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poverty and protective services


mtomom
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I volunteer at Catholic Charities in my city and they have an apartment complex like this for homeless women veterans (especially those with children.) They provide all that and more, and slowly transition women out when they are stable. Of course all the money comes from grants. I am not even Catholic, but I have really liked working there. There is zero evangelizing to recipients, daycare provided is secular, etc.

 

They also handle all the refugee resettlement in the city (I think in the whole state of Texas actually.) And yes, we handle all their needs. They're not competing for anyone's section 8 housing. 

 

I'm so glad to hear this. Pretty much everything I hear about catholic charities is good, which makes me happy. They are an easy organization for me to donate to and seem to do a lot of good. 

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And I guess this is my main concern with UBI. If a contributing factor within neglect, that is based on poverty, is the inability (of, say, parents) to prioritize where monies go, so the government still needs to take control on such a level that they also give each family an "overseer" who sets up that family's UBI in such a way that shelter, health, and food is paid for consistently from that money, how is it any different than the services we have now?

Social workers are still going to need to help people. It does not mean that poor people should be told how to spend it, but that some would benefit from help. In the case of my sister, she cannot figure out a budget, but if someone sits her down and set up a bill pay on her acct, she'd probably never ever touch it again. Because she'd not know how. Lol. There are a lot of people who for many reasons are never going to understand how to budget and need management help. It doesn't mean that every one who is poor should have their funds micromanaged.

 

UBI may not be needs' based, but we couldn't provide a social worker to oversee that money distribution to everyone, so that would have to be based on need -- and then it isn't "no strings" money, because (just like food stamps, childcare vouchers, and section 8 vouchers) someone else is deciding where the money goes and when.

We already have and need more of a system in place to help the mentally ill or otherwise needy. I never claimed UBI was a cure-all. It isn't. But a combination of UBI and universal bc could tremendously streamline services and put more money where it is most needed.

 

I was also under the impression that most countries with things similar to a UBI, didn't also have section 8 housing or food stamps or childcare vouchers (at least to the extent that we have them here). Childcare alone would eat up most of that UBI -- and if the parents are still only bringing in, say, 30-40K a year, besides the UBI, then foot costs, clothing, shelter, and healthcare isn't going to be paid for at all. Let's even assume that we throw Universal Healthcare into the mix... what about dental or procedures not covered by a UHC system?

Many countries have some form of section 8 to address the destitute and otherwise homeless or transient population. UBI does NOT mean no other services. Child care is also set up differently and more equitably.

 

And for dental, vision, and hearing... i hunk it's flat out stupid those aren't considered medical needs. I think they should be included in UHC and in many countries they are. Even if we expanded Medicare, that would include dental, vision, and hearing.

 

For the record, I'm asking because I'm sincerely curious. Although I identify as politically conservative, I'm not actually against a Universal Basic Income... I just don't understand how it's better than the resources we have now, save the obvious headache that goes into getting the services we have now. Again, though, if we throw into the mix the government somehow ensuring that the basics are covered with that UBI, it's no less restrictive than the system we have now. Right?

We do not really have A system now. There's food stamps, which is separate from housing, which is separate from medical, which is separate from childcare, which is separate from utility assistance, which is separate from .....and so forth. It's a nightmare of leaping from one broken stone to another across rising waters. Seriously, getting any kind of assistance of any kind is a full time job in itself.

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Our church does not ask about faith, nor does it demand adherence to the faith in order to receive charity.

Hmm. I see many of you saying the church should step up for the poor among them and provide care / resources / aid. It's interesting the way people automatically assume that everyone is some variant of Christian or at the very least some faith. And tied into a faith community 

 

 

Out of curiosity, what are people who aren't religious supposed to do? Fake religion? Go without? Is it supposed to be a "come to Jesus" moment? 

 

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In addition, there was a recent (less than 2 months ago) discussion on NPR with a factory owner in Pennsylvania who could not find enough people to staff the factory floor, despite paying close to $20/hour.  The reason they couldn't find help?  It wasn't lack of education, it wasn't that there weren't people who needed work; the applicants couldn't pass a drug test.

I see help wanted signs All the time where I live, and it's for decent jobs, not just fast food. There's definitely not a labor surplus where I live. (southeast us). Dh company is constantly looking for people. And they offer benefits, etc. it's hard work, but it pays well.

 

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In addition, there was a recent (less than 2 months ago) discussion on NPR with a factory owner in Pennsylvania who could not find enough people to staff the factory floor, despite paying close to $20/hour.  The reason they couldn't find help?  It wasn't lack of education, it wasn't that there weren't people who needed work; the applicants couldn't pass a drug test.

 

I met with a the presidents of a few small manufacturers in the southeast who are facing similar issues.  Related to that is that some of these areas had serious job losses over the past 15-20 years, which has caused population declines as people to search for work.

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We live near a large resettlement area. The ones that come here absolutely have to pay back the government for their plane tickets here. They are given 3 months rent that they don't pay back, but after that, they are expected to be self supporting.

 

We have chicken processing plants about 1.5 hours from here. It's hard for them to find workers, so they send vans to the largest apartment complexes. They are big employers for our refugee community.

Probably why a bunch of refugees accepted in the U.S. are walking into Canada. (Risking frostbite or worse during winter) the last year or so. Besides any other politics.

 

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I'm well aware of that. I could stretch my funds FAR more with actual cash vs the amount of benefits I receive. 

 

As an example, Here's a recent purchase I made. 

 

 

Yes, you might do better, if prices don't immediately go up as they do when minimum wage rises.  Some people will learn; I bet not even half would.  Change is work and most people don't see the need to do it. 

 

However, I can name 25 people that I know off the top of my head that if you gave them a monthly stipend would still be 3 months behind on every bill they have and never have gas, food, or clean clothing; and they most certainly would not be working.    Yet, they'd have every new video game the day it came out, would see every new movie on opening night, and they'd be buying a $400 item they don't need every month.  And they would cry that what was given to them wasn't enough and they need additional support.

 

I go back to my original statement, a fundamental of universal income would have to be a bit of a hard line and let people suffer the consequences of their choices. 

 

Stefanie

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Oh. They do.

