Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Birth Rate 3X Higher for Women Receiving Welfare

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) gave states greater flexibility to formulate and implement initiatives to reduce welfare dependency and encourage employment for members of low-income families with children. For the nation, in 2006, 10 years after passage of the Act, the birth rate for women 15 to 50 years old receiving public assistance income in the last 12 months was 155 births per 1,000 women, about three times the rate for women not receiving public assistance (53 births per 1,000 women).

From the August 2008 Census Bureau study "Fertility of American Women: 2006."

HT: Ben Cunningham

36 Comments:

At 8/20/2008 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that you have the courage to post these issues for discussion. I wonder if either major political party would be so brave as to hold a public forum on this outcome of welfare recipients.

Certainly a public airing out of this issue would be labeled by the media as racist, discriminatory, and suggests an infringement on the reproductive rights of women.

But what's the real issue here? I think there has to be some study out there on the outcomes. What is the statistical disposition of children born to welfare mothers? How many are gainfully employed? In prison? On public assistance as adults? I'd love to see these stats as well.

Provocative post....but a good one!

 
At 8/20/2008 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprise that the bottom 50% pay 3% of the income tax. They can just keep voting themselves benefits.

 
At 8/20/2008 1:35 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

If you subsidize more babies being born into poor families the result will be....MORE BABIES BEING BORD INTO POOR FAMILIES!

Shocker!

What if we had a provision in the welfare law that you will LOSE some of your benefits if you have a child while on welfare. I wonder what would happen then.

 
At 8/20/2008 1:40 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Drawing a conclusion from this information would be like noticing that people who shop at Tiffany have more money than people who don't and then thinking that people would be richer if we required everyone to shop at Tiffany. Correlation is NOT causation.

Unfortunately, we can glean no useful information from this birth data unless we know how the change in the law (which moved more women off public assistance) changed the birth rates of the two groups.

 
At 8/20/2008 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children in these families are meal tickets. They are treated as economic units until they are 18. Then they are cut free. These children then seek out gangs to find social and economic support and eventually wind up in prison. The plight of the socialist paradise.

 
At 8/20/2008 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can have as many children as you want.

Just don't ask me to pay for your kids.

 
At 8/20/2008 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So women have a bunch of children and expect someone else to pay for them?

What a great system.

How about I go out and buy a house and then demand the government pay for it. No wait, politicians are already onto this idea.

Better yet, Democrats push for a bill that allows everyone to go out and buy cars and receive payments from the U.S. Government to pay for them.

Hell, I bet that longterm a new car is cheaper than a child.

The more cars you buy, the bigger your monthly check from the government.

I love Amerika.

 
At 8/20/2008 2:25 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

C.M. Kornbluth, Prophet and Visionary:

The Marching Morons...

 
At 8/20/2008 2:28 PM, Anonymous e5 said...

Does anyone need or deserve welfare?

I ask that as an honest question because I get the impression that the answer here is an emphatic 'No'.

How many people here have ever received a form of state assistance? Have you ever been disabled because your factory job caused you lung damage? Have you ever had a job that did not provide health insurance?

Have you ever been eligible for food stamps for years, even while working 16-hour factory shifts, but only just recently had to actually turn to them after years of having too much dignity to accept them?

I ask that because all of these things have happened to members of my family, and none of them by any means want to be on state aid.

Do you really want to start with the stereotype that everyone receiving state aid is a bum? Its one thing to create a system that should encourage those capable to get out and seek employment and avoid creating an 'unproductive class'. But its another thing all together to bucket all the recipients here together.

 
At 8/20/2008 2:32 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Correlation is NOT causation.

True, Kevin, and stating this in defense of the obvious point correlates strongly with you being an idiot. It certainly didn't cause you to be an idiot, but there are obvious implications to the correlation....

Having children is a choice. Yes, people screw up, and sometimes have an unintended child -- but three times?!?!?

That's not a sign of an occasional screwup, that's a sign of constant screwups.

And when someone who constantly screws up gets to suck at the public teat...?

The system rewards incompetence and bad choices.

Gee, what a surprise, even more people are incompetent and make bad choices!!

Whoohoo! That's sure tough to figure out...

Well, unless you're Kevin, anyway...

