Author Topic: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor  (Read 844 times)

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Online mystery-ak

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Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« on: September 24, 2013, 11:39:34 AM »
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/09/why-the-poor-dont-work-according-to-the-poor/279900/

Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
Few say it's because they can't find jobs. But is that a reason to take away their food stamps?
Jordan Weissmann Sep 23 2013, 4:26 PM ET


Conservative Republicans have officially made it their mission to end food stamps as we know them. Such was evident last week, when the House GOP voted to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps are now known, by $39 billion over a decade and begin bulking up its work requirements, along the lines of welfare reform in the 1990s.

Whether you believe this a good or humane idea probably boils down to your take on a single question: why don't the poor, who make up the overwhelming majority of food stamp recipients, go to work? In 2012, more than 26 million 18-to-64-year-old adults lived under the poverty line; about 15 million of them didn't have a job during the year. Is the economy to blame? Or are personal choices at fault?

If you're a liberal, your answer is probably pretty cut and dry, and these days likely involves the word "recession." But conservatives tend to take a different view. They argue that whereas unemployment among middle class families rises and falls with the health of the job market, poverty is shaped and fueled mostly by cultural forces, that the poor could work if they wanted, and that the safety net lulls them into indolence. One of their key data points on this front comes from the Census. Each year, the bureau asks jobless Americans why it is they've been out of work. And traditionally, a only a small percentage of impoverished adults actually say it's because they can't find employment, a point that New York University professor Lawrence Mead, one of the intellectual architects of welfare reform, made to Congress in recent testimony.

In 2007, for instance, 6.4 percent of adults who lived under the poverty line and didn't work in the past year said it was because they couldn't find a job. As of 2012, it had more than doubled, leaving it at a still-small 13.5 percent. By comparison, more than a quarter said they stayed home for family reasons and more than 30 percent cited a disability.



continued at link
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 12:19:55 PM by mystery-ak »

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Offline Olivia

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 12:02:13 PM »
Forget the charts and such.  We have built a segment of our society that is so dependent on our government that they will have to be led into jobs instead of trying to find one on their own.

It's not feasible to think of giving up their monthly checks, food card, low rent housing, supplement utilities and free health care for a JOB!!  It doesn't even make sense to me. 
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Online massadvj

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 12:02:36 PM »
Between the tax DISincentives and the benefit INCENTIVES the federal government is creating quite a robust underground economy.  Given how fraught with corruption the system is, I think the patriot could very well be the person who avoids the taxes and regulation by hiring his labor from the "below the radar" economy.  It appears to me that a guy who, say, rakes leaves at $5 an hour undeclared and gets food stamps, Medicaid and welfare for a couple of kids, is going to be way better off than a guy who takes a job at $10 an hour.  And who can blame him? 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 12:03:32 PM by massadvj »
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 02:26:19 PM »
Last hour a radio broadcaster on Fox said things are so booming in DC they are taking out the cement curbs and changing them to granite... said everywhere you look there is a building boom going on with our money.
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Offline Relic

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 02:26:48 PM »
Forget the charts and such.  We have built a segment of our society that is so dependent on our government that they will have to be led into jobs instead of trying to find one on their own.

It's not feasible to think of giving up their monthly checks, food card, low rent housing, supplement utilities and free health care for a JOB!!  It doesn't even make sense to me.

Just think how perfectly that fits into a communist utopian view of the world. Young minds, easily led and directed. Identify your plumbers at an early age, save on unnecessary schooling. Same for iron workers, electricians, etc. Give an aptitude test and tell the young person what they will do for a living. Little to no choice, the government in complete control. Ahhh, bliss, right?

Except for when you need self starters, entrepreneurs, creative engineers, visionaries, etc. That system has been shown to all but smother those things.

I guess utopia has a price?

Offline Relic

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 02:27:38 PM »
Last hour a radio broadcaster on Fox said things are so booming in DC they are taking out the cement curbs and changing them to granite... said everywhere you look there is a building boom going on with our money.

That is how it works, just before the fall of an empire, isn't it?

Online mountaineer

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 08:43:03 PM »
That is how it works, just before the fall of an empire, isn't it?
May as well gold plate the toilet down which this economy is going.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 09:41:03 PM »
Between the tax DISincentives and the benefit INCENTIVES the federal government is creating quite a robust underground economy.  Given how fraught with corruption the system is, I think the patriot could very well be the person who avoids the taxes and regulation by hiring his labor from the "below the radar" economy.  It appears to me that a guy who, say, rakes leaves at $5 an hour undeclared and gets food stamps, Medicaid and welfare for a couple of kids, is going to be way better off than a guy who takes a job at $10 an hour.  And who can blame him? 


I think you're right.

Offline EC

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Re: Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 04:34:45 PM »
There is another factor in play too - well two sides of the same coin.

Education and parenting.

For the college grads, they are tending more and more to think "Why should I be flipping burgers on minimum wage? I have a degree and want to work in my field. I'll live with Mom and Dad and claim bennies until a decent job comes along" I have a lot of 20 somethings on my FB feed and that seems to be an increasingly common sentiment among them over the last couple of years. We, as their parents, told them that they were better than flipping burgers and they believed us. (We in the general sense, not anyone here!)

For the uneducated, it seems to be more "Why bother? I'll never learn, never fit in in some fancy pants college and I couldn't afford to go anyway. So my choice is fighting with hundreds of others for the one job opening at Wendy's or staying home and being looked after." I got some sympathy for that - hell, even I felt that way. I was offered a place at Oxford and turned it down because no way was some gangly working class kid from the North ever going to fit in there!
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