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Hazzle 11-12-2004 04:57 PM

Social welfare
 
Yes, apparently there's been a dirth of essay-length "intelligent" posts from The Haz (when did I EVER post anything intelligent?!?!). So I had intended to post this last night but, well, I was slightly inebriated and as many of you know got caught up in a petty squabble.

Thus...in my marginally hungover but generally coherent state...

Social welfare is an issue that's quite close to my heart. I tend to think that the systems in place in most of the world these days tend to be very open to fraud, meaning those who deserve it most don't receive the help they need. I tend to believe it allows lazy fuckers to get away without working whilst working stiffs are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Many are getting laid off early, losing out on pension benefits etc. This is clearly not the intent behind such systems, which are supposed to serve as a safety net to those who can't help themselves.

However any social welfare system is going to be open to such abuse, and given the state of human nature, we're likely to always make the most of such loopholes, so does this mean social welfare is fated to fail in its objectives? If so, does this mean we should scrap all social welfare, since it no longer serves as a safety net helping those who need it and is more a motivation NOT to work, thus hindering economic growth, and return to a laissez faire approach whereby we trust to rugged individualism and allow the poor to battle their way out?

In addition, what about the patronising approach of social welfare? It's as if the government is saying "You're not good enough to battle your way out of poverty so here's a helping hand for the rich folk who are so clearly better than you". Do the poor deserve to be treated like second class citizens unable to help themselves?

I would post more but I'm off out to the pub so...for now that'll have to do. What're your views on social welfare?

acliff 11-12-2004 06:22 PM

As Haz kindly betrayed to everyone on this forum, my father's business completely failed. Probably entirely his fault, as you were suggesting also. Then last Christmas, my parents seperated, leaving my poor mother, sister and myself in a substantial (read horrific) financial situation.

After almost a full year of me struggling over contradictory paperwork, we are surviving due to the welfare state, who is paying for our house, and giving us enough money to survive. The fact that my single mum cannot work at the moment due to mild illness, and the fact that my sister is still in full time education helps matters. Which will go haywire on my sister's 16th birthday, due to the rules about child support benefit. We will probably lose our house, and move to an area less supporting of my sister's education. At which point I will probably have to work hard, and keep everything afloat through working weekends.

It is not the dignified homelife that I wish for my family, but I think there is a certain level of dignity in struggling through the problems without giving up on society or life. I feel through struggle we will end up stronger people, and will end up successful due to not allowing us, or our children to get into the same situation.

Which is why I thank my dad, coming towards the year anniversary of our last conversation (7 days left), no matter harm he may have caused our family, that he brought us all to England, a land where no man shall starve.

Improvements to social welfare? Better screening for fraud, less confusing paperwork, quicker response time, and not assuming that children can become money earners for a household at 16, especially when in full time education.

CFC 11-12-2004 07:57 PM

I think most people think Social Welfare type of programs are good things but, when it comes down to who has to pay for them thier attitude changes. I don't like social welfare programs because they are run by the government, and the government usually dumbs things up.

Example Social Security.

Foeni 11-12-2004 08:30 PM

Social welfare is a quite difficult subject to discuss. Most likely people will say that we of course should have a system taking care of those who can't take care of themselves. But when it comes to raising the taxes to pay for the social services, people have a way different point of view. Most people are against any kind of tax raises, and that I perfectly understand. But people also have to think about how they would feel if they were in a bad financial situation. In Denmark we have very good social welfare, no one is really beyond the starvation limit (well, of course there are some, but most of them are alcoholics and drug addicts etc.) and that's good. But with the way this system works, it's being abused big time. There are actually quite a big amount of people living of the state's money, and a lot of them could easily take care of themselves. I got a friend who used to sit all day in a PC-café. Then he got a job, got fired and now he's again living on the behalf of us who actually does work. There's nothing wrong with him, he's smart has no handicap nothing. He just doesn't feel like getting a new job. Those of his kind are the ones who shouldn't get any money. Unfortunately it's very difficult to keep an eye on everybody and proving that they aren't trying. But if it was possible we would be able to help those who need much better. Or we could have our taxes lowered. My tax rate first 8 % then 37 % of my income. That's as low as you can get in Denmark. Some people pay about 70 %.

Hazzle 11-12-2004 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acliff
As Haz kindly betrayed to everyone on this forum, my father's business completely failed. Probably entirely his fault, as you were suggesting also. Then last Christmas, my parents seperated, leaving my poor mother, sister and myself in a substantial (read horrific) financial situation.

<ahem> Contrary to what your ego may tell you, this thread was not a slight at you. If I wanted to take a pot shot at you, I'd do it openly, it's not like I haven't already. Kindly don't drag our argument into yet ANOTHER thread, but of course I'll be the one accused of doing that by everyone :rolleyes:

This is an issue I have strong views on and wanted to discuss. I've stated my views and I'm also a little too inebriated to actually wish to add more to my earlier comments, for now, I just wanted to clarify that this was actually an issue that I felt hadn't been discussed and could be, and one I actually care about enough to WANT to discuss.

acliff 11-12-2004 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hazzle
<ahem> Contrary to what your ego may tell you, this thread was not a slight at you. If I wanted to take a pot shot at you, I'd do it openly, it's not like I haven't already. Kindly don't drag our argument into yet ANOTHER thread, but of course I'll be the one accused of doing that by everyone :rolleyes:

This is an issue I have strong views on and wanted to discuss. I've stated my views and I'm also a little too inebriated to actually wish to add more to my earlier comments, for now, I just wanted to clarify that this was actually an issue that I felt hadn't been discussed and could be, and one I actually care about enough to WANT to discuss.

This has nothing to do with my ego, obviously I DO have strong feelings about this topic, so why don't you stay on topic in your own thread? Set an example for once perhaps.

One of the problems with welfare is that they have to dumb it down. Its not designed to be understood only by rocket scientists. On the whole intelligent people are the ones avoiding welfare. Unless they think they're really smart, and abuse the system.
I pay tax gladly when I work, because even though people do take advantage of it (single slutty 17 year old mothers with 5 children, for example. Liam edit: By 5 different fathers, no less.) I see that at least a percentage of the money is going to people who need it. Otherwise I probably wouldn't be here right now.


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