Even After "Welfare Reform," In Many States, the Dole Pays Better Than Honest Work

Reason 24/7ReasonWeren't we all told that welfare had been abolished back in the 1990s, and that now we live in a brand new world of personal responsibility? I could have sworn I heard something about that. As it turns out, though, the dole was rebranded, repackaged, and at least in some states, made more generous. A new report from the Cato Institute's Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes says that welfare benefits remain more generous than minimum-wage jobs in 35 states.

From the Cato Institute:

In 1995, the Cato Institute published a groundbreaking study, The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off, which estimated the value of the full package of welfare benefits available to a typical recipient in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It found that not only did the value of such benefits greatly exceed the poverty level but, because welfare benefits are tax-free, their dollar value was greater than the amount of take-home income a worker would receive from an entry-level job.

Since then, many welfare programs have undergone significant change, including the 1996 welfare reform legislation that ended the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. Accordingly, this paper examines the current welfare system in the same manner as the 1995 paper. Welfare benefits continue to outpace the income that most recipients can expect to earn from an entry-level job, and the balance between welfare and work may actually have grown worse in recent years.

The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work. Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour. If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening welfare work requirements, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work. Moreover, states should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.

The full report, The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013 (PDF), is an interesting read, especially since it doesn't disparage the poor, but assumes that they're intelligent and often hard-working people who know a good deal when they're offered one. The fact is, taxes gobble up much of the value of wages and salaries, while the package of benefits extended to those who qualify is tax-free. As a result, it's not just grunt work that's out-paid by state (read: taxpayer) generosity. Tanner and Hughes point out:

In 11 states, welfare pays more than the average pre-tax first year wage for a teacher. In 39 states it pays more than the starting wage for a secretary. And, in the 3 most generous states a person on welfare can take home more money than an entry-level computer programmer.

According to the authors, the value of welfare benefits has actually increased in 32 states and the District of Columbia since the first report in 1995.

In that most generous state, Hawaii, for example, state benefits provide the equivalent of $49,175 per year, up from $41,910 in 1995 (adjusted for inflation). To equal the value of those benefits, a Hawaiian would have to take a job paying (before taxes) $60,590, up from $55,001 in 1995.

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  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -A new report from the Cato Institute's Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes says that welfare benefits remain more generous than minimum-wage jobs in 35 states

    Well, I imagine the response from economic liberals would be 'see how low the minimum wage is? People on welfare make more than people working for it. That is why it needs to be raised.'

  • Hyperion||

    Then ask them how many people making minimum wage bring home $49,175 a year, post tax?

    We are totally fucked. There will soon be no incentive at all to work, and no one will be willing to start a business and paint a big revenue for deadbeats target onto their own back.

  • wareagle||

    again I ask, feature or bug?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, the sort of people who consider it a feature will learn, far too late, that it is a bug.

  • robc||

    Thats roughly $25 per hour, with 2000 hour work year.

  • Hyperion||

    It's roughly $25 an hour, pre-tax.

  • Ted S.||

    15 years ago, our asshole Assembly Speaker here in New York claimed that legislators were making less than minimum wage. This was technically true: if the legislators worked 31 hours a day, 365 days a year, and didn't count any of their other perks, they'd make less than minimum wage.

    The asshole is still Assembly Speaker.

  • Sevo||

    "Well, I imagine the response from economic liberals would be 'see how low the minimum wage is? People on welfare make more than people working for it. That is why it needs to be raised.'"

    Yep, these are people who figure wages are set by opinion; that is to say they're economically illiterate.

  • Diane66||

    my classmate's step-sister makes $65/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 10 months but last month her pay was $19462 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here.... WWW.CNN13.COM

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    See, people, the answer is here!!!!1!1!eleventy!

  • wareagle||

    nice to have some empirical data to back up the anecdotal. Be honest; how many of you have known someone who was laid off, downsized, or otherwise was unemployed and wouldn't take what he/she called "a shit job" because the benefits paid more?

    As with illegal immigration, I have less fault with those who take advantage of the system than with those who created it. The phrase "feature, not bug" comes to mind.

  • The Heresiarch||

    Absolutely I've known people who have delayed finding a job to collect unemployment benefits. One went on an extended vacation. And of course it is difficult to find hard data on how many people slack off while receiving benefits, since they usually lie on their paperwork.

    How would one empirically quantify the amount of effort one expends to find a job? And how do you construct a contrafactual where the same person does not receive benefits, in order to compare the respective incentives?

