QUOTE(Eeyore @ Apr 6 2006, 09:40 AM)
Also, there seems to be no accounting for children here. So the key elements of our present welfare state components that make the most sense, supplement for those who are poor and cannot easily fend for themselves (the elderly, and children and while we are at it the disabled) are being stripped away.
We have citizens who need a lot more help than the rest of us. For many this $10,000 a year supplement would leave them with no help. Institutions, need for expensive chronic medical care, services for the deaf, blind, paralyzed etc. So any system would need some exceptions.
In the end this is raises an important discussion but provides an imperfect solution.
I believe that our nation, prior to a welfare system in its current form, helped the elderly and handicapped in a fashion probably just as dignified and well intended as any nominal gov't check possibly could.
Privatized giving is a large part of what makes many of us "American", and allows for a number of orphaned children, sick, and elderly Americans to have a life that no government check would ever have provided. Religious organizations and other benevolent causes help to create something better than "just getting by".
If we were to minimize the tax burden created by welfare and it's spin-offs, I believe that these causes would fall by the way side, and that the elderly and handicapped wouldn't be withering in a corner to fend for themselves. That's inherently anti-American, or at least anti-Chrisitian (not up for debate... a large portion of the US is admittedly Chrisitian).
The problem with any government program, using Katrina as a benchmark, is that it negates a large portion of those in need, inefficiently allocates funding, and is a pillar of financial waste. Consider that millions of dollars was pumped into very short-sided and largely useless programs that won't leave New Orleans in any better shape or with hope of a sincere recovery. The Welfare programs run by the gov't require thousands of employees, red-tape, and inefficiency.
You also have to consider privatized charity work like the Heart Association, when privatized, accountability becomes tantamount and the money is more likely to get to those in need. I would imagine that if welfare began to fall off the map, that organizations for the elderly, blind, deaf, etc would begin to pop up all over the country.
The problem that I have with the current welfare system is that there is little government transparency, accountability, and reform seemingly is more of a political ploy than an earnest attempt to reform a generation of apathy. The trap that welfare can create in a community is not necessarily simply financial, but mental and emotional at the same time. Work ethics, dignity, and motivation are often crippled in the process.
There may be an imperfect system around every corner, but we now know that 25+ years of welfare as it exists today hasn't been effective, and possibly short-handed a large number of poor Americans into a life of poverty. What's that notion about "give a man a fish"???
If society had told me that I would never amount to anything due to my race or gender, if our government had provided sustenance for all of my living years, and had I lived in abject poverty believing that I would never crawl out... who knows what would've become of me!