Posts tagged ‘Government’

July 30, 2011

Quote of the Day II

by Vince

“Drawing upon modern Catholic social thought and the work of Thomas Aquinas’ political thinking, the goal of law and political authority is to serve, enhance, and protect the common good of society …  It is perhaps ironic – or tragic – that the common good is the one element that seems to be missing from the current national debate.  This seems to be due to the fact that the ideology that holds the most momentum right now in our political system – and hence that controls the terms of our debate – is the far-right ideology represented most vocally by the tea-party movement (but engaged by others as well).

This ideology, rather than upholding the common good as the end and goal of government and law, sees government as the very source of the problem.  Therefore, those who propound this ideology are seizing upon this moment of debate over government spending, taxation and revenue creation, and the debt ceiling as an opportunity to starve government at its source by cutting off its supply of money.  Some of the more extreme elements seem entirely willing to let the whole system come to a crashing halt rather than think about long-term solutions that seek to protect the common good of all involved.” –Thomas Bushlack on common good and if Jesus would raise the debt ceiling.

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July 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

Republican candidate for president Gary Johnson.

March 26, 2011

Mailbag

by Vince

A reader responded via Facebook to the question(s) of the weekend:

It always seems like they like to take some industry currently heavily restricted by government regulation, find some way that it’s flawed, and mark it off as a failure of the free market, and evidence that the industry needs more government intervention. Postal Service, Education, Hospitals, Banks, Automobiles, Health Insurance. These are things that started out private, and became crippled by regulation. Then they swooped in and said “oh look, it’s not functioning. The free market could never provide that functionality, so let’s have the gov’t provide it” usually shortly accompanied by entirely outlawing private industry in that sector.

January 8, 2011

Weekend Reading

by Vince

I have been out all day, was out last night for a holiday party, and haven’t had any desire to check my Reader. Here are some links for reading from the past day:

Is it OK to cheer for Michael Vick?

A man in the town I went to college was arrested and received 8 taser jolts.

The ACLU hones in on efforts to alter the 14th amendment.

December 18, 2010

‘I’m Self Reliant’

by Vince

Good for you, you privileged white twit. If you grew up with a skin color that granted you, at most, a 6th grade education or on average $10,000 less spent per pupil than your predominantly white suburban schools, ‘separate but equal’ facilities, and unequal voting rights, would you still be oh so independent and not want big government to step in to help make changes?

Who am I kidding? If I ever had the chance to ask her, she would conduct her normal verbal gymnastics and avoid answering the question in a straightforward manner.

October 11, 2010

Reax to the Question of the Week

by Vince

You can still email me your answers at vgiordano at gmail dot com. The question was:

Why do some see it necessary, to the point of passing laws, for life to be protected in relevance to abortion but seem anti-life with supporting wars, capital punishment, and loathing government acting as safety nets for those down and out and in need of nourishment and support?

One reader responded:

It’s called JUSTICE.

You’re comparing apples and oranges to ask why “pro-life” individuals may or may not see anything wrong with capital punishment.  Capital punishment is exactly that, punishment.  It is the government’s effort to administer justice for wrong doing, where abortion is “capital punishment” to babies who have done no wrong.

Now, the second part of your question is a little insulting.  You make it sound as if everyone who is pro-life is against the government lending a hand to those in need.
I’m certainly not against an organized system in place in our governement that allows for fiscal aid/support to be given to the “down and out and in need of nourishment and support?”  However, the system currently in place is corrupt and abused and in need of serious reform.  My mom currently works for “Head Start” a notorious government-funded organization.  She tells me of the 65in flat screen TV in some of the homes she visits. Homes of non-disabled, non-working parents whose children are receiving free meals and childcare. Am I not allowed to be upset about that??

You are also mixing church and state.  You either must come from a viewpoint that says “We are one nation under God, founded on Judeo-Christian principles and values, which are to guide our governing and law-making, using the already established Constitution as a basis for law and justice”  OR “we are a nation ruled by humans, with no influence from religion, God, the Bible, or the church, and relying on none other than our own understanding, judgment and humanistic common sense.” That’s basically it.

