My Time at Walmart: Why We Need Serious Welfare Reform

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Bob Hubbard, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    http://thecollegeconservative.com/2011/12/13/my-time-at-walmart-why-we-need-serious-welfare-reform/
    This woman is wrong. We need to keep raising taxes on the evil rich and keep funding more social programs. Remember, vote Democrat so that the rich people can keep buying poor kids slip and slides.


    Actually, it's a simple solution:
    1- more inspections.
    2- no 'free' money. Here's a bag, pick up some trash, push a broom. Have skills? Great, we have roads, bridges, buildings, and more that need repair.
    3- mandatory education for those lacking it - you don't show up for school, you don't get fed.
    4- strict limits to what it can be spent on.
    5- photo ID, card only to be used by the person whose face is on it.
    6- time limit of 90 days max. Need more? Reapply and reconfirm you actually tried to get ahead.

    I know, I know, I'm a heartless bastard, suggesting that anyone on welfare is a worthless lazy piece of crap.
    People who insist that there are no generational situations, that it's just down on their luck folks....should spend some time as a cashier in a convenience store or supermarket the 1st of the month. You can always tell who got their free money....they're the ones with the carts piled to the ceiling, buying cartons of smokes and reams of lotto.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    By whom?
    I agree with this, although "fed" isn't really the right term. I'd use "paid." With food banks and such, there is absolutely no reason anyone in our country should have to go without food.
    Enforced by whom? Again, when I see cavalier statements like this, I think of the man hours necessary to do strict, comprehensive reviews. Are you down for hiring more case managers and paying their salaries? I didn't think so.
    And again, this becomes unnecessary red tape for most cases. I'm all for a time limit. I'm DEFINITELY for putting people to work and teaching them practical, marketable skills. But creating a bureaucratic process that is so costly would bankrupt every State even in the best of times.
    Heartless? I don't know about that. I'd say naive.
    No one suggests otherwise. I think that your suggestions above have merit, but what you're not considering are the nuts and bolts of administering your grandiose declarations. You're talking about increasing the size of government in a time when every State is faced with critical shortfalls.

    In other words, you're pandering.
     
  3. NSRTKD

    NSRTKD Green Belt

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    I'm pretty open minded as far as my political views go, but you're (Bob, I mean) 100% right on this. In addition to the requirement to attend school, there should be a requirement to find a job after completion of said school. Drug tests for food stamps, rather than a blank cheque of cash to be spent on crack, and those who need clothes should work at the donation centers SORTING and WORKING for their clothes. Got too many kids around your ankles to work for your clothes? I bet there's 100 other welfare moms in your town that could BABYSIT at the donation center in exchange for her own free crap.

    I've spent a lot of my adult life poor. But poor and working, or poor and raising children while my husband busts his backside to keep food on the table. There is NO excuse for expecting anyone to pay for you to be lazy!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  4. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I'm sorry sir. I must strongly disagree with your post above. 90 days is too short. Not for the person on welfare, but the system. That's a big burden to revalidate every 90 days, and will lead to rubber stamping applications. 6 to 9 months is more realistic, with provisions for prosecution for those found to have gotten a job, say at the 2 month mark, but continued on welfare for the entire 6 to 9 month period.

    Otherwise, no problem, except how to convince the politicians that is is worth doing. I think that would be impossible.

    EDIT: Well, I see Steve beat me to it, and explained it better as well.
     
  5. harlan

    harlan 2nd Black Belt

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    I have been that worker at Wal-mart.
    I have been that mother on welfare.
    I have been high, and have been low.
    Worked, gone to college, struggled with poverty and bias.
    I've seen both sides, and I know, it's the system and economy that is broke.

    Making it 'harder' isn't the answer to abuse of the system/corruption. If it was, all the fat cats with off shore accounts would be paying their taxes - right?
     
  6. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Actually, Bob, it's crap. But I suspect you know what. The post on the linked blog has all the hallmarks of one of those chain emails that will soon be outed by Snopes. But supposing it was written and not simply posted by someone who 'got it from a friend it really happened to', there are lots of errors all through it. A casual reading could discern most of them of them, but you have to actually know how social services programs work to spot them, and that's the problem; kibitzing by people who DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. I'm looking at you, Bob. If you want to learn what the existing rules are, then you can play the 'this program sucks' game. If you refuse to learn the rules, then you're just another outraged doofus.

    Sounds great. Inspect what? Who does it? Sounds like more bureaucracy to me, or am I missing something?

    So-called 'workfare' is a common requirement, brought about by outrage in the 1980's. You're probably too young to remember it.

