Welfare; last resort or way of life…

I know this post is going to ruffle some feathers, but if you don’t like what I have to say you don’t need to read my posts. That’s the great thing about the internet, you are not required to view anything that offends you. You can type a new url into the address bar, you can press the back arrow or you can just hit the power button. The choice is yours.

This post is something I have thought about on and off over the years. Something that I feel very strongly about. Today while I was taking a peek at my FaceBook feed I noticed a post that I had seen before and thought I would remark on it this time. So here it is, copied and pasted, then followed with my thoughts on the subject. Feel free to comment on the post or my comments…

(Stolen from the wall of Jacob Rafuse)

Thank you Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri, which are the first states that will require drug testing when applying for welfare. Some people are crying and calling this unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It’s OK to drug test people who WORK for their money but not those who don’t?… Re-post this if you’d like to see this done in all 50 states and in Canada.

So, here they are talking about welfare reform and the fact that some states will now require drug testing when people apply for welfare. First lets define WELFARE:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed “social solidarity”. In most developed countries, welfare is largely provided by the government, in conjunction with charities, informal social groups, religious groups; or inter-governmental organizations such as the United Nations.

(in Canada: Canada has a welfare state in the European tradition; however, it is not referred to as “welfare”, but rather as “social programs”. In Canada, “welfare” usually refers specifically to direct payments to poor individuals (as in the American usage) and not to healthcare and education spending (as in the European usage).[14]
The Canadian social safety net covers a broad spectrum of programs, and because Canada is a federation, many are run by the provinces. Canada has a wide range of government transfer payments to individuals, which totaled $145 billion in 2006.[15] Only social programs that direct funds to individuals are included in that cost; programs such as medicare and public education are additional costs.
So, what I read here is this: Welfare is in place as a safety net to assist citizens who are “UNABLE” to provide the necessities of life (Food/Shelter/Safety – not xBox/Cable/Cell Phones/ATVs/Designer Labels/etc) for themselves or their dependents due to health, physical or other extenuating circumstances until such time as the person has taken the necessary steps to become self sufficient again.

To me this means that if I am working away paying my taxes, housing, bills etc and:

  • my place of work closes, blows up, burns down, moves to a location I can not go to etc, then I apply for Employment Insurance and start looking for another job. IF I can’t find another job and the “EI” runs out then I guess I would have too apply for Welfare, as a last resort as not to starve to death in a ditch somewhere. At this point I would be looking at other programs where I might learn what ever skills I am lacking that are preventing me from becoming employed in some form or another. I mean seriously, McDonald’s isn’t glamorous, but it does provide a paycheck until you can find real work…
  • I become ill and can’t perform my regular work duties without harming myself further. I guess it’s time to apply for short term disability and start the healing process. If I am not healed when short term runs out I  talk to my employer to see what other duties may be available that would allow me to return to work in a capacity that won’t hinder my healing. If that is not an option I may have to apply for long term disability and see my doctor to get some physical therapy. If my injury or health issue will never get better or allow me to return to my previous post, I am not going to apply for welfare, I am going to start considering what job will allow me to be a productive member of society and not exacerbate my condition. IE: if you work in a call center and your job is causing you to have a mental break down, you don’t need a break, you need a different job!

I could go on and on with examples, but I think I made my point. There are options available if you really look for them. Unfortunately in today’s society there tends to be a resounding opinion that we are owed something by society. How many of us grew up in towns were we knew families that had both parents working themselves into an early grave to make ends meet while their neighbors LIVED on Welfare and enjoyed satellite tv, recreational vehicles, brand name clothing and other luxuries.  They seem to be fit enough to drive around on four-wheelers, chase their kids around the yard and stand at social services screaming at the clerk that their cheque was late and now their children have had thier XBOX Live membership canceled.

SO, do I think Welfare Reform is a good idea, no, I think it is a necessity!  Do I think drug testing should be legal? Of course, if you can force a tax paying citizen to take drug tests to continue to work for the money they are earning, then there is no question that the people who are receiving the money collected from the taxes of that hard working individual should also have to submit to the same tests.

I would go so far as to say that if you are on welfare for an extended period of time, you should no longer be considered on welfare, but an employee of the state, on a list of available workers that could fill any temporary position that may need filling. Such things as clean up and beautification projects, census’. A few years ago, my city was hit by a hurricane that caused a lot of aesthetic damage to the city. The city remained a mess for months because ‘there simply were not enough city workers to clean the city up in a timely manner’! There are literally hundreds of thousands of people in this country who are being paid by the government and don’t seem have anything better to do than watch Judge Judy and bitch about how much of a pain in the ass it is to have to go down to the social services office now and then. Does this not mean that they should need to do a little something now and then to show that they are willing to be productive members of society?

It is my belief that as we are facing a time in the not too distant future where the Canada Pension Plan and Medicare are being looked at as unsustainable, we have an obligation to rethink what is necessary, what is constitutional and what our obligations to society are. If we remain on our current path we will see a time when we are working into our 90s because Social Security will have run out. We will have to decide if we want to live in a box or die from a medical condition because medicare will make way to a pay as you go system. Meanwhile those on Welfare will be complaining that they have to pee in a cup before the 90 year old bus boys tax deductions can pay the welfare recipients 2nd mortgage!!!


One thought on “Welfare; last resort or way of life…

  1. Well said, I often bitch about this as well. I think anyone who is capable on welfare, should have to work for what they get. They should be required to put in so many hours per week or month, doing jobs for the tax payers…the people who pay their free salaires…doing such things as highway clean up, etc, like you said, when jobs cant be filled they can be doing them. I think maybe more people need to step up and start verbally complaining to our goverment, and cause some reform.

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