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TheAnk

Welfare

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http://www.projo.com/news/content/projo_20...9.12dfeae5.html

I don't understand why the welfare system in current form exists. All it does is create a lifestyle of dependence. Cutting welfare doesn't lead to incarceration.. Welfare leads to incarceration.. I think that a modified system put in place would greatly benefit the city state. For every person on the welfare rolls, there is a city or state service that can be performed. Welfare recipients need to give back for what they take. There is plenty of work to be done in Providence alone. Why can't a welfare recipient clean the city parks? Why can't they be cross walk attendants? Data entry jobs at city hall? Filing? There are plenty of job that can be performed in order to receive assistance.. Reform is needed to stop the circle of dependence, and RI has a chance to be the model.

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Yup. He's back!

Thanks for the Bronx cheer welcome back, Frankie.. I suppose my opine on this is in direct odds with everything you believe in, as usual?

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Why can't a welfare recipient clean the city parks? Why can't they be cross walk attendants? Data entry jobs at city hall? Filing?

Unions.

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Unions.

I was up in Boston last weekend. I can't believe how incredibly clean that city is.. Would be nice if Prov could look like that.

Unions.. I understand the concept.. Fair labor practices and all.. But I have yet to meet a union worker who gives 110%. Actually, some have told me that it is actually frowned upon to work harder than the norm... One fellow from Verizon told me that he would get a stern talking to if he completed more tasks per day than the predetermined settled amount.. Amazing to me..

Also noted from Boston.. Many statues, plaques, other art and sculpture.. These things make a city feel important.. Providence needs to do more of that..

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Unions.

It's weird. I've thought circles around this and welfare would have been my focus if I had decided many years ago to pursue a graduate degree in economics.

One problem of using "free" labor is that it undermines the paid labor. One way to get around this is to "pay" the welfare laborers for their time and have the welfare office reimburse the difference.

Another problem is that a lot of people on welfare (not all by any means) are incapable of doing even these seemingly menial jobs. Several others already have menial jobs and still require state aid.

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Another problem is that a lot of people on welfare (not all by any means) are incapable of doing even these seemingly menial jobs.

A lot of collage grads can't even perform 'menial' jobs like filing.

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A lot of collage grads can't even perform 'menial' jobs like filing.

Well.. Its good that they are finally looking at these entitlement programs and their complete infeasibility.. The greatest trick our gov ever pulled was teaching the american people that deficits don't matter.. You can't have all these services and not be able to pay for them.. Sooner or later you have to pay the piper.. All these things do is increase a dependant class, and tax an already strained middle class... The wealthy are unaffected.. But if you had to perform a service to recieve these benefits, as sub-menial as it may be like picking up trash around the city, that would provide an ancillary benefit to the tax payers who pay for them... I like brick's idea of reimbursement. I don't know facts, but renting out apartments has put me in touch with many on gov aid.. And my personal experience is that for every legitame person on the rolls, there are 10 who are bilking the system..

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there are 10 who are bilking the system..

Back before Massachusetts reformed, their welfare system was pretty easy to exploit. When I was in 7th grade (digest that), I went to a "magnet" school in a crappy part of town (Springfield). One day at lunch I was sitting with some girls and one of them happened to be from a welfare family. That didn't bother me. When she said that her mother was pressuring her to go out and get pregnant so that social services would send them more money, I became a conservative.

7th grade = 12 years old. This was a smart girl with dreams and a future. She never did get pregnant in the two years I knew her, but who knows after that.

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Well.. Its good that they are finally looking at these entitlement programs and their complete infeasibility..But if you had to perform a service to recieve these benefits, as sub-menial as it may be like picking up trash around the city, that would provide an ancillary benefit to the tax payers who pay for them... I like brick's idea of reimbursement. And my personal experience is that for every legitame person on the rolls, there are 10 who are bilking the system..

Wow, welcome back TheAnk, and back with provocative stuff at that...

I actually, believe it or not, agree with you in the aggregate, and I'm left leaning. I grew up in New York State at the height of the Mario Cuomo Welfare Empire and will never forget the scandal upon scandal upon scandal of that miserable system... Boy, who knows how many billions vanished into the ether as people bilked and scammed that system... The indelible images of welfare recipients driving Cadillacs, draped in jewelry, etc, etc from New York arguably was the public face for the end of the "welfare movement" nationwide.

That said, I strongly believe there needs to be a "buffer" for those out of work or with temporary difficulties who are able to work. Government should have the role of helping to take care of those incapable of doing so themselves (the truly disabled, the mentally retarded, etc) and temporarily helping those in bad circumstances. Such assistance should not be permanent, and I see no problem linking some public works to that process at all (I too like Brick's compromise).

Wasn't this what, in a sense, the New Deal was about with the WPA, etc? Am I remembering my civics right?

