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View Diary: Punishing the poor for being poor is corrosive social policy (55 comments)

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  •  Have you ever written on acceptable measures (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    to ensure against abuse or taking advantage of public assistance? I've seen diaries like this from you before; I think since it seems like it's 'always' been like this, it might help to have an alternative to consider since this clearly isn't completely humane treatment (though keeping in mind that we don't live in Norway, either).

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:58:15 AM PST

    •  What abuse and taking advantage? (9+ / 0-)

      The only evidence of that has consistently been been done by the employees of the agencies themselves not the poor.

      Blaming the poor is the only reason for this treatment. There is no factual support saying people are gaming the system.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:01:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Should there be no rules or controls? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        I'm not sure what you're implying. Gaming implies fraud which is obviously illegal. But poor people are people too and will do illegal or unethical things occasionally if presented with the opportunity.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:04:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  watching prosecution for fraud over the years (7+ / 0-)

        It is usually the agency employees who are the Jesse James.  The poor lack access to the system to do more than pork and bean gaming.  The caviar cheaters are the employees who set up 100 shadow clients for example

      •  The people in the social service system (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        serve as an opportunity for those who administer the benefits to be both gainfully employed and, supposedly, do good. Without willing recipients, there can be no donors.

        That the functionaries do not understand their mission is to serve is a sign of poor management. However, given the antagonistic people in Congress, it's not surprising that the lesser ranks are sometimes dense.

        Again, human husbandry comes in many flavors.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:29:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, Horace Boothroyd III. I am beyond sick (9+ / 0-)

        of hearing the abuse & taking advantage & too lazy to work & welfare queen/king meme from the 80's.  Perhaps this meme started before Reagan, I dunno.  I first heard it in 1980 when I was working child abuse (DFACS) in the midwest.

        Although I was new to the system & did not work the food stamp/"welfare cheque" side, I worked in the same building with the caseworkers that handled that side as well as attended local & state meetings with elected officials.

        All these decades later, the stark memory of certain elected officials voices dripping with disdain for the CETA program, for the "dirty" masses lined up for food stamps, the welfare queens (predominately white, btw), stays with me.

        Along with some (not all) few co-workers parroting the same.

        Not one of these beings spewing this crap knew what they were talking about nor the realities of just how hard it was to get "welfare/food stamps" or let alone live on.

        Stays with me in a visceral way; producing anger, outrage & a soul despair.  

        Mind you, this was long before computers in the workplace-everything processed by hand.  Including reviews, "welfare" cheques (mailed) & food stamp coupons.

        Think manila folders & index cards.  Massive amounts of handwritten forms in triplicate.

        All subject to worker's case loads, personal objectivity (or subjectivity), the onset of draconian budget cuts & no community run food banks or safety nets.  The beginning of massive lay offs and/or no jobs to be found (in that particular area).

        On top of human error.  Or human errors & omissions alone.

        I witnessed the beginnings of that welfare queen meme from behind the scenes in small town USA.  Knowing the caseloads, the budget cuts, the new political "agenda" of slash/burn in just one small-mid size county, I shudder to imagine how it was in large cities with much higher populations needing to be served.

        Pardon me if I question how truly objective or empirical any data collection generated for study was in that day & political climate.  Pardon me if I question the validity of recycling the same crap today from 1980.

        Appears to me that welfare reform needs to be looked at from the eyes of those who need the benefits not from those doling the benefits out.  

        Seems to me that it is long past time to stop the meme & truly overhaul/reform the frakking system itself for the greater good.  Course I am jaded enough to think that would probably necessitate simultaneously closing it down & starting over from scratch....


    •  If you look into (8+ / 0-)

      things like welfare and foodstamp fraud you discover that they are literally non-existent.  The idea that these things are riddled by fraud is a rightwing myth designed to anger tax payers and stoke the politics of resentment.

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