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vinny
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Michigan school shooting: a tragic consequence of US welfare "reform"

Tamarla Owens' daily life parallels those of thousands of young single young mothers in Michigan who have been cut off welfare benefits and moved into state-run work programs.

The conditions that led to this working mother's particularly tragic situation are the fruits of punitive legislation euphemistically called “welfare reform.” In 1996 the Clinton administration ended welfare “as we know it” and enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWOA), which has been responsible for forcing people off welfare into low-wage jobs. With this legislation, AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) was abolished. AFDC was created in 1935 as part of the Social Security Act, with the intent of assisting poor women and recognizing that children needed someone at home with them.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/apr2000/welf-a28.shtml

If society decides to return to a ‘Dickenian era’ stories like this one will become the norm.

Edited by burnt before
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Absolute child poverty doesn't exist in the UK, but relative child poverty does. It is typically defined as living in a household where income is less than 60% of the national average so will always exist. There is also a third definition called "material deprivation and low income combined" which looks at households with less than 70% of national average, and also not having access to things which other families do.

Ah. The obsession with household money as a defining factor. This is part of it, but poverty is a product not just of actual money but of the mental stability of the parents and their ability to give their kids welfare and needs priority over other distractions. Lots of kids whose parents are earning well above the poverty line live in poverty. Children of alcoholics/drug users/gamblers/personality disorders are particularly at risk, but so are children of those who are addicted to consumer spending and ignorant of basic nutrition (from what I see, probably 60% of the population). Poverty - think laterally.

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Perhaps I should have replied earlier, and now this thread may be dead in the water but I can’t resist doing so now.

Quote Foxhole ” What is your point? Society is complex? And you’re going to look after your own a**s? BTL is okay?”

I’ve got great issue with those on HPC who blanket BTL’ers as bad. BTL is generally ok, so is most investing and saving and wanting to better oneself. (Read my post again please and try to see the point I was trying to make).

But the amount of BTL’ing that has gone on has, and will cause major problems to everyone, regardless of if you are directly involved or not. The amount of debt taken on and the speculative side of things are reckless and I condemn these elements without reservation. Those that have geared highly and timed wrongly will be found out!

Quote Farmerdring “well, the law does say so.

and thank goodness, if left to the discretion of your own generosity i think many would starve in before they have chance to find their next job.

i've never resented a penny i've paid in tax, i know the vast majority of it (welfare, nhs, police, even the lazy fire brigade) goes to a good cause.”

Oh dear, where do I start? In certain circumstances I may have a duty of care to other’s safety but not to their financial wellbeing. Please do not make assumptions about my generosity or lack thereof. I resent, effectively, being forced to pay for other’s mistakes, risks and children. Also how can you slag off the fire brigade – at least they get out and do a job – yet support (in effect) those who do little to nothing, even to help their own? As for believing any government spends your money well? Apart from your “good causes” what about purchasing ordinance to drop on Iraqi civilians? Now I REALLY RESENT THAT!

BTW if you wish to contribute more to the state you can actually. Just pop a cheque in the post to the treasury.

Quote Bluelady “My dad remembers well families being thrown out on the street with their furniture because the breadwinner had lost their job or died, kids whose main meal of the day was bread (and jam if they were lucky) and people dying because they couldn't afford to call the doctor. That's within living memory.

Does anyone really and truly want a return to that? “

No, I don’t want a return to that and I do believe in some sort of a welfare system, but not the monstrosity we have today. By the way the state and it’s instruments effectively forced me out on the streets during / after my divorce, confiscated nearly all of my savings and then take a third of my wage and gives it to my ex. Part of the welfare state in action. All be it an extreme, yet quite common, occurrence! But I do agree with your sentiment.

I must say I am disappointed with the replies to my post. I had wanted to perhaps, to see some agreement with my points – which was there. But also some reasoned argument disagreeing and perhaps changing my point(s) of view. HPC has been good in the past in this respect. But not in this case. I have been accused of stirring things, if trying to provoke reasoned discussion is stirring then I’m guilty!But I believe what in what I posted. And I still believe we are all being failed. People are trapped by benefits, dependant forevermore on what the state decides to give them. The benefit system is too generous, people don’t have to think, don’t have to be financially aware. It has made them “stupid” in some respects by treating them like children. All “rights” and no responsibility. I fear in a world without some risk, then there is little reward.

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if it's any comfort to you vinny, i agree with your sentiments.

the system was designed to be a safety net - what we have is a comfort blanket.

anyone who subscribes to 'tough love' gets branded a dickensian monster.

there are parallels to africa here. keep pumping the money in - they take it and just keep asking for more. use the money to help them help themselves - everyone will be better off in the end, especially future generations.