  • KPres||

    I love people that take advantage of it, for two reasons:

    1. It's the rational thing to do, and it gives me hope to know that they're rational people.

    2. It hastens the demise of the system.

  • ||

    I think that if the amount of money that the government wastes was truly able to be tallied the numbers would be so great that people wouldn't believe them.

  • Atanarjuat||

    It's amazing that the free market has created such wealth that we can live in relative luxury (I am much more comfortable than the medieval lords who ruled over my ancestors) even with all that is stolen from us and wasted.

  • playa manhattan||

    I'm curious what the total take would be if you factor in food stamps, section 8, lifeline, and obamaphones. I know 2 people who are on food stamps and they eat ridiculously well compared to someone on a budget...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The study says it took the value of all aid programs which a recipient could participate in. That is actually not an ideal measure since I doubt most people on aid participate in every program they could (the bureaucratic burdens of enrolling and keeping enrolled in them all would be staggering I would think), and they sort of concede as much.

    All this is on page 3 of the PDF.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Oh, so it's really a jobs program for bureaucrats.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I read that when Milton Friedman advised Nixon to just give the poor the equivalent of all this aid in cash the social services bureaucrats shrieked. Their jobs were their main concern.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The bureaucracy is the real enemy. They know the system, they are the system, they game the system to their benefit, all on the backs of the taxpayers.

    Congress comes and goes, but the departments, the programs, the offices, they all just multiply.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Honestly, most bureaucrats just follow the rules and do what they're told. Gaming shit takes imagination, and bureaucrats don't do imagination. It's the political sorts that get attached to the bureaucracy (union leaders, high-ranking or ambitious managers, etc.) that do the damage.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    They play the game just as well as anybody. Had a friend who worked as a hydrologist for the DOI. She always finished her stuff ahead of schedule. Her explicit instructions were to never assist anyone else with their workload or she would be terminated. Can't have the system realize they don't need as many people.

  • 0x90||

    A fox need not know it's a fox, to be one. The conscience of a bear remains clear, as it mauls you. A tick doesn't intend to commit suicide, when it latches on for a meal.

    A bureaucracy's primary function is self-preservation, and this applies at all levels, when the effort is conscious, and when it is not.

  • robc||

    The negative income tax also has the advantage of transitioning people to work, as they dont lose benefits with extra income.

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Staggering probably isn't the right word. Many of these services are designed to be accessible and I've had lunch with a group of women who discussed the easiest ways to take care of applications for some of the smaller programs. Usually once one person has access to a program the knowledge of how to navigate the paperwork spreads VERY fast in that group.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The study mentions over a hundred programs and derives its figures from a hypothetical person who is getting all of them. Maybe it is not as hard as I would think, but hundreds?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I volunteer for 3 different groups (homeless shelter, soup kitchen, and charter school for disadvantaged kids). Each has social workers or counselors on staff who help fill out paper work and direct people to services.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you have any clients who are currently getting aid from over a hundred separate programs?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    They're not my clients and I have no idea. But private organizations also provide some really terrific services. So, considering Cato didn't include private charity, I don't find the assumption outrageous.

    The community soup kitchen I work at provides 150-300 lunches daily - all provided without public funds. The food is donated most days by local grocery stores (Kings, Whole Food, and Trader Joe's) and is better quality than the stuff at the publically funded homeless shelter and better by far than the public school meals.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I know 2 people who are on food stamps and they eat ridiculously well compared to someone on a budget...

    We have a small farm that's paid for, my wife has a good job, and I'm retired and have a good part-time job. The farm grows enough meat, eggs and dairy to easily feed us and several other people.
    Yet we get letters telling us we qualify for food stamps.

  • playa manhattan||

    That's how 2 of my (former) friends signed up. One is a hipster with a master's degree in sociology (whatever the fuck that means) who lives with his parents. He gets a couple hundred bucks a month in food stamps and blows it on grass fed steaks and organics at Whole Foods...
    And no, he is not ashamed of it at all.

  • SIV||

    One is a hipster with a master's degree in sociology (whatever the fuck that means)

    My longtime off n' on girlfriend has a masters in sociology. She's a program evaluation bureaucrat where there really is some sort of use for whatever the fuck research methods (quant n' qual) she learned to do in grad school.

  • KPres||

    Seems like there's some kind of brotherhood of sociology majors...where the employed ones make programs to hadn out free shit to all the unemployed ones.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Just wait. Keep defying them and soon you'll get the recipient of a raw milk raid.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    you'll be

  • Hyperion||

    We have a small farm that's paid for, my wife has a good job, and I'm retired and have a good part-time job. The farm grows enough meat, eggs and dairy to easily feed us and several other people.

    The government don't take kindly to folk thinking they can be self sufficient.