About unions, well, this is a tough issue... Unions are killing my workplace, and teachers unions are arguably one of the top three "big problems" of public education right now (all of my relatives in public education, all union members, agree with this). I too have seen people dedicated fully to making sure that not a drop more work gets done than the union contract says, and in my opinion, when that happens, your "employee" isn't working for you anymore, they're working for the union, and the employing institution is destined to fail. That said, if companies treated people fairly and didn't blatently exploit and screw their workers (I just watched the Enron documentary again this past weekend), unions wouldn't be needed. I don't think we've hit the perfect compromise yet... Companies have to have some flexibility to demand productivity and control workforce numbers, and workers need certain basic guarantees...

Regarding why people today can't even do "filing," this is what my mother calls the "Competence Crisis." It sometimes feels like unless someone is a specialized individual in a job in which they have a stake, you know nothing else in that system (from the cafeteria staff to an administrative assistant to a clerk to a parking garage attendent) will work well. I don't think it's an education issue so much as, like so much of the rest of society, there's no accountability and no fear of being fired. The standards of what employers and institutions will accept is dramatically low.

As my mother says in education, a teacher would need to "sexually abuse a child" to get fired today from a school and, "maybe not even that." It's just so hard, so expensive, so time consuming, so exhausting to haggle with the union, and so legally dangerous from a litigation standpoint that no sees firing as an option anymore.

We're becoming "old Europe..."

- Garris

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I grew up in New York State at the height of the Mario Cuomo Welfare Empire

Government should have the role of helping to take care of those incapable of doing so themselves (the truly disabled, the mentally retarded, etc) and temporarily helping those in bad circumstances. Such assistance should not be permanent, and I see no problem linking some public works to that process at all

I too have seen people dedicated fully to making sure that not a drop more work gets done than the union contract says

It's just so hard, so expensive, so time consuming, so exhausting to haggle with the union, and so legally dangerous from a litigation standpoint that no sees firing as an option anymore.

Interesting post.

Like Garris, I also grew up in New York State during the worst of the Cuomo years. Although I grew up in a centrist albeit pro-business household, I personally leaned pretty far right with fairly strong libertarian overtones. (How many 3rd graders do you know that wanted the Boland Amendment repealed?) In high school, I volunteered for a republican congressional campaign. At the ripe old age of 19 or 20 I made a comment that I was a conservative, to which a family friend (a history professor at Syracuse) replied "You can't be a conservative until you're 25 - until then, you're just a fascist."

Yet, over the last 10 years, I've found myself drifting pretty seriously to the left (although frankly, I'm beginning to feel the labels have become so twisted as to be nearly useless). About the best I can come up with to describe myself is pro-market progressive.

So did I move left? Or did the GOP move right? A little of both I suspect. I'm still shocked that the libertarian wing of the GOP hasn't utterly a peep about either the Schiavo debacle or the blatant 4th amendment issues with the Patriot Act. But I also find the straight libertarian free-market approach untentable, mainly because of the tragedy of the commons. As described so well by Hardin, the economic forces that optimize individual behavior don't always result in the best outcome for the public as a whole.

Pollution is an excellent example. Air quality has a very real impact on the public good, asthma being the best example, but the individual cost to the consumer is negliable. It just isn't in an individual's economic interest to pay for a cleaner vehicle whereas the societal cost of air pollution is huge.

So I guess you could say public health has dragged me to the left.

Returning to the pro-market progressive idea, I believe in the things progressives want, but I'd rather get there via market forces, not government fiat. Therefore, cap and trade emissions programs are an excellent approach in my book. I'd also like to internalize the environmental/geopolitical costs of petroleum via taxation at the pump. Let the market decide if it wants hybrids or diesels or shorter commutes. Let the market decide if it wants E85 or biodiesel. Just tax petroleum to help cpature soem of the hidden costs.

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I work for the welfare department in Massachusetts. There was massive welfare reform about 10 years ago under the Clinton administration. Since then, most states have had to comply with a 5 year lifetime limit on welfare benefits. However, some states, like Massachusetts, got a waiver at that time that allowed them to institute there own version of welfare reform, with somewhat different rules. I won't bore you with the details, other than to say there has been about a 50% drop in the welfare caseload rates in the last 10 years. No longer does having a child = a lifetime of benefits.

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Unions.

Absoulutely. I was involved in a attempted project a few years ago locally. When we attempted to start work on it, we were told "Stop immediately. That's part of the union's job".

That project was never finished.

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Back before Massachusetts reformed, their welfare system was pretty easy to exploit. When I was in 7th grade (digest that), I went to a "magnet" school in a crappy part of town (Springfield). One day at lunch I was sitting with some girls and one of them happened to be from a welfare family. That didn't bother me. When she said that her mother was pressuring her to go out and get pregnant so that social services would send them more money, I became a conservative.

