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Old 02-10-2018, 10:35 PM
thatbpguy thatbpguy is offline
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How About This To "End" Welfare

This is certainly not a new idea and is being practiced in various ways around the world. The idea is to take all the money spent on every form of "welfare" and disperse it monthly to every person in the country. But this means food stamps, medicare, housing money..... are all gone. You get your monthly allotment and that's that. Now, to be sure it should be prorated for various reasons but it eliminates all fraud... You can be a drug addict, homeless, try and be achiever... and that check rolls in every month.

I like the idea.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:39 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Medicare is not fucking welfare.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:53 PM
Mijin Mijin is online now
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I don't think you can call this an "idea" at this point (even with the caveat that it's not new).
This is a very common topic of discussion right now here on the Dope and in wider society.

In my own view, a basic income makes a lot of sense, especially as society possibly transitions into a phase where productivity is sky-high but finding things for everyone to do is temporarily difficult.
But there are a few wrinkles, so rolling out such a plan is not so simple:

1. A basic income would probably mean a huge drop for some people. e.g. someone with a severe disability. Or someone living in an expensive city and receiving housing allowance right now. So either you never completely eliminate welfare, or you throw some people under the bus.
2. Obviously it still needs to be worthwhile to do even low-paid work if you can find it, otherwise you might unnecessarily decrease employment.
3. The biggest obstacle for places like the US is culture. The OP seems to tacitly agree that welfare is a bad thing / a dirty word.
Well, how do you think a basic income will be considered? It will be much worse. It will be depicted as prying money out of the hands of some hard-working mother of 3 who works two jobs, and giving it to some ethnic minority to buy drugs and watch TV all day.

Last edited by Mijin; 02-10-2018 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:56 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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How about we stop the nonsense and just help people in need?

The bible commands us to feed the hungry, heal the sick, etcetera. At no point does the bible say "but the government shouldn't do this". It also doesn't say that only churches should do this, or only private individuals.

If you're not a Christian (or other allegedly compassionate religion) and you're just a reasonable, compassionate Human being, then don't participate in trying to stop the one force we have in society - that exists for the management of our society, from doing what we as a modern society need it to do.

If you want to end welfare cheating, then increase the enforcement budget, to find the cheaters and get them out of the system. You don't do it by hurting everyone else out of some strange angry posturing.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:44 PM
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Any discussion of "welfare" is meaningless until you actually define it, complete with each government program listed and the amounts. Then state why you want these programs cut, and how you wish to account for meeting humane needs now that the money is gone.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:11 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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Originally Posted by thatbpguy View Post
This is certainly not a new idea and is being practiced in various ways around the world. The idea is to take all the money spent on every form of "welfare" and disperse it monthly to every person in the country. But this means food stamps, medicare, housing money..... are all gone. You get your monthly allotment and that's that. Now, to be sure it should be prorated for various reasons but it eliminates all fraud... You can be a drug addict, homeless, try and be achiever... and that check rolls in every month.

I like the idea.
There's no way society is going to say "tough shit, guess you'll just have to be homeless / starve" to all the people that waste their UBI on beer and smokes / Nikes / heroine.
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:08 AM
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The bible commands us to feed the hungry, heal the sick, etcetera. At no point does the bible say "but the government shouldn't do this". It also doesn't say that only churches should do this, or only private individuals.
Name one parable where a government official did those things with government money. Name one time where anybody even hinted that it was the government's responsibility to do such things.
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:23 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Sounds vaguely like universal basic income.

In the US, we spend maybe ~2.5 trillion a year on various forms of welfare (if you include health care programs like medicaid, medicare, SCHIP, etc as welfare).

That works out to about $8000 a year per person.

It sounds like a bad idea, because when people are elderly they collect on average about 30k a year in social security and medicare. They collect very little the rest of their lives. You are just taking the money they collect in the final 15-20 years of life and dispersing it over the entire 80 years.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 02-11-2018 at 01:24 AM.
  #9  
Old 02-11-2018, 01:55 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Name one parable where a government official did those things with government money. Name one time where anybody even hinted that it was the government's responsibility to do such things.
Name one parable where the government is prohibited from helping people in the manner Chimera describes.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:18 AM
Mijin Mijin is online now
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Name one parable where a government official did those things with government money. Name one time where anybody even hinted that it was the government's responsibility to do such things.
A lot of features of the modern world are not mentioned in the bible.

