Killing the Welfare State

Posted by CaptainKirk 3 years, 5 months ago to Government
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Stefan Makes an interesting Argument as usual. I for one would rather support my father in his old age than have him rely on Social Security. Furthermore, I think his analysis is rock solid about how we got here... Curious what others think...

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    Posted by bsmith51 3 years, 5 months ago
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.

    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because, "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

    Thus ends today's lesson in irony.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 5 months ago
    He makes some valid points. He seems to play down the government's role by proposing that when women got the vote, the attitudes of government changed over time to a more sympathetic state requiring a major increase in welfare. He doesn't point out the government's influence in the welfare http://state.At just about the time women got the vote, we were coming out of WW1 and through the abandonment of feminine modesty and boom! into the great depression. In order to get why the USA worked is to understand the need for a government at all. It started out with one purpose and one purpose only and that was to protect and defend its citizens. Men were gathered up to form armies, it's true and all the descriptions of the horrors described by Mr. Molyneux come to pass. Defense is expensive and even in a free society taxes must be levied , for defense only. The problem as I see it is that those who control the government want power, which means aggression. At the same time the women are pressing for more welfare. Welfare grows like kudzu while defense costs less than aggression. So here we sit, the mightiest nation of all, In debt up to our eyeballs, defending not only ourselves but allies around the globe, while at the same time taking care of every non-productive person in the country. Charities, which used to handle such things now turned over to the Welfare state have diminished to a fraction of what they used to be. We have jumbled so many thing together in order for the government to do it that we don't know where welfare begins and defense ends .A very fat book could be written on the subject but not here. Vaya con Dios. Oh, wait, he left a long time ago.
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  • Posted by scojohnson 3 years, 5 months ago
    Personally, I understand and support the argument. The problem is on the broad scale, Americans tend to be very selfish when it comes to their parents. As a rule of thumb, it seems like the "oldest" of the children will statistically be the responsible and successful one, while dripping down the scale to the youngest, you get the least-successful and least-motivated. Parents tend to get lazy after making the hard choices for the first kid(s) and get lazier as they go along so there is a reason why we call the youngest ones "the babies of the family" - they tend to be the spoiled ones.

    My wife's father outlived his wife by about 5 years with a combination of final stage Parkinson's and advanced dementia. She has 5 siblings, and the statistical model could not have been better. My wife did everything for her father and we paid for all of his care with a combination of our savings, income, and managing his fixed income and selling his real estate and investing his assets for more monthly revenue. On the other side, two of the "gimme everything" siblings fought selling his home (to help pay for his $73,000+ annual assisted living and care costs), one of the babies disappeared for 2 years so she didn't have to help, and the other "baby" has been in rehab.

    Regular financial contributions from the others... a hamburger every now and then on a Sunday when they would visit him. That's it. Now that he has passed, of course everyone has their hand out and calling the attorney wanting to know when the estate will be distributed. My wife and I had a great idea, the trust calls for settlement of all debts and payment for all labor, assistance, etc., before any remainder is distributed. So we had the attorney send them all a weekly time sheet (for 5 years back - or about 250 pages of them) to fill out, with a cover letter that as soon as all of the time sheets are received and labor paid, remainder will be released.

    In my dad's family, with 6 kids, one of his sisters did most of the care, the other 5 did next to nothing (including my dad). Same fight, the one that does "something" or "everything" would like to get compensated for their time and lost sick leave/vacation time before paying the others that did "nothing".

    Smaller families are probably easier and get along a little better... but unfortunately, like I said, if we had to rely on people to take care of their elders - overall, that isn't going to work very well. They do that in Mexico there is a lot of impoverished old people there.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
      I am sorry for the situation you found yourself in. But to be clear, you handled it well. Keeping track of expenses and having them go against the assets/trust/will is quite wise.

      As an FYI, I am the baby of 4 boys. My oldest brother lives at home still. He was spoiled and troubled his whole life. He never once went to visit my mom who was 1hr from him... I saw her more, and I lived out of state. But I did not do enough. My Second oldest brother took care of her, but I offered money, and gave money (again, being out of state, I could not do much). Giving money was easier than giving time for me.

      Moving on... I like to look back 200 years. the way it worked was that DAD divided his large land among the kids who would work it. It was not taxed as income. And the grandparents kept an eye on the kids. Medicine did not help them live 30 years beyond their minds. (My mom barely knew herself for the last 15 years). But they could keep an eye on the kids, stir the soup, etc.

      Our society has forgotten how to BE a family, and how to BE a community. My mom babysat for a young mother, because my mom was a young mother.

      The way to do it, is to phase it out. Keep skyrocketing the year you can start collecting. It should be at an age that 95% of the people cannot live to be. And why is social security paying out for disability, etc. We bankrupted it by expanding coverage to so many things it was never intended to do.

      We will have a few hard generations... BUT, the money I pay in income taxes (excluding my other brother who is a CPA) could be cut in 1/2 and still give my father double what he gets today! If the two of us chipped in, the windfall would be amazing...

