Wednesday, January 26, 2011

End the Welfare State - Towards a New Morality

The Progressive Welfare State encourages irresponsible behavior and enslaves people, making them wards of the taxpayer and eventually rendering them helpless, and hopeless.  It would be less destructive to end all government assistance.

I tire of discussions dealing with how to incentivize the stupid, the irresponsible, the indigent and the downright lazy.  Our welfare system has produced multi-generational poverty and people too fat to leave their government-provided dwellings.  These government slums are gang-infested anyway, so it's not just the morbidly obese who are veritable prisoners in these cinderblock jungles.

Government concerns itself with so many questions.  How do we keep people off of drugs, get kids to go to school, make parents responsible, reduce crime...

A shared code of morality used to take care of much of this, but shame is dead and virtue sneered at.  We're left scratching our heads wondering how we can get irresponsible people to change their destructive behavior.

Natural Consequences

It's time to knock down the taxpayer-funded wall between irresponsible behavior and natural consequences.  You don't work you don't eat.  Blow your mind out on drugs and booze, and you will be living off the charity of others for the rest of your life--Uncle Sam won't help you.  Crank out all the kids you want, but you're paying for them.  You need food and housing?  Work for it like the majority of your fellow citizens do!

The safety net is now a hammock.  The progressive nanny state has spawned multi-generations of innocent victims who no longer know how to care for themselves, and it has also spawned legions of deadbeats gaming the system.  Left unchecked it will destroy America; it is already depriving us of the human capital we need to advance the economy. 

Cut off all public assistance

No housing, no welfare checks, no food stamps.  This would be a wonderful boon to those enslaved by progressivism.  People would learn again to be thrifty and self-sufficient.  Generous Americans would put their money in local charities that are better able to sort the deadbeats from the truly needy.  Best of all, families would grow closer and help one another, as it should be.  The moral choice between buying myself a new car or helping my broken down old Dad is crystal clear.

The beauty of this plan is that the incentives are self-evident and the consequences are natural

If sitting on your ass all day swilling sugared drinks and playing XBox instead of going to school has make you fat and stupid, you're going to have a harder time finding a job.  You will be unable to buy food and shelter, and you will be saddled with health problems.  That's not a nice life to look forward to, but at least you will serve as a warning to others.


Some will call this a cruel policy.  I was called all but un-Christian by a liberal in Left Blogistan for suggesting this in a thread.  WWJD?  I doubt he would advocate a government-run shakedown operation to "spread it around."   He commands us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the widows and orphans...  families used to do this until Uncle Sam stepped in, short-circuited our charitable activities and shook us down to build a multibillion dollar Frankenstein's monster.

This is why I say progressives are not evil.  They are merely delusional pollyannas who eschew time-tested ways and ignore human nature, instead preferring "modern," "scientific" nostrums cooked up by eggheads.  The more pointy-headed the intellectualism, the better.

They had a good run through the 20th century, but reality has a way of reasserting itself.  The progressive dream has turned into a nightmare, as it spawns an ever growing criminality, irresponsibility, dependency and despondency.  Time to try what's worked since the dawn of time.

A government check lasts days.  Virtue and character are timeless.


Mustang said...

There was a story about a woman who erected a bird house and put up a feeder. It acted as a magnet to various species of birds who, within a short time, transformed her aesthetic back yard into a filthy war zone. The lesson should not be lost on us vis-à-vis illegal immigrants and our own citizens who have allowed democrats to reshackle their hands and feet with the slavery of dependency.

Any leftist who argues social justice is a complete ass … Our country offers equal opportunity. Success comes from actually achieving something. As we observe citizens of any color who are, as you say are lethargic, or stupid, we should ask: “Have you no self-respect?” I can tell you many of my early-American ancestors were hard working poor folk; they would rather have starved to death than accept a handout.

Jersey McJones said...

"A shared code of morality used to take care of much of this"

This is where I always just laugh at the silliness of the Right. You guys pine for an imaginary past. What the heck are you talking about? Take care of what? Things were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar worse in the past. Life expectencies, much shorter. Infant mortality and illiteracy, much higher. Disease, crime, wife beating, child abuse, poverty, food-borne illness, epidemics - all much much worse. What planet do you live on?

