The Unemployed - Scroungers or Unfortunates?

Sukerkin

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This is a fairly long magazine article from the BBC discussing the foundations of the British Welfare State system and how the views of the employed (who pay the taxes to fund the system) towards those that are drawing upon the state have changed quite radically over the decades:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20431729
 

Bill Mattocks

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This is a fairly long magazine article from the BBC discussing the foundations of the British Welfare State system and how the views of the employed (who pay the taxes to fund the system) towards those that are drawing upon the state have changed quite radically over the decades:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20431729

It's an interesting article, but I am sure I am missing a lot of it via not understanding the context. We Americans have a filtered view of your welfare system anyway, from comic strips like Andy Kapp to various television sitcoms. I remember an old favorite of mine, "Keeping Up Appearances," and I remember feeling really vexed that Richard Bucket was the only guy who got crapped on in the series; and he was the only one with a job besides the Vicar. The rest were, as far as I could tell, freeloaders; perpetually on the dole as a preferred way of life.

And although I do not know if it is true, I do recall reading in times past about those on the dole in the UK being given money to go on vacation abroad, because (as your linked article states), poverty is not just about not having enough money, it's about not being able to do as the mainstream do. The mainstream go on holiday in Majorca and drink Watney's bleeding Red Barrel beer, so the unemployed get to do it as well. True? I do not know, it is just what I've heard over the years.

We have had this kind of situation in the USA too, but in general, our social aid system doesn't provide a very nice or comfortable living, and with changes made to the welfare laws in the last several decades, there are generally lifetime caps on benefits. Doesn't mean it isn't abused, but it does mean that we (supposedly) do not have generations of families which have never had a single job, from grandparents to grandchildren.

Most people want to help the genuinely deserving. The questions are always where do you draw the line, and how do you stop the lazy and criminal from gaming the system?
 

Tez3

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I love the idea that Americans see life here as a cross between Andy Capp and Hyacinth Bucket! I suppose though you can compare it to what we get Maimi Vice and Dallas. I doubt any of it is true to life, they are all cliches. the Andy Capp type as well as Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances probably aren't on the dole so much as they sponge off their wives and family. They nearly always have schemes to make money which never involve any effort on their part, this type had been around since humans began I imagine, the loafer is common everywhere.

Being on the 'dole' isn't actually an easy option, as you see here you don't actually get much money. https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/what-youll-get there is help with rent/mortgage and council tax but the actual amount you get is not enough to actually live decently ie have enough food and pay the utility bills. It's a myth that those on the dole like it and manage well. It's also a lot harder to get benefits than people think.
The problem is those who work in the black economy, they may be on the dole but they do work as well, many have jobs that are legal but still have jobs on the side that they don't declare and don't pay tax on.

In many places such as near me in Middlesborough there simply aren't jobs, the steel industry, coal industry and ICI have gone leaving vast areas without work so you will get the generations who have never worked. Companies are closing all the time here something those in the south of the UK don't understand, it really is a wilderness up here for many. Around where I live the Amry is the biggest employer of civilians however there are now many redundancies coming including mine, we live in the Dales, there's no other work here. Even the sheep farmers are having problems.

The Tories make a great deal of the 'welfare culture' yet offer no solutions, they are cutting benefits but how can people work if there are no genuine jobs? The amount of people on the dole who don't want to get off it is small compared to those who do want to get off it and can't.

It makes good Conservative propaganda against the Labour party if they perpetuate this myth that most on the dole are happy to be there and are sponging of us but the truth is the Tories did much to ruin the companies here, (Maggie shut down the coal mining industry here) and has never looked beyond Watford preferring to label those on the dole as layabouts etc. Of course there's spongers, there always will be whatever system is in place but the reality is that people on 'welfare' are suffering and could really do with a proper hand up not a hand out.
http://www.urban75.net/forums/threa...reform-and-cuts-were-too-much-to-bear.295951/

http://www.cas.org.uk/news/rural-scots-%E2%80%98suffer-more-most%E2%80%99-welfare-cuts
 

WC_lun

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Here in the US politicians have run on the idea of the "welfare queen" taking others hard earned money so she does not have to work. The truth is that many of those programs to help out the poor are difficult to qualify for (read actual need), do not give a lot of benefits, and as Bill says, they have limits. Many people in our society, even successful ones, have taken public assistance as temparary help, as it is meant to be. It is true that there are people who game the system. Most of the time it is the person lying to recieve help they don't actually need, recieving money for work under the table, or recieving money from illicit actions. There is no real procedure or agency in place to investigate those gaming the system to recoupe that lost money and keep such criminal actions from taking place. Enforcement is haphazard and should be a concern to those on the left as well as right.

There are very few people recieving assistance who want to be in such dire straights to be able to recieve the benefits. Very few people on public assistance want something for nothing, but as seen in our last presidential election, that is one of the talking points kept alive.
 
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