 

Yes, I know, been banging my head against the wall for 10 years trying to teach and/or subsidize to help them get ahead and it only enables the bad decisions.  Covered the mental health care costs - refused to engage in treatment.  Subsidized the housing - still behind because they don't pay their portion of rent.  Buy food - brags about latest and greatest toy that was bought when they didn't really have the money to spend on it.  Buy a car so they can get to work - quits job because they don't like the job

 

 

Stefanie

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Over a decade ago, my community built a prototype homeless shelter that included everything from dormitory style beds to transitional apartments for families.  All of the services are provided in a centralized location--drug counseling, money management lessons, nutrition classes, child care, tutoring, job training....  

 

It seems to have been highly successful in meeting the needs of some and a total failure at meeting the needs of others.  As part of this plan, churches in the area were strongly encouraged to stop many programs.  The idea was that the homeless would be forced to go to the shelter if there weren't alternatives.  Laws were passed, for example, that made it illegal to give anyone who is homeless anything on the street.  This law meant that I could be arrested for giving a homeless person a granola bar, but I could give Bill Gates $1000 if he were on the street. (The law was that it was illegal to give a HOMELESS person something--you could give things to other people)  All types of food regulations were passed making it extremely difficult for churches to run a soup kitchen.  

 

I find the bolded hugely objectionable.

 

While we were living in Grand Junction, Colorado, there were a fair number of homeless people standing on street corners with signs.  There were also signs around town - city-erected ones, similar to stop signs - that said "Giving Spare Change Won't Make A Change" and had an image of a cardboard sign that said "anything helps - god bless" with a red X through it.

 

I am not a religious person, but I was pretty offended at crossing out "god bless" and demanding that individuals not be charitable except through approved channels.

 

We left Grand Junction.

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Yes, I know, been banging my head against the wall for 10 years trying to teach and/or subsidize to help them get ahead and it only enables the bad decisions. Covered the mental health care costs - refused to engage in treatment. Subsidized the housing - still behind because they don't pay their portion of rent. Buy food - brags about latest and greatest toy that was bought when they didn't really have the money to spend on it. Buy a car so they can get to work - quits job because they don't like the job

 

 

Stefanie

People don't like to believe this is true, but it is. I know you speak the truth. There are deeper issues going on than a lack of money etc. and I don't know if there is a way to fix them. People are free to make poor choices (and to complain too!)

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People don't like to believe this is true, but it is. I know you speak the truth. There are deeper issues going on than a lack of money etc. and I don't know if there is a way to fix them. People are free to make poor choices (and to complain too!)

 

As far as it's connected to children's services and removal, I've only looked at one specific state, but their guidelines for neglect include (paraphrasing) "while having the means". I don't know if I'm for or against UBI, though I am for expanding social services some way, but it would make that guideline a lot clearer, knowing that all families do have the means for the most basic care.

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As far as it's connected to children's services and removal, I've only looked at one specific state, but their guidelines for neglect include (paraphrasing) "while having the means". I don't know if I'm for or against UBI, though I am for expanding social services some way, but it would make that guideline a lot clearer, knowing that all families do have the means for the most basic care.

I was referencing the posters experience that even though the people she knew were given the means to help themselves, they squandered them. Some people, (not you, just a General some people) think that if only we gave everyone money, they would all make excellent choices about their lives. This is simply not true. Those are the deeper issues that I don't think are fixable with money. They involve personal choice, mental illness, executive function, addiction. More money for treatment would help in some cases, but the person still has to make a choice about cooperating with treatment.

 

In my experience, social services will help families who lack resources and not remove the kids. Kids get removed over families not taking advantage of help, or social services discovering deeper issues.

Edited by MotherGoose
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I go back to my original statement, a fundamental of universal income would have to be a bit of a hard line and let people suffer the consequences of their choices. 

 

Stefanie

 

And their children? The children should suffer too???

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In addition, there was a recent (less than 2 months ago) discussion on NPR with a factory owner in Pennsylvania who could not find enough people to staff the factory floor, despite paying close to $20/hour.  The reason they couldn't find help?  It wasn't lack of education, it wasn't that there weren't people who needed work; the applicants couldn't pass a drug test.

 

I remember talking to the General Manager of the local Home Deport.   I was there often enough that I got to know many good people and I'd watched many problem employees be hired and fired.  So, when I was chatting with the General Manager I asked, "Why do you have such a hard time finding good employees?"   I think I caught him when this was on his mind because he flushed and gave me an honest answer.   He said that awhile back they decided that they didn't want employees on drugs because people could be really hurt if someone did something stupid and a pallet fell from high up.   So, they made a drug test a condition of employment.  They had all sorts of trouble with the people they got then.  They'd show up but to do even the simplest of tasks they needed someone actively managing them.  Doing anything involving training was beyond threm.  So then they decided that maybe drugs weren't so bad as long as people weren't showing up stoned.  That was better for a little while because when the druggies showed up, they were decent workers.   But they were guaranteed to be 'sick' at least once a week.   Just before I'd asked the question they'd gone back to drug testing applicants and were regretting it.   

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I remember talking to the General Manager of the local Home Deport. I was there often enough that I got to know many good people and I'd watched many problem employees be hired and fired. So, when I was chatting with the General Manager I asked, "Why do you have such a hard time finding good employees?" I think I caught him when this was on his mind because he flushed and gave me an honest answer. He said that awhile back they decided that they didn't want employees on drugs because people could be really hurt if someone did something stupid and a pallet fell from high up. So, they made a drug test a condition of employment. They had all sorts of trouble with the people they got then. They'd show up but to do even the simplest of tasks they needed someone actively managing them. Doing anything involving training was beyond threm. So then they decided that maybe drugs weren't so bad as long as people weren't showing up stoned. That was better for a little while because when the druggies showed up, they were decent workers. But they were guaranteed to be 'sick' at least once a week. Just before I'd asked the question they'd gone back to drug testing applicants and were regretting it.

My mom works for a commercial HVAC company that has several techs retiring (who earn $80-90K a year plus overtime), and they are desperate for more apprentices or even experienced workers. The union will send over new apprentices, well-prepared with 2-year tech degrees, who pass their proficiency exam with flying colors. They get their conditional offer and a form to take to the drug test clinic... and are never heard from again. Company calls the union rep, who finds out the apprentice freaked out that they couldn't pass the drug test. Her company went through four candidates before they could find someone to fill one open position.

