Hopefully a sizable majority of voters this Fall now realize just how stupid and selfish the GOP presidential nominee is. And, hopefully the Prez will be able to make the case to win the majority of house and senate seats to the Dems so that the congress once again is able to do something, like in 2009-10. I just hope that our reps address some of the systemic problems that are bringing this country down (on which the Republicans aren't all completely dishonest/immoral - as much as if frequently sounds like it - hear me out).
Is there anything we can do to address some of their (imho) legitimate concerns?
Please share your thoughts below the fold...
I live in a co-op with about 30 adults and 8 kids. Some of my housemates over the years have used government programs in ways that discourage appropriate behavior (imho). For example:
An unskilled laborer friend got layed off and was receiving unemployment payments for over a year. He was going to go after a couple of job opportunities, but decided that he could get by on his aid (and basically he just took a really long vacation). As soon as he was told to start reporting the places that he'd applied to each week he decided to quit receiving aid and found a couple of jobs - one at the local convenience store and another as a cook (which is probably his calling). He would probably acknowledge that he's living a more dignified life now.
I have a friend who's on social security disability for bipolar disease and he gets medicaid. He worked for a few hours each week as a in-home living assistant, but intentionally kept his hours very low because he didn't want to jeopardize his health care (most importantly) and $900/mo. cash (it would have been gradually reduced the more he worked). It's looking like the Affordable Care Act will not be dismantled and then it'll provide him affordable healthcare regardless of his income. This is someone who I think would enjoy working at the local convenience store (30hr/wk would give him $900/mo.), but he seems to have gotten complacent at this point.
THIS IS MY POINT:
I guess it seems to make sense to me for the government to be more proactively involved in providing work opportunities (even 15-20 hours/wk.) which help build any number of skills (construction, cooking, cleaning, clerical, farming, gardening, etc.) so that they have a fresh record on their resume and, yes, an incentive to get off the dole.
I think we should look at the incentives and the users of every government program and identify areas where bad behavior is being encouraged (and consider changing incentives).
(Another example, I have had vagabond friends say how generous food stamps are.)
POSSIBLE FUTURE DIARIES IF ANYONE'S INTERESTED:
Encouraging co-op living seems like an idea with huge potential. We buy in bulk and eat fairly cheap ($110/mo.). And sharing a big house offers economies of scale in rent, utilities, and other labor as well.
One more topic related to the theme of this diary that should probably be it's own diary is that social security needs to be reworked (imho). It went from 8 workers per recipient and has gradually fallen to about 3 workers per recipient (projected to be 2 workers per recipient in a generation!!!). This is NOT sustainable. Instead it would be much smarter if we'd created a program where workers invest in government bonds and then get a return on their investment (maybe they'd have 2X what they put in by the time they retired). The double bonus of such a program would be that the government could invest that money in clean energy research, pharmaceutical research, etc. and help provide affordable and productive higher education!!!
Please let me know if you think I sound like a grumpy right-winger, if you have other ideas, or critiques of mine.