That past you imagine never was. Besides, this is the future. Frontier days are over, my friend. We now live in a massive empire. You do realize that, right?


Lisa said...

I have seen first hand how welfare has destroyed the fabric of our society.
Unwed mothers who know they can get by without an education,a job and/or a husband.
The incentive is to "not" succeed.

Divine Theatre said...

Again, Jersey reaches into his vast pocket of fiction and spews. Care to enlighten us with links to those alleged "facts"? Or perhaps you should change your name to Jersey Christian Anderson in honor of your penchant for storytelling?

I would love to see an end to the war on Poverty AND the War on Drugs. Both contibute to the high crime rates, especially in inner cities. I fear the destabilization of South America MORE than anything else on the planet. Well, except extreme Isamists...but I digress.

Always On Watch said...

I would concur with cutting off all government assistance to the stupid, the irresponsible, the indigent and the downright lazy.

Indeed, go to certain sections of downtown D.C., and see the hordes of drug dealers collecting SSDI and Medicare benefits. These drug dealers have scooters paid for by Medicare, and some of the dealers are raking in $60,000 a month!

The truly disabled would be a different story for me. As you may or may not know, Mr. AOW is totally disabled by a brain hemorrhage that he had back in September 2009 at the age of 59. I do not consider such a disability, akin in many respects to the disabilities of some veterans wounded in military service as government assistance. We have not asked for county services for disabled adults, but we may have to at some point.

PS: Mr. AOW bought his own scooter, as I posted a while back at my web site. But we're paying to the scooters of drug dealers. Go figure.

Divine Theatre said...

You lost me at "empire".
You really don't get it, dude. I am wasting my time. You cannot be that obtuse.

Randy said...

Sometimes I think JMJ is just putting out ridiculous nonsense to make us all realize how wonderful life would be, if we were allowed our own decisions, and allowed to reap the results of those decisions; good or bad.

I suppose it's more likely though that JMJ is really just trying to point out how ridiculous we are to think we shouldn't be held slave to the desires of the morally corrupt deadbeats that the progressive movement has spawned.

The good part though is that everyone else on this blog is tethered to reality, and logical in thought. I love this blog!

Divine Theatre said...

"The greatest growth and expansion periods in our nations history were almost all brought about by massive government investment, intervention, and so forth."

I seriously spit my water on the keyboard with that one.

Silverfiddle said...

OK Jersey, you argued infant mortality and literacy from the 1800s to now, totally avoiding how we've spent TRILLIONS on the War on Poverty, and the poverty rate has barely budged. How do you defend multi-generational welfare and the societal dysfunction I mention?

Thanks for the kind words, Randy!

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, just a couple of posts above recipients of welfare are described as "morally corrupt deadbeats." That shows the lack of understanding and basic humanity of much of the right. Never mind hundreds of years of racism and classism, never mind our sluggish upward mobility, never mind free trade and deindustrialization, never mind that most of us are the ancestors of the poor and dispossed and how that is refelcted in our rather lowbrow popular culture... no, never mind all that - it's all the poors' fault that they are poor because they are "morally corrupt deadbeats." I've known extremely wealthy people who are far more "morally corrupt dedbeats" than any poor person I've ever known. As I always suspected, most libertarians and conservatives are simply people who've never been around all that much.


Shane Atwell said...

Completely agree with you on this one Silverfish. Privatize charity, let those close to the problem decide if someone is worth getting assistance. Family, friends, small charities. Cut out the crap middleman that is the state and federal governments.

Leticia said...

I believe only those who are truly disabled and unable to work or the elderly should be given assistance otherwise, people need to get out and get jobs and quit living off the government.

I hate the fact that people who eat all day, watch tv and refuse to exercise or eat right are considered "disabled" and are enabled by the government. Or those that are hooked on drugs or faking illnesses so they don't have to work. Or mothers who have baby after baby to get all the niceties.

It all must stop. No more hand-outs. Force the lazy slobs out of their homes and put them to work.