    That's some nice plants you got there. Tomatoes? Those look like mar-ee-wan-ah buhes to me!

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    As long as you give Tribute.

  • Hyperion||

    +1 dronezbot with your name on it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • SIV||

    It's corporate welfare for grocery stores and food processors.

  • Robert||

    Not really, because people would be buying food anyway. Demand for food is inelastic.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    I dunno, you seen the waistbands of some of the people waving EBTs around? I rather imagine they have to have a lot of elastic!

    *ducks and runs from room*

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...it doesn't disparage the poor, but assumes that they're intelligent and often hard-working people who know a good deal when they're offered one.

    And there's the problem. Not the good deal, which is a problem, but the lack of shame for the whole affair.

  • wareagle||

    shame went out of style a long time ago. It's how a 30-year old law student goes to Congress demanding a university run by the Jesuits, of all people, pay for her birth control.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think that is a bit more complicated given that school run by the Jesuits takes quite a bit of government largesse itself.

  • Libertymike||

    How about the NCAA and its anti-free enterprise rules?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    There was a discussion about this on another thread.

    I think there is a case to be made that the NCAA might be something like, but not exactly, a monopoly and that its agreements with the NFL provide some restraint on trade, but it all seems at least in theory voluntary and other options exist or could be created.

  • ||

    And that means the government should be able to force them to do something against their religious beliefs?

    (Never mind that the .gov doesn't have the legitimate power to make you buy or sell or give something to someone else.)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Shame is nothing to be proud of.

  • Libertymike||

    Tell that to the NCAA.

  • XM||

    You mean the NAACP.

    Well, NCAA can be shady.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't want to disparage the poor per se, but it is quite amazing how little shame most who are on aid feel.

    My sister has a daughter who was lined up to go to college, but who got pregnant and told her mother she was going to forgo college move in with her boyfriend and have the baby. Neither her nor the boyfriend had worked more than a few weeks in their entire lives. My sister told her she was making a huge mistake, that she should have an abortion and go to college. The girl just shrugged. I advised her to cut the girl off, no allowance, no car, ride the bus to school, only money for the basic school lunch, make her start paying rent, etcetera, until she changed her mind. When she told her daughter she was considering it she just shrugged and said 'we will just get welfare, I know several girls who did the same thing and they will tell me how.'

  • Hyperion||

    I know several girls who did the same thing and they will tell me how.'

    Hell, even I can tell her that. You leave this guy and have another kid by another guy, then you leave him and...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    She is just going to live with the first guy, no marriage, so I guess no problem for her there.

  • Hyperion||

    Doesn't matter for him. The tactic that I spoke of still works. If she leaves, she gets child support and he gets fucked over by the state. Lots of women are making careers out of this. Not saying that your niece would do that, I'm just saying that the type of women who would give her advice about how to live off of the state, probably don't have really high moral values.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No offense, but there is absolutely no one sympathetic in your story: no one.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    No one? Is this a pro-life thing?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, if you want to frame it that way, sure; I do find the suggestion of getting an abortion just to make one's life more convenient to be distasteful.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Since I and my sister find an early term embryo (this was at six weeks) to not be entitled to basic human rights we thought it a tragedy for a young woman (and man) to forgo opportunity and assume such a burden for the rights of something that is less developed than a tadpole.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's your prerogative. Doesn't mean that I have to find your sister's suggestion to her daughter to abrogate responsibility to be the correct one.

    Does your sister or her daughter have any moral objection to birth control, if I may ask?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Not to get into an abortion debate, and while respecting that totally reasonable people can differ on the subject, if one doesn't find such an embryo to be a rights-having person then no responsibility is abrogated.

    My sister did everything she could including taking her daughter to the exams and buying the BC, but she didn't make her take it. Neither have any moral objection, it seems the daughter either forgot or, more likely in my opinion, did this on purpose because she thought having a child was romantic.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    more likely in my opinion, did this on purpose because she thought having a child was romantic.

    That's tough. I was channel-surfing yesterday and I saw approximately 2 minutes of MTV's Teen Mom. I felt nauseous and was forced to change the channel.

    One of the lessons my wife is teaching our daughter is the responsibility of having a child, and she's making sure she learns it well. My wife was raised in a poor family of 12 in rural Thailand; as you can imagine, there was a lot of teen pregnancy.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I sincerely hope your wife succeeds with your daughter, my sister certainly feels she made such an effort.

    My point was really only to note how government aid undermines much of it. If a teenager has friends who get to move out and have their own apartment due to government aid as the result of their having a child then it suddenly becomes more attractive and undermines the teachings and incentives parents use to prevent that from happening.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If a teenager has friends who get to move out and have their own apartment due to government aid as the result of their having a child then it suddenly becomes more attractive and undermines the teachings and incentives parents use to prevent that from happening.