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I had a rant yesterday, so why should today be any different? This stuff is being discussed on another thread but, being a presumptuous so and so, I’d like to start another with a slight, but perhaps significant slant.

What is this stuff? – It’s the “welfare system”

The way I see it is that the welfare system is the cause of most of our social and economic problems. That is to say, rich or poor, it disadvantages nearly EVERYBODY including net recipients of benefits. The only exceptions (perhaps) are the genuinely vulnerable, i.e. the genuinely ill or infirm etc.

We now have a system where the benefit of working v.s “playing the system” is only seen if you can earn significantly more than the average national wage. The system is skewed in favour of certain sets of individuals. This may not be a popular view but……Women are favoured more than men, mainly via the sort of  “best interest of the children” nonsense as I had the misfortune to come across during my divorce. Indeed how much cash do we need to throw at “families”? Child poverty DOES NOT EXIST (as I would understand poverty) IN BRITAIN UNLESS NEGLECT IS ALSO PRESENT. Also have you seen recently the latest storm around the CSA? Mentioned the amount the agency has failed to collect, but not the incompetence that has driven many men to their ruin (and/or suicide).  It positively encourages recklessness, single parent families and idleness and discourages fatherhood. Problems for children ensue, can anyone see where I’m going with this?

Some think they are clever sitting on their backsides and claiming all they can. Are they happy? Probably. But they are being held back by the situation. Yep, they will have more leisure time than I ever will. But that’s about all. They will, barring a lottery win, never have any more than the government will let them have. Sad really.

Their burden on the taxpayer (plus also employers) will make their “it’s not worth working” mantra become a truism – more tax and NI for those working.

Sadly too much government time is taken up by tax and redistribution. Sadly elections are won and lost  with too much emphasis on the welfare state, rather than who is better at running the country (including taking us to into wars by lying). Therefore, I’d suppose, govenance itself is undermined.

Shall I stop the rant and reveal the slant?  The welfare state may have added fuel to the housing boom!!!

Well, if its not worth working on an average wage v.s being on the dole then how can individuals make it worth their while being employed? I genuinely believe being able to invest is the trick. Many BTL’ers have been branded greedy (amongst other things). My supposition is rather that they (some of them) would like to better themselves in some way, rise above the idle who are being given near financial parity by benefits, and become self sufficient from the state. Am I wrong?

Oh BTW I don't see why I have a moral duty towards others or other's off spring. I'm not a bad lad and may help those less fortunate than myself. BUT don't presume I have any duty towards you unless the law says so. So there!

I actually agree with a hell of a lot you have said!...the welfare state/public sector is an absolute monster of cash-depletion.Also agree that in some cases a bit of tough love is required to make the scroungers see the benefits system we have is meant as a failsfe,not a way of life....I can't blame anybody for wanting to better themselves but it must be conducted within the queensbury rules.

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What do you mean when you say 'the welfare state'? I have been very interested in reading the two threads on this forum that seem to equate the welfare state with non-working single parents/unemployed etc.

The welfare state actually consists of the NHS, education, social service, personal and social care (e.g elderly, disabled) and pensions. In fact pensions make up the largest proportion of welfare spending. The non working single parents and unemployed actually represent a tiny proportion of welfare spending.

I accept that you are entitled to a moral stance on this but blaming non working single parents/unemployed familes etc for the state of the economy and level of taxes (as I have seen on some threads) is poorly informed.

Personally I would rather pay taxes to support a child growing up in poverty than subsidise a univiersity student who is going to p*ss his loan up the wall.

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Guest pioneer31
Have another round of applause, 2005.

so let me see....

you're anti-student and pro public sector

so, getting a job in the council at 16, making tea for a few years and then earning a princely sum for a job that is impossible to define is the secret to Britain rising up the world prosperity league is it?

Edited by pioneer31
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so let me see....

you're anti-student and pro public sector

so, getting a job in the council at 16, making tea for a few years and then earning a princely sum for a job that is impossible to define is the secret to Britain rising up the world prosperity league is it?

I'm pro the welfare state, not quite the same thing. And I'm not anti student but I do believe there are far too many people getting into ridiculous amounts of debt under the illusion that they'll get traditional graduate level jobs at the end.

That's the trouble when you take one line of someone's detailed argument and then draw flawed conclusions from it. Is this the kind of training your mind gets with a modern degree?

Edited by Bluelady
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Personally I am not anti/pro university or public sector. My point is that there are too many people who are willing to blame the ills of society, including economic ills on one group of people and I think this is scapegoating and a very narrow perspective.

There are single parents/unemployed people who take the p*ss out of the benefit system but then again there are many out there doing a very good..despite the prevailing attituted in this country that they are all scroungers.

There are some students who use a degree as a 3 year party/holiday at the expense of the tax payer but there are many very good students who work hard and the country needs these people.

