Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Veni, vedi, fish velocipede

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                                                                                                                                             

Academic Achievement for Benefits

Performance based system for receiving welfare benefits.
  (+6, -7)
(+6, -7)
  [vote for,
against]

One issue that we have with the welfare system in the US is that recipients often pass this way of life on to their children.

It becomes a generational situation where mothers are celebrating daughters who come of age and get their benefits and in turn making it the highest aspiration for their offspring. I propose that in order to help break this cycle, the children of welfare recipients are required to excel academically in order for the parent to receive benefits. If the kids get straight A's for the month, the family gets full benefits plus a few more dollars added. On the other hand if the child comes home with anything less than average, there will be penalties imposed.

If little Johnny doesn't do his homework, the family might have to eat Ramen noodles for dinner every night instead steak and lobster. The extra money that they thought that they would have for new shoes, Christmas toys, and a trip to the video game store will quickly dry up unless those kids hit those books, study, and rise to the top of their class.

In turn this would help these students become productive members of society to where they get a good education, then they learn how to get into a good career, and then they eventually start paying taxes and paying into the system vs. spending another generation taking from it.

Also, this would force parents to be accountable about how well they raise their children. If the average welfare parent isn't doing anything all day except for watching talk shows, they have plenty of time to make sure their kids get good grades, even if it means going up to the school and taking an active role in their child's education.

If the parent does it for nothing else other than to get that steak dinner, we will have a society of more people who are productive able-bodied tax payers. Otherwise we will be paying taxes to support their children and their children's children.

Jscotty, Jul 22 2012

Linking welfare benefits with school attendance. http://www.aeufeder.../LBehrendtpaper.pdf
[AusCan531, Jul 22 2012]

Cheating in schools http://www.theatlan...-the-nation/255105/
Educators and researchers have argued that the intense emphasis on student test scores, a mandate of the federal No Child Left Behind Law, put pressure on educators to show dramatic (and often unrealistic) gains in student achievement. As a result, they argue, cheating is much more likely to occur. [bungston, Jul 25 2012]

Only a Pawn in their Game http://en.wikipedia..._Pawn_in_Their_Game
The politics of distraction are more effective than ever. But I am glad fewer people get killed over it these days. [bungston, Jul 25 2012]

[link]






       Excellent idea. Whips and cattle prods available free-issue from your local welfare office.   

       [+]
8th of 7, Jul 22 2012
  

       Wow - I didn't realize the US welfare system allowed for steak and lobster on a regular basis. I'll be right over.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 22 2012
  

       Yeah. I've been at the supermarket many times spending my last $20-$30 only to see the family in front of me with steaks and lobsters in a cart that's full to the top with everything that you can imagine. And then when it's time to pay, they whip out their benefit card.
Jscotty, Jul 22 2012
  

       Sign me up. I have a US passport I'm not using - can they send benefits to the UK? My earnings in the US are zero, so I ought to qualify.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 22 2012
  

       // send benefits to the UK //   

       Indeed they can, but in the last century those "benefits" came with strings, like sexually-predatory G.I.s, Tomahawk cruise missiles, F-111's, and The Osmonds; and of they weren't an act of pure spite, we don't know what is.
8th of 7, Jul 22 2012
  

       So, this is a plan to create childhood slavery, to feed overweight, greedy parents? Niiiiice....
UnaBubba, Jul 22 2012
  

       Any efforts to reduce crippling welfare payments receive a bun from me.   

       Nor sure if targetting the children this aggressively is the answer. Perhaps if welfare allowances could be split into "essentials" and "luxuries" - then children's failure to submit homework or assignments, or low grades, etc could be used to apply pressure to the parents by way of limiting the "luxuries" allowance.   

