Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

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Barry
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Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:43 am

City Journal
Heather Mac Donald
Restoring the Social Order
Twenty momentous years of conservative policy success in cities
6 January 2011
Conservative ideas are responsible for the two great urban-policy successes of the last quarter-century: the breathtaking drops in crime and in welfare dependency since the early 1990s. You’d never know it from members of the opinion elite, however, who have rarely recognized these successes, much less their provenance. So let’s recapitulate an epic battle about the foundations of social order, a battle that had not just a clear winner but also a clear loser: the liberal policy prescriptions for cities that many opinion makers and politicians still embrace. New York has been at the center of this battle because so many of the bad ideas that wreaked havoc on cities hatched there. Fortunately, so did many of the antidotes.

Liberal urban policy was based on several core assumptions. Number One: multigenerational poverty was the result of structural forces—above all, of rapacious capitalism and racism. It could never be the result of bad decision-making or a deficit of personal responsibility. Number Two: though men were still, alas, required for conceiving a child, they were purely optional for raising one. (Corollary: the role of illegitimacy in creating and perpetuating poverty could never be acknowledged.) Number Three: low-wage work was demeaning and pointless. It was better to receive a monthly welfare check than to labor at an entry-level job. Number Four: crime was an understandable and inevitable reaction to economic injustice and discrimination. (Corollary: the police could not lower crime; only government social programs and wealth-redistribution schemes could.) Together, these four conceits composed the most dangerous idea of all: that the bourgeois values of order, self-discipline, and respect for the law were decorative afterthoughts to prosperity, rather than its very precondition.

From the 1960s onward, liberal policymakers put these notions into practice, just as radical disorder was breaking out in American cities. In the name of economic justice, the welfare-rights movement, the brainchild of two New York academics, sought to eliminate all remaining stigma associated with the dole and to sign up as many people for welfare as possible. Within three years, welfare rolls in big cities had doubled. The urban riots of the 1960s heralded a decades-long outbreak of crime. A presidential commission responded to the growing anarchy in 1967 by recommending that prison sentences be shortened or eliminated and that the police focus on coordinating social services to offenders rather than on making arrests. The states complied, and the national incarceration rate dropped through the 1970s, while judges diverted offenders into social programs. Crime kept rising.

By the early 1990s, the fruits of this liberal monopoly over urban policy were in clear view. New York City homicides topped 2,000 in 1990. Drug dealers controlled the streets in the city’s poorest neighborhoods; children slept in bathtubs to avoid stray bullets from the dealers’ gun battles. Small businesses fled the city, unable to withstand the assaults on their employees and the constant break-ins. Manhattanites posted pathetic little NO RADIO signs in their cars, hoping for mercy from the circumambient thieves. The national welfare caseload was up fivefold, as was the nation’s illegitimacy rate. In New York City, one in seven residents was on welfare. I remember interviewing an able-bodied New York man who had been mooching off his girlfriend’s welfare check but was applying for his own food stamps. “I’m going for every dime I can get out of them,” he told me, righteously adding one caveat: “If they make you work, I’m not doing it.”

But fissures in the dominant ideology were already appearing. In the 1980s, states had started making sure that criminals actually served most of their sentences. And the realization that work was a better corrective to poverty than government handouts made federal welfare reform look more and more likely. As this prospect loomed, the poverty-industrial complex erupted in rage, using the very dysfunction and disorder that its policies had produced as an argument against changing the status quo. Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, the architects of the welfare-rights revolution, railed against the idea of asking welfare mothers to work. Those mothers already had a full-time job, they said, simply trying to care for their children under the “jungle-like conditions of urban poverty.” Memo to all professors: that jungle is exactly what you get when you dismiss the necessity of the two-parent family, work, and respect for the law.

Anticipating federal welfare reform, Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund warned that it would be a “moral blot on this nation.” Congressman Charles Rangel predicted that it would throw 1 million people into poverty. (Perhaps he could have offered them lodging in his tax-free Dominican villa.) The most revealing comment, however, came afterward from the Barbra Streisand Professor in Contemporary Gender Studies (yes, there is such a position) at USC: welfare reform, said Sharon Hays, embodied a “serious problem in the cultural logic of personal responsibility itself.” In other words, personal responsibility, for the academy, had been “problematized”: to hold the poor responsible for their actions was philosophically naive, whereas to subsidize self-destructive behavior with unconditional welfare displayed philosophical sophistication.