:-/

.

 
At 8/20/2008 2:39 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> What if we had a provision in the welfare law that you will LOSE some of your benefits if you have a child while on welfare. I wonder what would happen then.

The unfortunate problem with this is that it also tends to punish the kids.

1) Soup Kitchens. Feed the kids. The parents can go hungry.

2) Use those ankle-bracelets they use for prisoners. Parents don't get to sleep inside the house that the government pays for... They can sleep out on the porch, but not inside. Let 'em be friggin' cold.

3) Social Stigma. This is the only one of the above which is likely to actually be put into effect. If you have kids you can't pay for, there should be a great deal of social stigma placed on you as a person. Not against the kid, but you. You're a lousy parent. You had no business having a kid you could not pay for.

 
At 8/20/2008 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about easy access to oral birth control (like covering it under insurance)?

 
At 8/20/2008 5:46 PM, Blogger randian said...

Certainly a public airing out of this issue would be labeled by the media as racist, discriminatory, and suggests an infringement on the reproductive rights of women.

I've heard feminists seriously argue that not subsidizing childbirth and childcare unfairly burdens women's reproductive choices and is therefore immorally coercive. Only when they act without resource constraints can their choices be absent coercion and truly free.

 
At 8/20/2008 5:48 PM, Blogger randian said...

The unfortunate problem with this is that it also tends to punish the kids.

Throwing parents in jail when they commit crimes also punishes the kids. So what? Without consequences there can be no accountability or responsibility.

 
At 8/20/2008 6:38 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Obloodyhell has the right idea but does not go far enough. I have long believed that people on the dole should not live better than our soldiers or our college kids. People on welfare should live in barracks or, at best, in dormitories. These facilities would be secure so that non-residents cannot freely visit. Residents with children can get a private room for sleeping. They would have communal bathrooms and showers, a cafeteria for meals (no food stamps), public lounges with TVs (with votes to pick the channel).

School-age children would attend the nearest public school. Adult residents would get on-site training: infant and child care, personal finances, cooking, housekeeping; job seeking skills, interviewing skills, job etiquette (dress, demeanor, cooperation, etc.); and various work skills classes. The idea is to help the dole recipients become ready for independent existence.

This scheme eliminates welfare rent fraud, food stamp fraud, substandard tenement housing, and easy visits by sleazy 'boyfriends'. It would be much less expensive than our current system.

 
At 8/20/2008 6:49 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

This is an other indicator of a societal issue. I agree with Kevin where the observed condition is a consequence of a problem and that welfare-type systems in themselves do not cause the identified poor behavior.

It's rather ironic, that the German government actually gives kindergeld and elterngeld to families with children to motivate those parents to stay home and care for their children.

People who did not otherwise have a job can get 300 € per month just to be at home to make sure the child is provided for. Parents that did have job can earn a significant portion of their working salary in the government subsidized money so that they won't miss out on lost earnings.

In spite of this, the birth rate and fertility rates in Germany are pretty low (among the lowest of the EU). It may seem odd that even the poor/unemployed families do not resort to popping out kids just to gain access to the free money.

I spoke about kindergeld/elterngeld with German expats, and there was a significant disparity in their thinking then compared to Americans. For them, there was no shame in using government sponsored money. Wealthy parents viewed kindergeld as a mechanism to help them properly care for their children. Rather than using daycare or spawning latchkey-kids, they felt motivated to spend time with their children (which they believed was a good thing). If there was no money - then the working parents would be more likely to be forced to get back to work, which was viewed a negative.

And for the poorer families, they viewed the use of kindergeld and elterngeld as aid from the community. And they held firm that their duty was to use the money appropriately for the good of the community. Again, a huge disparity in cultural beliefs. While many poor German families could easily abuse the system, most do not.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindergeld

 
At 8/20/2008 6:59 PM, Blogger al fin said...

I wonder how Barak Obama feels about this issue? Have any reporters asked him how he would deal with the problem?

If county social services were consistent, perhaps they would take away any babies born to mothers who could not support their child. Often as not, the girl babies grow up like their mamas to have babies they can't support. The boy babies too often become career criminals and willing sperm donors for as many wards of the state as they can seed.