       Steak and lobster? Not sure about that. Alcohol and cigarettes? Hit 'em where it hurts.
Custardguts, Jul 22 2012
  

       Baked in Australia for some Indigenous communities. The jury is still out on whether or not it works. [link]
AusCan531, Jul 22 2012
  

       Not quite the same thing, [AusCan]. In the Australian case they are sequestering funds to ensure they are used for purchase of groceries, rather than alcohol.
UnaBubba, Jul 23 2012
  

       //So, this is a plan to create childhood slavery, to feed overweight, greedy parents? //   

       Making kids do their homework so that they can be better people and have a better life isn't exactly slavery. If they want to be ignorant, it's their choice. But if I have anything to say about it, they won't be ignorant on my dime. The way I see it is that if I am making them learn how to read so they don't need a handout from me later, then forcing them to learn isn't exactly a bad idea.
Jscotty, Jul 23 2012
  

       I'm generally not a fan of social engineering ideas, but I like this one. It is uncomplicated, easily-institued, and could produce remarkable long-term benefits. Bun.   

       As for the lobster... Well, there are two secrets to a great lobster meal. The first is where to buy the bugs: not at a restaurant. Unless the joint has at least four stars, you're paying far too much money for a tiny, overcooked hardshell. If you do not have the good fortune of living in a northernish coastal area, you must order the lobsters live- shipped and prepare them yourself. This is the second secret: preparation. Do not boil your lobsters! This ruins the meat, making it rubbery and dense. Lobsters must be steamed over salt water. If the place you order them from offers fresh seaweed, get it. Toss a handful of seaweed in with every bug, steam them until they're crimson, sprinkle some fresh dill into the melted butter, and you'll have a feast only haute cuisine chefs can rival.   

       Sorry about the tangent... I just think it's tragic that so few people have experienced properly-cooked lobster.
Alterother, Jul 23 2012
  

       //so few people have experienced properly-cooked lobster//   

       I will pop round for a feed.   

       [UB] The link I put up was referring to school attendance. I'm aware of the 'groceries not grog' deal too.
AusCan531, Jul 23 2012
  

       Personally, I like my lobster shelled and sliced, still live, before me. I then swish the slices through ponzu and wasabi and garnished with grated daikon radish.
UnaBubba, Jul 23 2012
  

       In a sense, this situation has existed here in the UK until recently in the form of EMA, where students regardless of family income were paid just to go to college. The result was that college classes were full of people pissing about and making it harder for genuinely motivated students to learn because they were only doing it for the money. For families in our position, EMA was a substantial part of our income, but in spite of that i'm happy they got rid of it because it now means our daughter is more likely to be able to get somewhere in the long term without being waylaid by a load of timewasters. I only haven't boned this idea because I don't vote against ideas here.   

       I actually think parents should be financially penalised for sending their children to school, but i realise that's an unpopular opinion. I'll defend it if you like.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2012
  

       //force parents to be accountable about how well they raise their children//   

       What about the (doubtless minority) of cases where either the child is just plain dumb; or the school is just plain lousy; or the child is a 15 year old brick shithouse who is not going to be told what to do by his or her parents?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 23 2012
  

       Schools are often mistakenly seen as educational premises, whereas the only real educational premises are the nervous and immune systems. It isn't their job to instil learning but to provide childcare during working hours. It is in a sense the child's "job" to learn, though that's a bit like saying it's someone's job to breathe, which is generally true only of the royal family. Moreover, what if academic achievement makes one less employable? If i'd left school without any O-levels i'd probably be in a nine-to-five job now, paying thousands a year in tax and providing a worthwhile service every working day. As it is, in economic terms probably every advanced qualification i have has reduced my employability and i 'm by no means alone. Rewarding academic achievement financially could encourage dependence on the welfare state.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2012
  

       The childcare aspect of "education" iis something which is, by some sort of general conspiracy, hardly ever spoken of.   

       The first five or six years of schooling have very little to do with education, but much more to do with social indoctrination and a Jesuitical "Give me the child and I will give you the man" imposition of heirarchy.   

       If education started at 12 years old, there would be many benefits. Firstly, during the preceeding years, a significant number of children would have eliminated themselves from the gene pool by taking advantage of the extensive opportunities for being very stupid; falling out of trees, traffic accidents, ggetting shot up in firefights with rival drug gangs. Also, having a higher degree of cerebral development, they will learn much faster.   

