Get rid of welfare and just give every adult $870/mo

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… and that beach vacation, the second car, and a subprime mortgage...

The Playstation wasn't really the gist of my point, but I'll bite. Some families may prioritise having a Playstation, and rely on welfare to provide the rest. Others may prioritise having enough money in the bank to buy food for one month in case something should happen.

From what I gathered of you original post, you were criticizing that government welfare schemes penalize those who save money, in that savings cut on assistance received. What would follow is that the poor family might be better served by spending all their income instead of saving it, in order to maximize the support they receive from government assistance programs. I hope I understood your point correctly.

For the purposes of promoting discussion, I was attempting to examine why a government assistance scheme might have this effect. No government ever has the money to do everything they want. One may disagree with their spending priorities, but the money just isn't there for everything. This includes the welfare budget. So, where should they direct their assistance? To the people who can't survive without it (because they blew their money on that Playstation, or because of something else)? Or to the ones who have some little assets, and who can survive for a short while without assistance / with limited assistance? Is it fair to penalize the ones who, despite having limited means, are still trying to save up and take care of themselves? On the same token, is it fair to cause real hardship on the ones who can't make do without assistance as they have next to nothing, regardless of how they ended up in those circumstances?
It was in response to the article Eriol linked, which was looking at the reasons why certain populations have more money--it's much harder for people starting out on a low-income, or ending up on welfare at some point, to have savings built up later in life. Our welfare system is not set up to help or encourage people to save money. (My opinion is that helping people on public assistance to also learn about savings/retirement plans and how to save money, and maybe help them get or maintain an IRA, is a better long-term strategy than making people deplete their savings before giving them food stamps while they're looking for a new job).

My comment about Playstations is becasue I'm really tired of the OMG POOR PEOPLE HAVE A LUXURY! panic. You don't know people's individual situations and why they have a Playstation or a nice car. A few may cheat, but a whole helluva lot of people get nice things through careful saving or a Christmas bonus from their job or with the assistance of relatives. Or maybe they owned the things before the economy tanked. Or maybe the family is just mentally exhausted from from their financial troubles, so they make (unseen to the outside world) sacrifices somewhere to afford a luxury.

Is there actually a widespread problem of people on welfare having tons of luxuries? Because a lot of welfare comes in the form of things like food stamps/cards, medical coverage, utilities assistance, and education assistance. As far as I know, most people are not getting cut huge checks every month that they can spend on going to Bermuda.

Though, I grew up on welfare and I fully admit we took beach vacations almost every summer...by walking from my grandma's house to Lake Michigan. :p We also had six cars when I was a kid, if you count the three "for parts" that were up on blocks in the yard. (Second cars really aren't a luxury in some areas of the US).
 
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I think Sara is simply pointing out (if I'm wrong, Sara, my apologies!) that there is this pervasive belief, at least in the US, that people of low income aren't allowed to have any nice things at all until they're not low income anymore, and it gets trotted out every time a politician decides to cut low-income assistance programs (by both sides, in fact, just with a different emotional goal).

Whatever discussions need to be had about administrative waste or appropriate assistance by income level, scrutinizing household purchases when all it takes is a single hospital visit to bankrupt an American family (whether they have a PS4 or not) is a fairly useless point.
Well, each person is, of course, permitted to the assistance their circumstances entitle them to, under the prevailing systems, and to spend what they earn as they wish.

While I'm not trying to down-play the role of medical bills, many personal poverty reduction strategies I've seen are very much focused on careful management of expenditure. So I'm not sure that examining spending patterns is useless at all for self-help.
For real the idea of a universal basic income is kind of absurd when we've got the handout generation strolling across the finish line right now.
As I understand it, in the Finnish trial, part of the idea is to reduce expenditure by reducing the administrative overhead associated with managing the convoluted welfare system that we have over here. When and if the system gets adopted, a big portion of the real beneficiaries are on the dole already, and the rest will pay the money back in taxes.

We'll have to see how things go.
 
