The Psychology of Welfare

July 24, 2010
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Help should always be given to those who need it. That is not a question. However, the kind of help is disputed. Welfare has become nothing but handouts, and across the country there are complaints about the behaviors of many welfare recipients.

A family with an alcoholic or drug-abuser is instructed not to give support to said addict. Any offerings of food, shelter, money, or even personal contact are considered to be forms of enabling. This process forces the addict to survive on his or her own, and often the only way to do this is to get clean. Taking away the support forces an individual to address his or her problems.

Couldn’t this basic psychological concept be applied to welfare? Maybe the best way to propel people into the workforce is to take away any incentive to remain jobless. Quite paying people for doing nothing, and eventually they’ll have to do something in order to survive.

It sounds heartless. It would feel terrible to implement this plan, but perhaps the resources that would be put toward welfare could be reallocated into different sources of aid. Instead of handing out food stamps, service-oriented jobs could be put into place so that people could earn their stamps. Clean up the park, get six meals. This not only gives people help in a financial way, but also allows them to retain a sense of pride in what they do. They aren’t taking someone else’s charity; they’re helping to strengthen the community. Daycares could be set up for which attendance would be free, provided that parents meet strictly enforced economic qualifications. The daycares could only be used if parents could prove that they were at work in the time that their child was there. Without welfare, these programs could easily be financed, and they would ultimately be beneficial for the country as a whole.

Of course there would still be disability benefits in place for those who are rendered unable to work by a physical handicap. For everyone else, there are better ways to help them reach a level of financial independence. Something earned is something valued, while something given can be squandered without guilt. Handouts are not effective. The government serves the role of a parent to American citizens, therefore its job is to teach. Despite the unpopularity of a plan of this kind, parents are willing to sacrifice their public image if it is for the greater good of their children.

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Threefiddy said...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Not to mention Social Security, Medicare and Medicade. The three have a 50 trillion dollar (that's $50,000,000,000,000) shortfall. This of course doesn't count when we put on that the holy grail of all entitlement programs: government run health care.

They also just extended unemployment benefits to (I think) 99 weeks. We don't want unemployment benefits- we want employment!

Threefiddy said...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 1:46 am

youtube.c om/watch?v=2GklCBvS-eI


Debate on welfare from "Free to Choose".

Nick_Xao This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm
I very much agree with what you're written. Welfare state has really gotten far from what it was supposed to be: a temporary measure to help those who really needed it, not anyone who didn't want to work.
Threefiddy replied...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Not just that, but Social Security, Medicare and Medicade are all bankrupt. The government stole the money out of the "trust fund". It is now being subsidized through general taxes. Now, the three massive entitlement programs are fifty trillion dollars in the red (thats $50,000,000,000,000). Just wait until 2012 when we have centralized government run health care!

Oh, and they just expanded unemployment benefits to (I think) 99 weeks now. Damnit, we don't want unemployment benefits, we... (more »)

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