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An Honest Liberal Confronts the Problem of Government Dependency

lshort Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 5:38 PM
There is a cycle of dependency and bad habits learned from adults by children. I know this from sad personal experience. Disregard it, and you'll never really dent the problem. But I also agree with you that it gets tiresome listening to people who clearly don't even know anyone who lives off government benefits prose on about 'em from the comfort of their suburban McMansion or penthouse apartment.
lshort Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 10:44 PM
your clients treat "doing the right thing" like the plague...there, see, now I'm rambling too. :) Maybe I should go to bed!
lshort Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 10:43 PM
often!) and suck all possible money and support outta that suckah! Emotional blackmail is frequently used, guilt and accusation and threat of complete cutoff and fawning flattery in a nauseating combination--either this person works himself or herself into an early grave supporting these manipulative ungrateful leeches or flees to the hinterlands and pretends he or she is an orphan, with possible yearly phone calls back home if that. Not a role that any but the most strong-minded and resilient can assume, far more than is called upon by anyone of a more fortunate background attempting to do something you'd think would be as apparently normal as "doing the right thing." In case you were wondering what one of the myriad reasons so many of
lshort Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 10:40 PM
You do sound rambling and disjointed, but this is a comments section, not a college essay, so that's not really a terrible thing. I'm tired too. :) My job is not emotionally draining, but it's pretty exhausting, plus I have a toddler at home...I'm a biochemical engineer; I support equipment, software, methodology troubleshooting and regulatory compliance for a lab of 60 analytical chemists and biochemists. Actually, lots of welfare recipient children do grow up seeing ONE or possibly sometimes two family members go to work in a responsible fashion--generally they also get to witness the rest of the family alternatingly hating on that person for gettin' above themselves/selling out to the Man while doing their best to move in (literally,
lshort Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 10:35 PM
The McMansion allusion was directed toward the writer of the article, not any random commenter--sorry, I thought that would be clear from the context. You might or might not know more about certain aspects of welfare than I do--certainly I am not terribly conversant with modern-day regulations on the subject, for instance. My experience stems solely from growing up extremely poor, with various relatives and pretty much all my neighbors and the parents of most of my friends participating in the program.
TooTired Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 8:53 PM
If my remarks sound rambling and disjointed, it's because I work damn hard every day doing this job, and quite frankly, it eats at my soul because so few of my clients are even trying to do the right thing--wait until married, raise a family with just one partner, get some education and do a good day's work. I guess I shouldn't blame them. So many of them grew up as welfare recipients, and they've never had the experience of seeing a parent go to work in a responsible fashion. But there is no excuse for the way that the welfare system is set up to constantly absolve them of responsibility and turn a blind eye to the welfare cheats, which it tends to do.
TooTired Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 8:48 PM
that happened. Self-employment I don't know about? A big fat bank account that was not disclosed to us? Well, that family got food stamps and medical assistance for quite a while...and in that time frame bought a "McMansion." Can I tell you about the letter from one of my coworker's clients who got a settlement worth over $1,000,000 and asked if it had to be counted as income? How about the countless cases where I've found the baby daddies living in the home (the ones with incomes of $50,000 and up) because mama didn't admit he was living there because her food stamps would come to a halt.
TooTired Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 8:42 PM
I remember vividly the client who resisted all attempts to get her into programs that might teach her how to make a living, in spite of the fact that her particular kind of income (child support) is bound to come to an end someday. Yes, I know...that's just one person. Every time I give an example, that's what I hear...just one example. There are examples, too, of people who get onto benefits for a short period and ask for their cases to be closed as soon as someone gets a good job. Hooray for them...but I can tell you emphatically that these people are the minority, a small minority. I have one client who applied for cash assistance one month and bought a home priced at over $200,000 the very next month. I cannot figure out how....
TooTired Wrote: Dec 11, 2012 8:36 PM
I will try to respond politely to you and to FLM, while sitting here in my, wait, I forgot. I live in a modular home--a doublewide to some--although it is a nice one, and one that I am very content in. Let me state, however, that I might know something more about welfare than you do, as I am a food stamp/medical assistance (you might call it Medicaid) caseworker.
None of us know exactly how many welfare recipients are abusing the system, not even those of us in the business. And what is abuse? Is it fraud? There's plenty--PLENTY--of that. I have no reason to believe that it's any worse in my office than it is anywhere else. Is it people who are not trying to find a way out of poverty? Yeah, lots of that, too.

I’ve written and pontificated about the problem of government-created dependency and how the welfare state traps people in poverty.

I also shared this dramatic chart showing how redistribution programs create shockingly high implicit marginal tax rates for those with modest incomes.

But when a liberal writer for the New York Times basically comes to the same conclusion, that’s a sign that there may finally be some consensus about the...