I believe there should be emergency rations for a family in dire need but only for a short period of time.

Divine Theatre said...

Jersey, enlighten us then. Why are able bodied people in this country poor?
Further, define "poor".

MK said...

"We're left scratching our heads wondering how we can get irresponsible people to change their destructive behavior."

Yep, and they insist on not doing much more than scratching their ass.

"They are merely delusional pollyannas who eschew time-tested ways and ignore human nature, instead preferring "modern," "scientific" nostrums cooked up by eggheads."

It's also a way for them to escape responsibility and weasel out of the charity they like to beat others over the head with. Why else do Conservatives contribute more to charity than liberal do-gooders ever do. Liberals are selfish and very devious little weasels, now that they've managed to get the big government they yearn for, they can keep their own money and simply carp on about spending and giving other peoples money away.

Finntann said...

Taken outside of the cultural context of the time, the illiteracy rates you quote seem atrocious. But you are looking at those rates through modern eyes.

The 20% illiteracy rate you quote is not an indictment of the educational system but of the society. 80% of blacks were illiterate, wrong? Yes! But there was not any significant concerted effort made to educate them.

"In the second half of the 17th century, the literacy rate for adult men in New England is estimated to have been as high as 95%, more than twice the estimated literacy rate for men in England."

Also, how do you define illiteracy? If I can read "with Dick & Jane" am I literate or illiterate? What about Ullyses? If you can't read it, are you illiterate?

Here, I'll use the same source as you:

"many employers say they are unable to find enough workers with the reading, writing, mathematical, and other competencies required in the workplace."

"Twenty-one to 23 percent — or some 40 to 44 million of the 191 million
adults in this country — demonstrated skills in the lowest level of prose, document, and quantitative proficiencies"

"Some 25 to 28 percent of the respondents, representing about 50 million adults nationwide, demonstrated skills in the next higher level of proficiency
(Level 2) on each of the literacy scales. While their skills were more varied than those of individuals performing in Level 1, their repertoire was still quite limited."

"Individuals in Levels 1 and 2 were much less likely to respond correctly to the more challenging literacy tasks in the assessment — those requiring higher level reading and problem-solving skills. In particular, they were apt to experience considerable difficulty in performing tasks that required them to integrate or synthesize information from complex or lengthy texts or to perform quantitative tasks that involved two or more sequential operations and in which the individual had to set up the problem."

How's that National Education System sounding to you so far?

To me it sounds like the true illiteracy rate is closer to 50% courtesy of the national education systems. Your esteemed national education system produces people with Master's degrees who can not adequately write.

Jersey McJones said...

Look, guys, it is silly, adolescent, to believe we could simply get rid of the welfare state. Humans are social animals. From our earliest ancestors, groups of humans took care of their old, their weak, their dumb, their young, their sick, their unlucky. From the earliest tribes to the modern superstates, there has always been a welfare state. America, if anything, has a peculiarly weak welfare state compared to other modern states. So just how much to you want to throw away? Do you believe that a primitive, tribal welfare state would work in a modern superstate?


Silverfiddle said...

@Jersey: From our earliest ancestors, groups of humans took care of their old, their weak, their dumb, their young, their sick, their unlucky


From the earliest tribes to the modern superstates, there has always been a welfare state

WRONG! And lamenting the fact that morality, shame and virtue no longer have a place in our society is not a longing for the past, just an observation. These elements a societal correctives and guides. Go read some sociology or anthropology.

Divine Theatre said...

Since the advent of the Welfare State government has taken the, ahem, responsibility of "caring" for those in need.
Like in the mid 1990's when the State of Illinois lost over 50% of it's wards. CHILDREN! Gone and no one knew where they were! So, they brought in a private agency who cleaned things up. Unfortunately the private agency left and now, in 2011, DCFS in Illinois is back where they started.
Prior to the advent of the Welfare State we didn't have this many children in peril. What gives, Jersey? I thought your nanny state LOVED us?
Maybe the affirmative action hacks in charge have failed? Ninety percent of blacks in inner cities born to a single mother, higher case loads for DCFS agents due to neglect, abandonment and abuse, the crime rate, etc would suggest that your Nanny State has exacerbated, rather than solved the problems.

