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Author Topic:   Welfare - what is it and who benefits
RAZD
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Message 1 of 70 (797102)
01-11-2017 2:14 PM


I saw this article on my facebook feed and thought it would make a good discussion topic.

quote:
7 Lies About Welfare That Many People Believe Are Fact

First of all, many people would be surprised to discover that there is no one program called “welfare.”

The word “welfare” refers to a number of different government assistance programs that provide help to Americans struggling with poverty in distinct ways. SNAP/food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF), Women, Infants and Children (WIC), tax credits for working families, and Social Security are just a few programs under the welfare umbrella.

In fact, many people who complain the most about the “evils” of welfare are actually receiving it themselves—in some form or another. They just don’t realize it, because they don’t know what welfare really entails.

Myth #1: Welfare Payments Are Too High

Myth #2: Welfare Recipients Are Lazy

Myth #3: Undocumented Immigrants Are All on Welfare

Myth #4: People Use Welfare to Support Their Drug Habits

Myth #5: The ‘Welfare Queen Is Hoodwinking Us All

Myth #6: Welfare Is Not Effective

Myth #7: You’ll Never Need Welfare

Providing a safety net through government assistance makes our country stronger—and it’s time for Americans to stop spreading untrue and damaging rumors decrying the very programs that are creating a brighter future for our nation’s most vulnerable. It’s time for politicians to stop trying to cut meager benefits to struggling families.

Because there are millions of people out there who truly need these programs to help them get back on their feet. And you never know—someday, you might be one of them.


Read the article for how these are false myths if you disagree and reply with the myth as a subtitle.

There are many people who benefited from these standard types of low-income welfare early in life and ended up being successful.

Now, we can also argue that any benefit you get for a government source is social welfare, and in the broadest sense this would include (but not be limited to):

  1. Military protection
  2. Police protection
  3. Fire protection and rescue
  4. Natural disaster protection and assistance
  5. Public infrastructure works and maintenance (roads, bridges, tunnels, water and sewage treatment, etc)
  6. Tax credits and tax cuts (including IRA's, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), etc. )
  7. Public school education
  8. Government loans at reduced rates (mortgages, school loans, etc) and grants
  9. Government regulations that ensure breathable air, drinkable water, unpolluted lakes and streams, safe working conditions, etc. etc. etc.

General welfare would include standard low income welfare and social welfare, and thus in this broader sense we are all receiving general welfare.

So the question becomes not so much who is getting benefits, but what is the best way for society to invest the welfare dollars for the good of the people:

quote:
U.S. Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


... to promote the general welfare for ourselves and our posterity ...

IIRC (if not correct let me know) several studies have shown that giving a poor person a dollar returns ~$1.40 or more to the economy (trickle up works) while giving a rich person a dollar returns ~$0.90 or less to the economy (trickle down doesn't work).

Additional information to aid the discussion, from WELFARE-TO-WORK PROGRAM BENEFITS AND COSTS

quote:
This synthesis also reports estimates of the return on investment (ROI) per net dollar invested by the government. ROIs were calculated for each program from all three perspectives. ROIs are popular with analysts and program operators because they facilitate comparisons of the cost-effectiveness of programs per net dollar invested. ROIs, which are often called “benefit-cost ratios,” are computed by dividing program benefits by program operating costs.

  • The participant ROI ratio measures the change in participant income per net dollar invested in the program by the government, not by the participants themselves. If participant income increases as a result of a program, then the participant ROI will be positive. If the participants gained more than a dollar in income for each dollar invested by the government (implying that the income transfer process is quite efficient), the participant ROI will be not only positive but greater than one.
  • A government budget ROI ratio in excess of one implies that the government’s return on its investment, from a budgetary perspective, was in excess of its cost.
  • A social ROI ratio of greater than one implies that society has received more than a dollar in increased resources for each public dollar invested in the program. Because the social perspective in this synthesis is usually defined as the sum of the participant and the government budget perspectives, the social ROI is usually the sum of the participant and the government budget ROIs. ...