There is a great deal of waste in the public sector but there are also many people, especially front line workers. doing a very good job in demanding circumstances.

BUT

There are people in business who's accounting is so 'creative' that they avoid paying tax

There are very high earners who 'opt out' of our society by shipping money abraod/creative accounting etc

There are businesses who treat low paid workers like rubbish and get away with it.

There are organised benefit fraud gangs who use multiple identities to fleece tens of thousands of pounds of tax payers money from the system.

There is fraud and abuse of the VAT system within business.

My point is that no system is perfect but it is sign of our times that when things go wrong too many people look to blame the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

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I know it’s probably my fault for not explaining myself clearly (ranting) but I think some folk have missed the thrust of what I am saying. 2005: I’m not trying to pin all of our woes on the welfare state (look at the title “root of many ills”). Nor am I trying to blame the vulnerable. Part of what I am trying to say is that the welfare state, as it exists now is actually making people vulnerable and, as others have said, created an underclass where generation after generation will be forevermore dependant on what the state gives them. Bluelady said something along the lines of “when the bread winner died then families were throw out on the street”. Think of where I was going with single parents on this one. The benefits system has taken over the role of bread winner (read Father). A laudable thing in the case of death. However the glue that bound some, or even most, child-bearing relationships (marriage as t’was in years gone by) was dependency on each other. In other words families were forced together by economic factors – it made sense to marry and then stick together. I truly believe that the best situation for children to be brought up in is marriage. The state (remember married man’s allowance going)? has undermined, and continues to undermine, this dependency so much that it in turn undermines parents sticking together. What were the consequences for a mother divorcing the father 30+ years ago vs. doing the same today? In some cases she would be better off I imagine.

So what about the kids. Think of all the money we spend on policing, education etc – and the crime rate (and stupidity / lack of education) has gone up. I believe, amongst other factors, fatherless families are to blame. Just think of all the opportunities and material things nearly all kids have now days compared to “us” back then. Look at their behaviour now. Join the dots people we are not doing anyone any favours what so ever.

2005 think how much, if I’m even a tiny bit right, this is costing us.

Foxhole, apology accepted and appreciated.

Elizabeth, one of the best posts on this thread. Love, attention and education, parents (both if possible) looking after them : gives children everything they need to succeed.

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However the glue that bound some, or even most, child-bearing relationships (marriage as t’was in years gone by) was dependency on each other. In other words families were forced together by economic factors – it made sense to marry and then stick together. I truly believe that the best situation for children to be brought up in is marriage. The state (remember married man’s allowance going)? has undermined, and continues to undermine, this dependency so much that it in turn undermines parents sticking together. What were the consequences for a mother divorcing the father 30+ years ago vs. doing the same today? In some cases she would be better off I imagine.

Do you think a couple staying together because the female half of it is financially dependent on the male half is healthy? Lots of very unhappy people stayed together for financial reasons or because divorce was socially unacceptable and made their children as miserable as they were themselves. Not a good scenario.

The married man's allowance has been replaced by family tax credits, and quite right too, why should a childless working couple have extra money just because they happen to have a piece of paper?

I can't comment on divorce 30 years ago but I was divorced 25 years ago and benefits were very similar then, not that I knew about them first hand as I worked.

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A lot of the "spongers" referred to on this thread are completely unemployable. No amount of training or education or cajolling/coercion will make these people employable.

Times have changed. These people could walk into jobs in heavy industry, but we don't have any heavy industry any more.

It is therefore imperitive that if the cycle is to be broken, their children must be the priority. The education system needs to instill in kids that this is the only chance they all get. ie. Regardless of how poor/wealthy their parents are or where they come from, they have a chance to get some qualifications.

I support measures to introduce payments to certain families to encourage their kids to stay on for an extra couple of years at school. If this assists them it is worth it.

Of course we could always encourage heavy industry, but I can't reallt see that happening.

NDL

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Quote Bluelady: " Lots of very unhappy people stayed together for financial reasons". Sorry this is an incomplete quote - But you seem to agree with me, at least in part. I am sorry you de-value marriage to "just a piece of paper" but it used to be a very public sign of two people's life long commitment (supported by government)!!!! - usually to form a stable base in order to raise children. The most successful societies have been based on this principle. You actually seem to support my point whilst disagreeing! You seem to be championing the rights of an individual over what, if I am correct, would be better for society as a whole. I have also said I don't see why I should pay for other's mistakes - including chosing the wrong Father / partner. I am pleased you worked as oppose to claiming benefits - but with tax credits nowdays you would (unless you earned 50K ish plus) be in receipt of these credits. You would now be on some benefits even if you worked - costing other tax payers more money than if your's was a combined income household. (Incidentally, Labour also created family allowance in the same way - at the time reducing married man's allowance to pay for it). Many men are nowdays trapped in unhappy, sometimes violent marriges because they will be absolutelyruined by divorce. (yep domestic violence happens both ways round EQUALLY (according to truly independant data)). I see this as being even more unhealthy.