    Indeed.

  • Dweebston||

    ...asks the gentleman having just discounted the mother's preference in exercising birth control.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Birth control is a euphemism for anti-contraceptives. I wouldn't classify abortion as "birth control".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What's going to happen when the free shit runs out? Do you think the welfare recipients are just going to shrug their collective shoulders, grab a shovel, and dig ditches for a living? Or will they coalesce into a frothing mass of violent rage and wealth envy? Will riots and bloodshed fill every urban center in the nation? Will they march onto the well-manicured lawns of the middle to upper-middle class and take "what's theirs"?

    I hope you've checked your preps, y'all.

  • Sevo||

    Heroic Mulatto| 8.19.13 @ 8:36PM |#
    "What's going to happen when the free shit runs out?"

    See. oh, Greece.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    What's going to happen when the free shit runs out?

    Plunder another country.

  • Hyperion||

    Plunder another country.

    But only because they hate us for our freedoms.

  • Heroic Mulatto||



    What's going to happen when the free shit runs out?

    Plunder another country.

    As 1945 has taught us, that can only last so long.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That takes work.

  • Hyperion||

    What's going to happen when the free shit runs out?

    Oh, come on. The free shit train can keep rolling forever! Fire up those printing presses! Inflation is a scare tactic invented by greedy Rethuglicans!

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I hope you've checked your preps, y'all.

    I had vandalism problems even after I put up "No Trespassing" signs, and even after I added "If you can read this you are in range." I posted a plastic target on the opposite side from each one with a 5-shot grouping all in the x-ring.

    No need to tell them the holes were made with a paper drill, right?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No need to tell them the holes were made with a paper drill, right?

    Heh.

    You could always try heads on a spike.

  • Nazdrakke||

    I like these even better.

  • Tejicano||

    In grad school, after having to run off a small group who were attempting to break into the upstairs apartment, I took a human silhouette target, put a tight group of 45 ACP in the head and another tight group of 9mm in the heart, then taped it up on the sliding door. Even with the drapes closed it was easy to see what it was. My neighbors appreciated that almost as much as me being the one with a shotgun handy.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    "What's going to happen when the free shit runs out?"

    Many people collecting SS disability benefits are on prescription meds. 25% of all American women are on some form of anti-depressant. That percent increases with those on Medicaid. 10% of all children are on some type of anti-psychotic, and that percent increased for those on Medicaid.

    When the money runs out, the meds run out.

    Just something else to think about.

  • Dweebston||

    I hope you've checked your preps, y'all.

    I'm still searching for the privilege I'm meant to have checked by now.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    The New Math
    Bet you never knew that 3 x 4 = 11?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not that I'm a fan of Common Core, but this meme needs to die.

    A bunch of culture war yokels with no understanding of pedagogic theory or mathematics teaching methodology are taking a woman's statement about the importance of conceptual learning as opposed to rote memorization out of context, so they can get their daily anti-intellectualist "down with egghead elites" populist hate on.

  • robc||

    At the 3x4 level, rote memorization is the way to go.

    Once you got up to the 10s handled, consider some theory.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    At the 3x4 level, rote memorization is the way to go.

    For most children, if we're considering pedagogical effectiveness, I agree. That's why I'm also a proponent of phonics over whole language. I had a debate with a mathematics education professor over this very topic 2 weeks ago; nevertheless, what she argued and where the woman in the video is coming from is a valid theory with some evidence to support it and not just ivory tower post-modern nonsense, which is how most of the bloggers linking to it are spinning it.

  • Dweebston||

    To my mind, it's silly to treat mathematics, a matter of abstraction with concrete rules, as negotiable territory. The material is more comprehensible the better one understand the rules, and the rules are to a large degree a matter of memorization and deductive reasoning. Treating these early lessons as inherently explicable by schoolchildren seems like it's putting the cart before the horse by asking kids to infer conclusions about the rules they're meant to memorize.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I agree, but educators like my colleague would point to findings like those of Deborah Loewenberg Ball of U of M (the current grand poo-bah of mathematics education) that show that young children are capable of conceptual learning and application of concepts in math.

    Their argument that just as we don't only teach spelling and grammar in K-6 and then expect them to write an essay in 7th and 8th grade, we shouldn't only teach procedure and computation and then expect students to have the type of mathematical thinking to succeed in algebra and beyond when they hit middle school. I believe that argument does have some merit.