Table ES.2
Five-Year Summary Statistics of Net Value and ROI per Program Group Member, by Program Type (in 2006 dollars)

Program TypeMeanMedianMinimumMaximum
Earnings supplement
a Participant perspective$5,396$5,602$239$10,141
(4.22)(4.22)(3.72)(4.71)
Government budget perspective-$3,532-$1,472-$10,958-$228
-(0.16)-(0.16)-(0.91)(0.58)
Social perspective$1,865$1,132-$815$6,009
(4.06)(4.06)(2.82)(5.30)


Note that this study only covered the "standard" low income welfare programs and not tax cuts and credits, etc. ... and that I have only included one example from the data. This one example shows that for a $1 investment that the return was a net loss of $0.16 from the government and a net gain of $4.06 for the economy.

This paper discusses "standard" welfare benefit by age: Return on Investment: Cost vs. Benefits and there is a graph on page 2 showing the most return is during the younger years.

Likewise studies on raising the minimum wage results in economic growth, and as that is a means to provide Earnings supplement the above excerpt from the table is applicable in showing why this occurs.

All the standard welfare programs are efforts to provide a minimum living income, so the next logical step is for societies to move towards a guaranteed living income, because Earnings supplements show a positive gain for the economy and society in general.

Enjoy


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Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-11-2017 3:17 PM RAZD has responded
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 4 of 70 (797127)
01-12-2017 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
01-11-2017 3:17 PM


Myth #1: Welfare Payments Are Too High
I am grateful to be able to pay taxes and that unemployment insurance exists for those of us who through no fault of our own lose our jobs. ...

I have been on unemployment several times and other forms of assistance at various times and now I am getting social security, but I also have investments that now allow us to live comfortably.

Things happen in life. People get hurt...they get sick...they fall behind. ...

Indeed, and that is why it is called unemployment insurance -- a policy that you pay into against the chances of being unemployed, and not an "entitlement" -- and also why it is called social security -- to ensure elderly and disabled have a livable income, again it is an insurance policy that you pay into against the chances of being destitute and not an "entitlement" ....

... It is our governments duty to help the less fortunate.

And this is where there is a divide between conservatives and progressives: how much is our government bound to assist those less fortunate individuals.

Lets talk about the myths.

Starting with Myth #1: Welfare Payments Are Too High ... from the article in Message 1

quote:
In reality, welfare benefits are modest at best, despite the continual attacks by conservative politicians who try, year after year, to reduce them.

Take the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps: The average benefit per person is $1.50 per meal.

Can you imagine trying to feed yourself adequately—not to mention healthily—on such an small amount of money?

Similar to SNAP, most other government assistance programs seek to provide only the barest minimum amount of help that an individual or family needs to survive.


I would challenge anyone who thinks these programs are paying to much to live on the allowances they provide.

One of the problems I have with the programs is that when you start working or get a raise your benefits are cut by the same amount, making it a lot harder to climb out of the hole, and also presenting a disincentive to advance by working harder.

How much better would it be to have a guaranteed livable income regardless of your financial condition, and then be able to build on that through work.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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RAZD
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Joined: 03-14-2004
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(2)
Message 6 of 70 (797135)
01-12-2017 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Riggamortis
01-12-2017 8:48 AM


I got a bit carried away there but I thought it wouldn't hurt to add some insight into a more socialist nation. Maybe you guys will see what you're missing out on

I lived in Canada for nigh on 19 years, our son was born there at no cost to us, my impacted wisdom teeth were removed at no cost to us. I collected unemployment at one point and also now receive the Canadian Pension Plan -- one of two plans they have in lieu of Social Security.

Hidden Unemployment: 1.386 million

I'm curious how this is calculated, and does this include stay-at-home moms (which I would consider "underemployed")?

That's nearly 20 people looking for work for every job vacancy! ...

When I was unemployed in Canada there were ~400 applicants for a single position in my field.

