Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why get off welfare?

Johann Wagener 8-22-13

In the following op-ed piece a guy named Tanner points out that poor people are not stupid and then goes about selling them on a stupid notion that welfare recipients make too much money which is why they are not motivated to work at "slave labor" wages like those doled out by the Walmarts of this world. The Waltons, by the way, are one of the richest families in the US and they go there on the backs of those that work for those "slave labor" wages they pay.

Rather than increasing wages Mr Tanner wants to cut welfare; a complete reversal of what would be the common sense and moral thing to do. What Tanner and those who think like him should do is take a month or two and go on welfare and then work at a Walmart, or MacDonalds for a few months, and then come back to their cushy jobs and take another jab at the problem. Maybe that would wise them up a little.

Why get off welfare?

By Michael D. Tanner
August 22, 2013
Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of welfare recipients consistently show their desire for a job. But there is also evidence that many are reluctant to accept available employment opportunities. Despite work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says less than 42% of adult welfare recipients participate in work activities nationwide. Why the contradiction?

Perhaps it's because, while poor people are not lazy, they are not stupid either. If you pay people more not to work than they can earn at a job, many won't work.

As a result, 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 shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.

Michael D. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of "The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society."