 

In their case, not testing is not an option for insurance/liability reasons. Often these guys are on weekend or overnight emergency call-out, so they cannot only be clean during day shift time. If they screw up, they could kill someone. A boiler at a local warehouse exploded a few months ago, landed in a neighboring business, and killed a couple who were filling out paperwork on their first day of the job. Some HVAC company is going to be on that lawsuit, and I'm sure they'll want to know which tech worked on it and whether or not they passed a drug screen.

 

ETA: I wonder if there's some misinformation about joining the union, that it's like tenure and you can get away with stuff and not ever get fired. So these young guys think they won't need to get drug tested, and when the hiring company hands them the testing form, they're caught off guard.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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In addition, there was a recent (less than 2 months ago) discussion on NPR with a factory owner in Pennsylvania who could not find enough people to staff the factory floor, despite paying close to $20/hour. The reason they couldn't find help? It wasn't lack of education, it wasn't that there weren't people who needed work; the applicants couldn't pass a drug test.

My DH has had the same problem with the small business he helps run. They can't hire people who don't pass because of their company auto/equipment insurance. They have to turn a lot of people away who interview well and seem like good prospects. I'm not sure what the solution is there. :(

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There is a man whom my dh befriended in Jail ministry who got out and finished his drug rehab and stayed clean for one year. He's had a terrible time finding and keeping a job. Most of it is due to employers not being willing to hire anyone with a record. So he could pass a drug test, but the employer can't hire him because of its criminal record policy (crimes were all drug related). The jobs he can find surrounds him with druggies, which is really hard on him because of all of the triggering. So he's not terribly sad when he's been let go for missing a day. People need to rethink this stuff and find ways for people released from jail to find some way to re-enter society. [emoji53]

 

 

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Edited by SamanthaCarter
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No, the children should be removed.

 

One aspect of Section 8 housing is that it is really strict with the landlords/  Strict in an idiotic sense too because what it does is keep many landlords unwilling to do section 8 because of the hassles.

 

Children should be removed because their parents are poor? Not all poor people are irresponsible. Many are good parents. I'd be shocked if the statistics proved that most poor are irresponsible. That has definitely not been what I've seen.

 

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Something to keep in mind is that a lot of the people with executive function issues, delayed gratification issues, etc have actual brain problems....I know at least one study found many in poverty had lead poisoning from living in unsafe conditions. These may be true biological problems, not moral failings. 

 

Also, at the end of the day, lazy or stupid people are still human beings. Made in the image of God. Maybe they can't be parents, but they still deserve to be thought of in a way that reflects well on us, rather than focusing on the things that make them less than deserving. 

 

The idea that people that don't "deserve" help shouldn't be given it is so far away from the Gospel message....the entire idea was that we were undeserving but given the ultimate gift, even as we make bad choices and sin. 

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Something to keep in mind is that a lot of the people with executive function issues, delayed gratification issues, etc have actual brain problems....I know at least one study found many in poverty had lead poisoning from living in unsafe conditions. These may be true biological problems, not moral failings. 

 

:iagree:  Yet so many just want to treat them like dirt. Unbelievable. 

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Something to keep in mind is that a lot of the people with executive function issues, delayed gratification issues, etc have actual brain problems....I know at least one study found many in poverty had lead poisoning from living in unsafe conditions. These may be true biological problems, not moral failings.

 

Also, at the end of the day, lazy or stupid people are still human beings. Made in the image of God. Maybe they can't be parents, but they still deserve to be thought of in a way that reflects well on us, rather than focusing on the things that make them less than deserving.

 

The idea that people that don't "deserve" help shouldn't be given it is so far away from the Gospel message....the entire idea was that we were undeserving but given the ultimate gift, even as we make bad choices and sin.

One like is not enough, so reposting because it needs to be said again.

 

Also people need to quit talking about poor people like they are a different breed of human. Poor people and rich people make the same good or bad decisions, one just suffers more for it.

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Something to keep in mind is that a lot of the people with executive function issues, delayed gratification issues, etc have actual brain problems....I know at least one study found many in poverty had lead poisoning from living in unsafe conditions. These may be true biological problems, not moral failings. 

 

Also, at the end of the day, lazy or stupid people are still human beings. Made in the image of God. Maybe they can't be parents, but they still deserve to be thought of in a way that reflects well on us, rather than focusing on the things that make them less than deserving. 

 

The idea that people that don't "deserve" help shouldn't be given it is so far away from the Gospel message....the entire idea was that we were undeserving but given the ultimate gift, even as we make bad choices and sin. 

 

 

No no Katie, you've misunderstood - we Christians only help the deserving!

 

You know, the ones it's easy to feel sorry for.

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So how far do you go to help someone? What's the line on personal inconvenience or sacrifice for helping another. When your own kids start going without?

 

And who decides?

 

How do you keep a minimum wage hike or universal basic income, for example, from becoming the new poverty because of inflation?

 

These discussions are always obnoxious because it becomes a race to one up one another in supposed generosity, where asking for explanations of how to pay for it or manage it suddenly translates to heartlessness and mean intentions compared to the person who speaks loftily about the lengths they'd go to help someone else. It's silly and always ends up the same.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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So how far do you go to help someone? What's the line on personal inconvenience or sacrifice for helping another. When your own kids start going without?

 

And who decides?

 

How do you keep a minimum wage, for example, from becoming the new poverty because of inflation?

 

 

You can't give so much that you or your family end up not functioning.  My personal line is that I stop when a capable adult wants to be my dependent and make me the parent or the sugar daddy.

 

Who decides?  Me. 

 

Ex:  relative comes over for dinner and asks "oh, is that a new stove". Its not a new stove, so I say, no its the same one I bought 12 years ago when the old one gave out and zapped me.  we all know what's coming...a request to fill the hand.  I don't.  I know the difference between needs and wants.  They can learn by experience that needs come before wants if they don't want to take advice from their family or education.  Everyone that is not on a PINS or special needs program has the capability to learn, even if they find begging easier than going from apprentice to journeyman. I find it shameful that illegal drugs are more easily accessible than K12 education -- in my district 3/4 of the twelfth grade (many of whom are compelled) are in half day of study hall because the school board won't fund anything more than required courses. Imagine what would happen if shop was available again, or votech was funded completely or if they weren't compelled to attend for just 2.5 req'd classes. Or the parents were demanding that time be used wisely.