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Have to get to work so I'll make a better response later. But here goes:
Is there actually a widespread problem of people on welfare having tons of luxuries? Because a lot of welfare comes in the form of things like food stamps/cards, medical coverage, utilities assistance, and education assistance. As far as I know, most people are not getting cut huge checks every month that they can spend on going to Bermuda.
According to this article, most people on welfare have jobs, it's just that the jobs don't pay enough so they are also on welfare. So you could live on government welfare, and spend what you make from your job to go to Bermuda.
 
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As I understand it, in the Finnish trial, part of the idea is to reduce expenditure by reducing the administrative overhead associated with managing the convoluted welfare system that we have over here. When and if the system gets adopted, a big portion of the real beneficiaries are on the dole already, and the rest will pay the money back in taxes.

We'll have to see how things go.
I had linked to some articles about Libertarian support for universal income back on page 3 of this discussion (it's easy to find, because GasBandit's head explodes in the next post :D). They made the same argument, that UBI could be better because it gets rid of the beauracracy and waste of a complex welfare system. So, yeah, it will be interesting to see how these experiments turn out.
 
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Have to get to work so I'll make a better response later. But here goes:

According to this article, most people on welfare have jobs, it's just that the jobs don't pay enough so they are also on welfare. So you could live on government welfare, and spend what you make from your job to go to Bermuda.
I can't get to the full article (paywall), but it's pretty common knowledge that most people on welfare in the US are "working poor" (well, common knowledge for people who don't demonize being poor). If someone has a job that they can afford a trip to Bermuda, I doubt they qualify for welfare (unless they did really careful planning and saving, in which case they deserve their trip to Bermuda). If they're able to save $400 to drive the family to the beach in Florida for a few days one summer, who cares? In either case, the trip money still isn't going to solve their low-paying-job problem that makes them "working poor".
 
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You were most likely actually looking for the income inequality thread, but I suppose it's not totally out of place here.

--Patrick
It wasn't on the first page so I missed it and forgot that it existed or I would have searched for it. I skimmed down the first page for something, and this was the best, though I'd be 100% OK with an admin moving all these posts over to that thread and to bump it, as you're right that it's the better thread.
 
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While I'm not trying to down-play the role of medical bills, many personal poverty reduction strategies I've seen are very much focused on careful management of expenditure. So I'm not sure that examining spending patterns is useless at all for self-help.
Teaching people money management is a great social policy for poverty reduction. Using the lack of knowledge of it as a determination factor for who is worth helping is very much not so.
 
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fade

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I'm not reading 5 pages of posts, but my first thought is the whole "All Lives Matter" thing.
 
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Zuckerberg has come out in favor of this: Mark Zuckerberg Calls for Universal Basic Income in His Harvard Commencement Speech

No word on when he plans to use his Billions to support people on his own. You know, quite literally put his money where his mouth is? How many people could he, on his own, support? If it's the right thing to do, why isn't he just doing it? Why wait for government, start a "free money" charity and go from there.

Oh wait, he wants everybody ELSE to pay for it. Moving on...
 
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Zuckerberg has come out in favor of this: Mark Zuckerberg Calls for Universal Basic Income in His Harvard Commencement Speech

No word on when he plans to use his Billions to support people on his own. You know, quite literally put his money where his mouth is? How many people could he, on his own, support? If it's the right thing to do, why isn't he just doing it? Why wait for government, start a "free money" charity and go from there.

Oh wait, he wants EVERYBODY to pay for it. Moving on...
FTFY.
 

GasBandit

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Considering he pays taxes too, not really, no.
Nothing says he can't overpay as much as he wants.

How much you wanna bet he hires somebody to make sure he pays no more than will be required to keep him out of jail?
 
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Nothing says he can't overpay as much as he wants.

How much you wanna bet he hires somebody to make sure he pays no more than will be required to keep him out of jail?
None of that contradicts what I said, let alone being irrelevant.
 

GasBandit

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None of that contradicts what I said, let alone being irrelevant.
It shows that his "paying taxes" is not evidence of altruism. If he thinks paying more taxes is a good thing, there is absolutely nothing to stop him from leading by example.
 
