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Food Stamps and Work - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Food Stamps and Work
Most people want to earn a living.  The problem is that employers don't really want to pay workers.  So lots of people either aren't permitted to work, or are stuck in a job that doesn't pay enough to live on.  Requirements that people work in order to receive food stamps are basically designed to push people out of the program.  It's yet another reminder that life isn't a right, it's a paid privilege.

You know what?  Guarantee a safe, full-time job at middle-class wages to everybody who wants one.  THEN you can put work requirements on safety programs.  It's not like we're short of shit that needs doing.

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Current Mood: angry angry

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Comments
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 6th, 2018 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)
While I'm the first one to agree that people need jobs that pay enough for them to live on gracefully, stop a minute and look at this problem from an employer's POV.
Workers cost a hell of a lot of money thanks to the ever-increasing amount of Govt. red tape and paperwork that must be filled out on each and every employee.
Here's a sample:
Thanks to the difficulties surrounding firing an employee that turns out to be incompetent, unreliable, a troublemaker, or even one that becomes unnecessary due to down-sizing or departmental restructuring, most American businesses now take their own sweet time about hiring and that's become a major expense thanks due to increasingly high rate of employee turnover.
Book keeping costs are another major expense for employers and I'm not talking about just the salary and payroll taxes. Our Govt. also expects employers to keep up with the employee records on such varied topics as: union affiliation, health/dental insurance, drug testing records, physical fitness records, and in fields where employees are expected to take regular continuing education classes to keep their skills up-to-date, employers are stuck keeping up with those education records as well.

Even employers that actually prefer warm-body employees to machines are finding it harder and harder to ignore the benefits of using machinery with computerized controls.
Jobs that we once thought would always be done by skilled human hands are now being filled by new machines guided by computerized controls.
The newest such machines I've seen include race horse trainers and exercisers. I've also seen: potato chip sorters, automatic planters and cutting-makers (for nursery companies), and automatic brick-paver layer machines. (Assembly-line machinery is now the rule rather than the exception in factories.)

Employers quickly have their noses rubbed in the fact that machinery doesn't require time off to sleep or take weekends and vacations, machines don't get butt-hurt if their supervisors speak roughly to them or if their work surroundings are less than pretty, nor do employers have to pay them for their work and that puts a stop to the huge pile of paperwork that automatically comes with each human employee.

That's the shaky balance point on which everything rests. Employers have to keep their costs down somehow and since they can't force the Govt. to cut down on the mountains of required paperwork per employee, then employers have to hold wages down to compensate or they make due with the minimum number of employees they can get by with.

I worry a lot about what our future is going to be like in this country over the next few decades.
:^(



cat_sanctuary From: cat_sanctuary Date: August 6th, 2018 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only problem with guaranteeing nice jobs is where the money comes from. Countries fall apart that way. But there's a viable alternative: Just remove the protectionist regulations that keep people from being productively SELF-employed. Make "the free market" real.

After age 40, no matter how many "job retraining" boondoggles governments set up, people don't (other than makework "programs") get entry-level jobs any more, nor can they expect civil reactions if they try. Deal with it. Middle-aged non-wealthies might even let social workers look at the details of our low incomes if we were guaranteed, in return, free BUSINESS LICENSES. No handouts, no housing, no smarm--I want a BOOKSTORE!, and somebody else wants a SNACK WAGON!, and somebody else wants a BARBERSHOP!, and so on.

I understand why the D's don't (as a party) like this kind of plain common sense (endorsed by most D's I actually know and like): If welfare cheats *could* simply do what true-blue American D's have been telling them to do for seventy years, there'd be very few welfare cheats, and bing go the majority of the party's followers (as distinct from its yuppie-to-super-rich leaders).

Why the R's don't pile on this idea is harder to understand. They spout hot air about it, after all...they just don't seem eager to see it happening in real life.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 6th, 2018 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> The only problem with guaranteeing nice jobs is where the money comes from. Countries fall apart that way. <<

From wherever the money IS. Right now, the vast majority of it belongs to a very small number of rich people and rich corporations. When rich individuals and corporations were taxed at a much higher rate, the economy was much healthier, because both average citizens and the government had access to more money to do what needed doing. A lot of problems can't really be solved until after we solve the problem of too much money sitting in sumps instead of circulating.