       The existing system was instituted at a time when work or apprenticeship started at about 13. This filled the gap between the child becoming acceptably autonomous (at about 5) and joining the workforce.   

       Time for a far-reaching review, we suggest.   

       // the child is a 15 year old brick shithouse who is not going to be told what to do by his or her parents? //   

       Simple. Fix them firmly to a solid concrete plinth at the far end of the garden, and then visit a couple of times a day to urinate on them.
8th of 7, Jul 23 2012
  

       For as long as there is an important perceived division of labour between the domestic sphere and the workplace, to some extent the institution of state schooling and its hidden curriculum of perpetuating that division serves a social function. However, to the extent that childcare can take place in the workplace and paid work can be done at home, the need for state schooling is diminished, and it's a fact that many people do in fact work from home, often in menial and poorly- paid jobs. There would probably currently be a serious side-effect of reducing reliance on schools as childcare, namely that the current stereotypical female gender role would probably be reinforced and a whole load of mothers would end up doing the childcare rather than getting paid. For that reason alone, schools do serve a worthwhile purpose right now, in that in pragmatic terms they give women career opportunities and more control over money.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2012
  

       Schools also ensure a reasonably standardised level of social interaction skills, albeit at a level not too far below that of chimpanzees or young bull walruses.
UnaBubba, Jul 23 2012
  

       First off this is, in my opinion, a bad idea.
If it were implemented the result would be a long string of 'step-dads' beating the shit out of kids falling behind in their grades in order to keep that dole and beer-money a'coming.
You'd get kids with good grades yes, but they would end up very unhappy camper adults.
  

       Riding the welfare-system for some is just a supplemental income.
They hold down under-the-table jobs working for less than minimum wage as long as there are tips involved. Wetting the bottom of the tray to pick up stray bills along with the emptys, or turning the odd trick is where the real money's at. Collecting that emergency cheque just before Christmas or kids birthdays is a real cash-cow because the goods can always be returned for refund after the receipts have been submitted. etc. etc.
  

       This will not be fixed by putting the onus on the welfare-riders' children, but by filling gaps in such a way that collecting the dole is more work than it's worth.   

       You want a monthly cheque, fine, stuff and lick x amount of envelopes to qualify.   

       Just my two cents.   

       //What about the (doubtless minority) of cases where either the child is just plain dumb; or the child is a 15 year old brick shithouse who is not going to be told what to do ?//   

       They are going to suffer. If you don't work, you don't eat. You can be dumb and still get get good grades in special ed.   

       //If it were implemented the result would be a long string of 'step-dads' beating the shit out of kids falling behind in their grades.//   

       I used to get beat for bad grades too.. but it ended up being for my own good.
Jscotty, Jul 24 2012
  

       There can only be one kid at the top of the class. Remember, 50.1% is a pass.
UnaBubba, Jul 24 2012
  

       Sorry [Bub's] - I disagree. Violently, in fact.   

       Being better than 50% of the population shouldn't decide your grade, if that was the case you'd get the same grade profile on a difficult course as you would an easy one. 50% from a group of illiterate morons could pass a special relativity course. Likewise, getting 50% of the available marks should absolutely not be a pass mark - that results in fatally incompetent engineers, doctors, etc. Neither of these systems is adequate if applied as a percentage.   

       ....Anyhoo, as I alluded to above, I think assignment submittal, attendance, grades etc should all contribute. Any single one of those doesn't indicate a concerted effort.   

       I read the aim of this idea to be reducing the welfare burden by applying leverage to parents to encourage "welfare children" to work their way out of welfare. Gets my vote for that alone. Hows and whyfor's I'm not so sure the nail's been struck square here, but education, including vocational education is a big element, I think. Making welfare a less attractive option is, of course, another big element.
Custardguts, Jul 24 2012
  

       1. 'it's tragic that so few people have experienced properly-cooked lobster'. Do you have any pets, Alterother, and if you do would you let anyone steam them over salt water? I'd hope the answer would be no because that would be cruel, right?   

