Saturday, February 9, 2008

Welfare, Social Security - Thoughts on Government Programs

Private enterprise could help single mothers by lowering their prices after their taxes are eliminated. They could hire more single mothers, too. If we changed welfare from a handout program to one that paid for training opportunities, then it would be a much better program. Social Security should be something the younger generation should be allowed to opt out of. It has been one of the worst programs in history because it has taken money away from people, never invested it in anything to counteract inflation, and then handed it back after it was worth half what was taken. If we all had the same six percent back to invest how we choose (even if it was only in CD’s), we’d all be better off.

The statistics do show that private/non-profit aid to the needy reduced after welfare was implemented. They also show that crime increased dramatically after welfare was implemented. If welfare recipients were working – especially working hard – to receive their benefits, then it would encourage them to get off welfare. Imagine forming recipient groups that aided each other by some number working outside the home, some caring for children while their parents worked, and it all being coordinated in some fashion to help them all work to get off the dole. Would that not be an improvement?

Fiscal analysis is not necessarily cold-blooded. If you ask me to decide if I would rather someone else’s children have health care or mine do, the financial analyst in me says mine every time. So does the heart in me, but the numbers make sense on that, too. In any financial system where people do not take care of their own costs, the system breaks down because people are less encouraged to do more. The more money you take out of a working man’s pocket to give to someone else, the less encouragement he has to work.

For the record, I have no company health insurance. Over 20% of my paycheck goes to it each year, and I am the sole breadwinner. I do not want government health insurance because I know it would degrade the quality of care I get, which is already somewhat lacking at times. We need to implement the FairTax, pure and simple, and watch how encouraged businesses are to return to these shores – which would lower the costs of products simply by lowering the need of transportation. There are a lot of inefficiencies in the system thanks to the illogical corporate tax. I’m sure I’ve written quite enough here. My post tomorrow is all about how corporate taxes are the most regressive in America. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts.

-- Robert


Lawyer Mama said...

Well, thanks for the long reply! I'll have to read up more on your blog about your proposal to eliminate corporate taxes.

One suggestion for your blog - cite your sources whenever you can. People will take you more seriously and it makes it more likely your blog might get noticed by the mainstream media. It's all well and good to say that crime increased and private charitable assistance decreased after welfare was implemented, but that's not necessarily the cause. The U.S. welfare system was first created in 1935, during the Great Depression. It's not a stretch to say that crime would have dramatically increased anyway, or that private charitable assistance would have decreased considering the limits to which it was stretched in the first half of the 30's.

Your suggestions about reforming welfare are interesting because, in some states, that is what welfare looked like prior to "welfare reform." Now, I can't blame that solely on Republicans now can I? LOL. Some states found it actually cost less that way and resulted in more people being trained and educated. Welfare to work programs actually limited people's training and educational options in many cases.

In fact, I'm very good friends with a woman who managed to go to college with two small children prior to welfare reform. She's now a lawyer. (If you've never read her blog before, it's She's on kind of a hiatus because her husband has cancer, but she'll be back.) She's very blunt in admitting there's no way in h*ll she could have done it without welfare.

I agree that when some people don't pay their own way, everyone else's costs increase. However, there will always be some people in this country who simply can't pay their own way. Children and the disabled come first to mind, and then those who struggle for other reasons. Personal responsibility is a wonderful thing, but not everyone has the same opportunities in this country. In theory we all do, but not in actuality.

I realize that I have been blessed with a wonderful brain, good health, and great parents who emphasized what should be important to me. But I am sympathetic to those who don't have what I do and I don't mind paying a bit more in taxes to help even the playing field a bit.

Wow, so much to address, I'm not sure I can hit it all!

As for quality of health deteriorating with universal coverage. It is possible that rationing will occur, yes. It is already occurring, in effect. Some people have plenty of access, and those who can't afford it have none. The fact is that health care has advanced to such a degree that paying for everything that *can* help people will be cost prohibitive and perhaps not a wise use of limited resources. But that's an entire other ethical can of worms!

I wouldn't be surprised to see a two tier health care system develop here, similar to that in the U.K. Those who can afford private insurance and private care do so. Those who can't use NHS.

Now if Blogger eats this comment I will scream.

Robert said...

Lawyer mama, I again feel the need to post my reply as a general post instead of just a reply to you. I appreciate your advice on citing sources, and when I have more time to spend on this blog (not sure when that will be) I may seek out such sources to post here. For now, I prefer to voice my thoughts and observations as my own with only some homage being paid to other sources. If I can get more noticed by the media in the future, though, I just might like to work on improving that style.