Of course I have some harsh words of my own for the wimpy, apathetic, selfish, non-Jesus-like Church of today, but all I can do is MY part. And I’m doing my part to BE Jesus to those I meet, and BE the Church by involving myself in community organizations and efforts to reach out, and by trying to find/vote for leaders who have a worldview as much like the “one-nation-under-God” one as possible.
And as for the pro-life stance differing from issue to issue….  Read your Bible.  You’ll find that Justice, as it relates to crime and punishment, is biblical.  Murder, as it relates to the killing of the unborn, irrefutably not biblical.

2 verses I’ve probably quoted to you before:
Isaiah 1:16b-17
Stop doing wrong,
learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress
and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

October 7, 2010

Hard Times: Theocrat Responses

by Vince

First off, I will admit that it is much easier for me to post complaints or gripes with fringe religious groups and not post any positive, guiding words. Let me make an effort on this post.

Bryan Fischer and Newt Gingrich, the first with religious mumbo jumbo and the second via political attacks, keeps the theocratic march going.

Fischer:

Last month, firefighters in Obion County, Tennessee watched a home burn to the ground because the homeowner had failed to pay a $75 fee to receive fire protection from the city of South Fulton.

The fire department did the right and Christian thing. The right thing, by the way, is also the Christian thing, because there can be no difference between the two. The right thing to do will always be the Christian thing to do, and the Christian thing to do will always be the right thing to do.

If I somehow think the right thing to do is not the Christian thing to do, then I am either confused about what is right or confused about Christianity, or both.

In this case, critics of the fire department are confused both about right and wrong and about Christianity. And it is because they have fallen prey to a weakened, feminized version of Christianity that is only about softer virtues such as compassion and not in any part about the muscular Christian virtues of individual responsibility and accountability.

This story illustrates the fundamental difference between a sappy, secularist worldview, which unfortunately too many Christians have adopted, and the mature, robust Judeo-Christian worldview which made America the strongest and most prosperous nation in the world. The secularist wants to excuse and even reward irresponsibility, which eventually makes everybody less safe and less prosperous. A Christian worldview rewards responsibility and stresses individual responsibility and accountability, which in the end makes everybody more safe and more prosperous.

Newt Gingrich, advising the 2012 GOP to vilify food stamps and use it as a weapon against the Democrats:

It’s a bit out of left field. Most of the election cycle has centered on rich people and their tax cuts rather than poor people and their food-assistance programs. But there’s a very obvious reason why Gingrich wants to frame the issue this way: food stamp usage has historically gone up with Democrats in office, and down when Republicans were in charge. Frame it like that, and it looks as though Dems are the welfare-state-loving socialists and Republicans are the patriotic capitalists.

Republicans have long struggled to shake the image of the party of wealthy white folks, but belittling food stamps seems a curious strategy to regain the GOP’s identity. That kind of rhetoric might play well with those Tea Partiers who can afford to jet to Washington for a political rally to restore conservativism. But those of them who can’t–the ones who receive food stamps–probably won’t be flattered by the argument.

First with Newt, I don’t know if he wants to outlaw them completely. That wouldn’t happen anyway but it is good his party is proposing some policy ideas even if they are unrealistic.

Second with Fischer, it sounds as if he has taken a very strong stance towards life from a few Old Testament texts out of context (?).

Both seem to stand on a form of self responsibility which everyone in one distinct shape or another is truly striving after. It must be noted that the capitalistic ways of the white GOP can act, and have in the past, as suppressing tools against the poor, further preventing them to rise out of poverty. Many inner cities have been abandoned after industrial industries moved south then over seas. This cyclical (in cycles) issue is inter connected. Many of these pressures on inner city “food stamp usin'” denizens are not on the shoulders or hanging around the necks of the Grand Old Party. I see these harsh circumstances as making inner city families flustered, forcing them to survive and feed themselves and their kids in a more frantic way than most are use to. In the end, the problems with urban families and struggling children are not fully the blame of the schools nor the families. These neighborhoods have been forgotten and continue to be jested about in the media without any medium between programs and hands on work.