 

Min wage jobs aren't meant to be career jobs.  Folks that are cognitively unable to learn are in sheltered workshop programs here.  What I am more concerned about is universal income being higher than starting wages, making housing costs unaffordable to singles starting out, thus pushing several into bad relationships or illegal activities  just to have affordable housing.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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So how far do you go to help someone? What's the line on personal inconvenience or sacrifice for helping another. When your own kids start going without?

 

And who decides?

 

How do you keep a minimum wage hike or universal basic income, for example, from becoming the new poverty because of inflation?

 

These discussions are always obnoxious because it becomes a race to one up one another in supposed generosity, where asking for explanations of how to pay for it or manage it suddenly translates to heartlessness and mean intentions compared to the person who speaks loftily about the lengths they'd go to help someone else. It's silly and always ends up the same.

It's obnoxious and silly? Wow.

 

No one has argued that logistics shouldn't be discussed. That's never what I see in the discussion tho. All I see in the discussion is people claiming it's obnoxious and silly to insist that a supposedly first world country can provide basic health and necessities for citizens who for whatever reasons can't attain that on their own. It is possible. Many other countries do it for less money and better outcomes than the states do and their citizens who can do better for themselves are not suddenly having to sacrifice everything they own in taxes to make it happen.

 

No one said UBI and UHC would solve all problems, but it sure would answer a lot more than the hot crap mess we currently have. It won't wipe out poverty, but it will greatly improve the ability of those in poverty to crawl out of it and allow those who can't to live a basic existence.

 

I think it's beyond obnoxious and silly that the only response to doing that is whining about who isn't worthy of decent social policy bc it makes them feel justified in their scroogery and as though they of course deserve it.

 

No one in this life gets what they deserve. And most should be more grateful about that than they think. (Myself included.)

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You can't give so much that you or your family end up not functioning.  My personal line is that I stop when a capable adult wants to be my dependent and make me the parent or the sugar daddy.

 

Who decides?  Me. 

 

Ex:  relative comes over for dinner and asks "oh, is that a new stove". Its not a new stove, so I say, no its the same one I bought 12 years ago when the old one gave out and zapped me.  we all know what's coming...a request to fill the hand.  I don't.  I know the difference between needs and wants.  They can learn by experience that needs come before wants if they don't want to take advice from their family or education.  Everyone that is not on a PINS or special needs program has the capability to learn, even if they find begging easier than going from apprentice to journeyman. I find it shameful that illegal drugs are more easily accessible than K12 education -- in my district 3/4 of the twelfth grade (many of whom are compelled) are in half day of study hall because the school board won't fund anything more than required courses. Imagine what would happen if shop was available again, or votech was funded completely or if they weren't compelled to attend for just 2.5 req'd classes. Or the parents were demanding that time be used wisely.

 

Min wage jobs aren't meant to be career jobs.  Folks that are cognitively unable to learn are in sheltered workshop programs here.  What I am more concerned about is universal income being higher than starting wages, making housing costs unaffordable to singles starting out, thus pushing several into bad relationships or illegal activities  just to have affordable housing.

 

This makes no sense - universal income is in addition to what you earn at your job - that's why it is universal.

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So how far do you go to help someone? What's the line on personal inconvenience or sacrifice for helping another. When your own kids start going without?

 

And who decides?

 

How do you keep a minimum wage hike or universal basic income, for example, from becoming the new poverty because of inflation?

 

These discussions are always obnoxious because it becomes a race to one up one another in supposed generosity, where asking for explanations of how to pay for it or manage it suddenly translates to heartlessness and mean intentions compared to the person who speaks loftily about the lengths they'd go to help someone else. It's silly and always ends up the same.

 

Minimum wage hikes in themselves haven't much contribution to inflation.

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Scroogery? Again, this is so typical. Your sister in trouble with the alcoholic husband? Why does society need to step in when she has blood relatives? Serious question - if she has blood relatives why does a stranger need to step in? Where is the line where they should be expected to pay more to help her instead of her immediate social safety net - family?

 

Orphans and widows are accounted for in scripture. The infirm. And I think we can do better on housing and food too, but not additively to the existing safety net - you can replace in kind, but not just pile on more, and make the math work with the existing deficits and fiscal obligations we haven't fulfilled as a people. Easing adoption restrictions is a great idea upthread before it devolved into the typical diatribes against selfish people not wanting to pay for the poor.

 

Show me these countries you think are doing better. How is their average citizen doing? What is their ratio of payer to non payer in their tax systems? One of the main reasons these solutions struggle here in the US is precisely that. And without strict oversight and severe penalties for abuse by both administrators and users of these systems, a better federal or state solution tends to end up costing more and still barely filling the gap.

 

So say you take 20 billion in Tennessee and make state administered barrack housing for the income qualified, complete with food and work for those able bodied and health services for those who aren't. That has worked in some countries - but it tends to become a ghetto or require uprooting whole families as a trade off. It solves the basic issue in a cost effective manner, though. Do you want that? Or so you want to continue with the patchwork support programs currently in place that don't involve boarding facilities and forced labor co ops, which is the less elegant name for the government providing block housing and employment?

 

The patchwork could use help, sure, but throwing more and more money at the existing system won't fix things. That's right up there with districts who pay 20k per child per year, like my old one, and can't get outcomes as good as districts in other states that pay only 7k per year. Money doesn't solve what needs restructuring. But restructuring systems is painful and there are always, always trade offs. The ACA is a fine case study on that dreck.

 

If you want to do some cost effective fixes, dropping some Medicaid spending and increasing community clinics in its place does work, as does expanding food bank services and CSA style boxes of quality produce, which has little street value and improves the nutrition of those most in need. But again, these things need strict oversight and stiff penalties for people on both sides of the counter who would abuse it. And what does this do for the junkie with a needle in their arm and their kid crying on the sofa? You can't make someone care or capable. Do we remove the kids, put the parent in a state funded treatment program, and hope for the best? That might be a solid solution, but outcomes are still never guaranteed. The government can't fix what is broken in a person, and mitigating the consequences of that can only go so far. Resources are limited, emotional energy is limited. And some things can't be fixed with all the money and love in the world. So how far do you go?