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It shows that his "paying taxes" is not evidence of altruism. If he thinks paying more taxes is a good thing, there is absolutely nothing to stop him from leading by example.
Again, nothing to do with what was said and what I wrote for FTFY. But go on singing a Country song at an Opera if it makes you happy.
 
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Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have enough money to make any impact by spreading it around equally to every American. What's everybody gonna get? Like 600 bucks? And that's by making himself broke. This is not a policy that philanthropy can accomplish.

I mean, sure the @stienman family would make millions, but for us single guys that's just gonna be squandered on a night with a couple hookers.
 

GasBandit

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Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have enough money to make any impact by spreading it around equally to every American. What's everybody gonna get? Like 600 bucks? And that's by making himself broke. This is not a policy that philanthropy can accomplish.

I mean, sure the @stienman family would make millions, but for us single guys that's just gonna be squandered on a night with a couple hookers.
Fun fact - that problem doesn't get solved with broader application.

If you cranked the millionaire tax rate to 100%, it would fund the US government for about 4 months (and demolish the economy permanently).

So, no, the mean ol 1% can't carry everybody. Everybody still has to get a job.
 
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Fun fact - that problem doesn't get solved with broader application.

If you cranked the millionaire tax rate to 100%, it would fund the US government for about 4 months (and demolish the economy permanently).

So, no, the mean ol 1% can't carry everybody. Everybody still has to get a job.
Yeah, I think that's what I just implied.


(I was obliquely responding to the "he should put his money where his mouth is" comment)
 

GasBandit

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Yeah, I think that's what I just implied.


(I was obliquely responding to the "he should put his money where his mouth is" comment)
Said comment was meant to elicit your exact response, which could then be expanded with my response, thus showing universal income to be the impractical farce it is.

Bonus track would have been if someone had pointed out that if he paid more money now voluntarily in taxes, it wouldn't all go to the poor, but to other things they don't support/agree with, which would have triggered my "You mean you can't trust the government to spend money how you think it should be spent?" trap card.
 
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But that's not how taxes work. I may be in favor of increased tax rates in my country, but that doesn't mean I'm a hypocryte if I pay just what society, through government, has supposedly agreed is the fair amount for me to pay (paying less thant what I'm supposed to pay WOULD make me a hypocryte).
 

GasBandit

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But that's not how taxes work. I may be in favor of increased tax rates in my country, but that doesn't mean I'm a hypocryte if I pay just what society, through government, has supposedly agreed is the fair amount for me to pay (paying less thant what I'm supposed to pay WOULD make me a hypocryte).
You're also not a billionaire trying to shame everybody else into paying higher taxes.
 
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"You mean you can't trust the government to spend money how you think it should be spent?"
This was where I thought you were going in the first place.
I mean, it's great that there's a place you can send money to bring down the national debt if you want, but just doing that doesn't guarantee the Government will spend more responsibly in the future.

--Patrick
 
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Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have enough money to make any impact by spreading it around equally to every American. What's everybody gonna get? Like 600 bucks? And that's by making himself broke. This is not a policy that philanthropy can accomplish.

I mean, sure the @stienman family would make millions, but for us single guys that's just gonna be squandered on a night with a couple hookers.
Shh, don't tell him!
 
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Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have enough money to make any impact by spreading it around equally to every American. What's everybody gonna get? Like 600 bucks? And that's by making himself broke. This is not a policy that philanthropy can accomplish.

I mean, sure the @stienman family would make millions, but for us single guys that's just gonna be squandered on a night with a couple hookers.
(I was obliquely responding to the "he should put his money where his mouth is" comment)
Said comment was meant to elicit your exact response, which could then be expanded with my response, thus showing universal income to be the impractical farce it is.
@GasBandit actually it wasn't meant to get that response, considering I'm the one who said that up there.

And saying "he must give it all to everybody" is just a straw man. Food banks work by giving out first-come, first-serve until they run out, not by saying "nope, we need to give 5 peas to EVERYBODY in the city."