I hope Newt and Fischer can see this video:

September 26, 2010

“Our Silence Sends Our Voices To The World”

by Vince

Once you get past Iran and its progressing nuclear program, its missiles, its connections to Hezbollah, its ambiguous and dangerous leadership, and its connection some see to the Rapture, you have the above video. I watched it at first and didn’t know what it meant. Its translation is here:

Tomorrow is Saturday. Tomorrow is a day of destiny.
Tonight, the cries of Allah-o Akbar are heard louder and louder than the nights before.
Where is this place? Where is this place where every door is closed? Where is this place where people are simply calling God? Where is this place where the sound of Allah-o Akbar gets louder and louder?
I wait every night to see if the sounds will get louder and whether the number increases. It shakes me. I wonder if God is shaken.
Where is this place that where so many innocent people are entrapped? Where is this place where no one comes to our aid? Where is this place that only with our silence we are sending our voices to the world? Where is this place that the young shed blood and then people go and pray — standing on that same blood and pray. Where is this place where the citizens are called vagrants?
Where is this place? You want me to tell you? This place is Iran. The homeland of you and me.
This place is Iran.

Watching a video like this will send you in one direction. Reading these tweets or viewing these pictures with captions sends you in another completely opposite direction.

We can’t continue to see and view others in broad brush strokes. More so, this surpasses Islam and pervades every other religion, ethnicity, and aspect of life. It would be ignorant of me to think of my friend who is Jewish as a cookie cut identical to the last Jew I met, in his thinking, his religious views, and his politics. This world is too complex, our thoughts are so vast and deep (everyone is included here, not just the educated), and our issues are so deep that we can’t settle for cutting ourselves short in discourse with others and our own thinking. This all goes beyond mid term voting, 2012 general elections, and politics. This is life. And the one manning the camera above, speaking in private, has no voice but to speak into a camera. Their voice is against the tyranny of their Islamic Republic. And we think all of those crying out Allah Akbar are about to kill themselves and others. Let’s get real.

September 25, 2010

The GOP’s “Pledge to America”

by Vince

The Grand Old Party is anticipating itself controlling the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. In that case, they have a list of demands. I wish I could download it. It sent me through some scam Facebook application. If someone can get a direct link to download this .pdf, shoot me a copy via email.

There are no details of who wrote this document. It is rather short (21 pages), but that is the practicalness of the GOP; they hated that the Dems had 1,000+ page documents that they and their three lawyers still couldn’t fully read or “understand”.

After reading it, I believe that it has the same tone as the rest of the Tea Party / fringe conservatives. I will fas forward to the National Security page (pg 19 and on). Lets begin with noting their tone:

And we will never apologize for advancing the cause of freedom and democracy around the world, nor will we abandon our historic role in lifting up those who struggle to receive the blessings of liberty.

American Exceptionalism at any cost, no matter what. The Dems have their larger government and the GOP has their larger military. The latter seems to forget that.

Here are their promises:

Pass Clean Troop Funding Bills: When asked to provide our troops with the resources they need, we will do so without delay. That means no more troop funding bills held up by unrelated policy changes, or extraneous domestic spending and pork-barrel projects.

Is that really really possible? To me, it sounds of the chant, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war.” The military gets anything they want, even if there is question of whether we can execute and “win” a war, find WMDs, or repeating the quagmire in Vietnam.

Demand an Overarching Detention Policy: Foreign terrorists do not have the same rights as American citizens, nor do they have more rights than U.S. military personnel.We will work to ensure foreign terrorists, such as the 9/11 conspirators, are tried in military, not civilian, court.We will oppose all efforts
to force our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel operating overseas to extend “Miranda Rights” to foreign terrorists.

Rich right wing hubris is dripping from the above paragraph. Lets try them in military courts that have convicted far far far fewer terrorists than civilian courts. Where is the love that Jesus talked about in this document?

The next were proposed for Congress:

We will fight to ensure transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout government.

You didn’t do this with the torturing of enemy combattents in Gitmo, nor were you transparent with the growth of the security state.

We will continue to fight the growth of government and oppose new stimulus spending that only puts our nation further into debt.

Under George W. Bush, your party began the stimulus bail out that you so loath.

We will fight efforts to fund the costly new health care law.

Between 1995 and 2007, the GOP had control of two houses. Where was your plan then?

We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain.

Iraq war, oil, and the Bush family?

Now for more of their proposed spending cuts.