  • KPres||

    "A bunch of culture war yokels with no understanding of pedagogic theory or mathematics teaching methodology are taking a woman's statement about the importance of conceptual learning as opposed to rote memorization out of context"

    So why not just teach critical/systematic thinking as a distinct subject, rather than watering down the math courses?

    I say the critics are rightfully suspicious, and they're not the anti-intellectuals. The fear is that this is just a slippery slope to the same tired "every answer is OK because we dare not challenge their precious little egos" trope you get from the "empathetic" types. They're the real anti-intellectuals.

  • Ted S.||

    In base-11, it does. :-p

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    "Guardian chief: UK had newspaper disks destroyed"
    ..." in an apparent bid to keep the fruit of Edward Snowden's leaks safe from Chinese spies,"...
    Of course that was the reason!
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/wor.....744505.php

  • Rrabbit||

    The paper is lacking a description of the "hypothetical family". Especially, how many children are in the "hypothetical family" that is the basis for this paper?

    I think their 1995 study was based upon one adult and two children.

  • Matthew Brown||

    I think this one used the same parameters.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Well if you're born to lazy ass, irresponsible parents, your chances of of being a lazy ass, irresponsible parent yourself are probably pretty high.

    And it isn't just that the universe naturally defaults towards entropy without our hard work either; obviously your lazy ass, irresponsible parents couldn't teach you to behave normally.

  • Sevo||

    More:
    "US got 'heads up' on Snowden-linked detention"
    "But White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the United States did not request the detention and was not involved in the decision."
    You bet!
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol.....743757.php

  • Hyperion||

    I totally believe everything that the United States government says. They have an impeccable record of truth telling and they are improving on it all of the time.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Holy shit, Hyperion is actually Michael Grunwald.

  • Hyperion||

    I forgot to say how transparent they are.

    /Moar Grunwald

  • Almanian!||

    Can we drone Scruffy's ass for being a petulant hater of the State?

    YES WE CAN!

    *launches strike*

  • AlmightyJB||

    If he actually were Grunwald he wouldn't be able to say anything with all that executive dick in his mouth.

  • Dweebston||

    Are those like executive suites? More spacious, with a minibar and printed instructions for finding the porn channels?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    And which washroom do you get to use?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Could Der Spiegel be a little more slanted on the issue?

    How about instead of gender, the birth certificate indicates XX or XY? That leaves little for those who want to play with definitions.

    And parents who want to fuck with their kids gender identity need to be taken out back and beaten. Projecting their crap onto their kids at such a young age is unforgivable.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    How about instead of gender, the birth certificate indicates XX or XY? That leaves little for those who want to play with definitions.

    Serious question: What about those with aneuploidy, like XXY (Klienfelter's)? Though, I'd say XXX falls fully under the term "female", but what about X- (Turner's)?

  • Calidissident||

    Actually, I read another article that specified that this change is only for baby's whose biological sex is not clear at birth, due to some sort of hermaphroditic disorder. I don't think parents are allowed to mark a child that is clearly a normal XY male as a female or third gender

    http://rt.com/news/third-gender-birth-germany-592/

  • Calidissident||

    Don't know what I wrote "baby's" instead of babies

  • Dweebston||

    I can't believe you referred to hermaphroditism as a disorder, you cisgendered fascist.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Why not just what you've indicated? Put XX, XY, XXY, or X-.

  • Almanian!||

    I'd say XXX falls fully under the term "female"

    I'd say XXX falls fully under the term "teh pron", but that's just me. Well, no, it's not JUST me...

  • AlmightyJB||

    How about instead of male female we just use penis vagina. We can put pictures of each on bathroom doors. Hermaphrodites can use either or just pee in the grass.

  • ||

    The free shit will run out. Heroic is right about what will happen when it does.

    I marvel at how we are careening towards disaster with insanely stupid policies, and no one with any power to do anything about it seems to care. They are just oblivious. They think the disaster wont touch them.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    They think the disaster wont touch them.

    If we're talking about Washington, it probably won't. I'm sure they have their private jets fueled, their bribes pre-paid, and their European villas stocked.

    The real fun will be when the shit splats right in the faces of the 'creative-class' urban hyper-Left.

  • Hyperion||

    Here's the scenario we are facing.

    We have now reached the point where the people that are dependent upon government, slightly outnumber those of us who work to pay for their free stuff.

    What that means, is that we cannot outvote them on a national scale. So, Democrat Presidents for the forseeable future.

    The problem for the free shitters, both the bestowers (politicians) and the takers, is that there is a very delicate balance beyond which this will all come crashing down.

