December 6, 2013: Welfare is political. If you are a liberal or a progressive, compassion means giving people enough money and benefits to live without having to work. As a result, the welfare can take away all incentive and motivation to work. With such incentive gone, far too many welfare recipients become welfare-for-life victims, a type of welfare abuse.
If you are a conservative, on the other hand, compassion means providing only enough welfare to cover basic needs temporarily until the person can find another full-time job, work part-time, go back to school or get retrained. As former Premier Mike Harris used to say, the best social assistance is a job. Yet, his government was criticized for getting 100,000 people off welfare between 1995 and 1999.
Well, to hear what a welfare-for-life mindset sounds like, check out the video at Zero Hedge.com post at the end of November. A woman, in her early 30s, named Lucy, calls into KLBJ Radio, an Austin, Texas radio program, about welfare abuse. (H/T NewswatchCanada.ca) Right off the bat she says:
“…To all you workers out there preaching morality about those of us who live on welfare… can you really blame us? I get to sit around all day,
visit my friends, smoke weed.. and we are still gonna get paid, on time every month…”
In other words, the suckers in society are all those people who are working so she doesn’t have to. What do you say to a person like that? Lucy’s defence? She keeps saying that we would all do the same if someone called us up and offered us a free million dollars. The problem is, no one is ever going to do that. I mean, even if you win a lottery, you had to have purchased a ticket.
In any event, I found listening to Lucy very sad. She thinks she is free because she can do her hobbies and meet with her friends any time she wants. Yet, what happens when she has a family emergency and/or needs extra money so her children can attend a birthday party or go on a school trip?
The crux of the matter is, and where conservative politics comes in, to eliminate or reduce the welfare-for-life mindset, social assistance should not be so good that it takes away all incentive to work and the initiative to want to improve one’s life.
Endnote: On the type of conservative policies that would be empowering, check out this White Paper “Welfare to Work” by the Ontario PC Party.