Sunday, September 4, 2011
Good Intentions: The Welfare System and where it went wrong
As a liberal I believe one of government's jobs is to help the people who can't take care of themselves, because one of government's roles is to look after the welfare of its citizens. Not to take care of the people who are physically and mentally able of taking care of themselves or running their lives. But to help them, empower them to be able to take care of themselves. I'm a liberal not a socialist, I don't believe government's job is to take care of people who aren't able to be Self Sufficient. But to help the physically and mentally able people who can take care of themselves. And our Disabled Population can live on Disability Insurance where a lot of them are able to and do work part time. Where our Welfare System has failed is that its assumed that people who are poor and Low Skilled or who are Single Parents. Automatically aren't able to take care of themselves and did nothing to break the Cycle of Poverty. And this happens by people making good decisions in their own lives, not having kids too early and not abandoning their kids. Fathers and mothers but sticking around and raising their own kids fathers and mothers. We have too many fathers abandoning their kids especially in the Low Income Communities and this has been a major contributor to Poverty in America. And their kids are left with their mothers who are Low Skilled and unable to take care of their kids on their own. So they end up on Welfare Insurance or their kids end up in Foster Homes or being adopted because their mothers aren't able to take care of them. So what we have to do as a country is to break the Single Parent Cycle in poverty and to encourage both fathers and mothers to stay and raise their kids. And one way to do this is to reform Welfare Insurance by not just having it for Single Parents. But allow both parents to go on it who don't have the skills to take care of themselves. And allow both parents to get the skills that they need to become Self Sufficient, like education and other Life Skills while receiving Temporary Financial Assistance.
To move people off of Welfare Insurance, their are a couple of ways to do this. One and not a very popular way and a way I would describe as mean. Is simply to kick people off of Welfare Insurance and end the program even if they haven't even broken and rules or laws. Another way which is much more practical and I believe popular is to empower these people to get the skills that they need. In order to get themselves off of poverty and gets to Temporary Financial Assistance, Child Care, Medicaid, Public Housing, Food Stamps probably. But this assistance only helps sustain them while they are collecting Welfare Insurance. To actually move them off of Welfare Insurance so they can become Self Sufficient. Gets to education, empowering them to go back to school and getting their High School Diploma or GED. And then going to Community College, so they can get the skills that they need. In order to get a good enough job that allows them to support themselves and their families so they are Self Sufficient.
The reason why our Public Assistance System has failed so long up until the 1996 Welfare to Work Law, was because it was badly designed. It allowed generations of people to get trapped in the Cycle of Poverty and created a "Culture of Dependency". What we should've been doing instead is creating a Culture of Self Sufficiency where people who are on Welfare Insurance. Are empowered to get themselves off of Public Assistance.