7th grade = 12 years old. This was a smart girl with dreams and a future. She never did get pregnant in the two years I knew her, but who knows after that.

Incredible how some parents would exploit their children like that. Also, it wasn't until I finally beat HL2 that I took notice of you avatar, brick. Good choice, except I would'nt want Gordon Freeman running around Providence with a rocket launcher! :whistling:

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A lot of collage grads can't even perform 'menial' jobs like filing.

or spell college correctly? :D

i'm not normally the spelling police... but i had to throw that one out there... :P

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Unions.

it depends on the union... not all are bad.

however, i do have a funny story about one... the mayor east haven, CT was walking down main st (i think) and spotted a manhole cover open that wasn't supposed to be. so he closed it knowing the risks involved with leaving it open (accidents, someone falling in, etc). he was fined by the city workers union because for that specific job, it required 3 people to actually do the job, most likely on overtime. i can't seem to find the story online anywhere, but i read it in the political section of playboy (the playboy forum maybe?).

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or spell college correctly? :D

i'm not normally the spelling police... but i had to throw that one out there... :P

But am I even a college grad, or a collage grad?

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But am I even a college grad, or a collage grad?

i was going out on a limb and assuming you were since you work in a college and i know most don't hire people without degrees, although you could be maintenance there for all i know... ;)

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Some very good ideas here... none of which could ever be implemented in this state with our current elected officials.

TheAnk, did the protests in Paris inspire this thread? Its amazing to think that there is an entire nation of people who believe the government owes them a job with a good wage for life, and the idea that they might be fired for poor job performance is cause for outrage.

About unions, well, this is a tough issue... Unions are killing my workplace, and teachers unions are arguably one of the top three "big problems" of public education right now (all of my relatives in public education, all union members, agree with this). I too have seen people dedicated fully to making sure that not a drop more work gets done than the union contract says, and in my opinion, when that happens, your "employee" isn't working for you anymore, they're working for the union, and the employing institution is destined to fail. That said, if companies treated people fairly and didn't blatently exploit and screw their workers (I just watched the Enron documentary again this past weekend), unions wouldn't be needed. I don't think we've hit the perfect compromise yet... Companies have to have some flexibility to demand productivity and control workforce numbers, and workers need certain basic guarantees...

Regarding why people today can't even do "filing," this is what my mother calls the "Competence Crisis." It sometimes feels like unless someone is a specialized individual in a job in which they have a stake, you know nothing else in that system (from the cafeteria staff to an administrative assistant to a clerk to a parking garage attendent) will work well. I don't think it's an education issue so much as, like so much of the rest of society, there's no accountability and no fear of being fired. The standards of what employers and institutions will accept is dramatically low.

As my mother says in education, a teacher would need to "sexually abuse a child" to get fired today from a school and, "maybe not even that." It's just so hard, so expensive, so time consuming, so exhausting to haggle with the union, and so legally dangerous from a litigation standpoint that no sees firing as an option anymore.

Great points. Having said that, why is the "crisis" not an education issue?

Our public schools, especially in Rhode Island, are failing miserably. I obviously don't want what the people of France are advocating, but that's the system in place for union teaching jobs. When there is no incentive to be creative, to inspire, to motivate pupils to excel... the result is a very mediocre product. This is why some people "can't" file paperwork. I don't think hiring standards are lower, I truly believe the average high school graduate is poorly-prepared to transition into the workforce. I also believe that the inability to read and speak English puts those workers at an extreme disadvantage, and the bilingual accommodations made by the government discourage people from learning the language. Finding a job takes hard work! The entitlement culture embraced by the far-left does not encourage citizens to work hard to enjoy a successful life.

As a result, many of these individuals will end up collecting welfare and becoming lifetime underachievers. What kind of lifestyle is this?! Is this fair to our kids and to their children for whom they (or the state, if you will) are responsible? Its all very frustrating to me.

At the end of the day, the root of the problem is the unions.

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Can we at least distinguish between unions here? Public or private sector? Representing the middle class, or the garment workers/janitors/hotel workers/child care providers who earn minimum wage? Lumping all unions together is really unfair.

If you want to meet plenty of union workers who "give it their all" -- and who work in climates where that's what's expected of you -- just shoot me an email...

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BTW - didn't mean to go off-topic with the Paris thing... I just missed the projo link at the top of the thread.

I have a problem specifically with public unions but I'm an equal-opportunity combatant.

Moving away from the public schools catastrophe, teachers unions aren't alone in exploiting taxpayers. I'll use a very simple example to demonstrate my point.

