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Old 10-03-2019, 04:38 AM
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Aus Fed govt to bring in drug/alcohol testing for welfare recipients.


The ever-progressive Australian federal government (conservatives, called the Liberal Party) are seeking to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing for 'some' people in 'some' communities in order to kick them off Newstart, the unemployment benefit. The plan is to remove their living allowance and to get them into rehab in order to increase their employment prospects.

Here

Newstart is umpteen dollars under the poverty line, and most long-term recipients nowadays are people over the age of 55. People who have worked all their lives, have paid taxes, and are now redundant in their jobs or who might suffer significant medical issues are now considered scammers and drug addicts by default. Yet another way our New Government Orders are blaming the victims in order to deflect the blame for economic woes from themselves, yes?
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:11 AM
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The ever-progressive Australian federal government (conservatives, called the Liberal Party) are seeking to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing for 'some' people in 'some' communities in order to kick them off Newstart, the unemployment benefit. The plan is to remove their living allowance and to get them into rehab in order to increase their employment prospects.
What you say here doesn't seem to agree with the info in your link. Care to state it in a more accurate way?
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:05 AM
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The ever-progressive Australian federal government (conservatives, called the Liberal Party) are seeking to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing for 'some' people in 'some' communities in order to kick them off Newstart, the unemployment benefit. The plan is to remove their living allowance and to get them into rehab in order to increase their employment prospects.
...
There are right wingers here in the states that favor such an idea, too. Any way to make life rough on the less fortunate makes life better for them, I guess.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:25 AM
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"I just know those people over in East Texas are all meth heads on welfare. I can prove it, just drug test them and put them all in jail."



- My mom, who hasn't had a job since 1993. That's the year BEFORE Live's Throwing Copper album came out.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:26 AM
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The ever-progressive Australian federal government (conservatives, called the Liberal Party)
Wait, what? What are the actual liberals called, then?
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:55 AM
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Serious question. I know that conservatives make a lot of assumptions about the poor (and frankly, so do liberals.)

Is there a welfare officer or social worker or somebody that works with a particular group of recipients of benefits? If that person worked with the people one on one at least at some point? Maybe that person might be a better arbiter of who needs a drug test.

I used to work in a version of governmental benefits (financial aid) and I could tell right away who was geeked out on meth, who was shooting stuff in their veins, it was pretty obvious for a few of my clients. I wouldn't say that I could tell who was using drugs off and on, but you could tell generally who was in some sort of drug crisis when its happening two feet in front of you in a tiny office.

I could slow roll their benefits to an extent, but I wouldn't do it on my own volition or judgement, I involved a superior to do it. Giving someone that is nodding in and off in your office two thousand dollars cash all of a sudden could very well kill them. I had several students die on me over the years right after their refund checks came in the mail and they took the cash to their dealer and OD'ed. To be honest, that job fucked me up a bit.

I have to be honest though, my motivation for slow rolling benefits (I can't deny anything you could qualify for) and the efforts to "drug test the welfare people" here lately seem to be coming from different places.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:02 AM
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Wait, what? What are the actual liberals called, then?
'Liberal' in the American sense isn't really as much of a thing here. The big left-wing party is Labor - ie, old-fashioned trade-unionists, though they've gone a bit more managerial/'new-Labour'-ish in the last couple of decades. Progressive-SJW-left are the Greens.

More info on the plan here btw.

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Five thousand new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) in the three trial sites will be randomly selected to take a drug test. Those who test positive to an illicit drug will be placed on income management for two years.

Recipients who test positive to the first test will be asked to take another test within 25 working days. If they test positive again at that time, or at any time during the two-year income management period, they will be referred to a Department of Human Services’ contracted medical professional who can recommend treatment activities. If treatment is recommended, it will form part of the recipient’s Job Plan.

If a recipient refuses to take a drug test the Department will cancel their payment. Recipients who test positive to second or subsequent tests will be required to repay the cost of the test.
"So that they can kick them off Newstart" is ... certainly not an interpretation that's going out of its way to be charitable. But there are plenty of very likely pathways there for people to lose access to their benefits (bolded in my quote) and the well-known rubbishness of Centerlink in its core business of helping people look for jobs doesn't inspire confidence that they can do particularly well at the new task of helping people kick drug habits.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:08 AM
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...Maybe that person might be a better arbiter of who needs a drug test.

