[Paleopsych] welfare

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 26 18:17:22 UTC 2004

>>Welfare as freedom? Fascinating reframe. Doesn't 
quite work with me, but it is very sophisticated. Much
you say is spot on, so I will just comment on that

--I would also like to comment on YOUR reframe. By
framing my "welfare as freedom" argument AS a reframe,
you attempt to nullify the value in it. Nice job! :) 

But I still believe welfare does allow a greater
degree of freedom than being forced into a work
program in which there is little choice of the type of
job or employer. Being forced to work most of the day
for someone who doesn't treat you well is not freedom.
Having a safety net that allows you to structure your
own time (or at least pick from a broad range of
training and employment options) does give a greater
degree of freedom. 

>>My own view is that unearned income, whether by 
welfare or by trust fund, corrupts the recipient and
degrades society.<<

--That sounds like an ideological position, and let's
assume for a moment that it's true (perhaps it's true
for some and not others?) Are there ways of having
people earn their safety net income, without depriving
them of choice and dignity? I've met many people who
had gotten used to working for employers who were
bullies, and it seemed pretty degrading to them. They
were on drugs, unable to plan ahead, etc. So I could
make the same argument about a system which has a
permanent low-wage class, that you make about the
welfare system. 

I think it's reasonable to give people options to earn
an income. I just worry that forcing people into a job
market ignores the psychological impact of such an
experiment, just as you worry about the psychological
impact of welfare. We have to be humble enough to
recognize that it's ALL an experiment, and we're
playing with the lives of human beings when we
abruptly change the system.


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