Would it make a difference if the children were raised by foster families or adoptive families rather than by biological welfare moms?

 
At 8/20/2008 7:08 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

Sorry, I confused kindergeld with elterngeld in my post and I used the two interchangeably. So to clarify...

Kindergeld is aid paid to parents to have children. Money is disbursed each month until the child reaches the age of 18. Right now it is €154 or €179 for each child. (The amount paid each child depends on how many kids you have, where more children results in more money each child).

Elterngeld is aid paid to parents to stay at home and care for their children. Elterngeld at a bare minimum is €300/month (even if you were unemployed before the baby, you get €300). For parents that had jobs prior to staying home to care for baby, their elterngeld is calculated as 67% of their average monthly salary from the previous 12 months. Elterngeld is capped at €1,800/month and can last from 12, 14, or 24 months depending on various factors.

Both kindergeld and elterngeld are tax-free to the recipients.

What's amazing is that in spite of all this money, the average German woman has a fertility rate of about 1.3/woman. And even more amazing was that elterngeld drew criticism from poor/unemployed families because it didn't give them enough money to care for their baby.

 
At 8/20/2008 10:13 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"But what's the real issue here?"

Extortion for the transfer of wealth from the productive to the parasitic by the elected parasites...

"How many people here have ever received a form of state assistance? Have you ever been disabled because your factory job caused you lung damage? Have you ever had a job that did not provide health insurance?"...

What's your point ef?

"I ask that because all of these things have happened to members of my family, and none of them by any means want to be on state aid."...

So this is your rationale ef for the state to extort from the productive so people in your family could eat?

"It's rather ironic, that the German government actually gives kindergeld and elterngeld to families with children to motivate those parents to stay home and care for their children"...

Well if socialism is YOUR cup of tea holeydonut have you ever considered moving there?

Not being sarcastic but its a serious question since there are certain job types in Germany (well there was two years ago) that were needing people badly...

There's nothing in the Constitution that mandates federal interference in the welfare of any particular individual...

 
At 8/20/2008 11:36 PM, Anonymous flamebait said...

While this is a genuinely interesting topic of discussion, you forgot to post the rest of the paragraph in the report:

However, 33 states recorded birth rates for women on public assistance that were not statistically different from the national average for women on public assistance.

Women receiving public assistance in Texas, Iowa, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Alaska, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico had higher than average fertility rates for women on public assistance. Women who were receiving public assistance in New Hampshire, Delaware, Vermont, Alabama, New Jersey, New York, and California were less likely to have a birth than the national average for women receiving public assistance.

Public assistance in this report refers to individuals receiving cash assistance from the government. There is no implied causality between fertility rates and receipt of public assistance, as we do not know specifically when the women had a birth or when they began and ended their receipt of public assistance.

 
At 8/21/2008 5:49 AM, Anonymous e5 said...

"I ask that because all of these things have happened to members of my family, and none of them by any means want to be on state aid."...

juandos: >>"So this is your rationale ef for the state to extort from the productive so people in your family could eat?"

----

No, I'm asking what is the minimum level of society you are willing to accept? If you want the kind of anarchism that is going to come along with what people will resort to in order to survive, that's fine; just understand what your advocating. Is that extortion or insurance?

Would you have your welfare-neighboor's house burn down because they are 'extorting' fire-fighting services from you? Would you have them left needing medical care at the seen of an accident because they are 'extorting' medical services from you? Again, I'm honestly serious; if that's what you would have in your ideal society, that's fine.

Its just not where I want to live, regardless of how 'extorted' I am.

 
At 8/21/2008 8:30 AM, Blogger bob said...

Hard to say whether this government policy is more or less dysgenic than it's immigration policy.

 
At 8/21/2008 12:26 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you want the kind of anarchism that is going to come along with what people will resort to in order to survive, that's fine; just understand what your advocating. Is that extortion or insurance?"...

Its still extortion, its up to individuals to take care of themselves even against people who would rather steal at gun point (or have the government do it for them) than actually get a job...

"Would you have your welfare-neighboor's house burn down because they are 'extorting' fire-fighting services from you?"...

If someone can't pay for the services why should that someone get them?

"Would you have them left needing medical care at the seen [scene] of an accident because they are 'extorting' medical services from you?"

