The Kansas Center for Economic Growth, a nonprofit that works on state policy issues, noted that the state’s decision will also affect adults who lose their jobs in the future, no matter how high the unemployment rate climbs. The group noted that the state’s unemployment rate has increased throughout this year, and that one in seven Kansas households struggles against hunger because they can’t meet their basic food needs.Moves like this to require 20 hours of work a week, regardless of whether work is available, can either leave people without the food they need or force them into taking low-wage work at the expense of searching for the kind of job that provides an actual living wage. While, in theory, people can turn to job training programs to fulfill the requirement, job training programs aren't always available; a state saying "do job training" does not mean it's going to provide funding for job training programs.
When you cut off government assistance without providing viable alternatives, people don't stop needing to eat:
Topeka Councilman Chad Manspeaker (D), a leader of the state's progressive movement, told HuffPost that the policy shift will force more adults in the state to turn to soup kitchens and food pantries in order to eat. He said this will put an additional strain on nonprofits, along with shifting the expense to local governments, which fund many of the emergency food programs.Kansas is just doing a part of what many Republicans in the House would like to do. It's all part and parcel of a Republican agenda that seizes on any way to stigmatize unemployment in a high-unemployment economy and make people too desperate to fight for crappy jobs to be better.
"We have not shifted the long-term problem," Manspeaker said. "There aren't jobs out there, and we don't solve it by starving them."