President Bill Clinton, to his credit, ignored these doomsayers and in 1996 ended the lifetime welfare entitlement. The same women who, the advocates had said, were incapable of working or were unwanted by the economy entered the workforce in droves. The welfare rolls dropped 66 percent, and black child poverty experienced its greatest drop in history. In New York City, where Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had started asking people to go to work a year before federal welfare reform passed, the welfare rolls have dropped 70 percent. New York now has the lowest child poverty rate of the eight largest U.S. cities. If any poverty professional has said, “Oops! I was wrong,” I haven’t heard it.

However significant the rout of the poverty-industrial complex, New York’s demolition of conventional thinking about crime was even more momentous. Since 1990, New York has experienced the largest and longest sustained drop in street crime of any big city in the developed world. In less than a generation, many major felonies have fallen 80 percent or more. New York did this by rejecting everything that the criminology and social-work professions counseled about crime. Police Chief William Bratton announced in 1994 that the police, not some big-government welfare program, would lower crime by 10 percent in just one year. He not only met his goal, he bested it—by ruthlessly holding precinct commanders accountable for the safety of their beats, by the rigorous analysis of crime data, and by empowering street cops to intervene in suspicious behavior before a crime actually happened.

Just as the liberal philosophy of exempting the poor from bourgeois standards of behavior set up a vicious cycle of fatherlessness, crime, and dependency, the conservative philosophy of universal standards set up a virtuous cycle of urban renovation. With crime in free fall across New York in the 1990s, the tourism and hospitality industries boomed, triggering demand for the low-skilled welfare mothers whom welfare reform was nudging into the workplace. Businesses moved back into formerly violence-plagued areas, creating more jobs. Neighborhoods were transformed.

To take just one example, contemplate for a moment a small miracle that occurs around 11 o’clock each night at the 96th Street subway stop on the Lexington Avenue line: residents pour out of the subway and disappear into the darkness, heading unconcernedly home. For years, such a routine at such an hour would have been fraught with anxiety. Now, it is simply part of New York’s ordinary rhythm. But it is just such freedom from fear that cities require to reach their full potential as incubators of the creativity that Harvard professor Edward Glaeser rightly lauds.

The national crime drop of 41 percent since 1991 is also the longest and largest national decline in modern history, one wholly unforeseen by criminologists. It was made possible by the increased incarceration rate, which achieved its maximum effect in the 1990s, and by the spread of New York–style data-driven policing. Most significant is that the national crime rate has fallen in each of the last three years, putting the final nail in the coffin of the liberal conceit that a bad economy drives otherwise law-abiding individuals into crime.

In the last 20 years, conservative ideas, including the value of all work, which binds us to each other through the strange beauty of commerce and voluntary exchange, have done more to turn around American cities than four decades and hundreds of billions of dollars of welfare entitlements, social programs, and public housing ever did. More than 10,000 minority males are alive in New York City today who would have been dead, had New York’s homicide rate remained at its early 1990s level. A policy triumph doesn’t get any more concrete than that.

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Adapted from remarks delivered on November 17 at City Journal’s 20th anniversary conference.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Cosima___J
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Cosima___J » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:21 pm

It's a crying shame that the conservative ideas and values weren't used long before they finally were allowed to be tried. How many lives were wasted before the seemingly beneficent acts of the government were corrected for the benefit of all. What's that old saying about giving a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish and he can feed himself for the rest of his life and live with pride and dignity.

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:30 pm

>Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal <

Interesting article--if I'm not mistaken she's the one who wrote that great article on keeping opera productions conservative--a concept I fully support. On this article I'm very happy to be able to walk around Manhattan and feel safe--for us the subway stop is on 96th st and Broadway on the westside--our Newton Hotel--we really feel comfortable coming back there after an opera!

Still I don't believe welfare, medicaid and food stamps have come close to being eliminated nor do I think that it would be wise--but crime is definitely down from the years when my wife and I were afraid to walk in Central Park during the day and subways made me nervous.

On Medicaid for example I found this:

"Since its inception over four decades ago, New York State’s Medicaid program has expanded inexorably. Today it is the nation’s most expensive by far, projected to spend a mind-boggling $49.2 billion in 2010—roughly 14 percent of the nation’s total Medicaid budget, though the state holds just 7 percent of the nation’s population. "

http://www.city-journal.org/2009/nytom_medicaid.html

And on welfare from an April 2009 NY Times report:

"In the state, cash-assistance applications rose to 554,307 in 2007 from 410,518 in 1999. In New York City, applications rose to 341,635 in 2007 from 221,895 in 1999, a 54 percent increase, the report said.