    There is no way the politicians can maintain this balance, and I think even they know that. That is why we are seeing all of the militarization of police, the DHS, TSA, and the NSA. It does have to do with national security. But not anything to do with terrorists, it's all to protect the political elite class from the rest of us when the shit hits the fan. And it's inevitable.

  • Warrren||

    Many of the elites will be quite surprised to find that these protections will be of little use.

    And especially surprised to find out that were not as "elite" as they thought as they are left to hang as the higher-ups make a clean getaway.

  • Hyperion||

    They are just oblivious. They think the disaster wont touch them.

    That's what the militarization of the police, DHS, TSA, and NSA are for. To protect them from the rest of us.

    They can't stop doing what they are doing, even if they know it means total destruction in the end. When have any despots throughout history ever been able to stop their reign of tyranny even when they knew it meant their own eventual demise? These people are depraved sociopaths. I'm taking about people like Obama, Feinstein, McCain, Hillary Clinton, and others like them. They are sick and deranged people and they have no real compassion for other humans. They are not normal people who feel remorse when they commit the worst of crimes.

    Do you think any normal human could go golfing and laugh it up after they kill poor children on the other side of the world with murder drones? I'm sorry, that's not fucking normal.

  • ||

    Sadly, you are correct.

  • Warrren||

    This is a don't hate the player, hate the game thing. Given the lack of job creation in this country the people on welfare would have no place to land so yes there would be a lot of unrest if the programs were just ended.

    It would be politically more advisable to stop all the the things that screw up job creation. Then, as the unemployment rate fell and labor became scarcer and wages started to be bid up, working would start to look like a better value. Once it became common knowledge that jobs, and good-paying jobs at that, were widely available the resistance to reducing or eliminating programs would go down. Then things can be ruthlessly cut.

    Of course this would mean a sincere, competent, and unafraid R majority and POTUS to enact as they would be hammered by all manner of special interest groups from gov employee unions to "advocates" of all sorts and the media. And they would need to be unyielding to all this pressure.

  • ||

    I am not an economic genius by any measure, but given control of the country for a year I could easily usher in a golden age of economic prosperity the likes of which has rarely been seen.

    It really is a no-brainer. I am convinced that the aristocracy in this country, that is the political class, are doing everything they can to restrain the economy, or outright kill it.

    Increased and widespread wealth means increased and widespread power for everyone. It dilutes the power of those who rule, thus they fear it.

  • Warrren||

    I know. So the odds are against it.

  • Hyperion||

    Increased and widespread wealth means increased and widespread power for everyone. It dilutes the power of those who rule, thus they fear it.

    Absolutely, what keeps them in power is the mirage that people can't do without them. They are nothing but parasites. But it's sad how they are able to keep the masses fooled with the lamest of efforts.

  • ||

    They aren't the lamest of efforts. They give out a lot of free shit to keep the masses compliant.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Included in that free shit is a boatload of prescription meds; anti-depressants, stimulants, anti-psychotics.

    The masses are too medicated to riot.

  • Libertymike||

    Why would the Rs and an R POTUS ruthlessly cut their sinecures, their milk money, their whore money, their junketeering and their source of power?

  • Warrren||

    Which is why I said "sincere" so we need to find a bunch of those, somewhere.

  • Nazdrakke||

    They're in the same box with the Freedom Loving Democrats.

  • AlmightyJB||

    A safety net is not supposed to be a hammock.

  • Warrren||

    Banana hammock!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well said.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Speaking of welfare.
    -State-Funded Crisis Pregnancy Centers Talk Women Out Of Birth Control, Condoms: Report

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....21377.html

    The interesting thing here is that liberal groups that are up in arms about that are much more upset about the giving of incorrect information than they are that Crisis Pregnancy Centers get considerable state funding. Pro-choice Minnesota detailed such funding in a recent report:

    http://www.prochoiceminnesota......eport_.pdf

    -Federal funding lands in the pockets of CPCs by way of Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) programs and Title V funding, and more than 50 CPCs in the United States received over $30 million between 2001 and 2005. In 2007, CPCs in 23 states received Title V and CBAE funding-both ventures totaled around $14 million.

    -CPCs in Minnesota receive state dollars through the Positive Alternatives Act, which makes $2.4 million available to CPCs annually. The Positive Alternatives Act was signed into law by anti-choice Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2005. In 2011, 23 of the 31 grantees were CPCs. The language of the bill explicitly restricts organizations from using funding to refer to abortion providers.

    I wonder if the same people complaining about state funding of Planned Parenthood will call for an end to state funding for these groups?

  • Irish||

    Why should either get state funding?

    Or did I just blow some liberals' minds?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Or some conservatives' minds.

    That's kind of my point.