....
People who work in the stock market. And roofers. Those guys, whoo-boy!
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:10 AM
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It's just a way to be cruel to people that you feel morally superior to. First of all, it may not be fiscally responsibility. If you spend more on the testing than you gain by kicking drug users off the rolls, you're wasting money. I think a lot of people have a visceral hatred for the poor and would love to see them all starve, drug testing gives them a rationale for condemning many of them to death. Finally, what about the children of drug users? Do we say, "sorry but your mommy smoked a joint. No food for you!"?
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:15 AM
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Oh, and this is all happening in the middle of the Robodebt Scandal which is a great showcase in itself for Centerlink incompetence. Maybe don't give 'em any more jobs to do until they've shown they can do their current ones without bollixing it up
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:25 AM
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And who's the lucky drug testing lab owner who's buddy with the Liberal movers, then ?
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:27 AM
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That's exactly how it goes when they pull that shit here.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:40 AM
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Well obviously. Whenever a useless but costly measure is enacted, it's always a case of showering public money on friends (or yourself) in a slightly convoluted way that nevertheless looks a little more distinguished than the old fake job trick and doesn't require keeping two sets of books.

In this case, two seconds of thought is enough to realize that the number of people whose life is so fucked up by drugs/booze they can't possibly find a job but are still functional and connected to society enough that they're able to go through the soul-sucking bureaucratic hoops and checks and forms 27-B (notarized, triplicate) necessary to get welfare in the first place is minuscule ; certainly not a percentage high enough to force everyone to get regularly tested. That, in short, the amount of public money "mooched" by any "undeserving" druggie schemer pales in comparison with the costs of any large scale drug testing boondoggle.
But of course, saving money was never the point. Even shitting on the poor isn't really the point, although that's often a welcome by-product. The point is always to put someone's hand in your pocket - because surely they deserve public welfare, what with already being rich and connected and all.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:04 AM
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Alcohol testing. Jesus. Is there a lot you can prove by establishing a person hasn't had anything to drink in the last couple of hours?

As Kobal has pointed out, there is zero chance that the cost of the government testing people would not be more than the money saved by kicking people off welfare. What's hilarious about this is that the same people who want to do this sort of thing are the people who will tell you the government can't do anything right when they're discussing almost anything else.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:14 PM
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Most people on unemployment won't be on drugs so it won't effect them. Those that are on drugs are either recreational users or drug addicts. The recreational users can stop until they get a new job after their first positive test. The addicts need help and this would be a good way to identify them and get them some help.
There are probably better ways to identify drug addicts and help them but this has the added benefit of allowing the public to have more faith that unemployment money is being used to help people and not harm them.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:32 PM
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Alcohol testing. Jesus. Is there a lot you can prove by establishing a person hasn't had anything to drink in the last couple of hours?
I don't think you find out much about the people who can abstain from alcohol for a couple of hours. You find out more about the people who can't.
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there is zero chance that the cost of the government testing people would not be more than the money saved by kicking people off welfare.
They don't get their benefits cut unless they refuse the test.
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Those who test positive to an illicit drug will be placed on income management for two years.

Recipients who test positive to the first test will be asked to take another test within 25 working days. If they test positive again at that time, or at any time during the two-year income management period, they will be referred to a Department of Human Servicesí contracted medical professional who can recommend treatment activities. If treatment is recommended, it will form part of the recipientís Job Plan.

If a recipient refuses to take a drug test the Department will cancel their payment. Recipients who test positive to second or subsequent tests will be required to repay the cost of the test.
Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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Most people on unemployment won't be on drugs so it won't effect them.
Except for the shame and implicit Othering of having to get regularly drug tested, and the costs involved in being drug tested (if only in travel & time).

A propos of nothing, back in the Middle Ages and contrary to popular opinion feudal lords didn't really tax their peasants all that much as it got people angry over little and there wasn't much money to be made there anyway (there were other extortionate ways to squeeze them, of course). If you read tax ordinances you see things like "half a chicken on the 5th of March, half a bucket of wheat on the 12th of April, a wheel of cheese on Saint Whatever's Day" etc...
The point of these multitude of small taxes spread out year-long wasn't to accumulate wealth. But by forcing peasants to regularly go to the lord's manor to deliver these pissant tributes, they were constantly being reminded of their place in society, and how little they were as persons.