       2. This idea falls down for me because the bigger problem which is cultural has nothing to do with benefit claimants except as part of that culture and it doesn't only apply in America. Here it is: there are homes where there's not even one 99c/99p book but you'll see at least one X-Box running for upwards of 6 hours a day. X-Boxes don't provide careers unless you work in retail selling them and until people again value the simple acts of reading and study, which don't actually prevent X-Box use, stick and carrot schemes are pointless. Change the culture, then change the welfare schemes if necessary.
Phrontistery, Jul 24 2012
  

       What [Phrontistery] said. Education doesn't actually happen in schools. In fact, if you take the time to watch a classroom at work you will notice it is possibly the single most inefficient use of students', and teachers', time you could possibly make. It's a shambolic pretence of application of resources.
UnaBubba, Jul 24 2012
  

       I'm concerned that IQ is related to the diet, and one failure might induce a series of failures, especially if students were graded in relative, not absolute grading system.
Inyuki, Jul 24 2012
  

       //My earnings in the US are zero, so I ought to qualify.//   

       Sorry, [Max], it just don't work that way. It is the position of the Infernal Revenue Service that all income earned by U.S. citizens anywhere in the world is taxable by the United States. I believe there are deductions and such for taxes paid to foreign governments that usually reduce your liability to zero, and since there's no penalty for not filing if you owe no tax (although technically you're supposed to) you're generally okay ignoring it. But if you try to claim benefits in the U.S. based on having no income, not only will they get you for benefits fraud, they'll probably get you for tax fraud as well. As your lawyer* and tax accountant**, I advise you not to try it.   

       *This statement is not meant to constitute any form of legal advice, or otherwise imply in any manner that I am qualified to practice law. **Ditto, but for tax accountancy.
ytk, Jul 24 2012
  

       In most poor communities in America this becomes a Catch-22 with the school systems.   

       Welfare systems are abused, certainly. But the abuse is not as rampant as it seems. One large problem occurs where eligibility is dependent upon income and does not include net worth.
RayfordSteele, Jul 24 2012
  

       //there are homes where there's not even one 99c/99p book but you'll see at least one X-Box running for upwards of 6 hours a day.//   

       So true. But then the parent has to have the talk with their kid- "That's great Junior! You can stay up all night playing Donkey Kong, but keep in mind that if you fail that spelling test tomorrow, we might not have anywhere to live next month. So you think about that.. but there's no pressure. Really."
Jscotty, Jul 25 2012
  

       // X-Boxes don't provide careers //   

       Hmm. They do if you work for Microsoft, write games for them and so forth, and they also provide educational opportunities. It's a question of balance, but [eleventeenthly] has just learnt De Morgan's laws, the concept of functional completeness, truth tables, JK and T flip-flops, Turing completeness and a whole host of other things from playing Minecraft on the X-Box. Not saying he shouldn't do other things as well, and he does, but literacy, though i personally prize it, is overrated and was treated with suspicion back in Ancient Greece for example. It harms your long- term memory for a start, and if you read literature it can lead you to expect real people to behave like fictional characters and even alter your own behaviour to be less authentic. There's a good case to be made against literacy but not one i'd be particularly happy pursuing. All of us in this family are quite bookish, so we fail to engage with the real world as well as others might. Also, you can be bookish and play on games consoles, because ultimately both books and X-Boxes are information technology.   

       People who can crack car stereo security, break into vehicles, use controlled substances without immediately killing themselves and various other things on the other side of the law have useful skills which are misapplied for some reason i can't fathom. The problem is not that they haven't learnt anything useful, but that they're not applying it appropriately. There could be an official qualification in criminal skills. Would the recipients get more money if they got good grades in that?
nineteenthly, Jul 25 2012
  

       //There could be an official qualification in criminal skills. Would the recipients get more money if they got good grades in that?//   

       Absolutely NOT. Even though people do indeed find careers in game testing, development, averting security threats, etc., the way that you are discussing it is the exception to the rule.   