With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt. We will also establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending from this point forward. We will launch a sustained effort to stem the relentless growth in government that has occurred over the past decade.By cutting Congress’ budget, imposing a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees, and reviewing every current government program to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs, we can curb Washington’s irresponsible spending habits and reduce the size of government, while still fulfilling our necessary obligations.

As Andrew Sullivan notes, “without tackling entitlements, none of this matters a jot.” Here are some final reactions that sum up my thoughts and others on this document:

Sullivan:

Given the gravity of the debt crisis, this is the most fiscally irresponsible document ever offered by the GOP. It is to the far right of Reagan, who raised taxes and eventually cut defense, and helped reform social security to ensure its longterm viability. It is an act of vandalism against the fiscal balance of the US, and in this global economic climate, a recipe for a double-dip recession and default. It is the opposite of responsible conservatism.

Nick Gillespie:

1. For much of, oh, the past decade, the GOP has been staggeringly incompetent in defining themselves as the party of small government. Their standard-bearer, George W. Bush, managed to jack up total federal outlays 104 percent over his predecessor in eight short years, and he either signed off on or strong-armed all sorts of big-government projects through both Republican and Democratic majorities (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Prescription Drugs, McCain-Feingold, Sarbanes-Oxley, endless war supplemental spending bills, TARP, auto bailouts, etc.).

Outside the Beltway:

Adhering to the Constitution: This is another one that’s popular among the Tea Party crowd, but which is also pretty much meaningless. A rule requiring Congress to cite the Constitutional authority for an specific bill isn’t going to stop Congress from acting. For most legislation, all they’ll have to do it cite to the Commerce Clause, the General Welfare Clause, or theNecessary and Proper Clause and their job is done. Thanks to a century or more of  Supreme Court jurisprudence, there is very little that the Congress wants to do that it can’t do under the Constitution as that document is currently interpreted.

Erik Erickson:

Yes, yes, it is full of mom tested, kid approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity. But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high. It is dreck — dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter… Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten.

Jonathan Bernstein:

[W]hat really struck me as I went through it the first time was the foreign policy section, which is…how should I say this…amateurish and pathetic.  What’s the current Republican foreign policy?  Stripping out the immigration stuff from that section of the document, what remains is (1) Gitmo; (2) Missile defense; and (3) threatening Iran.  That’s it.  Iraq and Afghanistan are referred to once, in passing.  There’s nothing at all about what the United States should do in those nations.  Nothing about Pakistan.  Nothing about Russia, or China (China at least gets one mention, in the context of the deficit).  Nothing about Europe. The rest of the world?  Obviously not.

Kevin Sullivan:

[W]ith all of the huffing and puffing we have heard – and indeed continue to hear – from conservatives about Obama’s “appeasement” of Iran, are these same critics thus satisfied by a short and simple pledge to enforce “tough sanctions against Iran”? I believe this demonstrates just how easy it is to be one of the two main political party on the outs in the United States. Ideological rigidity, or, in the specific case of Iran, radical statements about preparing for a regime change, make for good soundbites and exchanges on the Sunday morning shows, but they don’t resemble, as far as I can tell, the actual Republican plan for governance regarding the Islamic Republic – and that’s a good thing. All this could change, of course, in 2012 …

Adam Serwer:

There’s one bright spot in the GOP’s “pledge.” No where are their any promises, euphemistic or otherwise, to ensure that torturous “enhanced interrogation techniques” are used again. Although having attacked Obama for months over ending torture, it begs the question of why, if torture is so important to national security, Republicans haven’t put it in their policy platform. It’s almost as if they were willing to lionize torture just to make the administration look bad.

Steven Taylor:

To be honest, this document is designed to make GOP base voters happy, which is fine as far as that goes.  It is, after all, a campaign pamphlet (granted, a long one).  It is not, however, a real blueprint for policy.  Instead it amounts to pledges for themes popular with the base:   tax cuts, vague spending cuts, repeal of health care reform, and symbolic (not to mention bogus) promises to read bills and ensure their constitutionality.

Plus more here and here, first on health care and second on fiscal responsibility.

September 8, 2010

Do Not Attempt to “Run the World”

by Vince

Nick Gillespie from ReasonTV interviewed an ecumenical crew of Honor Rally attenders.