So, for someone inclined to follow such a religion, there's a degree of interpretation in deriving what the actual principle was and applying it to the modern world.

Which seems more charitable? Living in a country with progressive taxation, where the sick get the care they need and the poor are given help to improve their lives, or one where the rich get to keep more of their money so they can buy muscle cars and retire earlier to the golf course? To me, this is one of the easier "What would Jesus do?" questions.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:00 AM
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Love this 10 second Craig T Nelson rant (you probably know the one):
https://youtu.be/yTwpBLzxe4U

Freakonomics podcast does have an episode about the universal income thing (I don't really remember it, but you might want to check it out)

There's no one way to do things that will be "fair". There are plenty of ways to do things that are unfair.l
And I totally agree it's not possible to come up with a universal definition of welfare.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:08 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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HThe bible commands us to feed the hungry, heal the sick, etcetera. At no point does the bible say "but the government shouldn't do this". It also doesn't say that only churches should do this, or only private individuals.
In general the bible and all major religious texts are terrible models for organising society. Best to to keep them out of it when considering what a modern society should/should not be.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:50 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
There's no way society is going to say "tough shit, guess you'll just have to be homeless / starve" to all the people that waste their UBI on beer and smokes / Nikes / heroine.
I demand that heroines be rewarded! I don't consider that money a waste at all! And Nike was the personification of heroines! Even better!

Smokey the Bear is a pretty good guy, too!
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:27 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
In general the bible and all major religious texts are terrible models for organising society. Best to to keep them out of it when considering what a modern society should/should not be.
I would agree, but you have people like Flyer, above, who hide behind the bible to declare that government has no business doing such things.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:50 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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Originally Posted by thatbpguy View Post
This is certainly not a new idea and is being practiced in various ways around the world. The idea is to take all the money spent on every form of "welfare" and disperse it monthly to every person in the country. But this means food stamps, medicare, housing money..... are all gone. You get your monthly allotment and that's that. Now, to be sure it should be prorated for various reasons but it eliminates all fraud... You can be a drug addict, homeless, try and be achiever... and that check rolls in every month.

I like the idea.
The Universal Basic Income, which is what you're suggesting, is regularly discussed, often, on the SDMB.

It would be wasteful to give it to everyone, though. Writing universal-basic-income checks to people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would be an unnecessary drain on the system.

Finally, it might be astronomically expensive. Suppose everyone gets $25,000 US a year, which in many places in America wouldn't even be enough to make ends meet. With 323 million people in the United States, that's $8 trillion a year. That vastly dwarfs what we spend on Medicare, welfare, Social Security, etc. every year, combined.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:03 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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The Universal Basic Income, which is what you're suggesting, is regularly discussed, often, on the SDMB.

It would be wasteful to give it to everyone, though. Writing universal-basic-income checks to people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would be an unnecessary drain on the system.

Finally, it might be astronomically expensive. Suppose everyone gets $25,000 US a year, which in many places in America wouldn't even be enough to make ends meet. With 323 million people in the United States, that's $8 trillion a year. That vastly dwarfs what we spend on Medicare, welfare, Social Security, etc. every year, combined.
How about this? (numbers just for illustration)
30,000 max UBI
If you make 25,000, you get 5,000 to bring you up. If you only make 15,000, you get 15,000. Maybe for declared household add 15,000 for one(extra) adult and 10,000 per child.
There should be area adjustments. Even SF or NYC need cashiers, waitstaff, janitors, all those low wage jobs.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:07 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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It would be wasteful to give it to everyone, though. Writing universal-basic-income checks to people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would be an unnecessary drain on the system.
It would be even more wasteful to not give it to them. If everyone gets UBI, then you write checks to everyone, and you're done. If only some people get UBI, then you have to have people working to figure out who those people should be, and looking for people who shouldn't be getting it but are, either because of mistakes or because they're cheating the system, and if they are cheating the system then you need more people to track down those people who are cheating the system and bring them to justice, and so on. Plus, suppose you have someone who's just barely below whatever cutoff you set, who's trying to decide whether to work a little bit harder to make a little bit more money: If they make enough more that their UBI gets cut off, then they'll actually take home less, and nobody wants to work harder to take home less money, and we also don't want a system which incentivizes people not to work harder.