When I was employed (by a town), I was hiring technical staff to fill out a new department, and I had ~200 applications for one job.

Enjoy


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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


(1)
Message 10 of 70 (797158)
01-13-2017 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Taq
01-12-2017 4:00 PM


Re: The Fraud Myth -- Myth #5
I have also heard many politicians spreading the myth that there is rampant welfare fraud. The truth of the matter is that outright fraud is very rare. ...

That's covered by

quote:
Myth #5: The ‘Welfare Queen Is Hoodwinking Us All

Ronald Reagan once made a speech in which he claimed “There’s a woman in Chicago. She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards… She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income alone is over $150,000.”

“Who is this woman and how dare she steal the money of innocent, hardworking people?”cried the voices of people across the nation.

Thus was born the infamous and still widely discussed “Welfare Queen.”

She stands for all welfare recipients that are (supposedly) lazily drinking the day away, popping out babies in order to “rake in” more welfare money, and fooling the system by getting more than their share of benefits and then using them to buy iPhones and lobster dinners.

Oh, and she’s obviously Black. Although Reagan didn’t specifically mention her race, he played upon white America’s racial fears to ensure that people assumed she was Black.

What’s more, she is the perfect scapegoat for us to blame for the problems of our nation, the perfect reason to not feel bad about voting for politicians who want to cut meager welfare benefits to struggling families.

There’s just one catch.

She doesn’t exist. Good old President Reagan made her up.

What’s much more important than the falsehood of that single example is the fact that this stereotype doesn’t hold up in general. As we’ve already discovered, most welfare recipients are people just like us—hard workers struggling to support themselves and their families in the wake of the Great Recession.

My advice? Speak out when people bring up the tired Welfare Queen and her 12 babies. A future in which people don’t begrudge struggling families their humble benefits based on a racist myth is possible.

Spread knowledge and knowledge will overcome.


Conservatives like to vilify the other 99% of welfare programs based on that 1% fraud. That's sickening, and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

Indeed. Especially when the problem is companies that don't pay a living wage for a 40 hour work week. Companies like Walmart that even have courses for employees to file for welfare and medicare programs instead of paying enough and providing health insurance for their workers -- THEY are scamming the system to line their greedy pockets when million dollar incomes are not enough: THESE are the real [i]Welfare Queens, and they put Ronald's mythical queen to shame. We end up subsidizing these billionaires from our tax dollars.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 12 of 70 (797177)
01-13-2017 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Taq
01-13-2017 3:01 PM


Re: The Fraud Myth -- Myth #5
... What I think everyone agrees on is that capitalism isn't a fair economic system. ...

Capitalism is inherently amoral and has no mechanism to reign in amoral people. Left to it's own devices a free market capitalist system will always trend towards increasing income inequality, that will take advantage of moral people and poor people, because it can, and because it rewards amoral behavior -- amoral people stealing, cheating, scamming -- taking what they can, however they can.

Because of this a free market capitalist system will create and maintain multitudes of poor people. I'd like to thinks that these poor people have stronger morals than the takers ... but I don't know for sure.

... However, it is one of the better economic systems out there. ...

So far, and only as it applies to large scale systems. Communal sharing works well in small groups (indeed it is the default system for virtually all indigenous tribes), such as worker owned companies, where the profits are shared equitably among all employees (as opposed to feudal model corporations concentrating profit gains to the kings and lords).

This doesn't mean that we can't tweak the system to provide more equitable results. Social Capitalism, such as seen in the Nordic Countries, for example, provides a democratic social conscience to the system, and a goal to treat the least well off in a humane and respectful manner. This is where universal healthcare and guaranteed living income become public\government goals rather than personal or corporate profits.

Those who do better than others pay taxes based on how much they benefit from the economic system.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.


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RAZD
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Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 15 of 70 (797198)
01-14-2017 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Riggamortis
01-12-2017 3:57 PM


... the hidden unemployment is people capable of work who do want to work but aren't actively looking. The figure is mostly stay at home parents and students.