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You seem to be championing the rights of an individual over what, if I am correct, would be better for society as a whole.

Only if you interpret better for society in purely financial terms.

Why do you assume that working single parents would be in receipt of those benefits and a couple wouldn't? Couples with children can claim family tax credit on an income of up to £58k. And married men's tax allowance was paid to all couples, regardless of whether or not they had children, when I divorced, my ex husband lost this benefit, so one would have cancelled the other out.

In addition, family allowance didn't replace the married man's tax allowance, the two ran in tandem for many years.

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Bluelady You make some good points. Read my post again though. Family allowance was a shift from married man's allowance - the former created by a reduction in the latter.Also I'm guessing that a couple would earn more than an individul and therfore qualify for less tax credits. I am arguing human behaviour is largely economic behaviour. We should encourage the financial support of traditional families, rather than penalise it at the expense of society as a whole. I'm saying quite the opposite of what you think I am.

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Bluelady You make some good points. Read my post again though. Family allowance was a shift from married man's allowance - the former created by a reduction in the latter.Also I'm guessing that a couple would earn more than an individul and therfore qualify for less tax credits. I am arguing human behaviour is largely economic behaviour. We should encourage the financial support of traditional families, rather than penalise it at the expense of society as a whole. I'm saying quite the opposite of what you think I am.

Sorry, vinny, but family allowance (now child benefit) didn't replace married man's allowance - I know because we were getting both before the divorce. Family tax credit was what Labour introduced. Personally I think it's a good thing to target financial support at couples, whether or not they're married, who have children. Why should the single people in our society subsidise childless married couples?

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So you think that a woman should face economic consequences from divorce but not a man? 

You objected to the amount the state made you pay your ex.  Without payments between the parties, the person responsible for the children (man or woman) will be considerably worse off while the person without custody is likly to be better off.

OK I get your point.  At welfare level, a woman may be better off without a man.  That would be a bad thing if the men were responsible and taught their children in the way you hope they might.  But arent many of them just an additional problem ie assuming the woman will pay for everything, cook, clean, look after the children, listen to him when he wants to sound off. 

For the working mother, I think you are even more unfair.  Many of you men on here dont seem to appreciate the impact of having to care for children on ones (a) cost of living and (B) ability to earn.

I've experienced this as a single mother.  I have much lower expectations of my short, medium and long term lifestyle than:

(a)  I would if I were childless; and

(B)  I would if I were married to someone with the same salary as I have.

I have gone from being a very marketable senior professional to being worried that I might be high on any redundancy list and might struggle to find work again.  I depend heavily on my mother to be able to work at all.  I could afford a nanny but would give up work and live on savings rather than do this to my son.

So for the middle income mother, divorce would have dire economic consequences. 

Its only a man/woman thing because mothers usually have the child care responsibility.  YOU try to imagine the impact on YOUR income and expenses of caring for children alone.  Add in the fact that people in the working world tend to write you off - which may not happen to a man.

A man does suffer financial consequences of divorce - Mr BL pays £1200 a month for his two children. The vast majority of this seems to be spent on three foreign holidays a year and lots of the kind of things he can't afford to buy them.

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I've had this argument before on here. If you're daft enough to set yourself up for being fleeced by getting married and having children then you deserve everything you get.

The state will come down on you like a ton of bricks when your wife decides to up and leave. Where do I get my eveidence for this? Look around you and count up how many men you know struggling in bedsits while their ex's swan around in the marital home.

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I do, as a parent, try getting off your ars* and get a job, I know many people idly sitting in council estates, fraudulantly claiming housing benefit, you name it. my ex-sister in law got caught fiddling the state (70K of tax payers money) got 2 years for it...serves her Fuc**g right, what gives these Shyters the right to do this.

They don't have the right to do it. That's why she got locked up. :blink:

Absolutly right, with respect dude, what you probably dont appreciate, is the fact that she thought she had some divine right to submit multiple applications using various false names treating public money like its infinite. she was claiming so many things under various false names that when finally caught, whilst confiding in her family, with me as a casual on looker, I still could not make out quite how she had managed it. Oh and yes, she was living in a council estate (dont wish to stereotype but.......)

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Interesting article

Blunkett has been talking about doing something for about 6 years now and still has not done a thing about the welfare state.

Looks like he might actualy get some action.

PS Who cares if they strike when they are about to be privatised anyway??

That would just make another point to privatise them??

Blunketts Privatised Welfare State

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