 

When it comes to family suffering, I think family steps in first. That's what we do with our poor choice, stuck, difficult family members. Thankfully it's only a few of them and they do their best, so helping is just an exercise in patience and scrounging together resources. But when it's a wider scale problem the solutions become a lot more challenging, a lot more expensive, and a lot less effective. And I'm not hearing a fix for that on here. Just condemning everyone who you think doesn't understand or care as much as you.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I'd love to see set ups with apartments where one of the apartments is used for tutoring/daycare/parenting classes/cooking classes/money management classes/resume help/job search help/etc. And you could stay there for one year or 6 months or whatever AFTER getting a job, so no worries that you would be kicked out before building up a safety net. Could charge a small percentage of income as rent, but not enough to disincentive working or keep them from saving up money. 

There is a charity here that has almost exactly this model.

It is fantastic.  

They take in only homeless families with children.  Each family gets a room with a key that they hold, so they can catch their breaths and secure their stuff.  The room has a double bed and bunks, and dressers.  They pay a tiny amount for this, mostly to help them learn to prioritize their housing expenses later on when they get finished with this program.  Meals are included.  The rest of their income or welfare is saved up for first and last month's rent later on.

 

Kids get a ride to the local school, homework help, and before and after school care.  In the summer they go to summer camps, some of them very nice ones.  Parents get job training or work or job search help every day.  They have an address to put on their applications.  That one little thing is huge when you're looking for a job but homeless.

 

There is a clothing closet.  And when people leave, they are given sheets and towels for their new living quarters.

 

After the program, 3/4 of the families leave into permanent housing.  This is an unusually high proportion in these kinds of circumstances--about twice as high as normal.  The government goal is only 65%, and is rarely met, and this exceeds that.  It is great.

 

The program was started by a liberal Christian minister who felt that God's calling on her was to help the poor.  Many churches help to staff it with volunteers.  There is a Christian element available but not pushed on people.  

 

Here is the website.  I wish they had these all over.  http://familysupportivehousing.org/programs-and-services/the-san-jose-family-shelter-2/

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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So how far do you go to help someone? What's the line on personal inconvenience or sacrifice for helping another. When your own kids start going without?

 

And who decides?

 

How do you keep a minimum wage hike or universal basic income, for example, from becoming the new poverty because of inflation?

 

These discussions are always obnoxious because it becomes a race to one up one another in supposed generosity, where asking for explanations of how to pay for it or manage it suddenly translates to heartlessness and mean intentions compared to the person who speaks loftily about the lengths they'd go to help someone else. It's silly and always ends up the same.

 

Inflation is a bit more complicated than what many people think.  People often think more money = inflation, when inflation actually is driven by too much money chasing too few goods.  (Keeping in mind that "money" is encompasses more than the the total value of currency in a market and also factors in how quickly a given unit of currency is turned over in the economy.  If you increase the money supply but people don't spend the money, the you have a smaller inflationary effect.)

 

Increasing the minimum wage or creating a UBI doesn't automatically mean there will be a massive inflationary effect.  The effect would be greater in lower income areas where there often is a smaller supply of goods. Example: decent housing in a low income area would likely increase in value as more people could now afford better housing.  More run down rentals would likely see a (probably much) smaller increase in rent as there would be a lower demand for those units.  The short term inflationary effect would likely be offset to some degree by the market over time as landlords would now find more value in providing decent housing, which would lead to an increase in supply.  Short term: more money (higher wages) chasing too few goods (quality housing) = inflation.  Long term the housing supply would increase which bring us back to a market equilibrium.

 

If the income increase was via the minimum wage, you would see more inflation in certain markets (fast food likely being a good example) where wages have a higher impact on the bottom line, but you would see close to zero impact in others (ex. manufactured goods where wages are already > than minimum wage).  The market effects for many consumer goods wouldn't be impacted by the higher incomes for minimum wage earners as many of those goods are already being purchased by low wage workers being subsidized in other ways (SNAP, food banks, section 8, etc). 

Edited by ChocolateReignRemix
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This makes no sense - universal income is in addition to what you earn at your job - that's why it is universal.

 

Right. So how does the UBI not become the new $0 in terms of society at large?  How does the entire economy not compensate for the fact that everyone now starts at $40k instead of zero?  Demand goes up, prices rise, supply increases, but probably in the area of what kind of housing/etc can be afforded at the minimum of UBI.

 

If I can pay more for housing right now and price someone out of the market because I make more than they do, why would anything change if both of our incomes go up by a certain amount?

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Right. So how does the UBI not become the new $0 in terms of society at large?  How does the entire economy not compensate for the fact that everyone now starts at $40k instead of zero?  Demand goes up, prices rise, supply increases, but probably in the area of what kind of housing/etc can be afforded at the minimum of UBI.

 

If I can pay more for housing right now and price someone out of the market because I make more than they do, why would anything change if both of our incomes go up by a certain amount?

 

See my post above.  One thing to keep in mind is that demand for many basic goods is relatively inelastic.  People will make quality substitutions across goods (ex. if I have more money I may buy name brand rather than store brand, Boar's Head deli meat instead of Oscar Meyer, etc) but the total quantity purchased is fairly stable (assuming previous needs have been met).  Without issues regarding the supply of consumer goods, we should not expect to see a massive inflationary effect.  A I noted in a previous post, many of those with low incomes are already getting access to these goods, but only via inefficient methods of distribution (SNAP, food banks, Section 8, etc).  In effect we are currently using tax dollars and charitable contributions as a subsidy which allows businesses to pay lower wage rates.

 

Currently it isn't so much that workers on the lowest end of the wage scale are being priced out of things like housing, but rather that there is are few profitable housing options available at the level someone making $8/hour can pay.  It is difficult to be priced out of a market that doesn't exist.

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Scroogery? Again, this is so typical. Your sister in trouble with the alcoholic husband? Why does society need to step in when she has blood relatives? Serious question - if she has blood relatives why does a stranger need to step in? Where is the line where they should be expected to pay more to help her instead of her immediate social safety net - family?