Ah, so that could be inflating the number a bit. I don't consider people not looking for work as unemployed, whereas this seems to assume that everyone capable of working should work.

And a parent staying home would be an underpaid childcare worker, not unemployed ... as I see it. Their "income compensation" would be in tax credits and the income of a working spouse.

Likewise I don't think every student should have to work as well as go to school.

Thanks.

Edited by RAZD, : .


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RAZD
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Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 16 of 70 (797199)
01-14-2017 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by NoNukes
01-12-2017 2:51 PM


What would be the point of such a classification? What if it turned out that 50% of married women were stay-at-home moms? Would that be a bad thing?

No, that is why I said they should be counted as underemployed -- they don't get full compensation for being a child caregiver ... tax breaks are minimal, and even professional caregivers are typically underpaid.

Being a stay-at-home parent is only a negative thing if the parents have not decided that staying at home is in the interest of their family.

With a guaranteed living income more parents could afford to stay home and provide this critical care, certainly through the early years.

Enjoy


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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 17 of 70 (797200)
01-14-2017 9:50 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Tangle
01-13-2017 4:39 PM


Captalism selects for (rewards) psycopathy?
Well I think we know for sure that people are universally the same - on average.

But we also know that they individually differ. And a very common feature of individuals that make and run large corporations is psychopathy. So go figure.

So capitalism tends to select for (rewards) individuals that are pathological liars, cheaters and scammers, and thus they benefit more from the capitalist system.

This is why we have laws and regulated capitalism - to differing degrees.

Indeed, and we can compare different systems for their degree of success in spreading the benefits of capitalism (the generation of profits) and ameliorating the disadvantages of capitalism (ecological destruction, poverty, pollution, etc).

We can do it with specific programs (minimum wages for example and between states in the US (Wisconsin vs Minnesota for example) and we can do it between nations (social democracies in Europe vs hyper capitalist countries like the US).

In every case the more socialist programs result in greater general wealth, health and happiness.

As social systems evolve we see a trend towards increased social programs being democratically applied, universal health care, free university, etc etc etc, and the logical next step is a guaranteed living income. Especially as production become more automated and fewer workers are needed, but consumers are still needed to consume the products.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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RAZD
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Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


(1)
Message 18 of 70 (797201)
01-14-2017 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2017 5:58 AM


Myth #2: Welfare Recipients Are Lazy
And that has always been the crux of the issue when it comes socialism -- the human condition. You talk about income inequality as if some people are intentionally holding other people down but make no mention of the inequality of effort where one person has to bust their ass to feed someone who knows they can live off the forced charity of a system. ...

This falls under the 2nd Myth -- that Welfare Recipients Are Lazy.

quote:
The idea that most people on welfare are able-bodied adults who are just too lazy to get a job and make an honest living is utterly false.

Most benefit programs require recipients to work in order to collect. Take Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), for example. Single parents receiving this grant must work at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible, and two-parent families must work between 35 and 50 hours a week.

The fact is, blue-collar wages in America are simply not high enough to support workers in today’s economy. The wages paid by many large employers are so low that their full-time employees are eligible for welfare.

You heard that right: People are working full-time to support their families, paying their fair share of taxes, but are so underpaid that they can’t get by without relying on government assistance.

This is partly due to the disturbing fact that the federal minimum wage has not been increased in over five years (despite the incessantly rising cost of living in our country) and partly due to voracious corporate greed.

And furthermore, half of all food stamp recipients are children. More than 82% of all food stamp money goes to households that include children, elderly people, or people with disabilities.These are people who legally or physically cannot work and live at the mercy of the system.

So where are all of these able-bodied lazy adults who are luxuriating off of their benefits? They are a fabrication.

Most people on welfare are hardworking, taxpaying citizens, just like the rest of us. Or they are impoverished children, elders, or folks with disabilities.

