Carol Platt Liebau: When Funding's Not Enough

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When Funding's Not Enough

Want to read something that dramatizes every reason that the "welfare state" is a failure? Here goes, from the Seattle Times:

A lack of funding to educate the public has limited the effectiveness of a four-year-old law created to protect newborns from abandonment, a nonprofit group said after a teenage mother allegedly left her newborn near a drainage pond in Marysville late Saturday.

Get it? Because if the mother had known she could drop her baby off, she would never, ever have decided simply to leave it to die.

Please. Even a "teenage mother" shouldn't have to be told that it's easy to drop off her baby, just to prevent her from killing it. You don't need to know there's a program in order to leave your baby somewhere where it will have a chance of being found and therefore living, rather than being abandoned near a drainage pond. And hasn't anyone ever heard of "adoption"?

All the funding in the world won't fix the heart of someone willing to leave her own child to die.


Blogger JillMartin said...

If god wanted this to be a welfare state he would have named this country Sweden and not given us Darwin, the survival of the fittest.

No, he gave us christianity with brimestone and fire and a rich land called US of A. Developing a compassionate heart is for those useless Buddha followers and look they lost their motherland to China.

9:37 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

It certainly seems that there is a mountain of evidence against the notion of throwing big government and more money at any "problem".

Just like the stupid liberal bumper stickers that came out in Colorado a few years back "welcome to Colorado, 49th in education funding". Whoop-de-do. Colorado isn't 49th in the level of education...doesn't that disprove the stupidity of the argument? In fact, Money magazine ranked Colorado Springs as the best city in the country to live in, with the highest marks for education.


10:04 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

As I said on another post,
The welfare state, as we saw last year in New Orleans, kept all those people trapped on a Democrat party plantation.
Democrats were very quick to bus their "voting cattle" to the polls on time, but when those "slaves" need to be evacuated during a hurricane, the busses were stuck under water. Wow, the Democrats sure have a lot of compassion!

10:29 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:07 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

The poor, sick and elderly finally did something worth while, they became pet food. Don't ask me to pay for their bus ticket. They could have hammered a raft together like Tom Sawyer. They're right on the Mississipi and never heard of him. But no, they expect all of us to keep giving. The only thing my taxes should pay for is weapons and a military to keep me safe and oil to heat my home and cook with.

11:27 AM  
Blogger amber said...

Jill, you forgot about roads. I disagree with you, though. I think there is a lot more we need to use money for, but this story had nothing to do with welfare. It had to do with the self centered attitude people have. If this girl thought about anyone but herself, it would not matter that there is a drop off service at hospitals.

I am a product of welfare done right. My mother was on welfare. She had 2 kids, she got a divorce from her 1st husband and my father was not able to care for me. She went to college and worked her butt off. Now, the taxes she pays is more than welfare gives to a family of 5. I learned that dealing withwelfare and being poor is not something I ever want to do. I saved. I had 3 mutual funds when I was 18, I had a 401K, I was going to college full time and I was in the National Guard. When I got pregnant I knew I had to quit my full time job and focus on school and my baby. Because I had saved so much I never had to go on welfare. I would not have needed to even if I had not saved, student loans would have covered it. Before I was pregnant I did not qualify for anything. After I had my child I got repeated phone calls asking me to take a $2000 a year grant because I was a single parent. I finally yelled at them that I thought it was wrong to reward bad behavior and that I would never take that money because it was offered in an unfair way. It is the reward of bad behavior that makes welfare so bad. People sometimes need it to get out of their circumstances, but if done right it can train the next generation to fight so they never have to lean on it.

Jill, I do not think it is the responsability of taxpayers to support people like my mother, but in this instance it was an excellant investment for them because she has payed back so much more than she ever could have if they did not invest in her future. I also think that there would be a lot more assistance available to people if the government would let the curches an communities collect and distribut the money and if the indevidual would be the one to decide what they are going to give.

1:22 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I also want to say that Jill thinks conservatives do not want to help people. She may need a course in understanding what conservatives really want. She also thinks Christianity is about Fire and Brimstone. I pity her because of her hate and delusions.

1:25 PM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

Your mother could have gone to the church and friends. Roads can be paid by businesses, they use them more than myself for commerce and their trucks are a hazzard and destroy the roads.

There is no reason the government should be sticking their hands into my purse so they can give my cash to losers. Even with the sick, the money just goes to pay for doctors mulitple mansions or drug companies working with 900% profit margins.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Amber, I think your story about your mother is an excellent one of how welfare is not always a terrible thing. Amid all the conspicuous consumption in our country, there is a prevailing belief that only a total couch potato loser could fail to make ends meet. This is false, but it lingers because it is much easier on the conscience to give the finger to a couch potato than to a single mother struggling to feed the kids.

I do not advocate the cradle-to-grave benefits that those on the right loooooove to exaggerate and tag me with. (This tactic is a common ploy -- if they can portray someone else in extreme terms, it's much easier to dispose of them.) The fact is that there will always be a certain segment in our society who, for a number of reasons, need a hand. I think welfare should be a temporary thing, but it does not need to come with a sermon, as it would if my tax money were to be funneled through churches.