What family? Poor people usually come from poor people and live in a neighborhood of poor people. And many do not have family. What relatives do you think are going to be able to pay her rent and buy her medication? Me? LOL I'm in the brink of bankruptcy. I for sure don't have the money to pay her rent or $309 for her lupus medication. I can't even afford a new insulin pump for my husband or dental appts for myself. My Dh did drive to her city (she doesn't even live near family) and bought and installed a battery in her car for her so she could get to the grocery store and we bought a week's worth of groceries for her. But that was 6 months ago. And that's presuming they have relatives at all. I do not have relatives. I love my FOO because they are people and that's my Christian duty, but they are abusive and toxic and self destructive so I cut them from my life or more accurately, from my children's lives decades ago.

 

Which brings me to the next problem with that statement. It forces people to stay in unhealthy situations because they are literally tied to the people who perpetuate it. The key factor in someone making it out of poverty is often being willing to cut ties with family and neighborhood in it. If I had to depend on my FOO for anything, it would mean being dragged down into their hot mess. It is extremely difficult to better oneself without outside of family support. No, that's not accurate. It's flat out not possible.

 

Aside from that, many people flat out don't have family. Dh is an only child. I might as well be. My mom is dead, my dad has one foot in the grave. Dh's parents don't want to be involved in his life. If Dh and I can't manage it on our own, there is no one to call. No free babysitter. No one to move in with. No one to fund our anything. If it wasn't for the generosity of strangers and making some really awful living decisions to scrape by, we'd have folded up years ago. It's pure luck Dh didnt die (that is not even a slight exaggeration) and that nothing ever happened to the kids at some of those God awful daycares that no one would ever willingly put their baby in.

 

Orphans and widows are accounted for in scripture. The infirm. And I think we can do better on housing and food too, but not additively to the existing safety net - you can replace in kind, but not just pile on more, and make the math work with the existing deficits and fiscal obligations we haven't fulfilled as a people. Easing adoption restrictions is a great idea upthread before it devolved into the typical diatribes against selfish people not wanting to pay for the poor.

I'm going to make a lot of people angry.... I think it's wrong to pay tens of thousands into the adoption business while whining about spending the same money to give those families a better situation that would allow them to keep their own children. Not even one person should have to choose between food or their child, education or their child, shelter or their child. It just should not even be a part of any Christian or modern country equation in helping others.

 

As for what scripture says. We are called to love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Everyone.

 

Abuse of the system is actually very low and usually not by the people who receive benefits. It's very difficult to get any benefit. It's time consuming and frustrating and more people get denied than approved. Less than 10% abuse the system.

 

If you want to do some cost effective fixes, dropping some Medicaid spending and increasing community clinics in its place does work, as does expanding food bank services and CSA style boxes of quality produce, which has little street value and improves the nutrition of those most in need. But again, these things need strict oversight and stiff penalties for people on both sides of the counter who would abuse it.

 

This makes no damn sense. You can't drop Medicaid AND increase community clinics, most of which depend on Medicaid to survive. I don't even know what expanding food banks means. Those are donation driven and receive very little state or federal monies. CSA is a pipe dream for most of them.

 

And what does this do for the junkie with a needle in their arm and their kid crying on the sofa? You can't make someone care or capable. Do we remove the kids, put the parent in a state funded treatment program, and hope for the best? That might be a solid solution, but outcomes are still never guaranteed.

 

We could have real mental health and medical health services that assist people before they seek self medicating means of dealing with their problems.

 

Those could include treatment options for those who already have.

 

If necessary, children could and should be placed in foster programs or with safe family while their addict parent gets their life together.

 

No, it won't solve everything or cure addiction or make parents who just don't love their kid. But it sure as heck would go a long ways further than the nearly nothing we have now.

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What family? Poor people usually come from poor people and live in a neighborhood of poor people. And many do not have family. What relatives do you think are going to be able to pay her rent and buy her medication? Me? LOL I'm in the brink of bankruptcy. I for sure don't have the money to pay her rent or $309 for her lupus medication. I can't even afford a new insulin pump for my husband or dental appts for myself. My Dh did drive to her city (she doesn't even live near family) and bought and installed a battery in her car for her so she could get to the grocery store and we bought a week's worth of groceries for her. But that was 6 months ago. And that's presuming they have relatives at all. I do not have relatives. I love my FOO because they are people and that's my Christian duty, but they are abusive and toxic and self destructive so I cut them from my life or more accurately, from my children's lives decades ago.

 

Which brings me to the next problem with that statement. It forces people to stay in unhealthy situations because they are literally tied to the people who perpetuate it. The key factor in someone making it out of poverty is often being willing to cut ties with family and neighborhood in it. If I had to depend on my FOO for anything, it would mean being dragged down into their hot mess. It is extremely difficult to better oneself without outside of family support. No, that's not accurate. It's flat out not possible.

 

Aside from that, many people flat out don't have family. Dh is an only child. I might as well be. My mom is dead, my dad has one foot in the grave. Dh's parents don't want to be involved in his life. If Dh and I can't manage it on our own, there is no one to call. No free babysitter. No one to move in with. No one to fund our anything. If it wasn't for the generosity of strangers and making some really awful living decisions to scrape by, we'd have folded up years ago. It's pure luck Dh didnt die (that is not even a slight exaggeration) and that nothing ever happened to the kids at some of those God awful daycares that no one would ever willingly put their baby in.

 

Many people have no idea just how much truth is in what you just posted.

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Right. So how does the UBI not become the new $0 in terms of society at large?  How does the entire economy not compensate for the fact that everyone now starts at $40k instead of zero?  Demand goes up, prices rise, supply increases, but probably in the area of what kind of housing/etc can be afforded at the minimum of UBI.

 

If I can pay more for housing right now and price someone out of the market because I make more than they do, why would anything change if both of our incomes go up by a certain amount?

 

The way I think of it is this - we aren't making more or less stuff, we aren't richer or poorer in terms of real wealth as a society just because people have a regular income.  The goal of UBI is really to make sure that what we have is spread around so that everyone gets the benefit, rather than having it accumulate with a few people. (Say, the people who happen to own the businesses and decide to eliminate most employees because of automation.)