But it’s a lot easier for welfare critics to take help away from people that they imagine are lazy and deceitful, so that false image lives on.


So, sorry, but "that dog don't hunt"

The Nordic system you refer to is crumbling under its own weight. ...

Is this just another fake conservative news meme or do you have real data to back that up?

... They have a massive housing crisis in places like Sweden due largely in part to an influx in a migrant population that is eating its reserves without replenishing it. ...

So the fault\cause of the problem is not the socio-economic system per se but the immigration crisis ... last I heard this was affecting all European countries indiscriminate of their governmental socio-economic system.

Curiously I don't consider Germany to be overly socialistic.

... The hilarious thing is that you have no problem watching this fitness in action in biological, evolutionary terms. THAT is truly amoral -- neither moral nor immoral. It's just the reality. And the reality that you prefer not to recognize is that none of us deserve jack shit. Not a single one of us. Just because we're out of the forests doesn't mean that survival of the fittest no longer applies. We have to fight our lives every single day. There are winners in that game and there are losers.

AH yes the old fallacy of Social Darwinism ... when the fact is that we evolved to be social animals that take care of those in our tribe, young, elderly, disabled, and that the default "economy" of tribes is to share. We just had a discussion around altruism on The implications of Evolution and how it evolves is social organisms, and how game theory shows it to have advantages.

Amoral or immoral?

Amoral. Pathological people don't go against their morals to behave the way they do, they think it is normal, and in extreme cases take pride in it.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 19 of 70 (797202)
01-14-2017 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2017 5:58 AM


Myth #6: Welfare Is Not Effective
continuing ...

Now, since humans have more or less decided to get together for the betterment of our species as a collective way to maximize our survival, I would agree that safety nets ought to be in place in the form of unemployment insurance and to a lesser degree welfare, but to think that expanding the welfare state is the answer is extremely naive. People should be incentivized towards self-sufficiency. Some people legitimately cannot and it is those people that the system was designed for. But as we see in this country, almost a 3rd of the nation is on some form of welfare... Ridiculous. And unnecessary.

This falls under the 6th Myth -- that Welfare Is Not Effective

quote:
Government assistance is extremely effective at helping people get out of—and stay out of—poverty.

Conservative groups like the Cato Institute try to convince the public that because of increasing demand for programs such as food stamps, welfare has failed. In fact, the economic damage done by the Great Recession is the cause of rising food stamp participants.

The question we should be asking is, where would we be without these programs?

Well, in 2013, for example:

  • Food stamps helped lessen the burden of poverty for 4.8 million people.
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit kept 8 million hardworking families from falling under the poverty line.
  • If Social Security didn’t exist, 27 million more people would be poor.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Every year, Census Bureau data proves that welfare programs are instrumental in helping people get back on their feet—and quickly.

This is exactly why these programs are necessary. And precisely why cutting their funding doesn’t make any sense.

In contrast, increasing funding to welfare programs would help alleviate poverty to an even greater extent, which would in turn help the economy grow and protect the middle class.


... I would agree that safety nets ought to be in place in the form of unemployment insurance ...

And how do you deal with the unemployment caused by increased automation? People who never had a chance to get a good paying job because the grew up in a declining job market?

Consider that these programs provide a minimal living income, and that if this were universal that it would benefit society and the economy:

  • they are still consumers, and what the economy lacks right now is consumers not producers.
  • there would be no need for a minimum wage regulation, companies would need to offer enough pay to attract people that want more than the minimum out of life.
  • this would enable students to pursue their field/s of interest, working occasionally to enable them to buy supplies.
  • this would enable parents to have a stay at home care parent, thus improving the health and growth of the children, children that would be fed and loved.
  • this would enable artists to pursue their dreams without starving in a garret, working occasionally to enable them to buy supplies.
  • this enables new start up businesses and small businesses to grow without being hamstrung by minimum wage etc regulations.
  • it would not inhibit those that want to be come excessively rich.
  • etc.

