Welfare Redux

Via the Cincy Enquirer comes this report on the state of welfare:

The number of families receiving cash benefits from welfare has plummeted since the government imposed time limits on the payments a decade ago. But other programs for the poor, including Medicaid, food stamps and disability benefits, are bursting with new enrollees.

The result, according to an Associated Press analysis: Nearly one in six people rely on some form of public assistance, a larger share than at any time since the government started measuring two decades ago....

[Bush administration official Wade] Horn noted that employment among poor single mothers is up and child poverty rates are down since the welfare changes in 1996, though the numbers have worsened since the start of the decade....

"The true goal of welfare to work programs should be self-sufficiency."

More here.

Back in 2000, Reason's Mike Lynch reported on how welfare reform was actually working (or not) in the mean streets of Camden, New Jersey. Read that here.

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  • ||

    Mike Lynch reported from Camden on how welfare reform was actually working (or not) in the mean streets of Camden, New Jersey

    For the record, Camden's streets are the meanest in America. I'd rather lead a one-man parade through downtown Baghdad, naked except for my American flag speedo and GWB mask than have to spend so much as 20 minutes lost in the broad daylight of Camden.

  • bj||

    Nearly one in six people rely on some form of public assistance...

    How many libertarian losers are still collecting allowances from their aging parents?
    I'll bet the number would be shocking.

  • ||

    bj,

    Go blow yourself.

  • ||

    BJ notwithstanding (or -blowing?) Nick, I'm not sure it's good form to cite to a 7-year-old article....

  • ||

    Medicaid and food stamps have always been available to the working poor.

    I would bet that bureaucrats who oppose welfare reform are waving a lot of career welfaristas onto the disability rolls, as the last best place for them to get a government check.

    I guess the real questions are more longitudinal - how many people are more or less permanent wards of the state? How long do people spend on the dole?

  • _____||

    bj, Pick me up a pound of foies gras on your EBT card next time your at the store- I'd pay you back if it wasn't my money you were spending.

  • ||

    And then there's this from TNR:

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/theplank?pid=83584

    Which says that the number of "severely poor" (

  • ||

    Nearly one in six people rely on some form of public assistance

    Does that include government employees?

  • Dan T.||

    Does it include people who take the mortgage interest exemption on their taxes, for that matter?

  • bj||

    AC

    A simplistic ideology and a dim mind are a toxic mix (nothing personal.)

  • bj||

    Real Bill

    I'm sure your parents are happy to help.

  • Bhh||

    Food stamps are a stealth agricultural subsidy. So I bet we're all going to qualify for them sooner or later.

  • ||

    bj,

    O rly?

  • ||

    Legalized theft is still theft, no matter how deserving you think the thief may be.

  • ||

    Well the building up of the Camden waterfront has done wonders for the local economy. The Tweeter Center has provided endless rolls of drunken aggro DMB and Nickelback fans stumbling out of concerts ripe for the local muggers.
    Camden is a sad sickening pit of a city. It's the urban equivalent of bj's snarky comments.

  • ||

    A simplistic ideology compared to what, one wonders.

    In any event, I agree with the former advisor who asks what the alternative might be. It is fantasy to act like people formerly receiving welfare checks for doing nothing and bonuses for having extra kids are going to become computer programmers or some such to any great extent. You give people a shot, set up an incentive scheme, and if they don't take it you are left with the same choice you always had: Let them suffer dire consequences for their choices and deal with the crime, or buy them off.

    My personal take, just as with retirement, is that there is no practical way to actually make people suffer horrific consequences for stupid decisions they have made. All you can do is make the incentives right.

    Call it the Cat Food theory. If you don't save for retirement, you don't die, but you eat cat food. If you don't act to improve your earnings potential with all the help provided, you don't die, but you eat cat food.

  • bj||

    Jason,

    Having reponsible relatives who are willing to take care of you will save you from a diet of cat food. Warren Buffet calls it the lucky sperm club. It's a club full of losers with unaccountably high self-esteem.

  • Candida||

    Is there a bureaucrat forcing people to eat cat food for being stupid and bad, because actually cat food is pretty expensive.