Its not medical services they are extorting, its someone else's money being wasted to compensate for someone else's incompetence...

"Its just not where I want to live, regardless of how 'extorted' I am"...

That's why there are socialist countries like Sweden where folks of your sort of mindset live...

 
At 8/21/2008 10:27 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

juandos - my point of posting about the German system was to show other countries do not abuse the government sponsored redistribution of money for having children.

I find it almost comical that you view it as a recommendation that the USA adopts the same system.

Perry's original blog post identifies an issue where it seems that women on welfare abuse the system. My point is that welfare in itself does not result in the abuse. This is a society problem, not a government problem.

 
At 8/22/2008 1:59 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I find it almost comical that you view it as a recommendation that the USA adopts the same system"...

Its probably not near as comical as you holeydounut thinking that I think we should adopt any sort of welfare system...

"Perry's original blog post identifies an issue where it seems that women on welfare abuse the system. My point is that welfare in itself does not result in the abuse. This is a society problem, not a government problem."...

The very idea of welfare that has to be financed on someone else's labors is the abuse but for some reason YOU are have a very hard time grasping that particular concept...

Reading your comments I know you aren't a dummy by any stretch of the definition, so why do you consider federal government theft of private wealth for whatever perceived social reason not a form of abuse?

Where in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights does it say that the federal government has the right to steal private wealth so it can compensate for someone else's welfare?

 
At 8/22/2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

juandos said: "If someone can't pay for the services why should that someone get them?"

Extending your logic:

1. abandoned baby. It never paid taxes, therefore it deserves no services since it hasn't paid for any.

2. 18-year-old kid, first job, just got first paycheck, so has paid taxes exactly 1 time. Gets in car wreck, no insurance. Should he get medical attention? Your logic suggests no, since he has not paid for his services.

Further, your logic suggests that you should get services proportional to what you pay. Therefore if you work a low-paying job and have not payed enough taxes to say, afford to be air-lifted to the hospital, you simply won't be.

3. Someone born with a severe mental or physical handicap. Your logic suggests that if this person was to become the state's ward, they should receive zero care or services.

4. People who do not make enough to be taxed. Your logic would suggest that even though they work and pay taxes, the tax code refunds them more than their paid taxes, so they have actually taken money out of the system. Therefore they should also receive no services.

So next time you calling 911, make sure you give them your tax-payer ID so they can verify your last 3 years of returns before they continue to provide you any service.

That's not socialism, its called living in society.

Ever hear of the Hippocratic oath?

"Into whatever homes I go, I will enter them for the benefit of the sick,..., whether they are free men or slaves."

#6. To keep the good of the patient as the highest priority. There may be other conflicting 'good purposes,' such as community welfare, conserving economic resources, supporting the criminal justice system, or simply making money for the physician or his employer that provide recurring challenges to physicians.

If you have no morality in terms of the social contract from your perspective that community services belong only to those who have paid their dues for them, that's fine. Just get ready to do battle with those who's morality has no qualms about using physical force.

And there's more of them than there are you.

 
At 8/22/2008 10:19 AM, Anonymous Kevin said...

obloodyhell said:

"Having children is a choice. Yes, people screw up, and sometimes have an unintended child -- but three times?!?!?"

You misread the data. The people in question did not have 3 kids. Their birth RATE was three times that of the non-assistance group: 155 births per thousand. Think it through. If you still find the math a bit above you I'll be happy to explain it in greater detail.

You also seem to be confusing my disappointment with the data (because we can't draw scientifically valid conclusions about causation due to the lack of pre-PRWORA data) as voicing some sort of support for public assistance. I'm afraid you're badly mistaken. Don't confuse my desire for complete data with a preconceived belief in welfare.

If public assistance provides real benefits to our society as a whole it may be worth the cost. If it does NOT provide real benefits (or even, as you feel, creates negative behaviors in recipients) then it should be discontinued immediately.

Does subsidized pre-natal care count as "public assistance"? If so, then working low-income individuals that are not on other public assistance would skew the data badly. Again, I'm not arguing that we're seeing that -- just that the data is presented without information required to actually draw conclusions.