With automation becoming an increasing reality, this is the only solution I see against massive starvation and poverty.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


(1)
Message 30 of 70 (797291)
01-16-2017 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2017 1:04 PM


Re: Myth #2: Welfare Recipients Are Lazy
This is in PDF version, so I can't link it any other way on this site.
https://www.researchgate.net/...en's_Crumbling_Welfare_State

I signed up for free permission to see this, but am still waiting for final approval.

So then you honestly believe that upwards of 25% of the population is so infirm that they can't reasonably take care of themselves? That belies all credibility, sir.

Not at all. What the data shows is that most people on various welfare programs ARE working, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs, but the PAY is not enough to live on and they qualify for benefits because their income is low. This is where minimum wage comes in -- because those companies that pay workers so low they qualify for welfare means those companies are sucking money out of the workers ... AND the taxpayers.

The migrant crisis is massively contributing to it due to a shortage in homes, a lack of assimilation, deep resentment on both sides, etc...

I'll wait for the article before I respond in full, but I don't think you can blame the more socially developed countries for failing from this cause. In the long run this should balance out as more immigrants find work and contribute back to the system.

... But bringing Germany up is actually a great reference in the sense that she and France have been propping up the rest of the EU for close to a decade now. Places like Greece, ...

The problems in Greece were exacerbated by the banking collapse and by greedy bankers in Germany and the US, etc, buying up the debt and then imposing rapacious interest on them. They have aggravated the problem further by insisting on austerity measures that virtually guarantee an inability to grow and recover.

... it tries to eat its own flesh in the sense that it parasites off of the working class to fund the failed and corrupt government through the barrel of a gun.

So again, the problem is not the socialist programs per se but the corruption in government.

Yeah, exactly, OUR tribe... The problem is that you attribute "our tribe" to be the entire human race, which history and anthropology would strenuously disagree with. ... The problem is the people that think you can just magically extrapolate it on a grand scale and achieve the same results. ...

The more socially evolved you are the larger your tribe. I consider that conservatives have more "them" than "us" while progressives have more "us" than "them" in their equations. We are all siblings.

... I agree that in truly small, communal communities that a form of socialism and communism can and does work. ...

Because it is easier to work in small groups, but that doesn't really mean there isn't opportunity to grow.

An economic system where the economy is basically capitalistic, but the corporations are worker owned democratically run co-ops would be an improvement over one where corporations are run by elites as small feudal kingdoms.

We wage a revolutionary war to rid ourselves of feudalistic top-down government, why should we tolerate it in corporations?

... History demonstrates ad naseum that it cannot.

Except for where it does work, and where it does work is where the government is democratic and the people decide how the benefits of the capitalistic economy are shared among the people. Where social programs temper the evils of unfettered capitalism for the benefit of the general population.

The World Happiness Survey was done by the UN to measure and compare countries on national happiness:

quote:
The first World Happiness Report was released on April 1, 2012 as a foundational text for the meeting. It drew international attention as the world's first global happiness survey.[2] The report outlined the state of world happiness, causes of happiness and misery, and policy implications highlighted by case studies. In September 2013 the second World Happiness Report offered the first annual follow-up and reports are now issued every year.[3] The report uses data from the Gallup World Poll. Each annual report is available to the public on the World Happiness Report website.

In the reports, leading experts in several fields--economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, and more--describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. Each report is organized by chapters that delve deeper into issues relating to happiness, including mental illness, the objective benefits of happiness, the importance of ethics, policy implications, and links with the OECD's approach to measuring subjective well-being and the Human Development Report.

Data is collected from people in over 150 countries. Each variable measured reveals a populated-weighted average score on a scale running from 0 to 10 that is tracked over time and compared against other countries. These variables currently include: real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption. Each country is also compared against a hypothetical nation called Dystopia. Dystopia represents the lowest national averages for each key variable and is, along with residual error, used as a regression benchmark.