Why do I tell you this bit of historical trivia ? No reason whatsoever, I'm sure.

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The addicts need help and this would be a good way to identify them and get them some help.
From experience, you cannot possibly force or coerce an addict (or a depressive person for that matter) into getting better. It's a decision that has to come from within, because the people kicking you in the butt to get you into rehab or a clinic or wherever won't be kicking it every day of every month for the rest of your life. Only the addict can do that to themselves. And to do that they need to want it, and to remember why they want it. Every day. "Because otherwise I'll get in trouble" is shit motivation.
And if/when they do want it, help is usually piss easy to come by.

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but this has the added benefit of allowing the public to have more faith that unemployment money is being used to help people and not harm them.
Fuck the public.

Last edited by Kobal2; 10-03-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:45 PM
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Money is fungible. If anyone gives them money, drug addicts will likely spend it on drugs.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:47 PM
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There are probably better ways to identify drug addicts and help them but this has the added benefit of allowing the public to have more faith that unemployment money is being used to help people and not harm them.
As a Floridian, let me educate the people of Australia: unless your government is smarter than our (admittedly Republican) government, you shouldn't have faith that drug testing unemployment compensation recipients is accomplishing anything (other than stigmatizing the poor).

TLDR version: Florida tried testing welfare recipients in 2011, and discovered that it cost the state money even though we made the testees pay for the tests (also it was unconstitutional).
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:50 PM
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Except for the shame and implicit Othering of having to get regularly drug tested, and the costs involved in being drug tested (if only in travel & time).

A propos of nothing, back in the Middle Ages and contrary to popular opinion feudal lords didn't really tax their peasants all that much as it got people angry over little and there wasn't much money to be made there anyway (there were other extortionate ways to squeeze them, of course). If you read tax ordinances you see things like "half a chicken on the 5th of March, half a bucket of wheat on the 12th of April, a wheel of cheese on Saint Whatever's Day" etc...
The point of these multitude of small taxes spread out year-long wasn't to accumulate wealth. But by forcing peasants to regularly go to the lord's manor to deliver these pissant tributes, they were constantly being reminded of their place in society, and how little they were as persons.

Why do I tell you this bit of historical trivia ? No reason whatsoever, I'm sure.



From experience, you cannot possibly force or coerce an addict (or a depressive person for that matter) into getting better. It's a decision that has to come from within, because the people kicking you in the butt to get you into rehab or a clinic or wherever won't be kicking it every day of every month for the rest of your life. Only the addict can do that to themselves. And to do that they need to want it, and to remember why they want it. Every day. "Because otherwise I'll get in trouble" is shit motivation.
And if/when they do want it, help is usually piss easy to come by.



Fuck the public.
I donít see how you can reconcile making a demand on people collectively referred to as the public and the public not being allowed to make a counter or conditional demand.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:07 PM
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What demand ? Welfare is provided by the public because it's in the public's best interest, both selfish (because you might lose your job tomorrow and you'll be happy to have a safety net to tide you over if that happens) and also in a more meta- sense because helping the poorest get back into society and being productive and yadda yadda (or, yes, even just letting them keep on living while doing nothing whatsoever with their days) absolutely beats them turning to crime & robbery because they have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:09 PM
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What demand ? Welfare is provided by the public because it's in the public's best interest, both selfish (because you might lose your job tomorrow and you'll be happy to have a safety net to tide you over if that happens) and also in a more meta- sense because helping the poorest get back into society and being productive and yadda yadda (or, yes, even just letting them keep on living while doing nothing whatsoever with their days) absolutely beats them turning to crime & robbery because they have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Ok. No disagreement from me on that. I still donít see why the public canít make reasonable conditions for receiving certain benefits.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:12 PM
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Ok. No disagreement from me on that. I still donít see why the public canít make reasonable conditions for receiving certain benefits.
And what do you tell the kids who won't be getting fed because mommy failed a drug test?
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:55 PM
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And what do you tell the kids who won't be getting fed because mommy failed a drug test?
Tell them that mommy didn't fail the drug test. She refused to take it. (See my previous cite for the conditions for the test.)