It's much easier all around to just make it truly universal. If you're worried about fairness for Gates and Trump, that should be baked into the higher taxes that they pay, and if it's not, then that's a problem with the tax system, not with UBI.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:22 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
There's no way society is going to say "tough shit, guess you'll just have to be homeless / starve" to all the people that waste their UBI on beer and smokes / Nikes / heroine.
That's why UBI is less interesting than "the government provides 10 heated square meters, a bed, a TV, healthcare and as much NutriPaste(tm) as you can put away ; every day, for the rest of your life - anything further you gotta work for".
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:26 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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That's why UBI is less interesting than "the government provides 10 heated square meters, a bed, a TV, healthcare and as much NutriPaste(tm) as you can put away ; every day, for the rest of your life - anything further you gotta work for".
This is probably more realistic I'd guess.

Small studio apartments, basic food and health care. Not a bad life by any means, but probably something that only costs a few hundred a month to provide (other than the health care).
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:37 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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The other side of that coin is what happens in bad times, or under oppressive governments.

Look at North Korea. Basic apartments and really low levels of food provided, but you have to be party members, yada yada to get more. You also get drafted on a regular basis to harvest crops, work in the countryside, etc. And you're expected to come up with "gifts" to the leaders or military on top of that, out of your misery pay.

Given the "make these people work" requirements that Republicans want to put on welfare and basic assistance, do we really want the government to be able to mandate those sorts of forced labor things on the poor, on people receiving guaranteed basic income? Because I guarantee that would happen, even here.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:46 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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How about this? (numbers just for illustration)
30,000 max UBI
If you make 25,000, you get 5,000 to bring you up. If you only make 15,000, you get 15,000. Maybe for declared household add 15,000 for one(extra) adult and 10,000 per child.
There should be area adjustments. Even SF or NYC need cashiers, waitstaff, janitors, all those low wage jobs.
Then this is a real work-incentive-killer.

Suppose someone works a really laborious, menial job, and makes $27,000 a year. They'll get $3,000 UBI to bring them up to $30,000.

Why would they keep working that job when they could just quit on the spot and receive a $30,000 UBI check every year, for doing no work whatsoever?

(Assuming I'm understanding your plan correctly.)
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:55 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Then this is a real work-incentive-killer.

Suppose someone works a really laborious, menial job, and makes $27,000 a year. They'll get $3,000 UBI to bring them up to $30,000.

Why would they keep working that job when they could just quit on the spot and receive a $30,000 UBI check every year, for doing no work whatsoever?

(Assuming I'm understanding your plan correctly.)
Some people will still work.
Besides, with ever increasing automation, there will be more and more people for whom there is no job.
Say a grocery store puts in self serve lanes and fires nine of their ten cashiers. The one remaining watches over the self serve. What do the other nine do? Is cashiering the level of job they can do or can any be retrained? What about the ones who don't have the education or are too old?
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:03 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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That's why UBI is less interesting than "the government provides 10 heated square meters, a bed, a TV, healthcare and as much NutriPaste(tm) as you can put away ; every day, for the rest of your life - anything further you gotta work for".
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This is probably more realistic I'd guess.

Small studio apartments, basic food and health care. Not a bad life by any means, but probably something that only costs a few hundred a month to provide (other than the health care).
That's the safety net that I would have the most support for. Keeps you healthy, safe, and living with dignity, but no luxuries, and maybe you are left just a bit uncomfortable.

Socialism is the best way to make sure that everyone is able to get the resources they need to survive, but capitalism is still far superior to allocate resources to those who are willing to work harder to fulfill their wants.

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The other side of that coin is what happens in bad times, or under oppressive governments.

Look at North Korea. Basic apartments and really low levels of food provided, but you have to be party members, yada yada to get more. You also get drafted on a regular basis to harvest crops, work in the countryside, etc. And you're expected to come up with "gifts" to the leaders or military on top of that, out of your misery pay.