The attenders t-shirts and posters/banners were priceless. The inarticulateness of the attenders (and most Tea Partiers) grievances and complaints continues to be legion, unfortunately. Emotion alone cannot forge a revolution without a legitimate plan.

In the end, everyone will have their say as to what religious standing the founding fathers stood on. Some say that they all were Christians and founded this country strictly under Judeo-Christian ideals while others may say they ranged from deists (Thomas Jefferson – see his view of the Gospels) to devout Christians.

Cropped version of Thomas Jefferson, painted b...

Image via Wikipedia

This directs us into religion in the public square. If our founding fathers were such staunch Christians, then we should we able to pray anywhere we want or put crosses on soldiers graves (regardless if they are Christians or not). Opposite of that, if all of the founders were not Bible thumpers, if they founded our country on religious freedom explicitly to not be a Christian nation, then we may need to send this in a different (non-Christianist) direction. Two quotes sum up my thoughts on this.

In some ways, they are proto-libertarian: they want the government to spend less money and they seemed wary of interventions into basic economic exchange (nobody seemed to dig ObamaCare or the auto bailouts or the bank bailouts). But they also want the government to be super-effective in securing the borders, they worry about an undocumented fall in morals, and they are emphatic that genuine religiosity should be a feature of the public square. Which is to say, like most American voters, they may well want from government precisely the things that it really can’t deliver, says Nick Gillepsie in regards to the Honor Rally.

We are in a fallen world that dominates government and culture in ways that are not of our Father. It is not a Christian community’s repsonbility to govern a world that we do not belong to; fight in wars that are in direct opposition to Jesus’ peaceful, nonviolent approach; or reign over a government we are not part of.
For Jesus and his followers, the central question was, How do we live faithfully to God? The central question was not How do we run the world as Christians? How do I run this profit-driven corporation as a Christian? How can we make culture more Christian? How would a responsible Christian run this war? But Jesus taught that his followers – or even the Son of God! – should not attempt to “run the world”. [p.167 Jesus for President, p.89 Love is an Orientation].

August 27, 2010

Libertarianism and Living in a Cabin

by Vince

Timothy B. Lee delves into the irony of living in the woods to get away from the long arm of the government:

The question of whether the advantages of freedom (in the “leave me alone” sense) outweigh the benefits of living in large urban areas is not a theoretical one. If all you care about is avoiding the long arm of the law, that’s actually pretty easy to do. Buy a cabin in the woods in Wyoming and the government will pretty much leave you alone. Pick a job that allows you to deal in cash and you can probably get away without filing a tax return. In reality, hardly anyone does this. To the contrary, people have been leaving rural areas for high-tax, high-regulation cities for decades.

Almost no one’s goal in life is to maximize their liberty in this abstract sense. Rather, liberty is valuable because it enables us to achieve other goals, like raising a family, having a successful career, making friends, and so forth. To achieve those kinds of goals, you pretty much have to live near other people, conform to social norms, and make long-term investments. And people who live close together for long periods of time need a system of mechanisms for resolving disputes, which is to say they need a government.

This reminds me of Andrew Jackson and can be found in many Conservative ideologies. First off, it is important to note that it is folly to think that rural denizens are free from the long arm of Washington. I talked to a dairy farmer while on vacation in Maine and he mentioned that he may have to go out of businesses because of the milk industry is almost dead. This is obviously an effect of supply and demand economics mixed with fuel changes (see ethanol). Politics is leavened all within that quagmire.

The irony comes out in seeing this ideology come full circle. Possessing freedom and the ability to make any decision you want is not full freedom. Making choices that free you, as opposed to bind you up, marks true freedom. The “log cabin in the wood” ideology is relatively similar.

Freedom and liberty are fully enjoyed when with others. Community forms together individuals and their own traits. As Lee mentions, our goals cannot be fully achieved on our own. Few families are able to grow up in a log cabin completely cut off from the world. It is not wrong to want to ditch the world and hide out in a cabin for a few weeks. That is what vacation spots and summer getaways are for. But I feel that the inner desire underneath this is a desire to get beyond this world.

