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View Diary: This Is What Happens When You Speak Truth to Power! (11 comments)

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  •  I don't support people having to work for (2+ / 0-)
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    SlightKC, Bud Fields

    welfare.  Providing for the general welfare is a Congressional obligation.  Nowhere in the Constitution is there a qualifier that says the basic necessities of life are to be conditioned on the people being obedient and working for someone else.

    While it is true that in the early days, if immigrants got mistreated in the cities where they landed, they could head out West, claim a homestead and sustain themselves on the fruits of the land.  That's no longer possible, in part because all the land has been divvied up as private property or served for special uses.

    So, in this day and age, it is possible to actually enforce "no free lunch."  That is, people have to work to eat and be sheltered or rely on charity, which exacts a commitment to subordination and, as often as not, an ideological commitment. To the extent that the federal program provides sustenance and shelter, it conflicts with the premise of the culture of obedience that people have to be submissive, if they want to survive. It's a mean-spirited attitude.  But the Governor has a point when he says the meanspirited work requirements ought to be uniform across the nation.  Because, if they're not, then people will be able to escape to more favorable climes.  That's what he means by "liberal" governors seeking waivers to provide the needy with more than just the bare necessities and get them ready to be more autonomous.
    Fact is that the welfare program, as it was working in the late 80s and early 90s kept a population in penury.  It prohibited, for example, the saving of any money for a down payment on rent in private housing, for a college education or to buy the tools necessary to start an enterprise.  Because if people had any money left over, their stipends were automatically cut. More recently that problem has been "solved" not just by paying rent to land-lords directly, but by putting food supplements on plastic cards, which can only be used in subscribing establishments and give no cash back. The ostensible argument for imposing these restrictions was always that cash would be used to purchase contraband (cigarettes, illegal drugs, etc).  That the trade in contraband never was affected by depriving people of cash/currency somehow didn't register.
    Of course, the real reason for the strictures all along was to subsidize the providers of rental housing, housing authorities and industrial packaged food producers.  Food stamps or payment cards were never good in farmer's markets anyway.
    When I moved to Georgia, I was astonished to find that a city of 17000 had more public housing units that a Florida city of 69000 in a county of 120,000.  How did that come to be?  Well, the housing made it possible to pay the workers at the pine oil rendering plant and the paper mill and the lumber company less.  And it made it possible to insure that they "behave themselves."  'Tis the plantation system split between industry and state.

    And there's more to it.  The other day a news report about the unemployment figures for July said they weren't really comparable to 2011 because, unlike most years when car companies retool in the summer and lay people off and send them to the unemployment office, this year they didn't shut down the plants, so the unemployment numbers are less.  Which means that industry is using the unemployment trust fund as a cushion, to tide them over the slow times or even just to retool. People who are laid off during plant renovations aren't unemployed!  
    On the other hand, letting the labor department handle the cushion may be more efficient.  But, it's socialism, as are all of the tax abatements and development grants and retraining programs.  Why do they have to deny it?  Why pretend they're independent?  Because they want to deny any obligation.  Period.

    God forbid we should expect American enterprise to be grateful!

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

    by hannah on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:07:32 AM PDT

    •  Workfare was Tommy Thompson's Meal Ticket! (0+ / 0-)

      And he spread the virus throughout the land. I don't know anyone who believes that living in poverty is their "right", or "privilege".

      But I know plenty of people who believe that such people do believe it. Insanity by an order of magnitude.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 11:31:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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