How To Wean the Dependent Off Welfare

Discussion in 'Politics' started by LogikAndReazon, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. LogikAndReazon
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    LogikAndReazon Gold Member

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    Can the millions of Americans now accustomed to food stamps, subsidized housing, and free school lunches be weaned from this dependency? In principle the answer is “yes” and the cost would be minimal; in practice the answer is “no” given that the solution is anathema to America’s burgeoning therapeutic state.

    Let’s begin by disposing of the usual solutions to combat dependency. Forget about cold turkey, no matter how slow the withdrawal period. A 10% reduction in food stamps per month would only invite mayhem.

    What about a robust economy to cure dependency? After all, nobody could possibly resist a fresh supply of well-paid jobs. The opposite is more likely: Prosperity boosts tax revenue, and this means more money to buy votes with handouts. With the Democrats in power, prosperity will promote the addiction, not cure it.

    Avoidance of dependency, even for those in dire straits, historically rested on personal aversion to being a freeloader. It was the fear of dishonor, humiliation, embarrassment, shame, and disgrace for taking handouts that deterred future dependency. Any job, no matter how menial, was better than the ignominy of publicly lining up for one’s allotment of government-supplied free cheese.

    These feelings are probably still part of human nature and hopefully can be reawakened. It would not take much. Food-stamp recipients, for example, could be required to use clearly identified supermarket checkout lines so contemptuous full-pay customers can stare at them. Even better, return to the days when food stamps resembled colorful oversized 10,000-lira notes so everybody saw them, not today’s EBT card indistinguishable from a bank-issued credit or debit card.

    But restoring humiliation as the price for government handouts will be difficult. In today’s world everybody except hatemongers must be shielded from any ego damage. Reversing vassalage requires making people feel bad psychologically—demeaned, stigmatized, and humiliated—and the One Commandment of today’s deeply perverse moral cosmology is Thou Shalt Not Deflate Thy Neighbor’s Ego.

    In the past, independence rather than servility was prized. Occasional handouts were necessary but viewed as emergency measures to be quickly ended lest the habit of helplessness take root. Aid was to be given but made as distasteful as possible (e.g., recipients would split logs at the town’s woodpile). The medical parallel would be paregoric, an opium-based stomach medicine purposely formulated to be foul-tasting so as to prevent addiction.

    By contrast, today’s welfare philosophy might be described as making the recipient as comfortable as possible while government fixes the lingering recession, terrible schools, racism and discrimination, structural economic shifts, and whatever else can be used to explain why youngsters must be fed by Uncle Sam rather than their parents. Mom’s inability to make lunch is not her fault, so why should junior suffer?

    Removing the stigma from being on the dole parallels the trend toward normalizing other once condemned behaviors: homosexuality, out-of-wedlock childbirth, guilt-free promiscuity (the “hook-up” culture), piling on debt that cannot be repaid, and stigma-free personal bankruptcy.

    In the name of making people feel normal about what was once deplorable servility, the United States is not only sinking deeper into national debt but also banishing a key building block of civil society. Perhaps it is time to bring back some scarlet letters.



    How to Wean the Dependent - Taki's Magazine
     
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  2. jwoodie
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    jwoodie Gold Member Supporting Member

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    "Shame" and "intolerance" used to be considered antidotes to bad behavior; now they are decried as impediments to free expression. Unfortunately, control of our language has been co opted by Left Wing Journalism in our country. As a result, we have eliminated many of the values which kept our society functioning. Combined with a government bureaucracy which operates for its own convenience (e.g., direct deposit welfare checks and food stamp debit cards) rather than for the larger benefit of the citizenry, we now actively encourage dependence while at the same time demeaning hard work, achievement and initiative.

    I believe that every able-bodied welfare recipient should be required to show up at 8 am at the welfare office and be given a broom or some other work assignment. This would initially incur greater administrative expense, but it would lessen the gap between passive inactivity and productive activity which has infected generations of welfare recipients.
     
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  3. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    The people who need to be weaned off the lifestyle are the well-heeled upper middle class bureaucrats who profit by perpetuating the system and even advertizing to get more people signed onto welfare programs.....Those people are the real parasites.
     
  4. Staidhup
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    Staidhup Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like the intent and argument presented by FDR, for it would inspire those to seek a better life and opportunity while at the same time providing minimal assistance. But get real, it would lead to the collapse of the fairness and liberal mind set which amounts to political suicide for the political beneficiaries that promote the status quo.
     
  5. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    The system growing the system.
     
  6. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    That would be slavery. The liberal thought it that no one should be required to work for dignity and a comfortable living. They are entitled to it with no effort on their part.
     
  7. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    I dont think it would be slavery, because you could opt out of it and go your own way at any time you want.

    Its providing labor in return for a service, not even close to slavery.
     
  8. LockeJaw
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    LockeJaw BANNED

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    What you said.
     
  9. TakeAStepBack
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    TakeAStepBack Gold Member

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    Yep. Rent seekers are the problem.
     
  10. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    One consideration. Every dollar spent on "welfare" is spent back into the economy and businesses profit from it as well.

    Just a point to ponder if welfare is removed.
     

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