Jersey McJones said...

Finntan, you make an excellent point. Today, we measure literacy by more than just the ability to read, but to comprehend and expound. The public school system has done pretty well at that. The federal government only spends about 6% on primary and secondary school, and makes loans and grants for college and university. So, your excellent point is minutae.

Silver - one of the foundations of civilized society is the welfare state. Certainly, you would not not argue that. The only question is how, not whether, right?


Silverfiddle said...

Civilization has existed for thousands of years without a welfare state.

Jersey McJones said...

Civilization, Silver, is the welfare state.


Silverfiddle said...

Nice try Jersey. Put down the hopium pipe and tell me then just what the hell FDR instituted and LBJ expanded upon?

And if "civilization is the welfare state" as you so laughably proclaim, we had no civilization until FDR came along?

Thanks for the comic relief!

Mustang said...

Just an observation:

"That past you imagine never was. Besides, this is the future. Frontier days are over, my friend. We now live in a massive empire. You do realize that, right?"

First, this came from the fellow who a few days ago used the gunfight at the OK Corral as justification for denying the right of citizens to possess firearms. Second, he has a time/space continuum problem: this is actually the present. Finally, he may live in a global empire created by George Soros, I don’t. This could be his problem —but don’t despair. Professional help is available.

Finntann said...

Jersey, I work in high tech industry and let me assure you, the public education system sucks. America's colleges and universities churn out vast numbers of people who can't read, write, do math, or think for themselves, but by gosh they got that piece of paper.

The public education system is like Harrison Bergeron, they teach to the lowest common denominator in some vain attempt to make everybody equal and ensure nobody feels bad. They discourage orginal thought and reward regurgitation with little regard to comprehension.

True, there are those who emerge from college well-educated, but that is despite, not because of the public education system. I am of the firm opinion they would be well-educated even if we didn't have colleges or universities.

I lost faith in degrees years ago, they are a poor indicator of capability or future job performance.

As far as ED goes "to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access." Do you really think you are getting your: 134 Billion (2009), 107 Billion (2010), and 94 Billion (2011 est) worth?

Here...I'll even throw you a bone: Obama got one thing right: " should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working..."

All he has to do now is stop pouring money into a system that's not working... I wish him the best in this endeavor, but my hopes aren't high.

Jersey McJones said...

I don't disagree with most of what you all say, but just the same - civilization is the welfare state - in all sorts of ways.

It's how we do it - not whether.


jez said...

"Time to try what's worked since the dawn of time."

I question
a) did it work that well in the past? As far as I'm aware generational poverty has been with us for centuries.
b) if it did work in the past, would it work now? eg. strategies that worked well for a population of peasants working strips of land in the 18th century probably wouldn't work too well in today's chiefly urban conditions.

It does seem obvious that a way out of this is to ensure that taking a job brings in more money than refusing a job -- there was plenty of talk about this in the run up to the recent election in the UK, I wonder if anything will come of it?

Silverfiddle said...

We've always had poverty and we always will. Government building billion dollar castles in air is not the answer.

"It does seem obvious that a way out of this is to ensure that taking a job brings in more money than refusing a job -- there was plenty of talk about this in the run up to the recent election in the UK, I wonder if anything will come of it?"


Randy said...

JMJ, you may try reading my entire post. I do not want to be held slave to people who feel they are entitled to something I've worked for. I am held slave by the fact that I'm forced to give up something I've worked for. I am fully aware that not all on welfare are deadbeats. But the progressive movement has spawned deadbeats that want what I've worked for; people who have a goal of doing nothing and finding a way to make honest citizens pay for all of their desires. Again, try actually reading a post before you defame the person writing it as being uncaring or lacking humanity, or some other nonsense.

Welfare is the business of charities - no citizen should be forced by man or institution to give up something for the benefit of someone else. You'd hold me slave, and I'm inhuman? I'd say unbelievable, but I've read enough of your posts to believe you really think it's best to point a proverbial gun to my head to advance the progressive cause.

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