Corporate Welfare Destroys Jobs Long-Term

Imagine you are walking down the street and are asked to give five dollars to an elderly man who has served in the Army and worked back breaking labor sometimes more than forty hours a week for his entire life. Now, imagine you walk a block further and are asked to give another five dollars to a twenty-five- year-old high school drop out who never worked more than a few months at a time, has large gaps in his employment history, and drug charges. Which would you prefer to give your money to? Unfortunately, taxpayers don’t know to what kind of person their money goes. It could Butler either go to the sweet old man who paid in for his benefits or to the drug dealer who has no intention of ever working, because he knows the government will pay his way through life. A lot of deserving recipients receive welfare benefits and are helped to get back on their feet. But, for many, assistance encourages dependency and impairs self-sufficiency, also making it more difficult for deserving recipients to receive their benefits, and draining the funds of the country in general.

There are many types of welfare assistance and benefits that are taken advantage of. Among the most popular are food assistance, public housing, and disability benefits, but there are many more programs. Also available are fuel assistance, rental assistance, medical assistance, such as medicade, heating and cooling assistance, childcare assistance, utility assistance, clothing allotments, TANF, and many, many more.

Many people receive multiple benefits simply because they have little or no income. If one person receives public housing for the low income, or rental assistance, food stamps, medicade, heating and cooling assistance, and clothing vouchers, then they really don’t need much more to survive. All they need to purchase themselves are the basic necessities, such as soaps, toiletries, etc. Everything else is taken care of. So what reasons do these able bodied people have to take steps to be able to purchase these things on their own? Most are content to let welfare benefits continue to pay for their expenses. Sometimes welfare has become their way of life! In continuing to offer these types of services for an undetermined amount of time, we are essentially encouraging recipient dependency and prohibiting them from living up to their full potential. Another problem is, in supplying benefits and services to so many undeserving people, the ones who need it most and cannot survive without assistance, are wait listed or worse, are told that certain funds are no longer available. Those people simply do not get the services they need, and suffer because of it.

Some benefits such as disability are given to able bodied people who can to support themselves, but choose not to. Just because a person has a minor learning disability, for example, does not mean that they are unable to work. In fact, many individuals with handicaps as extreme as Down Syndrome or Autism are able and willing to hold certain positions, and do so. They prefer to be a part of society and sometimes make more money than they would from government assistance. So, why then, can’t a person with, say social anxiety hold a position that doesn’t require social interaction? Because a number of recipients simply don’t want to. But somehow they’ve acquired a sense of entitlement. It’s heard all the time: “Well, I pay taxes, so I deserve to get a check.” True at some point everybody pays taxes in some form, but is it really fair that some able bodied people pay for only a few years, if even that, and receive a check for a minor illness that isn’t even disabling, while others pay their whole lives and have to wait years and years to get approved? Another situation that drains government funds is when a disabled child receives a disability check. They receive the check because they are unable to work. A healthy five-year-old isn’t able to work either. Why should their disabled counterparts receive hundreds of dollars a month? Perhaps it would be wiser if the government issued disability checks to children only when they are of legal age to work in their respective states.

Likewise there are other changes that could be made to help ensure that recipients do not become dependent upon welfare. One major thing that could help discourage welfare dependency is time limits. If a person were only able to receive housing assistance, for example, for a set amount of time, they would have more incentive to better themselves and become more self sufficient. Naomi Lopez explains, “Enforcing time limits is important because welfare is intended to be used for only a short while by people who are temporarily out of work. It is not intended to be a way of life.” (Faherty, 32). In our economy work is hard to come by. So, what about those who cannot find employment by the set deadline? Perhaps extensions could be available for many welfare programs, as they are for unemployment benefits. Another suggestion, which Henry Hazlitt proposed in his book The Conquest of Poverty, was to stop out right cash payments, and rather make funds available on a loan basis. (Weiss, 97). Some may be against the idea, but perhaps repayment could be arranged based on an income bracket and the recipients pay back only a portion, depending of the bracket under which they fall. Yet, another idea that would help ensure independence is if able bodied recipients were required to, at some point, attain job training or to further their education. After all, if they are eligible for welfare, most likely they will be eligible for financial assistance for education.


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