Last month, the number of welfare recipients in New York City inched up slightly for the second month in a row, after a long decline. There were 343,384 recipients of cash assistance in New York City in March, up 0.4 percent from February, according to data from the Human Resources Administration, which administers welfare in New York City."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/nyreg ... lfare.html

Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:03 pm

We should start keeping a running list of posted opinion pieces whose title is, to put it politely, poorly coordinated with their content.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Barry
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:12 pm

jbuck919 wrote:We should start keeping a running list of posted opinion pieces whose title bears no relationship to their content.
Funny. I thought the title was very appropriate (I took it from the title of the piece). Perhaps you are just so allergic to the traditional values that made us a great civilization in the first place, not to mention the damage that the rejection of them by the liberals from your generation did to large segments of our society, that recognizing the importance of things like family, work, and law & order to the social order in urban areas is too much of a stretch for you. :wink:
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:26 pm

Barry wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:We should start keeping a running list of posted opinion pieces whose title bears no relationship to their content.
Funny. I thought the title was very appropriate (I took it from the title of the piece).
That's been true in every case where this happens. I am not saying that our posters should be held to second-guessing the editorial title of their re-posts.
Perhaps you are just so allergic to the traditional values that made us a great civilization in the first place, not to mention the damage that the rejection of them by the liberals from your generation did to large segments of our society, that recognizing the importance of things like family, work, and law & order to the social order in urban areas is too much of a stretch for you. :wink:
Restoring order to cities in the sense of reducing crime has been a great achievement, but the addition of the word "social" adds a suggestion of inappropriate dimensions. In the first place, it echos "social order" in the sense of a stratification where everybody is in their proper place and should stay there; in the second it implies that the seemingly intractable social problems of cities have been ameliorated on a level commensurate with the reduction in crime, something you yourself, Barry, know is wrong. Continuing intractable urban problems, none of them yet solved by conservative or liberal policies, are a frequent subject of your posts. The minute a supposed decreased welfare dependency or any other conservative notion results in a vibrant new inner city class of hope and achievement, let us know and I'll be the first to rejoice.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Barry
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:00 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Barry wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:We should start keeping a running list of posted opinion pieces whose title bears no relationship to their content.
Funny. I thought the title was very appropriate (I took it from the title of the piece).
That's been true in every case where this happens. I am not saying that our posters should be held to second-guessing the editorial title of their re-posts.
Perhaps you are just so allergic to the traditional values that made us a great civilization in the first place, not to mention the damage that the rejection of them by the liberals from your generation did to large segments of our society, that recognizing the importance of things like family, work, and law & order to the social order in urban areas is too much of a stretch for you. :wink:
Restoring order to cities in the sense of reducing crime has been a great achievement, but the addition of the word "social" adds a suggestion of inappropriate dimensions. In the first place, it echos "social order" in the sense of a stratification where everybody is in their proper place and should stay there; in the second it implies that the seemingly intractable social problems of cities have been ameliorated on a level commensurate with the reduction in crime, something you yourself, Barry, know is wrong. Continuing intractable urban problems, none of them yet solved by conservative or liberal policies, are a frequent subject of your posts. The minute a supposed decreased welfare dependency or any other conservative notion results in a vibrant new inner city class of hope and achievement, let us know and I'll be the first to rejoice.
That's one way of defining "social order;" but certainly not the only one, and not the one I had in mind.

I agree that there are still massive problems in our cities and too many people who are dependent on government support (and as you know, I think that's largely because of the breakdown of the family and the institution of marriage, which hasn't gotten better). But if there aren't as many as there used to be, that's a step in the right direction. And the reduction in crime, something which certainly goes to the "social order" as I think of it, is a huge jump in the right direction, at least in NYC.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

John F
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by John F » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:15 pm

What this is about isn't order in the sense of "social order," which as jbuck919 says implies a lot more than reducing crime, but order in the sense of "law and order," which is not the same thing. As Barry says, it's Heather Mac Donald who first slips between these different senses of the word, in aid of a grander glorification of her conservative values while bashing a caricature of liberal values. Which I guess Barry took as an invitation to chime in.

I'm not one to lump together all American cities as if they shared the same narrative and the same dynamic, but will focus on my city, whose history I know something about, and where I've lived for 40 years. The first thing to say is that New York City's only truly conservative mayor since before Fiorello Laguardia has been Rudolph Giuliani (1994-2000), and the city council and board of estimate have also been predominantly liberal during all that time. We've had our ups and downs, but always within a liberal political framework, except when Giuliani rode the crime wave to victory in 1994.