       Even though there are people who have been hired as a result of being able to break into an employer's network, for everyone who gets a job, 100 other people go to jail.
Jscotty, Jul 25 2012
  

       //has just learnt De Morgan's laws, the concept of functional completeness, truth tables, JK and T flip-flops, Turing completeness and a whole host of other things from playing Minecraft on the X-Box// - hang on, how did he learn all those things from Minecraft?
hippo, Jul 25 2012
  

       Redstone.
8th of 7, Jul 25 2012
  

       /are required to excel academically/   

       Academic excellence is subjective. It is not an objective fact, like the facts that I have a 3 foot vertical leap or that I weigh 297 pounds without shoes. Once there are dollars at stake for anyone involved, there is incentive to make sure that the dollars are received - by teaching to the tests, cheating, or any number of other methods. Anyone still interested in running a test-based system like this in the US has not been paying attention to the news. But it is not too late for you, Jscotty - I will supply links for your gentle edification.
bungston, Jul 25 2012
  

       //I have a 3 foot vertical leap or that I weigh 297 pounds without shoes//   

       Pedantry 201
Which of the following is a valid pedantic question ?
a) How much do the shoes weigh ? all 3 of them together I mean.
b) How much do you weigh when you do a 3 foot vertical leap ?
c) All of the above.
d) None of the above.
FlyingToaster, Jul 25 2012
  

       // Do you have any pets, Alterother, and if you do would you let anyone steam them over salt water? //   

       Yes, I do, and no, I would not. Lobsters are not pets, they are food.   

       Look, I live in Maine. I know all about the lobster-cooking controversy. I'll state my case, then I'll be done with it:   

       D) there is no valid evidence to show that lobsters feel pain. I have personally witnessed a lobster having one of its claws lopped off by another lobster, and the amputee did not flinch or flee, it did not even pause to reflect upon the loss of the appendage, it simply continued to futilely attack its foe (which was susequently pulled from the tank and re- banded before it dismembered any more merchandise).   

       2) lobsters do not 'scream' when they are put into the pot; lobsters have no vocal apparatus, nor any other method of producing audible communication. The 'screaming' sound is the water inside their shells boiling into steam and escaping through their joints.   

       C.1) lobsters are delicious.   

       4) anyone who feels that it is cruel to put live lobsters into a steamer (or, if they insist on doing it the wrong way, into boiling water), may mercifully despatch the lobsters by centering the point of a chef's knife on the dorsal seam approx. 1" behind the eyestalks and driving it sharply downward, which kills them instantly. Alternatively, they can simply choose to not eat lobsters.   

       I hereby rest my case.
Alterother, Jul 25 2012
  

       // It isn't their job to instil learning but to provide childcare during working hours//   

       <beginning of probably open-ended and off-topic debate> I disagree. I was quite glad of the fact that teachers (this was back in the old days, before they became 'learning facilitators') actually told me stuff that I could write down andor remember.   

       One of the things that pisses me off no end is the insistence that children discover _everything_ for themselves, because this is somehow more involving than being told stuff. If someone knows what currency they use in Guatemala, frankly I'm happy for them to tell me.   

       What is worse, this "find out for yourself" philosophy is _not_ applied where it actually should be. There are many things that children (and adults) have to work out and develop - particularly, how to learn and how to evaluate and connect information. By insisting instead that they waste time laboriously deducing simple facts that they can be told in five seconds, you give them no chance to learn how to learn.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 25 2012
  

       hmm... considering that this site is populated mostly by people who follow the beat of a different armadillo, that sounds a bit off.   

       I'd just type into Google "what currency do they use in Guatemala ?", trusting that some other lazy slob has asked the question before and some well-meaning bored person answered it.   