I don't know how to explain that mommy would rather not get any money at all, than be put on an income management program or go thru treatment as part of her job plan. They would have to ask mommy.

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Old 10-03-2019, 02:01 PM
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Ok. No disagreement from me on that. I still donít see why the public canít make reasonable conditions for receiving certain benefits.
Perhaps the argument against this line of thinking is because government has to act as a fiduciary to the tax money of the citizens, and since it costs more money than it saves, it shouldn't do it.

I'm on the fence about drug testing for other reasons, mainly because they are shit for catching people doing most drugs except for pot. And with the advent of legalized pot and hemp products that contain legal amounts of THC in them, pot tests are about worthless these days anyway. Most of the nasty stuff gets purged out yo' body really quickly.

I knew of people that were doing meth and coke (and crimes) whilst on drug tested probation. They knew when they had to "pee clean" and would never fail, even through they were on probation for crimes while committed under the influence of meth and cocaine. Funny how law enforcement charged with the safety of the public fucks this up on a daily basis, yet we want to apply this to innocent children. I mean most children have little to do with their economic status, or the drug tests of someone else which are likely to do not much good in the first place.

I think people feel like there is some CSI shit going on, but most urinalysis tests are really garbage. And administered by a for profit company. Wealth redistribution best I ever heard.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:05 PM
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Tell them that mommy didn't fail the drug test. She refused to take it. (See my previous cite for the conditions for the test.)

I don't know how to explain that mommy would rather not get any money at all, than be put on an income management program or go thru treatment as part of her job plan. They would have to ask mommy.

Regards,
Shodan
Would you support an increase on your taxes (and everyone's taxes) to offset the additional money spent to cover this? Apparently this costs more than it saves the tax payer, so the money has to come somewhere. It would seem to me that you want to agree to less benefits for everyone that qualifies because you want to use some of that money to make sure you see who is on drugs, knowing that the tests that will be used (they always seem to be urinalysis) are pretty garbage and aren't useful to determine who is on the scary drugs you are really worried about?
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:09 PM
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Tell them that mommy didn't fail the drug test. She refused to take it. (See my previous cite for the conditions for the test.)

I don't know how to explain that mommy would rather not get any money at all, than be put on an income management program or go thru treatment as part of her job plan. They would have to ask mommy.

Regards,
Shodan
So you're cool that children will die because their parents refuse a drug test. Got it.

This is a good litmus test for conservative vs liberal. Liberals will tolerate one cheat in order to help fifty truly needy people. Conservatives are perfectly happy refusing to help fifty truly needy in order to punish one cheat.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:11 PM
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Newstart is umpteen dollars under the poverty line, and most long-term recipients nowadays are people over the age of 55. People who have worked all their lives, have paid taxes, and are now redundant in their jobs or who might suffer significant medical issues are now considered scammers and drug addicts by default. Yet another way our New Government Orders are blaming the victims in order to deflect the blame for economic woes from themselves, yes?
Watch out, you're starting to sound like red-state America....
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:46 PM
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So you're cool that children will die because their parents refuse a drug test. Got it.

This is a good litmus test for conservative vs liberal. Liberals will tolerate one cheat in order to help fifty truly needy people. Conservatives are perfectly happy refusing to help fifty truly needy in order to punish one cheat.
I had no idea that mass starvation was such a problem in Australia.

But if the mother says "my children will die if I don't take a drug test, but it's worth it" I think the children have bigger problems than can be addressed with a welfare check.

YMMV.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:13 AM
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I had no idea that mass starvation was such a problem in Australia.

But if the mother says "my children will die if I don't take a drug test, but it's worth it" I think the children have bigger problems than can be addressed with a welfare check.
You'd have to imagine that the sort of parent who would do such a thing is the sort of parent who would also choose their drug of choice over food for the kids and so they are already in a terrible situation. If someone is in the grip of such a debilitating addiction to that extent then I think there is a point at which state/societal intervention is required.