  • Irish||

    Well, I think an awful lot of Socons would be okay with ending state funding of abstinence only organizations if we ended state funding of Planned Parenthood. I can't see any liberals making that trade.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I frankly cannot see many SoCons making that deal. They hold their hand out for that funding just as much, while demanding the 'other side' be defunded.

  • Nazdrakke||

    I frankly could, provided they could be persuaded that the other side actually would be permanently defunded as well. Which would probably require some kind of divine intervention in it's own right. Think EvH.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I honestly have heard a lot of noise from SoCons for ending funding for Planned Parenthood but almost none for ending funding for these centers (though I have heard liberals call for 'regulation' of the centers on 'fraud-fighting' grounds that are sometimes less than convincing to me).

  • Libertymike||

    Drop the false left / right paradigm.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Drop the false left / right paradigm.

    No shit. The seating arrangements of the people who opposed/supported ancien regime France are so relevant to modern American politics. Or to any country for that matter,

  • Irish||

    Idiots threaten to boycott Forever 21 because they reclassified less than 1% of their workers as part time instead of full time. The stupidity of these people knows no bounds.

    Combine not only a political wedge issue and a popular brand of clothing but a company that publicly identifies itself as Christian, and you’re left with a particularly potent cocktail for viral attention.

    That perceived dichotomy has given critics an added gripe: “My, my, my how unchristian,” wrote one man on the company’s Facebook page. “A true Christian thinks of others first and is not greedy. Tell me, just how rich do you need to be?” asked another. “Jesus Christ would never, NEVER do this to anyone, ever,” wrote yet another.

    Apparently Christian businesses are supposed to be run as charities now. This vile merger of Christianity and the left, something that I really started to notice when that fucking idiot nun talked at the Democratic National Convention, is one of the worst things I've ever seen. The left is apparently trying to integrate actual religion into their state worshiping cult.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you think Christ's teachings would have no impact on a follower's business practices?

  • Irish||

    That's not at all what I said, but if you want to do this weird, annoying Socratic method thing that you seem so fond of, be my guest.

  • ||

    New Tupla likes nitpicking.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    He's a lawyer, that's what they do; never ask a question they don't know the answer to.

    (I'm guessing that's what the Esq. refers to, as opposed to just a Bill and Ted's reference.)

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am a 2L, the Esquire is sort of a potentiality.

  • Libertymike||

    What do you think of adhesion contracts?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think they can happen, but rarely.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What do you think of adhesion contracts?

    Fuck EULAs.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Shrink wrap ones are particularly bad.

    A law prof told the following joke: He bought shrink wrapped product but before opening wrote and sent a letter to the manufacturer saying 'By opening this letter you have agreed to the terms set out within regarding our described transaction: your EULA is negated.'

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do, in fact, think Christ teaches us not to be 'greedy' and to think of others first. I don't find that to be 'nits' to pick but rather important principles. But if what you are saying is that this may not require one to not reclassify employees in a business to part time, then yes I agree with that.

  • Almanian!||

    Are not lots of Christ's followers running businesses? Or are they only money changers in the temple?

    Wait, no, that's the Jews...

    What Irish said, you silly Socratic wannabe.

  • Warrren||

    What Would Jesus' Business Plan Be? WWJBPB

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Interest free for the lifetime of the contract.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Libertymike||

    Jesus' business plan?

    Simple: Become a televangelist who preaches the prosperity gospel, like Joel Osteen.

  • Christophe||

    Corner the bread and fish market.

    Comparative advantage FTW.

  • ||

    Well, they're already religious about everything (because they are animists), so this was probably inevitable.

  • Hyperion||

    It always has amazed me how the left will not hesitate to conjure up the invisible sky god, that only 10 minutes earlier they vehemently denied the existence of, when they want to make a political point.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You can blame the Jesuits for the term "social justice", by the way.

  • Hyperion||

    Did the Jesuits check their white privilege at the door?

  • Libertymike||

    Asking Caesar to forcibly confiscate parishioners' property in order to give it to the prodigal sons is blasphemous, per se; that a prelate would BEG Caesar to do so is Lucifer incarnate.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This is where I fall.

    I think Christ does ask his followers to act in ways that conservatives would find too liberal and liberals too conservative, but I can't find once where he advocated using coercion in those actions.

  • Libertymike||

    We are in agreement, no?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    On this matter, yes.

  • Damned Fool||

    This is the worst thing. I'm an atheist myself, and I find the whole idea of religion somewhat ridiculous, but I always respect the more conservative Christians (e.g. stricter Catholics, evangelicals) more than the liberal ones. The conservative ones may believe a lot of stupid things but at least they're honest about what they believe in that they take the whole source work. Liberal ones just mix and match pieces that are equally (im)plausible depending on how it fits the ideology, e.g. being cool with gays because that was a product of the time but demanding socialism because Big J wanted it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    BIG J!