Given the "make these people work" requirements that Republicans want to put on welfare and basic assistance, do we really want the government to be able to mandate those sorts of forced labor things on the poor, on people receiving guaranteed basic income? Because I guarantee that would happen, even here.
The idea is that in such a system, there isn't enough work for everyone to do. If there isn't enough work for everyone to do, then requiring people to find work to do in order to survive doesn't really work out too well. In such a system, there also is no work to force people to do.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:05 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Is cashiering the level of job they can do or can any be retrained? What about the ones who don't have the education or are too old?
What education are you talking about? Cashiering doesn't even require a high school diploma.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:09 PM
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Medicare is not fucking welfare.
Given that at least for the current generation they will get tons more out than they ever paid in, and our generation will get less than we paid in, it is certainly at the very least an unearned intergenerational transfer of wealth.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:12 PM
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Given that at least for the current generation they will get tons more out than they ever paid in, and our generation will get less than we paid in, it is certainly at the very least an unearned intergenerational transfer of wealth.
Obviously, you know shit about Medicare.
It's no more welfare that any other insurance. And the co-pays without Medicare supplemental plans would bankrupt near anyone.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:17 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Obviously, you know shit about Medicare.
Obviously, you know shit about Medicare. Most people receive more benefits than they pay in.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisco.../#1a17fd806bdd
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:24 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Obviously, you know shit about Medicare. Most people receive more benefits than they pay in.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisco.../#1a17fd806bdd
I think I'll ignore that link. He claims Medicare costs of 105 trillion yet the link shows some sort of debt clock. Current Medicare liabilities are under 28 billion with no indication of where the 105 trillion figure came from.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:25 PM
adaher adaher is offline
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Obviously, you know shit about Medicare.
It's no more welfare that any other insurance. And the co-pays without Medicare supplemental plans would bankrupt near anyone.
it is heavily subsidized insurance, subsidized by workers out of our paychecks.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:28 PM
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it is heavily subsidized insurance, subsidized by workers out of our paychecks.
So is all insurance.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:31 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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So is all insurance.
All insurance is not subsidized out of our paychecks. Try again.

And ignoring legit links just makes you look silly.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:38 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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This is certainly not a new idea and is being practiced in various ways around the world. The idea is to take all the money spent on every form of "welfare" and disperse it monthly to every person in the country. But this means food stamps, medicare, housing money..... are all gone. You get your monthly allotment and that's that. Now, to be sure it should be prorated for various reasons but it eliminates all fraud... You can be a drug addict, homeless, try and be achiever... and that check rolls in every month.

I like the idea.
Leaving out that which isn't in any way welfare, I have two questions:
1. How much do you think each person would get, and
2. Why should Bill Gates, the Koch Brothers and Oprah Winfrey get this money?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:41 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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There's no way society is going to say "tough shit, guess you'll just have to be homeless / starve" to all the people that waste their UBI on beer and smokes / Nikes / heroine.
Along with all the corporations getting "incentives," of course, that wind up going into stock options for board members and C*Os.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:42 PM
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Sounds vaguely like universal basic income.

In the US, we spend maybe ~2.5 trillion a year on various forms of welfare (if you include health care programs like medicaid, medicare, SCHIP, etc as welfare).

That works out to about $8000 a year per person.

It sounds like a bad idea, because when people are elderly they collect on average about 30k a year in social security and medicare. They collect very little the rest of their lives. You are just taking the money they collect in the final 15-20 years of life and dispersing it over the entire 80 years.
If there's a means test, it probably would be closer to $2,000 per person.

I like the idea.

We can still have private and religious charity. I'm just speaking about government payouts.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:44 PM
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Leaving out that which isn't in any way welfare, I have two questions:
1. How much do you think each person would get, and
2. Why should Bill Gates, the Koch Brothers and Oprah Winfrey get this money?
As I said, a means tests is applied.

For those who have it in them to try and achieve, they will get little to none. For those who can't, or won't, they get their check and that's it. That's all the government will do for them.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:49 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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As I said, a means tests is applied.

For those who have it in them to try and achieve, they will get little to none. For those who can't, or won't, they get their check and that's it. That's all the government will do for them.
What are you going to do about the people who are too stupid to use their stipend for things like rent, groceries, electricity bill, etc? Let them starve / freeze as a warning to others?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:49 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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As I said, a means tests is applied.

For those who have it in them to try and achieve, they will get little to none. For those who can't, or won't, they get their check and that's it. That's all the government will do for them.
Again, do you have any understanding as to what is welfare and what isn't?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:51 PM
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What are you going to do about the people who are too stupid to use their stipend for things like rent, groceries, electricity bill, etc? Let them starve / freeze as a warning to others?
What I say to them is an old Russian trusted saying- That's just tough shitsky.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:53 PM
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Again, do you have any understanding as to what is welfare and what isn't?
Oh I think I do. I used to work for the feds with homeless and incarcerated vets. After about 6 years we were all laid off during the Clinton Administration. I have a daughter dying with a disease and she gets Medicare...

