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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Random Question

If you are a person who does not believe in government "handouts" if need be, would you still accept them? Say for example, you were in the depths of despair, with no end in sight, would you go on welfare or use food stamps etc?

An interesting discussion popped up the other night and I was just curious. It would seem kind of contradictory to me if you did accept them, especially for those who are so vocal about how wrong it is to begin with but, with no other option in sight, one might not have a choice, I suppose.


Wayne said...

I think those programs can be a huge help to people at times. The problem seems to be that people who need "a Little help" to get them through a rough spot can't get that help because there are to many people who use it to live on. Some need it and some don't. I think the whole system needs an overhaul. I think the single mother who works but can't afford rent and daycare both should be able to get help. Say Daycare vouchers. Instead they will tell people to quit there job and just give them money. Its silly and it creates a welfare class of people. It just seems it would be cheaper and better to help people who are helping themselfs then to give money away.

Deb said...

I suppose that depends on whether you actually get to opt out of paying taxes, or if you just disapprove. It doesn't make one a hypocrite to take one's own money back if one is in need of it.

really, there are so many possible variables here I couldn't possibly give you a more coherent answer than that.

Jay said...

What she said.

It's not just about the taking when you need it. It's about the having it stolen from you in the first place so that it can be given out. If you can steal money from me to give to people who need it more than me, less a bureaucracy tax, why would I not accept my own money back?

And at that, only as an absolute last resort, because of the aforementioned bureaucracy, which exacts at least as much of a psychic overhead as monetary one.

Sharon said...

Let me try this again...my own comment didn't post. Anyway, I hadn't thought it about that way before. Technically it is your money to begin with, so that makes sense. I guess it just aggravates me when the system is abused.

The Dew's said...

I would take it YES, if i had to. I am against the people who abuse the system for example my ex sis in law on welfare getting child support sporting gold and a new set of boobs. THAT angers me.

But we had a situation where MASSHEALTH wouldnt let us off when we didtn need it. I told them LOOK we have adequate insurance, give ours to SOMEONE who needs it. They insisted we stay on. Finally i stopped filling out forms and after 2 years YES 2 they removed us.

But for some reason we ever needed welfare or Masshealth again, YES i would take it. I am not to proud to get help from state (PATHETIC ONE WE LIVE IN) for our survivial.

Jay said...

Damn right! It's the abuse that is the main complain most of the time when people grouse about welfare types of things.

I was in my most libertarian phase when I was in college... Bridgewater State College, so I felt guilty about it. The thing is, you work with what IS and try to make it better, and if you're going to be paying taxes that help fund the college you're going to, well, nothing to guilt about.

In a way the various welfare/helping programs are a natural extension of how humanity developed. Your family helped each other. Your tribe or clan or village helped each other. Nothing wrong with that, especially to the extent it's voluntary, and it's at a local enough level where you are going to know who is who and who needs what and have control over who gets what part of the deer you just went out and bagged on today's hunt.

Abuse comes in part from it being less local, and from having people whose jobs depend on people getting benefits. Someone who would happily collect for life and get more money for each kid pumped out - an abuse you don't hear much about anymore but that was rampant - gets encouraged, rather than getting encouraged toward something better. For that matter, enough of a mass of people relying on money handed out by politicians create a political constituency to be bought, and maintained in size. Welfare reform was possible in part because of a strong economy and smaller relative constituency on the receiving end.

Anyway, it's a good question, but I call it half of a good question, since there's the money in as well as the money out to consider, as well as the finer points.

If we abolished all government handouts, would everyone who truly needs it have enough help? Not if you didn't also reduce taxes that fund the handouts, but even then people are so generous that it might be significantly covered.

Okay, back to work on this computer...