Personally, I would LIKE to see studies that more effectively determine the cost/benefits/drawbacks of any expenditure of public funds in any way. We pay too much in taxes and desperately need to cut anything that doesn't show strong benefits at a good cost/benefit ratio.

 
At 8/22/2008 6:08 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

Juandos - quit being a contrarian just because you like to spew your thoughts and lord your pretense. You sound like a smart individual as well, so use your intellect to view situations from multiple angles before you decide to start preaching.

Read my posts again - I am citing that welfare in itself is not creating the negative externalities that is being batted around in the comments. Rather, the problem is the result of a social issue where people are very selfish and seek to abuse a system that was designed to offer aid.

I would completely agree that the absence of a welfare system in America would put an end to welfare abuse. But that is not solving the real problem. The selfishness resonates strongly throughout much of America - and that is a travesty. In the case of welfare babies, it is selfishness towards abusing government money taken from more affluent people.

I have not made a single comment in favor or against what Germany is doing. But I want you to be aware of it. I want to point out that very lucrative systems are in place elseware in this world that could be abused by women who use birth for profit. Many nations in the EU have similar policies that seem to operate without the abuse.

The topic I find interesting is attempting to answer why citizens of those nations do not face a problem with "welfare babies."

 
At 8/22/2008 7:21 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Does anyone need or deserve welfare?

I ask that as an honest question because I get the impression that the answer here is an emphatic 'No'.


LOL, and by what contorted rationalization do you derive THAT lame argument?

Oh, right: "None of YOU have ever suffered!!" ??

Bite me. You don't know JACK about any of us, our situations, or our backgrounds.

> Have you ever been eligible for food stamps for years, even while working 16-hour factory shifts, but only just recently had to actually turn to them after years of having too much dignity to accept them?

I ask that because all of these things have happened to members of my family, and none of them by any means want to be on state aid


1) I could make that claim about unemployment insurance. Been there, done that. Funny thing about UI: It ends. You find a solution.

2) 16-hour factory shifts? What, one a week? If you're working even one such shift a week (in an otherwise full-time week) you're making at least 12 grand a year at minimum wage. And the places which pay such crappy pay with not much better available aren't usually that expensive to live in. And, frankly, the real solution to such is one of two things:

a) Get some training, so you can find a better paying job.

b) If there are no better paying jobs, then MOVE. The place you are in is a hellhole where NO ONE should continue to live, a downward spiral with no future and no hope... Time to *LEAVE*

Yeah, it takes balls to do that. Family, friends, all that.

Your ancestors had 'em -- that's why you're HERE and not back home in the mother country (assuming you're not Amerind, of course). Have you considered the same type of audacity as your very poor umpty-ump grandparents had? "I'm going somewhere else, where life has some possibilities, dammit!"

> Do you really want to start with the stereotype that everyone receiving state aid is a bum? Its one thing to create a system that should encourage those capable to get out and seek employment and avoid creating an 'unproductive class'. But its another thing all together to bucket all the recipients here together.

That's your bucket, not mine. My assumption is that 75% of any of those who are on long-term state aid are either fools, incompetents, or bums.

That's because I believe that it's not THAT hard to find a job right now, and if you have kids who you can't afford to raise, the only possible justification for that is that you had enough money at one point and somehow lost it.

If that ain't the case, you had no business having kids in the first place.

Why should someone successful be forced to subsidize your children, much less YOU?

Why should the ant be forced at gunpoint to feed the grasshoppers' kids?

> Throwing parents in jail when they commit crimes also punishes the kids. So what? Without consequences there can be no accountability or responsibility.

randian, I'm suggesting that it is not unreasonable to take care of the kids. They did not create that situation. The parents did. There might be some argument for genetic failure, still, but I'll go with the humanitarian approach absent some concrete evidence along those lines.

Short of direct sterilization (perhaps for the duration of inability to pay, I dunno... which STILL won't fly these days) I don't see a better solution. By feeding the kids but not the parents, the ones actually responsible for the situation are still being held responsible.

> easy visits by sleazy 'boyfriends'

Unfortunately, the solution to that is obvious, if the 'boyfriends' are also indigent.

So the solution to that would be to "Lock things down"? You can see the lawsuit resulting from *that* if just once (and it would happen, you know it would) some PoS rapist got into the locked-down room(s).

