Welfare Doesn't have To Be A Bad Thing

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  1. Georgiakevin profile image60
    Georgiakevinposted 14 years ago

    Welfare has been a whipping boy for so long. There is a lot wrong with welfare. I have been among those who use the phrase "Welfare Attitude" referring to those who think someone, anyone particularly the government owes them a free ride. That being said there is a lot right with welfare too, or at least there has been.

    I must confess I was forced to go on welfare in the early 90s for 4 years and was on food stamps for 2 more years. I went on welfare when I had lost my job had two small children (a baby and a toddler) and had no other alternatives. I was very ashamed to be on welfare and even more so to use food stamps but I had no other place to turn. There was a program available in Washington State that gave extra incentives for people on welfare who went to college.This included a bit more food stamps, a bit more welfare money, a new suit upon graduation and a brief case. The program is no longer available sadly. I have been teaching special education in poor communities in Washington State, California (yes there are really poor communities in California) and Georgia as a result of welfare. I owe the  social worker who helped me get in to that program more than I can repay.

    That being said as far as I know the focus on welfare in the states that have time limits is to get the poor people in low paid go no where jobs as soon as possible defeating the purpose of welfare. In other states that have no limit on time on welfare there are generations on welfare.

    In my mind welfare should be a career training,life skill teaching program. When someone applies for welfare they should be given a career interest test which would lead to career training. The welfare family should be taught how to balance a checkbook, proper nutrition and parenting classes. For people to qualify and to stay on welfare they must agree to these conditions.

    Welfare should be called a loan rather than an entitlement that could be paid back one of two ways when they get their careers started; either dollar for dollar or volunteer hours that equal the dollars lent to the recipient. I have been told that if this were to be put in place no one would pay it back. My response was two parts. One it could be done the way student loans are done and two how often is welfare paid back now? Even if 25% pay back welfare given to them that is more than is paid back now. The other way is volunteer hours. People need to be taught to volunteer, I did.

    Welfare needs to be changed not eliminated. I will be forever grateful for the help I received from welfare even if when I used it I was very embarrassed to use it.

    1. Davinagirl3 profile image62
      Davinagirl3posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you, and am happy you are doing work that you love by helping the community.  Your post would have made a good hub.

  2. Haunty profile image70
    Hauntyposted 14 years ago

    No, welfare is not a bad thing. Finding a guy who has nothing better to do than posting such a thread in an internet forum however...

    1. goodfriendiam profile image61
      goodfriendiamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      why is that, we have the right to post what we want as long as it is in the guidelines of hubpages. So why did you come in here? so you could down trot another human being

    2. Georgiakevin profile image60
      Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I will accept your criticism but since this the last day before I go back to teaching this is my chance to rant I live in small town Georgia  and hear a lot of justifiable criticism  especially now so I had a little time. By the way this the first time in 15 years that I didn't spend my time taking classes, working on projects for my classroom at school or catching up on work I got behind on. Instead I took time to read professional papers haunt yard sales for things I need for my classroom and plan for new lessons yet to be taught.

      1. SweetiePie profile image82
        SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        People love to criticize, but until they can walk ten thousand miles in your shoes they have no room to do it.  You have lived your life and know why you needed what you needed, so do not ever apologize for that.  Not everyone who goes on public assisstance is a bum or lazy, contrary to popular belief.  Many people use it for awhile and get off as soon as they can make more money.

        I had an Australian friend who was on the dole for quite a few years because despite his college education he had a hard time finding a steady job in his community.  He eventually did, but from what I have heard from the Aussies the dole is much more beneficial at helping young people find jobs and providing basic services than our welfare system here in the states.

    3. Georgiakevin profile image60
      Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Or a guy who reads the thread.......that's OK it makes for an interesting dialogue!

      1. Haunty profile image70
        Hauntyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Would it be disappointing if I haven't actually? I know I was wrong with the comment. Sorry. smile

  3. goodfriendiam profile image61
    goodfriendiamposted 14 years ago

    I agree that welfare is a very good program, but it definitely needs an overhaul. I to was on welfare at one time and was ashamed, but thankful it was there.

    1. Georgiakevin profile image60
      Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      My hope is that some of my suggestions for overhaul might be used.

  4. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    It's Robin Hood by definition. So it depends on whether you take Robin Hood as a robber, or as a savor smile

    That said, there is nothing that prevents welfare from being a private one-on-one arrangement, and this would work quite differently, more like a fairy smile

    1. Georgiakevin profile image60
      Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That is an interesting thought. Who would administer it?

      1. Misha profile image62
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I don't think any administrator is required for one-on-one arrangement. smile

        1. Georgiakevin profile image60
          Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          If it is privately done you are right but I was thinking in governmenteese.....sorry

    2. Set's All Set profile image68
      Set's All Setposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Misha smile I smile am smile replying smile to smile you smile

      hopefully others will get it.... smile

  5. Uninvited Writer profile image80
    Uninvited Writerposted 14 years ago

    This thread is as valid as any other in the politics forum, probably more than a lot of them...

    1. Georgiakevin profile image60
      Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you kindly!

      1. candice5 profile image58
        candice5posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree, and this lady I have found is very wise and correct. I am having trouble understanding why somethings are ok and others not.
        Welfare can be abused and is.