 

It isn't, and couldn't be a social policy that will fix everything all on its own.  If there isn't enough housing, it will be more expensive if people have more money.  It becomes an important part of the management of society to ensure that housing is available for people.  This is also something that could be a challenge - we've shown that the private market doesn't seem to be able to fulfill that role all by itself.

 

There are also things we can do to control prices to a certain extent, if that seems like a good idea.

 

Many people may not wish to live on only the basic income - it's likely to be possible to have people do for that doesn't really pay enough to be worthwhile now, but added to UBI, could be a nice little addition.

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Many people have no idea just how much truth is in what you just posted.

Yes, I agree. I'm thankful to have come from a functional family. If I started having problems, there are a number of relatives who could take over. That is certainly a blessing. When I was a social worker I remember talking to families about who might take the kids and often then answer was no one. Or you started looking into the family's background and found out that oh, mama spent time in foster care from grandma, so that strikes her from the list. Dh has relatives that have made poor choice after poor choice, and are living in poverty. We do help them, but aren't going to enable them to make poor choices. So if someone needs money to fix a problem like pay the utilities one month, we help with that. But we aren't going to become an ongoing financial support system because that enables this particular person.

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The thing is to me, about this families first business, is that to a very large extent, I think people's families do help out as much as they can.

 

But isn't it that case that in a significant way we really are just one big family?  Everyone is our neighbour?

 

Wouldn't it make sense, if that is true, that we might want to create a system for making sure that help people need comes in a timely and regular way, where people know how to access it, where the criteria to receive it is fair and not about who you know or how likeable they are?  A system that is funded in a stable and fair way?

 

I think if we really want to strengthen the ability of families to help each other, we might look at things which mean that poor people less stable communities - things like being pushed out of housing or neighbourhoods, the assumption that it is better for people to move away from family and to look for jobs, and so on.

 

 

Edited by Bluegoat
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Yeah, this isn't true. Believe me, I'd be happy to pay more taxes in order to have a properly-functioning society with a decent social safety net. Most nearly all liberals I know feel the same way.

 

It's not the amount though, it's the efficiency and logic of how it's used.  For the amount we as a country spend on social services, poverty should be almost non-existent, and yet there is little change from generation to generation.  Pouring more good money after bad isn't the answer.

 

I am a conservative and I share in many different ways in addition to paying way more taxes than are justified by the results.  Would I pay more?  Yes, if the money was being used well.  I always vote for levies for the organizations that I trust to use money well.

 

I think the idea that the social net isn't "us personally paying" is a problem, because people don't think of it as something they can influence. 

 

I see several posters saying (and I have also observed) that they are forced by government programs to make inefficient buying decisions.  My reaction would be, did you contact the agency and tell them there was a cheaper and equally good alternative?  Does the agency have a system to receive and use that kind of information?  If people felt they should do that, if multiple people would call / text / email / post on the agency's website, maybe the agencies would look into it and change the rules to save money.  That's what anyone in a non-governmental system would do, so why not in a government-funded system?

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It's not the amount though, it's the efficiency and logic of how it's used.  For the amount we as a country spend on social services, poverty should be almost non-existent, and yet there is little change from generation to generation.  Pouring more good money after bad isn't the answer.

 

What's your math behind this statement, i.e. how are you certain our social spending should have "eliminated" poverty? Are you considering any external factors such as declining real wage rates?

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I see several posters saying (and I have also observed) that they are forced by government programs to make inefficient buying decisions.  My reaction would be, did you contact the agency and tell them there was a cheaper and equally good alternative?  Does the agency have a system to receive and use that kind of information?  If people felt they should do that, if multiple people would call / text / email / post on the agency's website, maybe the agencies would look into it and change the rules to save money.  That's what anyone in a non-governmental system would do, so why not in a government-funded system?

Not even the non-governmental systems necessarily do this.

I once got billed for surgery exactly a year after I had had it and had had it paid for by my insurance.  At the time I had Blue Cross with 100% hospitalization coverage, so it didn't cost me a dime, but I wanted to alert my insurance company that this was a mistake or a fraudulent charge.  The person who answered the phone was uninterested in this information, and gave me a hard time for reporting it since I didn't personally lose any money because of it.  I imagine that they paid the claim, even though it is impossible to remove two gall bladders from the same person.

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What family? Poor people usually come from poor people and live in a neighborhood of poor people. And many do not have family. What relatives do you think are going to be able to pay her rent and buy her medication? Me? LOL I'm in the brink of bankruptcy. I for sure don't have the money to pay her rent or $309 for her lupus medication. I can't even afford a new insulin pump for my husband or dental appts for myself. My Dh did drive to her city (she doesn't even live near family) and bought and installed a battery in her car for her so she could get to the grocery store and we bought a week's worth of groceries for her. But that was 6 months ago. And that's presuming they have relatives at all. I do not have relatives. I love my FOO because they are people and that's my Christian duty, but they are abusive and toxic and self destructive so I cut them from my life or more accurately, from my children's lives decades ago.

 

Which brings me to the next problem with that statement. It forces people to stay in unhealthy situations because they are literally tied to the people who perpetuate it. The key factor in someone making it out of poverty is often being willing to cut ties with family and neighborhood in it. If I had to depend on my FOO for anything, it would mean being dragged down into their hot mess. It is extremely difficult to better oneself without outside of family support. No, that's not accurate. It's flat out not possible.

 

Aside from that, many people flat out don't have family. Dh is an only child. I might as well be. My mom is dead, my dad has one foot in the grave. Dh's parents don't want to be involved in his life. If Dh and I can't manage it on our own, there is no one to call. No free babysitter. No one to move in with. No one to fund our anything. If it wasn't for the generosity of strangers and making some really awful living decisions to scrape by, we'd have folded up years ago. It's pure luck Dh didnt die (that is not even a slight exaggeration) and that nothing ever happened to the kids at some of those God awful daycares that no one would ever willingly put their baby in.

 

 

I'm going to make a lot of people angry.... I think it's wrong to pay tens of thousands into the adoption business while whining about spending the same money to give those families a better situation that would allow them to keep their own children. Not even one person should have to choose between food or their child, education or their child, shelter or their child. It just should not even be a part of any Christian or modern country equation in helping others.

 

As for what scripture says. We are called to love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Everyone.