Overall RankCountryScoreChange Over PriorAmount
1Denmark7.526-0.401
2Switzerland7.509+0.035
3Iceland7.5010.000
4Norway7.498+0.082
5Finland7.498-0.259
6Canada7.404-0.041
7Netherlands7.339-0.119
8New Zealand7.334-0.097
9Australia70119-0.003
10Sweden7.291-0.017
13United States7.104-0.261

Curious that all the countries that rank higher than the US have more socialistic programs, from universal healthcare to free college education. They have more family leave, vacation time, and larger benefits for unemployment and social assistance.

... History demonstrates ad naseum that it cannot.

History demonstrates ad nauseum that democratic socialist countries succeed in providing more overall happiness for their populations.

Democracy works best, imho, when the population is well educated, healthy and properly compensated for work.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 31 of 70 (797292)
01-16-2017 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by NoNukes
01-15-2017 6:51 PM


I don't get compensated for making my bed or doing my laundry either. I think it is difficult to make the case that you should be compensated for raising your own kids.

So we shouldn't have tax breaks for raising families?

Curiously I think it is of benefit to society as a whole to have well nourished, healthy kids, and I do think this is best provided by parents rather than the state. How people decide to share time and resources between themselves and others is up to them, but a universal basic living income would go a long way to improving childcare, imho.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by NoNukes, posted 01-15-2017 6:51 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


(2)
Message 32 of 70 (797293)
01-16-2017 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by New Cat's Eye
01-14-2017 9:17 PM


Re: Myth #2: Welfare Recipients Are Lazy
Working hard on a project while that one guy in the group doen't do anything sucks, but capitalizing on that reward drives you to do it anyways.

Agreed, and that would not be taken away with minimum wage or living basic income -- you would still have the ability to drive and increase your returns.

And if you aren't hampered by someone who doesn't want to be there it would be even easier. It's like people taking the bus make it easier for people to drive.

Trying to make that out as some kind of pathology is a little disgusting, at face value.

Then you are either missing the point or taking umbrage at something that only applies in extreme conditions. Compare a person who has a few cats to one with a household of cats (addicted to cats?).

I haven't read this thread, and I'm not sure I want to...

Perhaps because it goes against your biases. Your loss.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-14-2017 9:17 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-16-2017 2:10 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


(3)
Message 53 of 70 (797391)
01-19-2017 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by New Cat's Eye
01-16-2017 2:10 PM


Re: Don't Feel Demonized
I probably am missing the point. Why are you equating capitalists to patholical people?

Evidently you are, because I am not. What is pathological is those who take it to extremes, not the average person, and certainly not those that treat workers justly and pay fair wages. Like the difference between a person with a house full of cats compared to a person with one or two cats. One is pathological the other is not.

Are you failing to recognize that, while capitalism doesn't drive public spending on welfare, that many capitalists do a lot privately to help a lot of people?

Irrelevant. There are still people left out, so the generous capitalists are not the answer.

And they could do more by helping ensure workers are treated justly and paid fair wages.

Walamart is a case in point, Alice Walton wants to build an Art Museum, but they pay starvation wages to their workers.

I knew you'd say that. Perhaps your argument really is disgusting. Demonizing people with different opinions is pretty awful.

Curiously, I am at a total loss at how you equate my arguments with demonizing you. The article is about how typical conservative talking points are actually false myths. That's reality, not demonizing.

You also contradict yourself:

quote:
And furthermore, half of all food stamp recipients are children. More than 82% of all food stamp money goes to households that include children, elderly people, or people with disabilities.These are people who legally or physically cannot work and live at the mercy of the system.

What the data shows is that most people on various welfare programs ARE working, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs, but the PAY is not enough to live on and they qualify for benefits because their income is low.

Except, that is not a contradiction when working people get food stamps and other aid assistance (housing, medicaid, etc) and work 2 or 3 jobs and have kids and parents to support. The family gets the aid, not just the working member.

... bums, and by bum I don't mean "homeless person", I mean like bumming a cigarette, or not contributing to a group project.