I've considered that solution, and it has some problems with hair on them. Not sure if they can be resolved.

> I agree with Kevin where the observed condition is a consequence of a problem and that welfare-type systems in themselves do not cause the identified poor behavior.

In some, if not many cases, not initially.

But they certainly contribute to the continuance of it in most long-term situations.

Most humans are basically lazy. Make life sufficiently easy for them and they won't take steps they need to to make it a lot better -- especially when there is risk involved in going for "the main chance" and there's no real social stigma to being "on the dole" any more.

Yeah, it puts you in a class, but there's enough others in that class that you aren't an outcast, thus it has little clout.

And when everyone around you is in a similar situation, it's easy to blame "the system" rather than to take responsibility for your condition and bust your ass like hell to change it. If your literacy rate is inadequate, that can stop you from getting a better job. Work to change it. If you have absolutely no skills that any halfwitted chimpanzee can't be trained to do, Work to change it. If you're in a location with no decent jobs of any kind, Work to change it.

Take responsibility. It's something your ancestors had no option on. Our society has removed that requirement... the politicians are happy to "take that burden off your shoulders". Cash, please, and small bills only...

> It may seem odd that even the poor/unemployed families do not resort to popping out kids just to gain access to the free money.

Probably at least a decent balance between money supplied and the actual expense of the kid. Just curious -- does it go down after the first one? Is there a decreasing return?

> And they held firm that their duty was to use the money appropriately for the good of the community.

I do concur with you, though. This is a vast difference in attitude. In the USA, it's far too often considered an "entitlement" -- something the government owes you, just for existing. That attitude is probably one of the most pernicious ones floating around today: The Universe does not owe you jack shit. It was here first.

 
At 8/22/2008 7:27 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> There's nothing in the Constitution that mandates federal interference in the welfare of any particular individual...

How times have changed:

From the wiki entry for Grover Cleveland:

In 1887, Cleveland issued his most well-known veto, that of the Texas Seed Bill. After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, the Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure.

In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government: "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.

 
At 8/22/2008 7:43 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> If you want the kind of anarchism that is going to come along with what people will resort to in order to survive,

e5, human society -- this country -- got along for literally centuries without handout systems for public support.

What has changed such that we cannot do so now?

You're putting the cart before the horse.

Charity solved these problems most effectively for centuries. Such systems were severely overwhelmed by the Great Depression. So probably some assistance was called for at that point -- but, when the crisis was over, the government did not step down its assistance to encourage charity to step back in, it stepped it up even more, largely chasing these organization into nonexistance.

How many people here know the history of Mutual Aid Societies? These were how people took care of each other before the Depression. You joined a society of people with like-minded interests -- a profession, a belief, an interest in a hobby (one could belong to many societies), and they helped each other. It's part of the whole "community" thing that is missing these days. Nowadays we'd call such people "suckers".

But it was all voluntary. They no more thought of demanding someone else MUST pay for the benefit of someone they didn't even know than they thought of dancing on the moon.

 
At 8/22/2008 7:57 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> That's not socialism, its called living in society.

No, in most of the cases you describe, it is still socialism. It's the state extorting money from Peter to pay for Paul's problems. The real question is, can you really justify extortion to pay for the service in question?


I like P.J. O'Rourke's take on this argument, myself:

One secret to balancing the budget is to remember that all tax revenue is the result of holding a gun to somebody's head. Not paying taxes is against the law. If you don't pay your taxes, you'll be fined. If you don't pay the fine, you'll be jailed. If you try to escape from jail, you''ll be shot.

Thus I -- in my role as citizen and voter -- am going to shoot you -- in your role as taxpayer and ripe suck -- if you don't pay your share of the national tab. Therefore, every time the government spends money on anything, you have to ask yourself, 'Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for this?'

In the case of defense spending, the argument is simple: 'Come on, Gramma, everybody's in this together. If those Canadian hordes come down over the border, we'll all be dead meat. Pony Up.'

In the case of helping cripples, orphans, and blind people, the argument is almost as persuasive: 'Granny, I know you don't know these people from Adam, but we've got five thousand years of Judeo-Christian-Muslim-Buddhist-Hindu-Confucian-animist-jungle-God morality going here. Fork over the dough.'

