condemning someone using a disability placard to park in a disability spot when you can't readily see the disability. You all seem to be automatically assuming that the majority of welfare families are either drug users and/or committing fraud and/or don't deserve welfare, and yes, that bothers the hell out of me.
  18. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    My point is that if welfare exists, its point is to provide money to people who NEED it. They use that money to buy things they NEED. Food, shelter, etc. If they are buying things they do not NEED, they should no longer be on welfare. Ergo, a person on welfare should be able to buy food, shelter, and clothing, but not a TV. It's rather simple and elegant.
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    And again, who's to say they aren't spending the welfare money on things they need, but received the TV as a gift? Obviously they can't afford it on their own but their friends/family want to give them one?

    "Gee, it sucks that our friends/brother's family Fred and Wilma can't afford a TV, them being on welfare and all. I know, why don't we surprise them and give them one for their birthday/Christmas"?
  20. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    I will conceed the point of a TV there to you Spidey, however disagree on the other point. If someone is collecting Welfare to be able to make ends meet (be it food, rent, bills, what-have-you) then they should never be in the financial position to be able to afford luxuries. Gifts from people yes, buying thier own, not so much. In this case most of us should be able to agree on this. So I will put it to you this way. Whether or not it is legal, drugs are luxuries. They are something that a person can live without (usually live better without). So welfare money should not be speant on drugs, tabacco, alcohol, TV's, Laptops, Movies, Disneyland, etc..... If a family on welfare is found spending money on such luxuries (whether or not that money came directly from welfare) then they should be removed from welfare because they obviously have the "extra" money to spend on luxuries (either that or they are really poor at handling money and making judgements, but why should I have to pay for that?). You did say Obviously they cannot afford it on thier own, but I beg to differ on that point. I have seen several families on welfare, and when that big check comes, they do spend it on thier bills first, however typically (for the larger families) they have a lot left over and spend it on luxurious crap. This is that part that burns me up.

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