We're in the midst of a busy construction season in Rhode Island. Road work requires a person to supervise traffic flow and ensure the project moves along smoothly. Every day I drive through the city and I see men working, and there is always a city cop who either sits in his car or stands nearby. In New Hampshire (and many other states outside New England), there's a regular guy with a pickup wearing an orange vest standing watch. The guy in the pickup in New Hampshire earns a fraction of the premium pay of the city cop in Providence. A police officer can easily triple his salary by working union-negotiated overtime details, acting as a glorified crossing guard. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

Speaking of crossing guards! CNN article Projo article This is a perfect example of how Cranston Democrats, unions, and special interests combined to bring a city to its knees. When will we learn?

Janitors, hotel workers, etc.: IMO, unionizing these positions is outrageous! Competition will not allow for it. What's next, fast food workers unions? The dollar menu becomes the $2 menu. Do we want this?

I recently spoke to an old friend who is a construction worker in Manchester, NH. He makes $13 an hour, and he's non-union. He'd earn more working for a union in Rhode Island, but our taxes (sales, property, gas, cigarette) would surely suck up the difference. Its unfortunate, but the demise of the manufacturing industry in America can be attributed in great part to unions failing to compromise to protect jobs. Just look at what's going on up in Detroit.

In the end, when the factory closes and a new one opens in Indonesia, how valuable was that union membership? :huh: Hey, there's always welfare! :rolleyes:

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BTW - didn't mean to go off-topic with the Paris thing... I just missed the projo link at the top of the thread.

I have a problem specifically with public unions but I'm an equal-opportunity combatant.

Moving away from the public schools catastrophe, teachers unions aren't alone in exploiting taxpayers. I'll use a very simple example to demonstrate my point.

We're in the midst of a busy construction season in Rhode Island. Road work requires a person to supervise traffic flow and ensure the project moves along smoothly. Every day I drive through the city and I see men working, and there is always a city cop who either sits in his car or stands nearby. In New Hampshire (and many other states outside New England), there's a regular guy with a pickup wearing an orange vest standing watch. The guy in the pickup in New Hampshire earns a fraction of the premium pay of the city cop in Providence. A police officer can easily triple his salary by working union-negotiated overtime details, acting as a glorified crossing guard. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

Speaking of crossing guards! CNN article Projo article This is a perfect example of how Cranston Democrats, unions, and special interests combined to bring a city to its knees. When will we learn?

Janitors, hotel workers, etc.: IMO, unionizing these positions is outrageous! Competition will not allow for it. What's next, fast food workers unions? The dollar menu becomes the $2 menu. Do we want this?

I recently spoke to an old friend who is a construction worker in Manchester, NH. He makes $13 an hour, and he's non-union. He'd earn more working for a union in Rhode Island, but our taxes (sales, property, gas, cigarette) would surely suck up the difference. Its unfortunate, but the demise of the manufacturing industry in America can be attributed in great part to unions failing to compromise to protect jobs. Just look at what's going on up in Detroit.

In the end, when the factory closes and a new one opens in Indonesia, how valuable was that union membership? :huh: Hey, there's always welfare! :rolleyes:

teachers should not be unionized. it takes a certain type of person to be a teacher and when you get people becoming one simply because the pay and benefits are really good, it ruins the education system. and forget firing a teacher for being incompetent.

there's just one thing i have issue with in your post. you mention our taxes here and mention cigarette taxes. that's not a valid tax to use as an example for why our state is expensive... no one has to smoke. it's a choice. the gas tax is questionable, but gas prices here are better than some of the surrounding states, and a ton of people do have to drive.

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Its a bad habit. The only reason its worth mentioning is because our cigarette tax is the highest in the country. You're right... it is a personal choice.

Gas prices have everything to do with local competition, but the taxes don't change. At one point after the Katrina recovery we had the lowest average gas prices in the nation. Its the Wal-Mart model... very slim profit margins to capture market share.

I'm sure the fire's burning... most people disagree with what I say because I tend to lean right and this is Rhode Island.

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you mention our taxes here and mention cigarette taxes. that's not a valid tax to use as an example for why our state is expensive... no one has to smoke. it's a choice.

Nope, no one has to smoke, but if one does it's a factor in their budget. No one has to go shopping either, but people cross the state line to save 2%.

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Its a bad habit. The only reason its worth mentioning is because our cigarette tax is the highest in the country. You're right... it is a personal choice.

Gas prices have everything to do with local competition, but the taxes don't change. At one point after the Katrina recovery we had the lowest average gas prices in the nation. Its the Wal-Mart model... very slim profit margins to capture market share.

I'm sure the fire's burning... most people disagree with what I say because I tend to lean right and this is Rhode Island.

i had no idea the gas tax was higher here than in CT. the gas stations must be more competitive here... i think it's interesting. i'd rather buy gas here in providence than in CT. and it's not like there's no competition in CT.

i don't have a problem with taxing cigarettes or alcohol or whatnot. it's a substance that people choose to use. there's nothing saying they have to. those that smoke can quit, and i don't want to hear how hard it is... i know how hard it is. it's not even something that you have to do in order to stay alive (like eat). notice food sales are not taxed.

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