    Oh, look, it already exists...gee...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare-to-work

    Interesting. What will you force them to learn? But you know, a voluntary program already exists in Maine, where the story supposedly happened:

    Did you think there were no limits on what it could be spent on? Oh dear. Sounds like you need some of that edumacation thing yourself. Did you not read the self-contradictory statement in the linked-to article where the purported author notes that 'pickles' did not ring up as a 'food item' and were therefore disallowed? Yeah, it's like that.

    Has always been required. Not every store employee seems willing to enforce the law, though. Like people buying beer; there's always a clerk who doesn't check age.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_Assistance_for_Needy_Families
    Here are the rules in Maine, where the story allegedly happened:

    http://www.mejp.org/aspire-tanf.htm

    It would appear that Maine has a state program that works in conjuction with TANF, called ASPIRE. People on TANF have to have regular meetings with their counselors. Failure to do so results in sanctions, which impacts their TANF checks. Several sanctions and they lose benefits.

    I will say this - in Maine, where the story allegedly happened, TANF does not have a five-year lifetime benefit. This is not nationwide; each state implements their own TANF rules, and fully funds anything outside of the federal guidelines. So if you live in Maine and you object to this, talk to your elected representatives. If you don't live in Maine; it's not really any of your business, it doesn't cost you a cent.

    http://www.mejp.org/aspire-tanf.htm#timelimits

    You're not a heartless bastard. Maybe a clueless one. :) But what you want, is already in place for the most part. You are, however, being used by the media (in this case, the right-wing, although we both know the left-wing does it equally well and more often) by throwing up yet another outrage-du-jour. Yeah, I'm sure this person, if the story is true, witnessed some illegal uses of social services. And she didn't report it WHY? Here's a hint; if it's illegal, then it is illegal. We need another law to make it MORE illegal? Drop a dime, brothers and sisters. And if it's not illegal, but you don't care for it, then contact your elected representatives. But seriously, educate yourself on the laws before you object to them. Most of the cures you seek already exist; you just don't think they do.
     
  7. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    :angel:
     
  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    If I seem to come across harshly, it's because it is things like this that distress me no end about my fellow conservatives. We tend to run off barking after the first shiny thing that goes by, and ignore the bigger picture. It's all too easy to make us chase our tails. Do you know how stupid it makes us look to get 'outraged' over Welfare and demand (for example) that it have a lifetime limit when it ALREADY DOES? We fume and stomp and demand reforms that are already in place (by GOP demand and DNC agreement, by the by) ten years ago or more. The fact that most of us don't even seem to know what the various social assistance programs are, how they work, how they are administered, and by federal or state authority is, to me, terrifying. How can we rage against a system we know nothing about?

    The first rule of righteous indignation? Make sure you have your facts straight. First, be right. Then, be indignant. Otherwise, we just end up looking like blowhards at best, idiots at worst. I'm not immune to it; I just get suckered in different ways. But I try to keep my eye on the ball. This kind of crap is just distracting.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I agree if there is any interest in genuine "righteous outrage." I don't believe that there is. This is theater. It's mock outrage and facts have no bearing good or ill.

    Truth is, Bill, that there are many different needs based programs and they all have slightly different rules. Some have time limits, like TANF. Some don't, like General Assistance. I mentioned this in a past post. Some offer work incentives. Social Security administers the SSI program and has something called Ticket to Work. Some don't, particularly in States that can no longer sustain the cost of return to work programs. Some restrict what the funds can be spent on, such as Food Stamps. Cash programs typically do not. It's cash, after all. And some are in between. For example, within SSI the way the payment is spent is usually not an issue unless a representative payee is involved, or a large back payment for a child, in which case there are restrictions.

    What this does is creates a buffet of facts. It's a pick and choose situation where people with an agenda can literally build a case based upon half-truths that are technically factual but still not representative of the truth.

    As I said in my first post, these kinds of blustery lists aren't about righteous outrage. It's simple pandering and an appeal to emotion. Were it about building a reasonable case based upon our actual situation where actionable steps are outlined, you'd be spot on. But you're misreading the situation. This is about furthering an agenda. It's twisting facts to fit a preconceived opinion, not forming an opinion based upon facts.
     
  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    The people who fall for it are actually outraged. I agree with you that the leaders of the GOP are generating this crap, not believing it. That's why I am conservative, but I hate the stinking GOP.
     
  11. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    Just for the record, very few things outrage me these days. Sometimes I post these because I don't know, forgot, am outraged, or for public debunking. I'll argue some positions hard just so that a viewpoint is shown, not necessarily my own. Sometimes it is. Truth is....lets do coffee and talk and I'll let you know what I really think. ;)
    Maybe. LOL ;)
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Here's the thing. I think Bob is a smart, knowledgeable guy. So, the two possibilities here are that Bob is naive and easily fooled by what to me (and you) are obvious Straw men and factual half-truths put out by "The Leaders of the GOP." I don't consider Bob easily fooled. So I come to two conclusions. First, that Bob is specifically doing this himself. He himself is actively generating the crap. And second, what makes Bob believe that we are naive enough to fall for it when he says it. Frankly, it's a little disappointing.
     