We have had in the past some nationwide hiring programs that would take pretty much anyone. They worked splendidly. People got money! They spent it! Shit got done! Everyone wins! Except rich people and corporations, who hated being slightly less rich and worked to undermine that sort of thing. >_<

>> But there's a viable alternative: Just remove the protectionist regulations that keep people from being productively SELF-employed. Make "the free market" real.<<

I agree, that's a great idea.

>> After age 40, no matter how many "job retraining" boondoggles governments set up, people don't (other than makework "programs") get entry-level jobs any more, nor can they expect civil reactions if they try. Deal with it. <<

Or any job at all. Employers don't want very young employees, or middle-aged ones. There's only about a decade, roughly the thirties, when they really want people. And nobody wants to pay a lifetime's worth of wages for ~10 years.

>> Middle-aged non-wealthies might even let social workers look at the details of our low incomes if we were guaranteed, in return, free BUSINESS LICENSES. No handouts, no housing, no smarm--I want a BOOKSTORE!, and somebody else wants a SNACK WAGON!, and somebody else wants a BARBERSHOP!, and so on. <<

It would be better just to make the licenses free, or better yet, do away with them. The government has taken away so many natural opportunities for labor that less and less remains available to people who want to work. There's not much left, outside of certain creative jobs, where you can start without having to pay a ton a fees. And even that can be very chancy in terms of actually getting the work -- towns are banning everything from buskers to day workers, or trying to. They won't let people work, then blame people for not working. That's psychotic.

Another necessary change is fixing the tax scam. Normally employers and employees split the social security tax. Self-employed people get hit for both of those -- literally paying double because they're working for themselves, not someone else. The government should be picking up the employer's half for citizens determined to work on their own, because small businesses boost the economy. Megacorps mostly just boost themselves.

>> I understand why the D's don't (as a party) like this kind of plain common sense
Why the R's don't pile on this idea is harder to understand. <<

Because they need victims. They need a bottom layer of fucking miserable people to bully everyone else into putting up with the kind of shitty jobs that are common today. Like never knowing until each morning if you'll have to work that day or what your hours will be. You don't have a life; your time is never your own. You can't go to church or make appointments or attend family events, and gods forbid having kids who also might need you at any hour of any day. If not having a job isn't essentially a life-threatening experience, people will quit when their boss grabs them by the pussy or takes their pension away. That's inconvenient for the people in charge.
cat_sanctuary From: cat_sanctuary Date: August 8th, 2018 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I knew a Democratic candidate who was as honest and levelheaded as this reply is, on this issue, I'd vote for person.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 8th, 2018 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

Well, I found Andrew Yang, who advocates Universal Basic Income. That would solve the survival needs, and leave people to occupy their time as they see fit. I agree with him on many issues, although some of the misses are vexing. But with other candidates, I usually disagree with most things, so I'm pleased to find him. I doubt he'll get very far; he's too smart and too sensible for the establishment to tolerate.
cat_sanctuary From: cat_sanctuary Date: August 8th, 2018 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

That "universal income" is so close and so wrong...where's the money coming from? Individuals want/need to be paid for what they DO. Handouts for all means incentives for everybody to become a full-time professional "needer" and sit around pulling down those who do try to do something worthwhile. (We have a whole four-story building full of'em right on this street...we need no more, we'd be better off if the ones we have died.)

Better: actually cut handout money--give people stuff for resale, license them to sell it on streetcorners, and if they don't like it, leave room for them to work up to something they liked better. I've seen this work; in the 1980s it got that brain-damaged multilingual adoptive brother out of a homeless shelter (from flowers to pretzels to a restaurant franchise). And he was the one who inspired me to go from typing resumes and term papers up to a fantastic odd jobs network, too. So that was two bummed-out young people, one maimed and one ill, salvaged with just a little bit of government getting out of the way.

< / autobiography > :-)
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