       But apart from that, in order to find out for themselves, somebody has to deal with either a general information data sheet or a currency-conversion chart: knowledge that those things exist is useful as well.
FlyingToaster, Jul 25 2012
  

       /laboriously deducing simple facts that they can be told in five seconds/   

       The problem is that if you have them deduce things that Cannot Be Told, probably because you do not know yourself, it is hard to know whether they got it right.
bungston, Jul 25 2012
  

       Yeah, not gonna get into that [MB] - there's a notorious blog where many of my friends and another bloke who shall remain nameless argue about this in circles forever. My impression is that you had a positive experience of school, so you were lucky. Having said that, my later experience of school was also very positive. This was because it was an escape from a tense home life. It had no connection with the academic content of what was being taught because on the whole i'd covered it on my own many years previously. School was in academic terms ridiculously simplistic and involved sitting around waiting to hear something new, and it never happened, at least in the maths and sciences. English literature was more of a challenge but unfortunately took a turn into complete bollocks at A-level.
nineteenthly, Jul 25 2012
  

       //Academic excellence is subjective. It is not an objective fact//   

       Bugston, you are indeed correct. The system is screwed up so badly that it's nearly impossible to quantify "academic success", however, the cruel people who run this world reward those who can do a good job playing the school games. They really don't care whether or not you learn. But then again, it works that way in the professional world too. In many jobs, the boss could care less about what you specifically contribute to the growth of the company. All they usually care about is whether you cross every T and dot every I before you clock out.   

       So if these kids don't learn anything, they'll still be employable, and they will still be financial contributors to the society. It's not fair, but true- The man who has a stack of diplomas stands to get better job offers and promotions even if he can't tie his own shoes. But the guy who started in the mail room is forever stigmatized even if he can run every task in the company better than the people who hold the position.
Jscotty, Jul 25 2012
  

       That's fine, but those people really are the miniscule minority.   

       Life isn't a happy cuddle club, and neither you, nor I, nor anyone else is a precious flower. What the employer wants, is, by definition - the right thing. They've got the money - they're the boss, not you. If they want compliant people with diplomas, - who are the social engineers to tell them anything otherwise.   

       The "cruel people who run this world" got there by doing what was necessary at the time - including a whole lot of hard work.   

       What frustrates me is the false sense of entitlement that plagues our society these days. Why should employers pander to your fragile little ego, or bend and flex to find ways to "empower" the whole work force? Why not reward hard work, committment, qualifications (read as pre-invested hard work) - and bloody delivering what is asked for.   

       Why should society support people unnecessarily on welfare that take no effort to get off? Why shouldn't we throw up whatever hoops and embuggerances we can in the road to make sponging off society as unnatractive as possible? Why should we not demand certain ongoing requirements, effort or progress in order for people to qualify for ongoing support? Morally, what should we do with someone who steadfastly refuses to help him/herself?   

       Anyway, as for the dude in the mailroom, having never actually held any of the other positions for any length of time - probably has a vastly inflated sense of his worth and competence, based on a highly simplified view of what it is the qualified people actually do.
Custardguts, Jul 26 2012
  

       People typically can't get off of welfare without help because it's a financial trap. Anyone would like to think that you can take welfare for a short period of time while you regroup and get yourself together.   

       Unfortunately, it does not work that way. The moment you get a job, open up a bank account, or in one way or another, save up your money, you immediately lose your benefits. There is no transition that allows you to get a few paychecks under your belt before you get your own apartment.   

       However, there is hope for the next generation because as a dependent to the welfare recipient, they CAN get a job, and they CAN start off good in life without penalty.   

       //Why should employers pander to your fragile little ego, or bend and flex to find ways to "empower" the whole work force?//   

       Because it's the right thing to do. Every one of us who has succeeded in life didn't get here by ourselves. Someone helped us along the way. If we look at the unemployable segment of society and think to ourselves that they aren't our problem, we are greatly mistaken. As hard as it may seem to fathom, someone getting to adult age without being able to read or pull their pants up is indeed our problem. We can just choose to deal with it now or deal with it later.
Jscotty, Jul 26 2012
  

       I come from a country where welfare is applied liberally and relatively simply to anyone who hasn't got full-time employment. We therefore have a lot of people receiving it.   

