"Workfare" OR "Community Service"?

This OP is occasioned by this:

From The New York Times.

I am progressive in the sense that I believe govt has an important place in facilitating the equitable distribution of the wealth (the welfare) of the world.

I think Britain’s idea is a good one. I don’t know the demographics of the unemployed there but if they are anything like our own, there are a bunch of talented and educated people literally going to waste. I’d like to see “community service” widened to include govt subsidized internships in private businesses, call it “workfare”. Folks with real skills would have useful employment and business would have a pool of skilled employees whom they could afford to train. After training, of course, the employer would be legally held assume the cost of employment.

What you think?


I think that a government-subsidized workplace placement system will make companies drop their lowest tier(s) of employment into the unemployed pool and see them hire the government-paid unemployed workers. That would drastically increase the “unemployed” and those participating in welfare.

Why wouldn’t every business take advantage of free labor, after all?

If they are going to use the manpower, it should be for government-only. Either community projects or for government agencies.

This is basically my take. And I do advocate having everyone who is able contribute the the collective coffers in some way. I’d extend the idea this way in the U.S.: 1) move to a flat tax, 2) any able-bodied person who doesn’t pay tax has to “contribute” by working on community projects.