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Author Topic: A Hand Up? Or A Shove Down?
Member # 4550

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Changes in Welfare Laws

Despite a 60% reduction in case loads nationwide, these additional restrictions are being put in palce, based on what?

Wade F. Horn, HHS's assistant secretary for children and families, said the closer federal regulation is necessary because states have been lax. "Some defined as work bed rest, going to a smoking-cessation program, getting a massage, doing an errand with a friend," Horn said. He acknowledged that federal officials do not know how often people have done those things, because states have not had to report such information.
I would submit he not only has no idea how often people have done these things, he has no idea if they have done these things.

I would further submit that the amount of money that gets poured into administrative perks would more than adequately help hundred of others get the education and job training they need in today's world.

According to recent federal figures, 50 percent of the adults on welfare in Virginia are employed.
This says a lot about our country's economic structure -- and disregard for people that work the lowest wage jobs that don't make ends meet -- and yet, these are the jobs that we don't want to do without. Really. These are the folks providing the child care, stocking the discount store shelves, pumping the gas, making the motel beds, scrubbing the toilets, bussing the tables, washing the dishes, flipping the hamburgers, laundering the clothes, tearing off the old roofing, mowing the lawn, etc.

Maryland began three years ago requiring every adult on welfare to do something productive for 40 hours a week. Most of what they have done, such as getting high school equivalency degrees or counseling for domestic violence, does not meet the federal definition of work.
And this asks the even sadder question about what happened to basic education? To common decency? To treating people with respect?

This is such a mishmash of things -- penalizing people won't solve the root of the ills. Nor will mollycoddling. But somewhere, there must be a middle ground that supports and encourages all people to meet basic definers of success, and for those very few that really do want to live outside the norm, let them go with respect and love . . .

Ahhh. So much for Saturday a.m. ramblings.

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Member # 9551

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Wow. So fifty percent of the people on welfare in Virginia are actually trying to work to make ends meet, but are so underemployed that they have to endure welfare in order to subsist?
And working to get high school equivalency degrees so that you can actually get a job worth getting, or domestic-violence counseling so--well, we all know what that's for--doesn't count as something productive? If it's not work to try to learn enough to pass a test that a good chunk of the graduating high schoolers couldn't pass, when you didn't even go to high school, or to try to change your basic ways of thinking and dealing with other people in order to be a better, less violent, person, I don't know what is. Certainly not sitting around making changes to programs based on suspicions of things with no actual information on whether those things are happening.
If people got paid for the value of their work, I suspect that a certain assistant secretary would be on welfare.

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Member # 2576

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According to recent federal figures, 50 percent of the adults on welfare in Virginia are employed.
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Member # 2314

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Getting an equivalency degree should absolutely, positively be counted as productive work. How are they supposed to better their earning potential if they can't continue their education?

Although, this brings to mind a study I posted here on hatrack some time ago about how GED's don't seem to translate to better earnings. So there's something missing there, and I wish we could figure out what it is and how to fix it.

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King of Men
Member # 6684

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Presumably, it is that employers don't value a GED as much as a high school certificate, and they don't value a high school certificate very much in the first place. One could fix that by

a) A law requiring non-discrimination against uneducated people... Er, wait.

b) Making the GED mean the same as four years of high school, that is, it should show that the possessor is capable of jumping through hoops for four years straight.

c) Making a high school diploma mean something about actual knowledge again, and updating the equivalence to the same standard.

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