Yes, I have a clue.

Maybe stop shitting on me and read the forum rules.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:56 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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What I say to them is an old Russian trusted saying- That's just tough shitsky.
Cute.
What's the max in cash a family could receive under this system, and what would it take to get to that point?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:56 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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What I say to them is an old Russian trusted saying- That's just tough shitsky.
I'm probably ok with that, and you apparently are too, but I suspect most of our fellow citizens aren't going to be so hardline when the morgues start filling up with overdoses and frozen, malnourished corpses.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 02-11-2018 at 08:57 PM.
  #42  
Old 02-11-2018, 08:58 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
Given that at least for the current generation they will get tons more out than they ever paid in, and our generation will get less than we paid in, it is certainly at the very least an unearned intergenerational transfer of wealth.
How do you feel about the government giving everyone X amount of money? Wouldn't that also be an unearned intergenerational transfer of wealth?
  #43  
Old 02-11-2018, 08:58 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Oh I think I do. I used to work for the feds with homeless and incarcerated vets. After about 6 years we were all laid off during the Clinton Administration. I have a daughter dying with a disease and she gets Medicare...

Yes, I have a clue.

Maybe stop shitting on me and read the forum rules.
And your proposal would take away that Medicare under the misunderstanding that it is welfare.
  #44  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:15 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Some people think "Welfare" is any benefit (read: $$$) received from the government. Usually with the added "that they don't deserve".

Which all too often translates to "Any money other people get from the government is welfare, but money *I* get from the government is a benefit that I TOTALLY EARNED."

And Medicare is totally a government run socialist program. But tell that to some Americans and they'll turn all sorts of interesting colors before screaming about it isn't any of those things.
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  #45  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:24 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Have we already reached that point in the conversation where those with opposing viewpoints are described as "screaming"?
  #46  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:29 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Some people think "Welfare" is any benefit (read: $$$) received from the government. Usually with the added "that they don't deserve".

Which all too often translates to "Any money other people get from the government is welfare, but money *I* get from the government is a benefit that I TOTALLY EARNED."

And Medicare is totally a government run socialist program. But tell that to some Americans and they'll turn all sorts of interesting colors before screaming about it isn't any of those things.
I'd call means-tested programs "welfare", but do you think that definition is incorrect? Overly broad? Inaccurate?
  #47  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:35 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Have we already reached that point in the conversation where those with opposing viewpoints are described as "screaming"?
No no, not at all. I wasn't pointing fingers at anyone here, just noting that in a larger conversation (say, with the American people), there is a lot of baggage, preconceived notions and, shall we say, "error", when the subject is broached. What is simple fact on one side is horrific propaganda on the other.

I probably could have spelled that out a little better.
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Last edited by Chimera; 02-11-2018 at 09:35 PM.
  #48  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:39 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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I'd call means-tested programs "welfare", but do you think that definition is incorrect? Overly broad? Inaccurate?
I actually don't have any issue with the term Welfare, nor do I think it needs to be embarrassing or looked down upon. The whole 'what you do to the least of these' thing comes to mind. Some people can't take care of themselves, some people need help. We can't be such cold hearted bastards that we think these people deserve their fate and should be left to it, even if they decide to spend their days in a drugged out haze.

Proverbs 31:6: "Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress"
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  #49  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:39 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Does anyone care to actually give some kind of number they would like this program to provide? Because every iteration of this idea I've seen falls apart because the people advancing it don't want to do the necessary math. The political calculus is tougher, of course.
  #50  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:59 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
I actually don't have any issue with the term Welfare, nor do I think it needs to be embarrassing or looked down upon. The whole 'what you do to the least of these' thing comes to mind. Some people can't take care of themselves, some people need help. We can't be such cold hearted bastards that we think these people deserve their fate and should be left to it, even if they decide to spend their days in a drugged out haze.

Proverbs 31:6: "Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress"
I'm fine with helping the poor and needy, I'd just like that help to be given by family / friends, neighbors, charitable organizations, or local / state governments rather than the feds.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 02-11-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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