What I AM saying is that if Mark believes in this concept so much, where's his charity where he can concentrate what he gives so that it makes a difference? Fund it with $100M per year, at $10,000 per person, he could help maybe 10,000 people. Less for some administrative costs (7000 people? 8000? Still a lot of admin there), but still, if just giving out money to everybody is his thing to help poverty/other things, then let him show us how it can work, rather than saying that "everybody" should pay into this. So let Mark show his idea works on a small scale, with his own money making the difference. He doesn't need to bankrupt himself, but he should throw a significant (majority) fraction of his wealth at it before asking others less capable of shouldering the burden to do it.

If you're not doing it yourself voluntarily when you're more than capable (ie: all rich people by definition of financial status), why are you asking others to do it involuntarily via government?
 

GasBandit

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@GasBandit actually it wasn't meant to get that response, considering I'm the one who said that up there.
I said it, too!



If you're not doing it yourself voluntarily when you're more than capable (ie: all rich people by definition of financial status), why are you asking others to do it involuntarily via government?
I said that, too, too!
 
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If you're not doing it yourself voluntarily when you're more than capable (ie: all rich people by definition of financial status), why are you asking others to do it involuntarily via government?
The thing is, if you're one of those who need the help, then you by definition don't contribute voluntarily, and if you are "more than capable," then it's not the sort of thing you tend to think about. Government, in this scenario, is there to involuntarily compel/remind the more than capable folks of their responsibility. What the issue of contention really is, is one of whether or not the "haves" have any duty to improve the conditions of the "have nots." Less about "Communism," more like "Feudalism."

--Patrick
 

GasBandit

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Government, in this scenario, is there to involuntarily compel/remind the more than capable folks of their responsibility.
It most certainly is not (or rather, shouldn't be), and this is one of the more chilling sentences I've read on this board, coming from you.
 
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The thing is, if you're one of those who need the help, then you by definition don't contribute voluntarily, and if you are "more than capable," then it's not the sort of thing you tend to think about. Government, in this scenario, is there to involuntarily compel/remind the more than capable folks of their responsibility.
Uh, no, that'd be your local Church (or related).
What the issue of contention really is, is one of whether or not the "haves" have any duty to improve the conditions of the "have nots."
That's about as square as you can ask about a question of morality. You want to legislate that now? See above my mention of Churches. This is squarely a moral issue.
It most certainly is not (or rather, shouldn't be), and this is one of the more chilling sentences I've read on this board, coming from you.
Interesting. I didn't find it that surprising. Maybe it's about PatrThom specifically, because there's no shortage of others on this board in favor of compelling us to spend our money the way they want it to be spent (ie: government wealth redistribution).
 
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It most certainly is not (or rather, shouldn't be), and this is one of the more chilling sentences I've read on this board, coming from you.
I more meant "in the above stated scenario," as in, with UBI (as portrayed by Zuckerberg), it is the Government's job to raise enough money (through taxation, presumably) to provide this minimum stipend for all. In my ideal world, the people who have all power aren't competing to see who can accumulate the most or who can get their last name on the most stuff, instead they realize they're more like custodians of influence, and they apply it where it'll do the most good. They realize they're part of the whole, and not above it.
Uh, no, that'd be your local Church (or related).
I would argue that it's not the "job" of the Government nor of the Church to remind people of their responsibilities to others. I don't necessarily believe we need to legislate morality because I don't believe we (as a society) should have to. People are just supposed to know. But I get what you're going for.

As to my personal belief, it is (still and always has been) my opinion that government's sole raison d'être is to take over doing the things that absolutely have to get done but that nobody wants to do. I can't remember LeGuin's exact term for it..."The Kleggitch" or something like that? EDIT: yep, that's it.

--Patrick
 
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Which all just goes to show how different societies are that are superficially alike.
I assure you the majority in Belgium does NOT think morality is anything for a church to take care of, and DOES think that wealth redistribution is one of the government's main/major tasks.
 
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