2:10 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I may not have been very clear. I do not think our tax dollars should be given to other organizations. I think people should be free to give to the organizations they wish. Churches, community food shelvs, libraries, they all can serve the community better than the federal government. My church never gave a sermon about why someone was in the predicament they were in. I think they knew they could be in that same place and only wanted to help. It is unfortunate that some churches do feel the need to further demoralize the indevidual, fortunately I have always been able to find ones that do not. There are many more organizations that want to help and are not affiliated with any religious organization.

The welfare program does need to change so it incorporates rewards. I think that instead of cutting welfare for people who make what they would be given, they should give a little more incentive. For example: If I am on welfare and I stay home with my kids, they give me $500 a week (just for round #s sake)in money and food stamps and other services. I find a job that will also give me $500 a week and I start working and then they stop my welfare, but now I have $1000 a month in daycare costs. I now make less than half of what I made on welfare and I can not make ends meet. The welfare program should not stop, they should continue, but at a lower rate for a little while, gradually getting the indevidual to the point where they can care for themselves.

On the flip side,
I worked at a homeless shelter for college. The people who stayed there had to draw their names each night for a bed, not everyone's name was drawn. They could have secured themselves a bed for a month and not need to put their name in a hat. All they had to do was help, help serve food, help clear dishes, sweep the floor, anything. None of them did it. Not one person helped in the few weeks I was there. The majority of them were young boys, about 15-22 and they wore shoes that cost more than my entire outfit. I asked a couple of them what they were planning to do and they said they were making their way to Canada becuase their welfare system was really good. I could not believe what I heard.
Some of the people were old, 70+, grandparents. I could not believe their children did not take care of them, allowed them to live on the streets.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Amber, I appreciate what you’re saying, and for the most part I agree with you. I also share your disdain for those punks with the expensive sneakers intent on bilking the system. (I would hasten to add that in every economic stratum of our society, there are those who bilk the system in different but equally selfish ways. None of them are excused.)

The only thing I take issue with is that there is no role for the federal government in all this, that it should just be a voluntary, organic effort that springs up on a local level. This is a quaint notion, and indeed it would probably work just fine across 80% of America. But what about those communities where there is a lack of will to help out? Does the struggling mother with a few too many kids (in the eyes of the townspeople) who “brought this on herself” need to get lost and find another town with more benevolence and money?

And what will then happen to the spirit of goodwill in the towns on whom the disadvantaged have essentially been dumped? Chances are the goodwill there will start to dry up when they find they’ve gotten a reputation for being nice people.

There have to be minimum standards for how low we can allow American citizens -- and their innocent children -- to sink, despite what the social Darwinists in our midst think.

4:59 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I agree the goverment should still be a part of this issue. Like I said, they should change their rules, though. They need to reward, not punish, people who are trying to make it. I believe that if they did, we woul have less and less of a need for welfare. We still would need it because everyone needs help, but it would not be like it is. So many people who are viewed as taking advantage really do want to stand on their ow, but the system keeps them from being able to. When my mother was on welfare, she had to choose between 2 degrees; nursing or economics. If she did not pick one of those, welfare would not contnue support. Sounds dumb to me, I realize they are trying to keep people from getting degrees in Folk dancing, but they limited it too much. As I said before, there are people who would work, but they can not make what welfare pays and if they do work, welfare cuts them off. Why do they do that? Is that really necessary? I think they should give still, a reward, and once they reach a point where their income excedes welfare by over 10%, then stop the welfare. Give them a diploma, they graduated from public assistance. I live in a small town, the median income for a family of 4 is 50,000. Take out the doctors who work at he hospital here and the exects who run the factories and you do not even have 30,000, for a family of 4. I feel really bad for them. The only choice they have is to move. A teacher at the public school starts at 26,000. It is aweful. I grew up in a suberb of a large city, I never knew that people made that little in the US, not people who worked. I understand welfare is necessary, I really do. I thank God that I am not in their position, I am blessed, I never had to look at the bank account and ask myself if we could afford me staying home with the kids. I was shocked when I moved here because you go into a McDonalds in a suberb or a city all you see is high school kids working, even the manager. In my town, the person who wipes off the tables is in her 40s, everyone there is in their 40s. It is sad.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

I agree with you about the need to phase out the welfare payments. Yes, daycare is the biggest financial obstacle for many.

And what you are describing in your small town sounds very similar to my own surroundings. The jobs filled by people approaching middle age are ones I did in high school. And many of these jobs pay at or slightly above the minimum wage. There is an economic polarization going on in our country. Not a healthy thing for our republic. (And no, I do not think we can or should all be financially equal.)

Those who strongly oppose the redistribution of wealth would do well to consider raising the minimum wage, or start forking over more welfare and Medicare dollars. With the the rising cost of housing, fuel, and utilities, the $10,700 a year for a full-time minimum-wage worker doesn't go very far.

And that leaves nothing for health insurance, which many of these workers need since the big box corporation's priority is the shareholder, not the employee, forcing Mom and Pop to follow suit. But people expect them to run out and buy insurance and not clog the emergency rooms.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

And I know we've been there before, but a minimum wage increase would not eradicate itself through higher prices. The $80 a week extra (if the min wage was raised by two dollars) for someone only making $206/wk now, would most definitely not be eaten up by any inflation caused by the raise when distributed across the entire economy.

10:20 PM  

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