      And then there are dumb people. Our father will not make more than a couple of years with cancer... So, we asked our brother about the house. BOTH me and the CPA are willing to LET HIM LIVE THERE, if he maintains the place. We don't need the money from the asset, but we will NOT GIVE IT to him, so he can sell it and do something stupid. He is afraid that his stocking job at walmart won't allow him to pay the bills. The house is paid off. It's literally just utilities and insurance... We told him he might want to find a renter for one of the rooms or the basement... Because we would NOT be supplementing his living there... Clearly we would help if something popped up... But he is thinking government housing might be cheaper. In a worse neighborhood, of course...

      The point being that most people will find a way. And LIMITS are required so people can make good decisions. If you constantly save someone from themselves... You are CREATING DEPENDENCE!
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      • Posted by scojohnson 3 years, 5 months ago
        There is a huge flaw in that plan - I think if you took a survey of how many people have hundreds of acres of land to subdivide to the sons & whatever, you would be in the low single-digits of the population. I love the midwest personally, we spend a lot of time there and will retire somewhere east of Nevada in a few years, but the urban areas where people make higher incomes and pay a lot more in taxes (than the rural areas) is entirely what makes large plots of farming a profitable enterprise. If everyone was raising their own food, you wouldn't have a market for grocery stores or the tax revenues that pay for the most powerful standing military in history. People used to spend 12 hours a day growing & hunting the food they needed to get through the season... we don't do that anymore, and having a sh*tload of citrus trees, grapes, and small crops in the backyard it is absolutely NOT something I would want to spend my days doing.

        Our economy is way to complex for that. Sorry. Can't support the suggestion you make.
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        • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
          I wasn't suggesting that was the fix. I was kinda pointing out that used to be the way it was. Things have changed.

          But eliminate the taxation on income... And we'd have the money to help. And better yet, we KNOW if the people in our family are worthy of the help. The govt doesnt know. They don't care. They more they help, the BETTER they think they are doing... When it is really the opposite!
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          • Posted by scojohnson 3 years, 5 months ago
            Utah seems to do a pretty good job, the state largely outsources the care of folks that need some help to the Mormon Church. Their outcomes speak for themselves in my opinion - lowest crime in the country, some of the lowest tax rates, lowest unemployment, fastest economic growth.

            It's impractical to assume "families" will take care of their own - as in many cases, there may not be any family. If I hadn't produced a son 25 years ago, after my mom passes it would be my brother and I alone in the world.

            We have a constitutional requirement to take care of the people that needed, it's stated as "Provide for the Common Welfare" - literally in black and white.

            While I have total agreement that it is in need of being reformed, I've also traveled throughout the world 6 continents actually one of which was a C-5 quickturn in Antarctica, so South America is actually the one I'm missing. Countries that don't take care of their own people have one thing in common - wars and shit-hole poverty.

            Everyone goes through a total tax rebellious phase, but the truth is, you wouldn't have an economy in which to have your income to protect if we didn't do the basics for society. To me, that is police services, a functioning medium of exchange, basic social support, and a national defense. After that, it gets pretty negotiable in my opinion.. and there are many places to cut expenses before kicking grandma out of the wheelchair.

            Speaking of which... you seem to be confused by thinking that Medicare pays for long-term care. It DOES NOT. That is explicitly prohibited by CMS, "Medicaid" will pick up the tab and pay for long term care for completely indigent people, but it will also attach all of that person's assets when doing so - in other words, the kids don't get a check until CMS is paid back completely. The only long-term care Medicaid will pay for is either short-term rehab after a surgery/etc., or long-term skilled care (nursing home), and even then only for facilities that have a contract with Medicaid (lowest-bidder).

            In my experience, there really isn't an unlimited Medicare expense either with terminal patients. I don't know the exact cut-off, but I've had several family members that reach a hospice stage after a year or two. It seems like if there hasn't been a marked improvement in the quality of life, it does turn into hospice or palliative care (only) - in other words, drug them up and keep them comfortable, but let nature take its course. People have an urban legend of non-stop heroic measures like they are watching ER or Grey's Anatomy & whatever and think that is the case in real life... it really isn't... 14,000 people die every day in this country.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 3 years, 5 months ago
    There is no political means to eliminate the Welfare State. The American people, frenzied buy the media can not handle the trivial negativity that we'll have to endure for a few years until the economy and people reset to a superior position.

    However, we could implement a suite publicly-funded, privately managed approaches to take people off Welfare, where incentives are paid to the institutions for demonstrated self-sufficiency (e.g. 5 consecutive years independence). Let a few companies/agencies try different approaches and see if we really can reduce public dependence. I bet it works great, and socialists do every thing in their power to not allow the results to be demonstrated.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 years, 5 months ago
    ...and, as it becomes less and less lucrative to produce due to taxes, fewer and fewer will produce. Everything is free, but the shelves are empty. About this time, Venezuela happens...and then the Soviet Union, Communist China, Cuba...North Korea. Sigh....
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