  6. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    I am a big proponent of a smallest possible government, and welfare definitely does not fit this model. smile

    1. Georgiakevin profile image60
      Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Somehow the private sector does not have a history of taking care of those in need like me. The private sector was willing to throw me away like so much trash but the private sector was wrong as I am proving over and over again. A society is only as strong as it's weakest link. I hate bureaucracy but sometimes government has to step in when either  the private sector cannot or will not.

      1. Misha profile image62
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Well, I think you are blinded by this old event - which likely did not have to do with charity. Rich people do willingly help, directly and through private charities, and I am sure they would have done it on a much bigger scale if government won't attempt to rob them of almost half of their income - partly to use in this exactly welfare scam you are complaining about. smile

        1. Georgiakevin profile image60
          Georgiakevinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I keep waiting for them to start. You are very interesting to talk to and obviously a man of high intelligence. I rarely express my opinion of  this kind of stuff and am not very comfortable writing about this. Read my hubs . I write more on positive inspiring type stuff. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you reading my ranting even if you don't agree with it.

    2. Set's All Set profile image68
      Set's All Setposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Misha, I am on food stamps and it's very embarrassing. I also believe the government is bloated but what separates you from the homeless begging for money? a couple of hundred dollars? Because that is what separates me from them. It takes so much capital for someone in need to get on his feet and just make it. Maybe a little empathy is in order.

      Having a small government should not blur the lines of helping someone in need. We can have and do both.

      1. kmackey32 profile image64
        kmackey32posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        A few people have bashed me for asking for donations on a couple hubs. What is the difference between asking for government money?

  7. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    I never said we can't or we shouldn't. We can, and we should, on a basis of a private charity, and not government administered welfare. smile

  8. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    I agree that some kind of loan-type of assistance program would be a better alternative, especially for people who get laid off from jobs and for whom money is the only problem.

    I disagree about parenting classes, job training, and all those other things you suggested people be required to participate in if they seek assistance from a welfare program.  There are some perfectly capable parents who have more than one type of marketable skill/professional skill who get laid off - and for whom money is the only problem.

    I have a friend who was laid off from a professional job, and after all his back-up money ran out he did look into whether there was any kind of assistance he could get until he found work.  He's a perfectly capable parent, he's always been more than capable at work, and he certainly knows how to manage money.  His problem was that he was over 50 and a professional.  Jobs were rare in his profession, and when he'd apply for "lesser" jobs managers worried that he'd either not be happy with the lower pay or else leave the minute he could find a job more suitable for his experience.  He eventually found work in another area, but for quite a while he approached looking for "his kind" of work (comparable to his background/experience) because that kind of pay was what would allow him to keep his home. 

    As it is now, welfare programs DO seem to assume that having a financial crisis HAS TO ALSO MEAN not knowing how to be a parent, manage money, or get a job.   As a result, working people with a "middle-class mentality" won't allow themselves to be treated as if (because they suddenly have money problems) they are morons in "the rest of life".  These are people who learn that welfare programs are not designed for "people like them".

    Much of the time, people willing to be treated as if they don't know how to manage a life are the only ones who will deal with welfare at all; which means that people who legitimately could have used some emergency help don't/won't get it; while people who don't mind being told by the government what to do are more than happy to comply just to get their check.  As a result, welfare programs are set up to be taken advantage of by people who have no problem living on welfare; while people who need emergency assistance either can't get any help, or else are not willing to have things like job training and parenting classes required of them just because they got laid off from their (often) professional jobs.

  9. kmackey32 profile image64
    kmackey32posted 14 years ago

    I had my first child at 17 and my other two later on. I have never collected one day of welfare my entire life, not even food stamps! Although it does need reform. I know of one person that rips of the system as we speak. Kinda makes me mad when shes always buying things all the time, because she works under the table.

    1. Set's All Set profile image68
      Set's All Setposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Don't be jealous when other people find ways to put money in their pockets. Getting food stamps is similar to getting subsidized housing AKA "the projects". It does 2 things. It helps and hurts people at the same time.

      Food stamps help people that really need to put food in their stomachs. Subsidize housing put roofs over peoples heads. It hurts these people by making them dependent on the system. It is design to keep people down. Growing up with close friends from the projects, you have to make a certain amount to stay in the system. A system that is benefiting you, at that time. People get comfortable and do not have any incentive to move on. If my friend's income exceeded the requirements, they get kicked out. So they work under the table, deal drug, whatever it takes to move up while still "milking" the system. This is done by design. Same thing can be applied through welfare and food stamps.

      Good for you that you've never gotten food stamps. It reminds me of the same people that brag when they've never collected unemployment. Just because you never needed it doesn't mean other people do not. And seeing how my state's unemployment rate is almost 10 percent, I doubt I hear that bragging more often.

  10. SweetiePie profile image82
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    With my income I have been on the verge of poverty a few times in my life, and can totally understand why some families need to go on welfare or other forms of assistance.  I have met many young parents that go on WIC, which provides formula, cereal, and milk for babies and young children of low income families in California.  My sister was on WIC when she was an eighteen year old mother working full time, but she actually did need this program for awhile until she was able to start making more money.

  11. earnestshub profile image82
    earnestshubposted 14 years ago

    I agree SweetiePie, social welfare is great when you are the one that needs it. Compassionate societies try to provide a base for the poor.


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