Not sure what the best course of action is though.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:08 AM
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... Apparently this costs more than it saves the tax payer, so the money has to come somewhere. ...
Here's what you do, you take the money that you save from not helping those that fail/refuse and you use that money to pay for the tests! Sure, it's a net zero, but in the end we get to fuck over poor people!
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:21 AM
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You'd have to imagine that the sort of parent who would do such a thing is the sort of parent who would also choose their drug of choice over food for the kids and so they are already in a terrible situation. If someone is in the grip of such a debilitating addiction to that extent then I think there is a point at which state/societal intervention is required.
I think you are correct - a mother so addicted that she would rather spend her money on drugs than on feeding her children is not a worthy parent, to say the least. That's kind of the point of the income management program - dole the money out piecemeal and pay for rent and food first.

So Drug Addict Mommy can refuse the test, and then she doesn't get any welfare money to spend on drugs, or fail the drug test and go on the income management program and then DAM has less money to spend on drugs and her children have at least a chance of being fed and housed. But DAM prefers no money to less money for drugs and more to feed her children. "Societal intervention" in the form of just giving her the money anyway and then she spends it on drugs is not what is required, IMO. Take her children away? I don't know, but in the extreme condition that BobLibDem suggests, where mommy would rather feed her habit than her children, I would hope that is considered as an option. In less extreme situations? Fuck you, DAM - your children are more important than drugs. Get used to the idea.
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Not sure what the best course of action is though.
I don't think that non-voluntary drug treatment works any better in Australia than it does anywhere else. So maybe even pressuring welfare recipients into treatment isn't going to help either. Neither is continuing to fund mommy's drug habit without conditions - that's enabling.

Maybe this program will help. Probably it won't - substance abuse and chronic poverty have no reliable, large-scale solutions. But this notion that the Aussies can't do anything but hand over the welfare because children will starve otherwise is kind of silly. If you are so addicted to drugs (or stupid) that you would rather do without the money than take the test, then you are so addicted to drugs (or stupid) that your children are screwed anyway.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:03 AM
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Ok. No disagreement from me on that. I still donít see why the public canít make reasonable conditions for receiving certain benefits.
Keyword being "reasonable".
Forcing everyone to take a piss test every so often on the off chance that maybe they're junkies (because the poor are like that, dontcherknow) is offensive on top of being a waste of money - and even IF it were a feel-good, get-them-help measure (which it isn't), it wouldn't help because coercion is no solution. Putting drug addicts under financial monitoring or kicking them off welfare won't get them off drugs - at best it'll teach them to either scam piss tests, or find other ways to get drug money which may or may not involve taking shit wot weren't nailed down. Drug addiction is not a convenience you can just turn off - and 99% of the time serious drug addiction is merely the symptom or mask for much deeper, complicated issues anyway.

So these "conditions" are useless to address the problem which they purport to (which is either "helping addicts" or "kicking them dirty moochers off mah tax teat !"), put more burdens on the shoulders of *all* of the poor, and ultimately only benefit drug labs (and the people drug labs kick money back to, natch). These are not reasonable, period.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:01 AM
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What demand ? Welfare is provided by the public because it's in the public's best interest, both selfish (because you might lose your job tomorrow and you'll be happy to have a safety net to tide you over if that happens) and also in a more meta- sense because helping the poorest get back into society and being productive and yadda yadda (or, yes, even just letting them keep on living while doing nothing whatsoever with their days) absolutely beats them turning to crime & robbery because they have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Sounds like a damn good reason to send addicts to rehab, to me. They get healthier, they get into a position where they can support themselves and work, and they'll be far less likely to resort to crime to feed their habits. It's a win/win for the individuals and for society, just like welfare as a whole is.

In fact, provide proper rehab and addiction treatment for anyone who needs it, not just those on benefits, as should be done with all health care.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:04 AM
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Drug testing catches mainly potheads, who by and large are not addicts that require treatment.
  #36  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Steophan View Post
Sounds like a damn good reason to send addicts to rehab, to me. They get healthier, they get into a position where they can support themselves and work, and they'll be far less likely to resort to crime to feed their habits. It's a win/win for the individuals and for society, just like welfare as a whole is.

In fact, provide proper rehab and addiction treatment for anyone who needs it, not just those on benefits, as should be done with all health care.
As I said before, rehab can only work if the person actually, truly, deeply wants to kick their demons. Not all addicts do, and fewer even trust themselves to be able to (which leads them to self-sabotage).
If it is imposed without that will to get better, it will feel like something to be avoided and cheated and pretended and scammed. Freedom from addiction is like any freedom - it can be sought and it can be conquered, but it cannot be given, much less forced upon.