 

Abuse of the system is actually very low and usually not by the people who receive benefits. It's very difficult to get any benefit. It's time consuming and frustrating and more people get denied than approved. Less than 10% abuse the system.

 

 

 

This makes no damn sense. You can't drop Medicaid AND increase community clinics, most of which depend on Medicaid to survive. I don't even know what expanding food banks means. Those are donation driven and receive very little state or federal monies. CSA is a pipe dream for most of them.

 

 

 

We could have real mental health and medical health services that assist people before they seek self medicating means of dealing with their problems.

 

Those could include treatment options for those who already have.

 

If necessary, children could and should be placed in foster programs or with safe family while their addict parent gets their life together.

 

No, it won't solve everything or cure addiction or make parents who just don't love their kid. But it sure as heck would go a long ways further than the nearly nothing we have now.

Not drop Medicaid funding, divert it into more physical service locations offering the services at the appropriate discount. Essentially subsidized medical care. It's more cost effective to provide more clinics than pay other providers, because of pooled overhead.

 

Same thing with physical food banks - as a SNAP supplement it is cheaper to bulk purchase the food directly and repackage it, distributing to individuals by mail or drop off or allowing pickup, than some further expansion of WIC or SNAP. These are the more socialist/community supportive alternatives to the semi privatized system currently available, but that could be managed cost effectively. I personally don't favor them ideologically but it's a halfway point between the two sides that would possibly pass congress.

 

A softer sliding scale of responsibility on income vs tax burden is a decent solution, but it cuts revenue to implement it because someone making a dollar over the income guidelines isn't now on the hook for the same tax burden as someone at the top of that same bracket. A flat tax is also a decent solution, since it is a percentage of a given income and not the bracket system it has that gradation built in. But waivers would have to be more selective.

 

As for your thoughts about your family and enabling, generation issues, etc, you proved my point (which was philosophical and not personal, I'm not really picking on you specifically). Someone's family has to pay for it, and how much of that can you shift on someone else's family before they can't handle it, either? There has to be balance or it topples pretty quickly over a cliff of sustainability, where everyone suffers. Venezuela has been a really glaring recent example of mismanagement and overpromising of resources, where now pretty much everyone is in trouble. Major oversimplification, but if I can find it I read a great article awhile back that listed some of the etiology of the issues and lessons to learn in terms of US policy. It was well balanced and very thoughtful.

 

 

And finally, what is enough money and support to prove love of one's neighbor to your satisfaction? And what level of sacrifice must be sustained for that love, who gets to decide? How much pain and drain do I get to undertake on behalf of a family not even my own?

Edited by Arctic Mama
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And I guess this is my main concern with UBI. If a contributing factor within neglect, that is based on poverty, is the inability (of, say, parents) to prioritize where monies go, so the government still needs to take control on such a level that they also give each family an "overseer" who sets up that family's UBI in such a way that shelter, health, and food is paid for consistently from that money, how is it any different than the services we have now? 

 

UBI may not be needs' based, but we couldn't provide a social worker to oversee that money distribution to everyone, so that would have to be based on need -- and then it isn't "no strings" money, because (just like food stamps, childcare vouchers, and section 8 vouchers) someone else is deciding where the money goes and when. 

 

I was also under the impression that most countries with things similar to a UBI, didn't also have section 8 housing or food stamps or childcare vouchers (at least to the extent that we have them here). Childcare alone would eat up most of that UBI -- and if the parents are still only bringing in, say, 30-40K a year, besides the UBI, then foot costs, clothing, shelter, and healthcare isn't going to be paid for at all. Let's even assume that we throw Universal Healthcare into the mix... what about dental or procedures not covered by a UHC system? 

 

For the record, I'm asking because I'm sincerely curious. Although I identify as politically conservative, I'm not actually against a Universal Basic Income... I just don't understand how it's better than the resources we have now, save the obvious headache that goes into getting the services we have now. Again, though, if we throw into the mix the government somehow ensuring that the basics are covered with that UBI, it's no less restrictive than the system we have now. Right?

 

Re the bold and the "most countries" comment - first of all, the standard of living that most low-income Americans enjoy is in many ways far higher than that enjoyed by low-income or even average-income people in "most countries" with which Americans like to compare our system.  The average amount of space, big toys, and various goodies are quite extravagant by worldwide standards.  In most US locations, a family "only" bringing in $30-40K a year plus having a UBI would be sitting pretty by developed world standards.

 

I thought a main argument for a UBI was to enable a parent to stay home if the child for any reason did not qualify for [affordable-to-that-family] child care / day school.  If that is the case, then why would a family receiving UBI need expensive daycare?

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Just a quick comment regarding universal income...

 

We are on the verge of significant technological changes that could lead to a massive labor surplus in many first world countries.  I would argue that we already have a labor surplus at this time, which is one of the (many) reasons we have had low wage growth.  If these changes are as significant as I believe they will be, we will be forced to have long, hard conversations about guaranteed incomes. 

 

Yes, very much this.  I stay up at night worrying about this.

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I can see the pros of both the oversight and the no-strings money.  Perhaps an ideal system would have both - you have to prove you can handle the no-strings money; if your kids are still not having their needs met, or if you're still doing drugs and not holding a job, then you get babysat.  If you have mental illness, you need to get treatment, and we need to cover that; but if you won't participate so you can do right by your kids or your landlord, then you get babysat.

 

There is no way this country is ever going to do a UBI payout for all, because the majority would be in hysterics over the possibility that the people paying into the tax system might get some money out.  (Nor do I think that would make sense.)  But we do a variant of it by having the refundable child tax credit / earned income credit.

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Before I worked professionally with children in need of care, I was very much in support of parents' rights.  I do think, generally, that family reunification is something to strive for.  OP, you're right---generational poverty, mental health, and a lack of skills are usually all part of the problem that led to the children being taken from the home. I think, generally, that the current foster care system is fairly flawed.  That said, after following my case load for a time, I have flipped in my opinion.  I think the determination of whether a family can be rehabilitated should be swift, and permanent placement and adoption should happen quickly. And, beyond that, access to services by adoptive families for attachment issues/learning disabilities/trauma support/medical support should continue to age 21. Wait lists really need to be shortened so that services can be accessed quickly, easily, and for as long as needed.  I suspect that it would generate cost savings against future expenses.

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