    Jesus was a Black man of Nazareth./He stood 6 foot tall with a 12-inch dick.

  • Damned Fool||

    His dad was cooler, though: knocked a bitch up with his mind.

  • Libertymike||

    Which dad?

  • Coeus||

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This does not seem correct to me. Both do what you complain of.

    For example, conservative Christian Catholics tend to play down the teachings of the Church against war and the death penalty for example.

    A joke I heard about conservative and liberal Christians goes like this: upon reading where Jesus saved the adulteress from stoning and told her 'go and sin no more' the conservative says 'see, he condemned sin!' and the liberal says 'see, he has no problem with private matters!'

  • Damned Fool||

    The Christian God and the Catholic Church have schizophrenic attitudes toward violence. See: the entire Old Testament

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I often think that it is much easier to just try to ignore the few passages of the New Testament where Jesus affirms the Old Testament than it is to try to reconcile the two.

  • Sevo||

    "I often think that it is much easier to just try to ignore the few passages of the New Testament where Jesus affirms the Old Testament than it is to try to reconcile the two."

    And others think you ignore the other ones!
    Since there's no evidence of a Jesus, it's probably best to ignore the entire pile of contradictions.

  • William of Purple||

  • Dweebston||

    It's stupid-heartening to see "Oh, no" properly punctuated.

  • Sevo||

    Poor William! Getting your fantasy walked on again!
    I'm sure if someone said 'oh, yeah that jebus guy is really great' you wouldn't have posted that.
    Tough
    Shit.

  • William of Purple||

    ?

  • ||

    No one would care if someone said they liked Jesus, we just don't like how the mere mention of Jesus turns you into Palin's Buttplug.

  • Hyperion||

    At one of my former employers, I had some co-workers that all of a sudden all went religious. I don't know how that trend started. I guess it was sort of like how I started growing a goatee and all of the sudden, all of the guys there grew one also.

    But anyway. It was really weird. All of my co-workers got religious and so they all had to get their own denomination, or sect, or cult, or whatever.

    A couple of them became Catholic. One was Lutheran. I'll never forget that. This was all the conversation for months around there. So the Lutheran guy tells me, I like to drink, and Lutherans can drink, so that was really important to me.

    I don't know why, but that just hit me in a bad way, I got pissed and said 'I can already drink if I want, I don't need any fucking religion to tell me what I can and cannot do'. All of the newly religious folks just went silent and kind of looked away, at the floor or whatever...

  • ||

    As we can see every day, there are a lot of people out there who want to be told what they can and cannot do. It simplifies things for them. Of course, many of them want everyone to be told what they can or cannot do, and therein lies the problem.

  • Irish||

    Dick Van Dyke's car catches fire and he was pulled from the burning wreckage by George Zimmerman.

    Part of the previous sentence might be wrong. I only kind of skimmed the article.

  • Almanian!||

    *golf fucking clap!*

    Heard this on the radio. Did not realize DVD was still with us. Apparently, he is...THANKS TO GEORGE ZIMMERMAN! (PBUH)

  • ||

    The man really gets around, doesn't he?

  • entropy||

    In that most generous state, Hawaii, for example, state benefits provide the equivalent of $49,175 per year

    Fucking. Assholes.

  • Warrren||

    Looking to by a snub .22 lr revolver. Either a S&W 317 or a Ruger LCR 22.

    Anybody have experience with either or both?

  • ||

    Get the Smith and a laser for it if you can afford it.
    The Rugers are good, but they arent a Smith.

    I have both.

  • MappRapp||

    Joe Daddy Smack down is not going to like that at all.

    www.Anon-Prime.tk

  • ||

    I was a TANF (formerly AFDC) caseworker when Welfare Reform passed. Welfare Realignment would have been a more appropriate term. Yes, it was effective in moving people off “welfare” as defined by direct, monthly, cash payments to a parental caretaker with children, mainly because it allowed the state to investigate and demand that they do something (work, job training, GED, etc) to continue receiving the benefit. Once that became a hassle and they dropped out of the TANF program the bureaucrats quickly adjusted and expanded the other programs (food stamps, daycare, medicare, housing) and created new ones (buying tools, clothes, cars – all job related, wink, wink) to keep the former clients dependent on the State and, more importantly, keep their jobs and enlarge the Department of Human Services.

    It was welfare realignment, not reform. Welcome to the future.

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