Posted under Culture
It wasn’t until the social welfare state was established that we started encouraging people not to work and we started to erect all these barriers with things like the minimum wage law, occupational licensing and everything that we do to make it more and more difficult for people to grab the bottom rung of the employment ladder, so now we have people that are permanently unemployed, we have people that wouldn’t even consider getting a job.
I mean, this is their lifestyle…
We’ve created this subculture, which is getting bigger and bigger and bigger of people that don’t work, that don’t produce and now they have to be supported by everybody else.
In my line of work, I run across this every day. I often wonder how people got along 100 years ago before any of these programs existed. While I’m no fan of the minimum wage, that is not the main problem here, because there are many who wouldn’t seek employment even if it were more readily available. The main problem is that there exists a system (food stamps, subsidized housing, medicaid, disability, etc.) that makes not working a viable option.
I don’t think national level welfare programs are constitutional, but if you were starting from scratch and determined that you must have a welfare safety net, I think it should be work based. You show up to do some public work job and you get paid. If you’re disabled you show up for a job tailored to your disability. Such a program might end up being more expensive to administer than just cutting someone a check, but I think it would cut down on the moral hazard of welfare, and some public service work would get done as a result. Of course this might encourage some people to default take the government welfare job rather than job hunt, but it would have to be better than what we have.