  • ||

    Who is this "bj"?

    Other than a cranky mf'er who doesn't want to believe that I have paid my own way and don't have any wealthy family to support me.

  • ||

    bj:

    Yep, the social network is better for some people. I don't see how that changes the policy position.

  • ||

    Hmm. Not actually a cat owner. Didn't realize the expense. Packaged ramen?

  • bj||

    JasonL

    Who says that acknowledging the existence of the lucky sperm club should change anybody's policy position?

  • bj||

    highnumber

    I necessarily didn't mean you personally obviously. And a loser doesn't need a wealthy family to mooch off, just a soft-hearted one. That doesn't mean we should have be softies when it comes to "welfare bums."

  • bj||

    Who is this "bj"? Other than a cranky mf'er who doesn't want to believe ...

    I'm a wealth of one line snark and a dearth of substance. I'm motivated by utter impotence and boundless self loathing. I'm like the bully who is beat at home, but finds some bit of satisfaction by belittling the unsuspecting. Oh, and I'm that guy on the bus that smells like an asshole and eats his own snot. I'm a witless troll, thanks for the nourishment.

  • ||

    Ok, fair enough, I guess, bj.
    [backs away slowly]

  • bj||

    You libertarians are certainly loathe to consider the wider implications of your dogmas, aren't you?

  • ||

    why cant the govt. just print a boatload of cash, give us each a million bucks, tell us all no more...call it done???

  • ||

    bj-

    You probably got spoofed because you came on with the loosers, parasites, and dim minds bit, you know, instead of well reasoned arguments about those 'wider implications'. Just saying, you troll and you'll probably get the troll treatment; but I'm sure you are slick enough to cog that.

  • bj||

    pigwiggle-

    No, no spoof ... I ride the bus and I do smell like an asshole.

  • bj||

    Pigglewiggle

    A parasite is a parasite, don't you agree?

  • ||

    My daddy taught me that a horse is a horse, of course.
    I think he would have taught me that a parasite is a parasite to a Mepisite.

  • ||

    I think the idea was if you don't have welfare of some sort, these people are more likely to turn to crime. Since they won't be able to travel out to the locations where the Rich People are, they're more likely to rip off the marginally-better-off right near them who do have jobs and are working hard for their money. Which really sucks.

    Also the whole set-up is confused because we still think that raising kids "isn't work", but it is definitely true that raising kids requires time, money, and attention to the child. So some of the people may not be wishing to find jobs, since once you pay for someone else to take care of your kid so you have the time freed up to work an 8-hour job at minimum wage, it's just not cost-effective.

    And anyone who thinks that welfare provides an easy life obviously hasn't been on it.

  • ||

    "How many libertarian losers are still collecting allowances from their aging parents?
    I'll bet the number would be shocking."

    First, how the fuck do you know? you take a poll or some shit? Secondly, i am not sure if you know this but inheritance/allowance, whatever, is not the same as the welfare state. If it someones money let them give it out to who ever they want. Welfare is using violence to redistribute wealth. Or am I taking your comment to seriously, it did sound like a jerk off response.

    "You libertarians are certainly loathe to consider the wider implications of your dogmas, aren't you?"

    no argument here, just a vague nebulous accusation. If you want to know the truth I embrace the "wider implications" (whatever the fuck that means) because i believe the libertarian philosophy/political stance to be ethic as a whole (thought not a perfect system).

    "A simplistic ideology and a dim mind are a toxic mix (nothing personal.)"

    Again, no argument, just bullshit. Oh, and an ad hom argument. Look, you have specific reason to dislike a certain stance, then spout it out. It might lead to real discussion. despite us holding "A simplistic ideology" you must be surprised how many of the people in here embrace debate/discussion on a subject.

  • bj||

    kcjerith

    I propose that only those who have really made it on their own have the right to denounce welfare. Your weak verbal skills make me think maybe you've spent someone else's money (Mom's?)to pay for the computer you're using to mangle libertarian slogans. But it's just an educated guess.

  • bj||

    I'm a sad, sad little man. Plese pay me attention.

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