ETA : that being said, I do agree with you that every inch of help should be extended to those who express a want or need for it.

Last edited by Kobal2; 10-04-2019 at 10:45 AM.
  #37  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
So you're cool that children will die because their parents refuse a drug test. Got it.

This is a good litmus test for conservative vs liberal. Liberals will tolerate one cheat in order to help fifty truly needy people. Conservatives are perfectly happy refusing to help fifty truly needy in order to punish one cheat.
Why is it okay for kids to be raised with drug addicts for parents? Drug addicts are neglectful, dangerous, unstable, and desperate for money. Some of them may even try to pimp their children out to fund their drug addiction.
Why would liberals be okay with children being raped for drug money instead of sending poor people to free rehab?
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
As I said before, rehab can only work if the person actually, truly, deeply wants to kick their demons. Not all addicts do, and fewer even trust themselves to be able to (which leads them to self-sabotage).
If it is imposed without that will to get better, it will feel like something to be avoided and cheated and pretended and scammed. Freedom from addiction is like any freedom - it can be sought and it can be conquered, but it cannot be given, much less forced upon.

ETA : that being said, I do agree with you that every inch of help should be extended to those who express a want or need for it.
Some studies have shown that coerced rehab works as well or better than voluntary rehab.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Some studies have shown that coerced rehab works as well or better than voluntary rehab.
You can find "some studies" for anything. And even the one you cite:

Quote:
Their review provides support for the dictum that legally referred clients do as well or better than voluntary clients in and after treatment. The review also reveals some divergence in findings.
So "maybe it does, and maybe it doesn't, we can't really tell". Academics in a nutshell (not that it's a bad thing, mind you)
  #40  
Old 10-04-2019, 02:58 PM
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I think you are correct - a mother so addicted that she would rather spend her money on drugs than on feeding her children is not a worthy parent, to say the least. That's kind of the point of the income management program - dole the money out piecemeal and pay for rent and food first.
Based on my experience with drug addicts (I worked in the rehab field for four years) that's not going to work, either. Someone so addicted to drugs that they'll put them ahead of food is not going improve with money handed out on an "income management" program. Hell, if you just gave them boxed meals instead of money they'd by trying to find a way to sell those boxed meals for money for drugs.

The problem is, even locking such a person up and forcing treatment isn't going to have much, if any, effect. You'll have a temporarily sober addict who will, upon release, immediately go to their drug of choice again.

You can lock anyone up away from drugs and get them "clean" in a physical sense of not having drugs in their system, but that doesn't actually cure addiction. Until the addict WANTS to get better, and is willing to put in some hard work, they aren't going to get clean or stay clean.

After four years of working at a clinic I don't have an easy answer for any of this. Even among those willing to work at the process, some people will get better on their first round of treatment, most will require multiple attempts prior to success, and some are just never going to get better ever.

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
So Drug Addict Mommy can refuse the test, and then she doesn't get any welfare money to spend on drugs, or fail the drug test and go on the income management program and then DAM has less money to spend on drugs and her children have at least a chance of being fed and housed.
Yeah, I just hope Drug Addicted Parent (why are you assuming it's always a mother involved in drugs...?) doesn't decide to start farming the kids out sex toys in order to obtain money. Doesn't happen every time... but it does happen. Or the kids, being hungry, start knocking on neighbors' doors and asking for food. Or even both.

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Take her children away? I don't know, but in the extreme condition that BobLibDem suggests, where mommy would rather feed her habit than her children, I would hope that is considered as an option.
This will probably shock some who consider me a liberal, but I do want that option on the table. Hell, I have actually helped to write letters to judges saying PLEASE TAKE THIS PERSON'S KID(S) AWAY BEFORE ANY MORE KIDS DIE IN THAT HOME. There are some people who should not be permitted access to children, even their own, and once more stop focusing on just mothers, ANY relative in the home could be involved in this sort of horror.

If a woman can't drop her pimping/neglectful/abusive boyfriend/husband/baby-daddy/whatever for her children's safety then take the children away because they're in danger. An adult can make stupid life choices for their own selves, but they don't have the right to jeopardize kids. Ditto for parents that can't do the same for their own addicted/abusive/neglectful parents/kids' grandparent, or aunts/uncles, or "family friend" crashing on the couch or in the spare room.