But Day care doesn't fly: 'You're paying for the next-door neighbor's baby-sitter, or it's curtains for you, Lady.

- P. J. O'Rourke, 'Parliament of Whores' -

Part of the problem, hd, is that you are so used to being in a society in which the government provides these things, you cannot imagine any other system for doing it. As I noted previously, much of what you describe used to be the sort of thing which Mutual Aid Societies provided. That's not to suggest that we revert to that system -- I'm suggesting that it shows that the "government solution" isn't the only one.

All too often, people try to use "government" as the donkey to drive the cart.

I put it to you that the government is an almost singularly ill-bred donkey for this purpose. The government works much better as carrot and stick.

The Free Market and Business are much better donkeys. They pull many differently designed, aimed, and destined carts all the time and do it remarkably well.

 
At 8/23/2008 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the following:

a) a reporting of the numbers for each state,

and

b) what were the eligibility rules for receiving welfare in each state.

From that, you might be able to figure out what programs/rules/requirements work and which don't.

The numbers do make it appear that welfare dependency encourages births. It would also be of interest to see how many are out of wedlock births or under-age births.

From the impassioned arguments that have been made, perhaps a middle ground approach would be for a woman to get public assistance for the first child (we'll allow one mistake). After that the state would provide free birth control, but the woman doesn't get a bump in welfare benefits after the first kid.

If the woman is not capable of adequately taking care of the kid(s) under those rules, the kids are placed in foster homes.

What that does first, is eliminate the incentive to have kids solely to bump the welfare benefits.

The second thing it does is gets the kids out of that dysfunctional environment so they have a chance at breaking the endless cycle of welfare dependence.

 
At 8/23/2008 1:38 AM, Blogger randian said...

The topic I find interesting is attempting to answer why citizens of those nations do not face a problem with "welfare babies."

What makes you think EU countries don't have a problem with welfare babies? They in fact have a huge problem with welfare babies, especially among Muslim immigrants. Muslim men with 3 or 4 wives (even though polygamy is officially illegal), each with 3 or 4 children, are causing a huge strain on their welfare programs.

 
At 8/23/2008 3:34 AM, Blogger juandos said...

anon @ 9:51 AM says: "Extending your logic: 1) blah, blah, blah 2) blah, blah, blah..."...

So what's stopping YOU from voluntarily reaching into YOUR pocket and covering all these tales of woe with YOUR money?

I'm guessing you still haven't read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, correct?

You then say: "That's not socialism, its called living in society"...

Hmmm, according to what unimpeachable source did you get that little nugget?

"Ever hear of the Hippocratic oath?"...

Ever hear of mal-practice?

Your supposed reason for offering up the Hippocratic oath is this? "If you have no morality in terms of the social contract from your perspective that community services belong only to those who have paid their dues for them, that's fine. Just get ready to do battle with those who's morality has no qualms about using physical force"...

Well now have you finally woken up to the human condition?

Funny thing is that most people who live in the real world already have know about people willing to use physical force long before they ever set foot in high school...

"Community and social contract"... The rationale used by socialists to bolster their collective need to steal the wealth of others so as to finance their inane ideas...

==========================

Now holeydounut is just whining: "Juandos - quit being a contrarian just because you like to spew your thoughts and lord your pretense"...ROFLMAO!

Get a grip lad!

"Read my posts again - I am citing that welfare in itself is not creating the negative externalities that is being batted around in the comments. Rather, the problem is the result of a social issue where people are very selfish and seek to abuse a system that was designed to offer aid"...

Well again you are wrong... If welfare hadn't been there in the first place it couldn't have been abused, could it?

You socialists keep forgetting that YOUR actions tend to have consequences and not useful ones either...

 
At 10/13/2008 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are sad. You are focusing on the not so important things. Sleeping outside and in dorms. WHAT! Are you kidding me??? These children were not asked to be born it is not their faults. Never put down those who needs help because one day you might be in that line trying to collect or are you to ashamed. So maybe I'll see you on the street with a can, guitar and a cardboard sign, WILL WORK FOR FOOD!! Yeah some people have taken advantage of the system and there should be a time frame but do not blame these children for their parents screw ups.

 

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