Perhaps a better phrase would be slackers, less demonizing iykwim.

A better approach for the use of force, ...

Who is using force?

... realize the benefits that contributors will receive if they capitalize on the reward they'll get even despite the bum not doing anything. I guess; more carrot, less stick.

And what about the benefits everyone will realize with increased consumption of goods by people with money to spend?

You do realize, don't you, that fewer workers are needed for production now than were needed 10 years ago? That automation will continue to cut into the number of people needed to complete tasks?

You do realize that there are now more people looking for good paying jobs than there are jobs available, that a lot of people are underemployed because they cannot find work at the same level they had 10 years ago (before the bank fiasco)?

For example, the mythological "welfare queen"... I've seen and talked with people like that around where I live. Your argument that "nuh-uh, the corporations are the real welfare queens" rings hallow and doesn't negate the people that I've met.

How many have you talked to, and how many are there in your area getting benefits? Your argument is anecdotal and does not represents a full accounting of the numbers.

Please note that Taq in Message 9 said:

quote:
I have also heard many politicians spreading the myth that there is rampant welfare fraud. The truth of the matter is that outright fraud is very rare. A quick google search turned up some figures for food stamps:

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamps program, said 3.8 percent of benefits were paid in error in 2011, according to a factcheck done by PolitiFact Texas in June 2013. The error rate covers both overpayments, including fraud, as well as underpayments. Caseworker mistakes, rather than fraud, were the primary cause."
http://www.politifact.com/...cents-every-1-spent-four-govern

3.8% of benefits are paid in error, and this includes all errors, from clerical mistakes to outright fraud. Therefore, fraud probably makes up about 1% of the budget assigned for food stamps.

Conservatives like to vilify the other 99% of welfare programs based on that 1% fraud. That's sickening, and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.


He might have said "demonize" rather than "vilify", but I guess he is talking about you there.

Or, that welfare payments are too high... Talking about the cost of the average benefit per person does nothing to negate my experience with the guy I met who was selling stacks of food stamps outside the grocery store at half price so he could convert them into cash money.

ROFLOL. Don't you know that paper "food stamps" books are no longer used, but that you get something like a debit-card to use?

quote:
Check Your EBT Balance :

SNAP and Cash Account
Transaction History
Change Your PIN
Report Card Lost or Damaged


So I guess your anecdotal is ~30 years out of date.

Personally, I prefer to make my own decisions on how my money goes to help people, rather than throwing it into a tax-pool and letting other people decide how to use it. I'm a capitalist who does like to help people, and I'm not pathological nor psychopathic. I try not to let my personal beliefs get in the way of business, but socially I'm very generous and considerate. So I'm most likely not going support government welfare programs that much, but that doesn't really reflect my character.

So you pay a minimum living wage and provide full benefits for your worers, bravo ... or is it because you want to decide who doesn't get the benefits you give others?

What do you want to do about the people that don't pay a living wage for 40 hours of work per week? The ones that cause people filing for benefits to provide basic food, home and health for their family while they pocket the difference in pay?

We pay for these cost one way or another, so what is your solution? Waiting for benefactors to step up is not working.

And for you to demonize your opponents as pathological people is just wrong. Plus, it's totally ruining your argument.

And for you to demonize those seeking benefits as lazy slackers (bums) is just wrong. Plus, it's totally ruining your argument ... especially when you use out of date anecdotal opinions instead of facts.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : .


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-16-2017 2:10 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19871
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 54 of 70 (797392)
01-19-2017 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by caffeine
01-16-2017 4:34 PM


Re: Captalism selects for (rewards) psycopathy?
Since the 1980s there has been a clear and unmistakable trend throughout the Western world for a rolling back of the welfare state. I am not claiming that this is a good thing, I'm just struggling to understand how it is that you're seeing the opposite?

I look at long term gains. Two steps forward, one step back.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by caffeine, posted 01-16-2017 4:34 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
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