I’ve not been following my Google+ stream as actively since getting back from Europe. Busy at work, no motivation to go online, whatever. But when I poked my nose into my stream this morning, I came across a Google+ post that tickled me silly. Mostly because I’ve had a completely different experience than this person…
While I can generally agree with the sentiment, the truth is that I’ve seen welfare abuse and drug use go hand in hand. A half-sister of mine (who was easily 15 years older than I when I was in my teens) had children every two years to stay on welfare/AFDC (aid for dependent children). She also did a number of things under-the-table to earn money to further cheat the system. She was a pro at it. The last time I spoke with her (over 20 years at this point), she’d had five children by four different guys, and at least two them were habitual drug users with criminal records. She dispatched for a stripping company, and I suspect those strippers also engaged in prostitution. In California. In the end, the last I’d heard, she’d ended up getting caught running drugs inter-state and was thrown in jail.
After seeing this kind of abuse, I can’t help but think that mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients is a good thing. I’d even go a step further and mandate (reversible) sterilization or implant birth control, and revoke welfare for anyone who gets pregnant while on welfare of any kind.
The Dangers of Mandating Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients – Yahoo! Voices – voices.yahoo.com.
I’ve got no objections to an increase in welfare costs, if we add programs to help drug users get recovery assistance. While “soft drugs” like Marijuana are (in my opinion) unjustly illegal (being little more dangerous than alcohol), the “hard drugs” are not victim-less. And if it costs extra money to help people recover from those hard addictions, I’m all for it. Fewer addicts in search of their next fix means fewer crimes committed to fund those addictions.
And as far as the claim that being rejected for welfare means more people on the streets. Maybe so, but there are charities and programs out there to help people. Homeless shelters, food banks, etc. Not to mention, if you find yourself without a home, you are very likely to be able to turn to your friends. I’ve been on both sides of that line, and if you’re not a horrible person, people will reach out to help you get back on your feet.
I cannot personally agree with the notion that “since it costs less money to just pay out to everyone who’s cheating the system rather than enforcing standards for welfare recipients we shouldn’t demand minimum standards for those who want help getting back on their feet.” The smallest standard being that they actually want to get back on their feet, rather than just living on the public dole for the rest of their lives.
(And yes, I realize that there are some people who are incapable of living life without help. People who suffer from physical or mental disabilities that prevent them from leading an independent life. But, by and large, these people are not the kind of people who I would expect to be trying to cheat the system… I might even be safe going so far as to say that some of them would be incapable of even planning how to cheat the system.)