       Having said that, I once lost my job and went to apply for welfare benefits. The sheer hassle involved in filling out multiple forms and participating in a Kafkaesque interview process put me off so much I walked out after an hour and a bit and got myself another job in the following two hours.   

       That was in 1984, and is the only time I've ever been unemployed. I'm still unsure how one could remain unemployed for any length of time without actively seeking to be unemployed.
UnaBubba, Jul 26 2012
  

       'They do if you work for Microsoft, write games for them and so forth, and they also provide educational opportunities'. nineteenthly, that's a series of statements you'll need to support. How many X Box users have grown up to earn a living at Microsoft and did they get those jobs through education or by playing games for large chunks of each day? Nor can I see the educational value of Ghost Recon.   

       Alterother, 'there is no valid evidence to show that lobsters feel pain'. Eat 'em if you want but don't back it with that kind of cop-out.   

       jscotty, the talk any parent should have with their kid is about getting more choices in life and polishing a chair playing games isn't going to provide many choices. Benefits are nothing to do with it.   

       Custardguts summed it up pretty well. People do get helped along the way but they have to already be on the way, not waiting to start.
Phrontistery, Jul 26 2012
  

       //the talk any parent should have with their kid is about getting more choices in life and polishing a chair playing games isn't going to provide many choices//   

       Unfortunately the parent isn't equipped to talk on that level. They haven't been exposed to anything better so they don't believe that anything better is other there for them. The best thing that most welfare parents can hope for is an increase in benefits and/or the day when their children get on the system 'independently'.   

       At least if they are required to go to school, do their work, get good grades, etc. that will point more welfare children in the right direction. Would they all graduate? Probably not. Of those who graduate, would they all get jobs? Only in a perfect world. But one thing that we cannot tolerate is the lack of effort. Should I reward the kid that does his homework and gets it wrong or should I reward the kid who doesn't even do it in the first place?
Jscotty, Jul 26 2012
  

       //       Alterother, 'there is no valid evidence to show that lobsters feel pain'. Eat 'em if you want but don't back it with that kind of cop-out.    //   

       Okay, sounds good to me.
Alterother, Jul 26 2012
  

       I was witholding my vote until I could determine whether this post was geniune or a wind up.
calum, Jul 26 2012
  

       "Maybe, sometimes, we forget why we have social services, why we have welfare, why we even care about the fates of those without the resources to "speak" in our society. We forget the child indenture, the begging,the poor houses and work farms, the destitution, we forget the street crime, the homeless families, the disease, the filth, the finding of corpses in the snow. We even forget that compassion for basic human needs is prescribed by our faiths. Instead we yearn for a miraculous time, in the past possibly, when everyone able bodied could have a job if they wanted it, where every child was provided with good parents, where every sick person could get enough treatment that they were not spewing disease out into the gutters of our metropolis. I tell you today, that here, in this city, any person who declares that they do not care about the fates of the poor; who objects to the provision of basic services and shelter; who is comfortable with hunger, disease, with begging. With the billy stick as a goad to the most suffering fraction of society, the death of some for the betterment of others and a unmarked pit to hide the bodies of the hindmost, that person is a monster."
WcW, Jul 26 2012
  

       /We even forget that compassion for basic human needs is proscribed by our faiths/   

       True for some faiths even if not acknowledged, but given the context you probably mean prescribed.
bungston, Jul 26 2012
  

       Thanks, I fixed it.
WcW, Jul 26 2012
  

       // any person who declares that they do not care about the fates of the poor; who objects to the provision of basic services and shelter; who is comfortable with hunger, disease, with begging. With the billy stick as a goad to the most suffering fraction of society, the death of some for the betterment of others and a unmarked pit to hide the bodies of the hindmost, that person is a monster. //   

       Bankers are just such easy targets, aren't they ?
8th of 7, Jul 26 2012
  

       Bankers? The people who get my ire are the marginal folks, the people one or two paychecks from destitution, who regard the less fortunate than they with utter disgust, as lazy, as shiftless. Who hate the fact that a person can go to the hospital and get medical care that they cannot pay for. They are so close to the same fate, spurred on by fear, afraid to protest their condition, their wages, the condition of their community, their own lack of opportunity, and instead choose to piss on those one rung down the ladder, accusing them of "holding them back" and essentially being the cause of all poverty. This clambering and clawing at the bottom of the ladder is pathetic, and reflective of just how "huddled" the masses have become.
WcW, Jul 26 2012
  

       The masses were always huddled.   