Many of us get sick with different aspects of life. Sick of paying for high car or health insurance premiums that you most likely never actually use unless in an emergency? Sick of the acquaintances, friendships, and relationships in your life being only on the surface level and not authentic? Sick of hypocritical and illogical institutions (greedy corporations, unloving churches, messy politics, et al)? The list of things we are all sick of in the world could go on forever.

Some see their desire to get away from the world as rooted in a “don’t tread on me” approach, bitter usually over ballooning bureaucracy and losing your money to the IRS. Whatever your reason, it comes down to ultimately the world’s inability to fully satisfy us. C.S. Lewis sums this up quite well, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Is that ever a question that is asked? One ideological side may respond that there is much work to be done to change our world, to bring it up too speed and help humanity. The other side may say that the world too needs to change, but that will come through us reverting back to our roots (usually constitutional roots of 18th century America). It too is folly to think solely in an American exceptionalism frame of mind, that our founding fathers were perfect and the best men on earth, hence we should emulate them. I wonder if that includes riding horses, wearing wigs, and having sex with our female slaves?

The answer to all of this is that there are no easy or clear answers. That is not what the media wants to report to you because you may think after all of this that that was a waste of time. I insert the third way approach to this situation: we have work to do that can take us forward all the while looking back. We need to see our limits in what can be done on earth but letting our consciences remain a strong voice in our lives to yearn for change, for reconciliation, even if that may be called naive. That little voice inside you saying how fed up you are with life may in fact be a call for you to seek a type of redemption that should always begin with love.

July 5, 2010

Visuals: The Least Free Places on Earth

by Vince


FP has a special, above is Somalia:

The Somali state has virtually ceased to exist. Technically, the country is governed by the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government, but its actual control is minimal. There are no effective political parties, and the political process is driven largely by clan loyalty. Here, residents of Mogadishu cheer as they watch a bulldozer seized from government forces by the al-Shabaab rebels.

July 4, 2010

Revolution within the Constitution

by Vince

Morgan Meis discusses part of the Constitution detailing the abolishing of a destructive government by the people. This could be what the Tea Party thinks of:

In essence, it argues that the American people have a right to make up a new form of government, of whatever sort they like, any time the old forms of government seem like they aren’t working. Needless to say, this is an incredibly bold and incredibly dangerous proposition to put forth. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the document, was — along with his colleagues — perfectly aware that he was opening a massive can of worms with this principle of revolution and self-rule.

That’s why the next sentence in the Declaration comes right in to qualify the situation, to dampen down the radical impact of these thoughts. Jefferson writes, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” We have a right to abolish any government and to establish a new one under any principles we fancy, but it is a right that only a fool would actually exercise.

July 2, 2010

Addressing the Stigma of Gov. Handouts

by Vince

The new Citizen Cohn blog puts out a great piece addressing the myth that government handouts make people lazy:

In fact, a 1990 study of unemployment benefits by Lawrence Katz and David Meyer suggested as much: They found a significant link between how long people could receive payments and how long people stayed unemployed. (For each five to six weeks of extra benefits, people would stay unemployed one additional week.) Katz and Meyer also noticed that people stopped being unemployed at the same time as their benefits ran out—proof, it would seem, the more generous benefits encourage people to stay jobless.

But subsequent research showed otherwise. A 2007 study from David Card, Raj Chetty, and Andrea Weber took a closer look at what happens to people when their unemployment benefits run out. They don’t magically find jobs, it turns out. Rather, they simply stop submitting the information that would cause the government to count them as unemployed.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, there are about five job-seekers for every job opening right now. In December 2007, when the recession officially began, there were only two job-seekers per opening.

I don’t have a full belief on this yet beyond knowing that it is not a cut and dry situation. No ones case is black and white and in each case we need to reflect on the stigmas WE BRING to each into the discussion (e.g.- every person on welfare sits around and is lazy, every person on welfare buys luxuries they don’t need, every person on welfare needs to be shunned and not trusted, and the list goes on).
I was able to attend a Poverty Simulation almost 2 weeks ago in my area. We were given a name, a family, and a life situation. Many of us had little to no education, typically 1 of us had a job for the whole family, lines were long to pay bills, transportation and food costs were high,  stress was heavy, and we didn’t think one bit about stopping to care for each other; we were focused on how we could pay our bills or steal from each other to make that happen (others found it ordinary to skip work to go take care of other things).