A highly emotive subject; public welfare payments. Even some private charity efforts and payments are becoming the subject of controversy.
I see more and more comment, e-mail and even political campaigns around the world to reduce who can receive public money, and for how long.
There is even a movement to get Oxfam out of Somalia, where after 20 or more years of feeding a population who cannot feed themselves, their numbers have increased considerably; whereas a country unable to feed its people over the same timespan (without outside help) would have drastically reduced numbers. So is Somalia just a ‘suburb’ of Oxfam? If you’ve given money to Oxfam, are you really responsible for creating the Somali pirates?
Experience in many countries shows families who for generations seem to exist on welfare payments alone. There is no reason such as a major disability, diminished mental capacity (in the normal sense), advanced age etc why these people should be offered help. They are all physically and in terms of mental competence able to earn their own living, provide their own food. Yet they don’t. The family doesn’t seem able to ever make themselves independent. Fortunately this is not true of all; some wonderful y productive people come from these backgrounds.
Yet the backlash against continual ‘free existence’ is growing.
Why should someone live all their life on state subsidy, paid for by those who do work? Why should a new immigrant to a country receive an on-going payment just for having come there? Why should the able be paid to laze around? What have they contributed to the country? Older people who have paid taxes all their lives have contributed to the country over the years: supporting them in return is essential.
One argument is that these payments remove the need for these people to commit crimes to survive. That is not really true as experience shows that many of the young (men especially) caught committing crimes may be on welfare payments, but with enough time to be bored and want the things you can’t buy on welfare.
There are places in the USA that have introduced public work required to get public money. I remember chuckling when reading about one of these who complained that the work was ruining her well-manicured nails. Hellooo, if you can afford a fancy manicure why do you need public money?
There are also campaigns to get fathers to pay maintenance for all of their children. Men who wander around impregnating various women over the years, being extremely generous with the sperm donations, but who seem to feel that’s where their responsibility ends. Why not simply force them to provide the food, accommodation and school fees etc for all of their children. And if they default, have them sterilised so they can’t add more children needing public support?
I’m all in favour of free education, that’s the kick-start for people to lead productive and independent lives.
I’m all in favour of public health care (in some workable form?) to save lives and limbs etc. for those who are working and contributing to public coffers as far as they can.
Why not public feeding schemes for those who literally have no way to earn a living?
We have huge numbers in this country who through the ravages of Apartheid were dislocated from their communities, given an education designed to make them the bottom end of the working class only, or no education. There is a genuine need for a generation of support.
Do I agree with the campaigns? Yes I do. There are people in genuine need through no fault of their own. Is it part of a country’s responsibility to support these people, yes? But I don’t believe the ever-and-ever payments to those who WON’T work make any sense financially or in other ways.
Should welfare be paid to those willing to upgrade their skills to be employable? Absolutely! Should welfare be paid to those who have been struck by some illness or accident? Yes probably.
But should welfare be paid to those who WONT work. No never. Not without some training and public work in exchange. After all if your choices are like these:
a) starve on the street
b) get into crime and eventually either die or go to jail where they force you to earn your keep
c) receive public support, do public work not of your choosing, and be limited in ever having children
d) receive public support, so some work in exchange, educate (and PASS) for employable skills, be limited in having children until you are self-supporting
e) become self-supporting with some freedom of choice, decide when and if you have children, raise them the way you believe
those who can will end up in E is my belief.
Then there will be public money to help those who really do need assistance.