       We really have no idea how bad things were 100 years ago; let alone 200 or 400 or, even worse, 1000 years ago. It's not something our societies are proud to chronicle, lest they remind themselves of how they've failed.   

       Just 150 years ago the average life expectancy was about 42 years for a male and about 44 years for a female, in the US, UK, Canada or Australia. Those numbers are now in the high 70s and low 80s, unless you're a member of the indigenous or aboriginal population of the US, Canada or Australia.   

       As we continue to make improvements to living standards and to health care we'll see the life expectancy increase, globally.   

       However, as [WcW] rightly points out, we're only a few paydays or a civil war away from anarchy and destitution, most of the people; most of the time. There are few who could weather 6-12 months without any income or support from family or government.
UnaBubba, Jul 26 2012
  

       I agree with what [UB] said. All of it.   

       (Now I feel dirty) <shudder>
AusCan531, Jul 26 2012
  

       To get back to the core of the idea, where has this 'generational situation' sprung from? A baby every year just to keep getting the freebies seems barking to me. Whatever your experience of education, this idea somehow pinpoints a dividing line above which parents have aspirations for their kids and below which parents just incubate to accumulate. I don't think such a perception can derive from education alone so where does it come from?
Phrontistery, Jul 27 2012
  

       //I don't think such a perception can derive from education alone so where does it come from?//   

       Exposure. It's very difficult to aspire to something that you aren't even aware of. If your level of exposure does not transcend beyond the 4 sides of the television screen, the only thing you will ever aspire to is whatever is inside of it.   

       School won't solve every problem or social ill in our nation, however, if they would just do SOMETHING other than walk around with their pants around their knees imitating their favorite singers, they just might make something of themselves.
Jscotty, Jul 27 2012
  

       Is the _SOMETHING other_ you propose incompatible with pants-around-the-knees singer imitations? Or could one pull them both off simultaneously?
bungston, Jul 27 2012
  

       [bungston], please pull your pants up.
normzone, Jul 27 2012
  

       Jscotty, I don't think education's the answer to your last comment and neither is bad parenting. The answer's far more pernicious and outside of parental control, I'm talking about the cult of celebrity trash that vomits out of gondola-end mags, TV, social media etc. Until we as a culture see how bloody worthless and fake that is, telling kids after a certain age that getting an education will set them up in life is hopeless when all they see are talentless plumped/pumped up nobodies flashing laminated teeth in all directions. Parents (and schools) have to fight that and it's pretty much overwhelming, particularly if you have nothing better to compare it to.
Phrontistery, Jul 27 2012
  

       That's why we have to institute the associative punishment aspect. You mess up in school and your momma will have to beg for money in order to make ends meet. Fail all your classes and your family faces eviction. 2 kids fail and then the family is backcharged.
Jscotty, Jul 28 2012
  

       I think this policy would result in an even lower birth rate for developed nations, several of whom have already gone into negative territory.
RayfordSteele, Jul 28 2012
  

       How can you backcharge a family on benefits - starve them? It's also my suspicion that in dysfunctional families (of which there are many) Junior's not going to care if Mumsy begs.
Phrontistery, Jul 28 2012
  

       Junior will care if he doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of all of his friends.
Jscotty, Jul 31 2012
  

       This has transitioned from an idea to some form of rant, therefore I'm out.
Phrontistery, Jul 31 2012
  

       Hey, you're part of this. No point trying to be all high-and-mighty now. Come wallow here with the rest of us.
Custardguts, Jul 31 2012
  

       This wallowing of which you speak - is custard in any way involved?
Phrontistery, Aug 01 2012
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle