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The Big Answer

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The Big Lie About Workfare

an article in Utne Reader by Helen Cordex

(our site's article review)

Workfare, intrinsically, must offer low-wage opportunities
Workfare, intrinsically, must offer low-wage opportunities

The article examines workfare. Mostly the liberal position is advocated, which looks at the money not given, the low-wage opportunities it focuses on (like they were expecting the government to find them professional jobs when they have no experience or training?), the childcare it doesn’t provide while the mothers are at work, etc. It doesn’t look at the government dependency of people who often irresponsibly have kids without a clue about how they’ll support them but with a dependent hope that big mommies and daddies (perhaps even Uncle Sam?) will be there for them when they need them. (When did adult responsibility and self-sufficiency go out of style? Since when is it wise to reward childish irresponsibility with money and benefits? If the greatest learning tool in human history is natural consequences, where is this tool when the government rewards most those who are least responsible?)

Young people often irresponsibly have kids without a clue about how they’ll support them, hoping to get Uncle Sam to foot the bill
Young people often irresponsibly have kids without a clue about how they’ll support them, hoping to get Uncle Sam to foot the bill

There are many lame arguments for a national benefit standard for all families to have a standard of living above poverty. This article advocated this humongously expensive benefit program and then didn’t even bother with arguments. It’s almost like it was embarrassed by its token gesture of bleeding-heart liberalism which most of the culture has rightly abandoned as foolish and inappropriate. Of course, the person advocating this idea was writing in a socialist rag called Against the Current. If it wasn’t for Utne, most of us wouldn’t even know that such foolish ideas still existed. Probably college kids rebelling against parents (?). (According to the New York Times, Utne Reader was part of the salon movement of the 1980s, devoted to debate on the issues of the day.)