After reading coroner's reports (because the paperwork at the clinic was my job) about kids hung by mama, or scaled to death by dad, or rented out as a fuck toy, or about how some deviant and his buddies thought it would be hilarious to shoot up an eight year old with heroin and watch... you start asking why "parents' rights" seem to outweigh the best interests of children so goddamned often, and you stop believing fairy tales that somehow a biological/genetic relationship magically means the adult in this sordid situation is going to actually give a damn about another human being (some of those adults clearly don't even give a damn about themselves).

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
In less extreme situations? Fuck you, DAM - your children are more important than drugs. Get used to the idea.
In complete contrast to the above... there actually ARE addicts that can put their kids first, or at least function as minimally competent parents. They aren't great parents, but they are competent. I've seen pregnant addicts in treatment actually give up drugs for the remainder of their pregnancy for the sake of their baby... and then relapse within less than a day once they've given birth because while they'll do it for their baby they won't stay clean for themselves. I've seen long-term addicts who managed to raise kids that stayed in school, went to college, and became sober, professional-class adults. Definitely I'm in favor of offering support and assistance to those folks, because behaving well enough to keep their kids can be a big motivator for them. It can work. It doesn't always work (there is NO drug treatment technique that works all the time, far from it), but I feel it's worth the attempt because some of those crowd are going to get better. If the parents are able to take care of the kids then the kids should stay with them (but yeah, checking in from time to time might be a really good idea).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
I don't think that non-voluntary drug treatment works any better in Australia than it does anywhere else. So maybe even pressuring welfare recipients into treatment isn't going to help either. Neither is continuing to fund mommy's drug habit without conditions - that's enabling.
If mummy is that far gone she's going to find something besides just public aid to pay for the drugs because illicit drugs are expensive.

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Maybe this program will help. Probably it won't - substance abuse and chronic poverty have no reliable, large-scale solutions.
It would help if people remembered that while there is overlap between the two groups they are not the same group. Plenty of lifetime sober poor people, plenty of wealthy drug addicts (although they don't always stay wealthy give how much of it goes up their nose/in their veins/whatever).

The experience in Florida was that the cost of the testing vastly outweighed any benefit in finding addicts (a handful at most). So it was discontinued. I am not aware of any place where testing the poor for drugs did anyone any good, other than benefit the companies doing the testing.

Really, you'd be better off testing the folks on Wall Street (or another nation's equivalent), celebrities, and politicians. No doubt you'd find more than a few addicts there - the difference being they can afford lawyers as well as drugs, at least as long as they remain "functional" addicts able to keep up appearances, which is a lot easier when you have money. When the money is all gone they are, of course, just as pathetic, desperate, despicable, etc. as those who started poor.
  #41  
Old 10-04-2019, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Why is it okay for kids to be raised with drug addicts for parents? Drug addicts are neglectful, dangerous, unstable, and desperate for money. Some of them may even try to pimp their children out to fund their drug addiction.
Why would liberals be okay with children being raped for drug money instead of sending poor people to free rehab?
Not all drug addicts are equally bad. Some are able to suppress their habit on a temporary basis which enables them to be responsible in some ways. Examples include alcoholics are nonetheless able to get to work on time every day and hold down a job. People who "only" do drugs on the weekend, or after they get home for the day.

So yes, there are some so depraved as to pimp their kids... but not all of them are like that. Those that are able to act responsibly despite their addiction should be helped and encouraged - among other reasons, those are the folks with enough self-control to have a chance at driving their condition into remission long term. Which is something we would all like to see.
  #42  
Old 10-04-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
... Yeah, I just hope Drug Addicted Parent (why are you assuming it's always a mother involved in drugs...?) ...

... once more stop focusing on just mothers, ANY relative in the home could be involved in this sort of horror. ...
The mommy references came from this post:

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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
And what do you tell the kids who won't be getting fed because mommy failed a drug test?
You're barking up the wrong tree by calling out Shodan for making it about "mommy".
  #43  
Old 10-04-2019, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bobot View Post
There are right wingers here in the states that favor such an idea, too. Any way to make life rough on the less fortunate makes life better for them, I guess.
Hey, you know how right wingers love them some zero-sum politics. Well drug supplies are no exception!
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