MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

March 24, 2011

Is Welfare “Necessary”?

Recently MasterPo read a rather disturbing exchange on one of the forums over at Craigslist.

The topic was about young (often teenage, often unwed) mothers, either pregnant now or with infant/young children now, who by the nature of their situation are financially poor and have low prospects for significant improvement in their lives. At least for the nearer term. 10-15-20 years out who knows, but surviving to get to that point is the challenge/issue. As such, the debate was over the woman keeping the baby/child, placing it for adoption, or abortion.

A certain poster said the U.S. should follow the Australian model of keeping the family together at any cost. That, according to the poster (MasterPo has not been able to verify this), including significant financial support to the mother – welfare!

Another poster expressed strong disagreement at the idea of expanding welfare! Especially in light of making the State a substitute for the role of” family provider”.

In response to that comment, a third poster expressed agreement with the Australian model and added that quote “Welfare is not bad. In fact, it is a necessary part of our society.”

A “necessary part of our society”?!?!

While the opinions expressed on this Craiglist forum are in no way a scientific polling of American opinion (and frankly are very skewed opinions overall), MasterPo fears they may have stumbled on to a preeminent fact of 21st century American (world?) life – a permanent social group that is dependent on the State for all provisions – and this case, literally from the cradle!

Is this the America you knew and grew up in?
Is this the America you want your children growing up in?

An America where welfare is a “necessary part of our society”?

If this is so – and looking around it seems to be – then we are doomed as we have come to know and love America.

1 comment:

slugmama said...

First off, Generational Welfare has been around for many generations already. A group of people dependent on the govt. for support is nothing new. But is does seem to be growing out of control as each year passes.

While unwed mothers are NOT the whole reason for welfare, they are a large part of the need for it, since roughly 2/3 of those on welfare are children. I bet if you go back and look at welfare growth since the sexual revolution of the late '60's and the end of the stigma of a single women keeping and raising their babies, you'll see that welfare rose sharply.
And there has never been any kind of disincentive for being on welfare(beyond the stigma associated with it, which has not been enough to get the hardcore recipients off the rolls), nor has there been a realistic way yet to transition recipients off(who aren't motivated enough on their own to get off).

While William Galston's thoughts to avoid welfare(finish high school, don't have a child until you marry and don't marry until you are over 20)would go a long way to reducing the numbers of folks on welfare, we will always have those in our society who can't support themselves. Use to be that families generally took care of their own in this category but with the dissolution of multi-generational families either living together or in close proximity, the loss of respect and wisdom of our elders and the growing selfishness of individuals in our society along with the financial expectation of said persons(seeing their income as disposable toward fulfilling their wants rather than needs), we won't be heading toward a smaller welfare pool anytime soon.
Transitional phases to get welfare participants moved from full support to fully off the rolls have been tried in the past but none of these attempts have had long term success, since the support they provided didn't fully bridge recipients financially(ie-welfare recipent gets full health insurance for free, once employed ex-recipient has to pay for insurance and usually w/their salary can't afford or can't afford as good insurance as they had on welfare, so they have no incentive to work).

Sorry if I went off on my own personal screed