  13. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Or, as he said above, he's just stirring the pot, stoking the fires, building rapport...or something. He pushed my buttons, that's for sure.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    LOL. Bob's trolling his own forums. :D
     
  15. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    It gives me something to do when I'm trying to decide 'next edit job, B17 or 42DD'. :D


    ok, seriously for a moment....
    I honestly think there is too much fraud in the system. That good money is being wasted on scum, which keeps it from going to the real needy.
    Please note: I did not say welfare people are scum, just the ones scamming.
    I think the system needs some reform. This can be simply hiring a few more investigators, and reducing the fraud.

    To put numbers here:
    Lets say an investigator makes $50k (inc benis). To justify their existence, they need to save at minimum 2x what they cost (otherwise why bother?)
    Erie County NY had a Medicaid budget in 2010 of $200M. There is an estimated 60% fraud in the system, meaning only $80M is actually going to the needy.
    If they added -1- investigator who resolved a mere 1%, that would save the county $2M at a cost of $50k.
    To me, it's worth it.
    If the true-fraud rate was 10%, that's still $20M in taxpayer money going to scum, not needy.
    To me, this is simple math. The system will pay for itself. Instead we cut inspectors to 'save' money, and more fraud occurs, costing us even more long term.

    That's my issue with Welfare. Not that it exists, that the fraud is allowed to exist, denying true needy from the help they need.

    Contrary to the 'hard ***' position I often hold, I'm fine with helping folks out, as long as it's done efficiently to maximize the benefit to them....not enrich middlemen who just push paper, or lazy people who just don't want to work.


    That's my no-BS position. No coffee needed.

    As to trolling, yeah, kinda. ;) I put stuff out to generate discussion, and have no worries about posting a certain hard-line position to generate comments. Reasons vary, sometimes it's to destroy said hard-line position, sometimes to just represent a counter view, sometimes to reinforce with facts, etc. Part of my job as a mod is to generate discussion, which is easier for me here, than in other parts of the site due to my not being active in the arts any longer. I think the couple topics I really 'hold dear' are obvious though to long-time members. (marriage equality, anti-tsa to name 2) :D
     
  16. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have personally seen people buy crack and marijuana with our states verison of food stamps we call them independance cards. You want $20 crack rock you give the dealer your food card worth $60 in food. He gets steaks and shrimp you get you crack rock. Certain less honest stores will give you cash for your independance card. Same thing happens they hand you a $20 bill and charge the Govt for $60.00 in food you never got.
     
  17. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some programs do have limits others dont. I can take you to public housing projects where multipule generations of familys live and have lived since the 60's. One of the big things here on your 16th birthday is not to get your drivers license its to go down to the Housing authority and put your name on the waiting list to get a house so when you turn 18 you can get your own place. This is a state and city funded program which also used Fed HUD money and has NO limit. There a blocks and buildings in some of these city owned projects with Grandmother in build 702 Apt1 mother in 704 apt3 and daugher and her kid living in 706 Apt 4. Thats not just some BS put out there to cause "Outrage" that is facts and its crazy. There are people that get excited to have a BIG move when they go from one housing project to a different one across town.
     
  18. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Prove it.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    It doesn't work quite like that. Typically, there are two ways fraud can be detected. Audits and Investigations. Audits are systemic and large scale. They take a long time to conduct because they involve research. And they typically result in recommendations which are often not adopted due to budget constraints. Change costs money, and so the question is dollars and cents. What's the return on investment?

    The other is a simple investigation. These can be small or large, depending upon the situation, but even here there are factors beyond just money. What's the risk? What is the law? How much time do we have? Do we have the authority? What would the public perception of action be? What would the consequences, positive or negative, be? What's the return on investment?

    The point is, fraud IS investigated, but there are many, many mitigating factors.

    You mention Medicaid fraud in particular. Here's an interactive map: http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/medicaid-fraud-control-units-mfcu/interactive-map.asp It looks like NY got about $290 mil back from fraud investigations.

    I get it, Bob. I do and if your position is that the government should administer the programs with diligence and as good stewards for public funds, I wholeheartedly agree. But there is a point where the rubber meets the road and we can't on one side of our faces say this, and on the other refuse to fund these agencies adequately.
    Better watch out or you'll be suspended again. Trolling is against the rules. :D
     
  20. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    I'd have no choice but to edit more bikini shots then, what a punishment. :D123
     

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