Mac Donald dates the start of the nationwide decline in the crime rate in 1991. I've found a graph showing the trend in New York City before, during, and after the Giuliani administration:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giuli ... e_rate.png

This confirms 1991 as the starting date and shows a drop in the per capita crime rate of nearly 25% before Giuliani took office, while liberal Democrat David Dinkins was our mayor. This has been attributed to his hiring more policemen, badly needed as the city's financial catastrophe of the mid-70s had caused massive cuts. The trend continued to accelerate during the first two Giuliani years, then tapered off with only incremental decreases after 1996, continuing after he was succeeded by the Democrat/Republican/Liberal Michael Bloomberg. Giuliani receives all the credit for the decline in NYC crime during the '90s, and certainly deserves some of it, but the numbers show that his liberal predecessor deserves major credit as well - more than New York voters gave him, and more than Mac Donald with her ideological agenda is willing to admit.

NYPD crime statistics don't map precisely onto the graph, as they are not calculated per capita of the city's population, but they essentially confirm it. From 1991 to 1995, crimes declined by ca. 215,000 (40%); from 1995 to 2001, by ca. 150,000 (another 48%); and since 2001, by ca. 56,000 (another 35%).

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/ ... cscity.pdf

Mac Donald's and Barry's other topic, welfare, is "softer" and subject to wildly divergent interpretations and conclusions. She is apparently more interested in bashing liberal views, which I don't recognize as my own, than in a serious analysis of what actually happened and is happening. Deep cuts in welfare programs have resulted in sharp drops in the welfare rolls. Duh! After seeing Mac Donald spin the crime rate decline to give all the credit to conservatives and tacitly deny any credit to such liberals as deserve it, I don't trust her argument on welfare either. But I'm not going to argue the issue myself.
John Francis

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:27 am

>NYPD crime statistics don't map precisely onto the graph, as they are not calculated per capita of the city's population, but they essentially confirm it. From 1991 to 1995, crimes declined by ca. 215,000 (40%); from 1995 to 2001, by ca. 150,000 (another 48%); and since 2001, by ca. 56,000 (another 35%)....Mac Donald's and Barry's other topic, welfare, is "softer" and subject to wildly divergent interpretations and conclusions.<

John, thanks for doing all this research on the crime--I kept googling but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for--however as I read MacDonald's article I kept thinking she should stick to opera. :) As I tried to point out the costs of medicaid, food stamps and welfare are very high--what's conservative MacDonald's solution--I didn't see it in that article. Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:41 am

lennygoran wrote:>NYPD crime statistics don't map precisely onto the graph, as they are not calculated per capita of the city's population, but they essentially confirm it. From 1991 to 1995, crimes declined by ca. 215,000 (40%); from 1995 to 2001, by ca. 150,000 (another 48%); and since 2001, by ca. 56,000 (another 35%)....Mac Donald's and Barry's other topic, welfare, is "softer" and subject to wildly divergent interpretations and conclusions.<

John, thanks for doing all this research on the crime--I kept googling but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for--however as I read MacDonald's article I kept thinking she should stick to opera. :) As I tried to point out the costs of medicaid, food stamps and welfare are very high--what's conservative MacDonald's solution--I didn't see it in that article. Regards, Len
The long term solutions were most certainly mentioned, although they didn't get the in depth treatment that they have in some of the pieces I've posted in the past by the scholars/writers from the Manhattan Institute and the City Journal. They're very consistent, and they provide data to back up their stances, in putting forth the notion that while they're not quick fixes, the only way to really change the situation in many of the worst urban areas is to emphasize the importance of marriage, parental responsibility, and family and the value of work (I'm aware we're in a bad economy and some people can't find work, but the cultural change to so many people feeling a sense of entitlement to government assistance in lieu of hard work is something that goes back a couple generations now; to about the same time when out-of-wedlock birthrates started to go way up).
And, by the way, these are issues that go to social order; not only law and order.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:31 pm

>the only way to really change the situation in many of the worst urban areas is to emphasize the importance of marriage, parental responsibility, and family and the value of work <

But how specifically do you do it--in the meantime these high cost solutions are needed--welfare, food stamps, medicaid--don't you agree? BTW can we allow the lesbians to get married. Regards, Len :)

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:01 pm

lennygoran wrote:>the only way to really change the situation in many of the worst urban areas is to emphasize the importance of marriage, parental responsibility, and family and the value of work <

But how specifically do you do it--in the meantime these high cost solutions are needed--welfare, food stamps, medicaid--don't you agree? BTW can we allow the lesbians to get married. Regards, Len :)
The Black community tends to be homophobic way over and above US society in general. In a flight of fancy, I can imagine them changing these attitudes and responsible married Black gay couples with adopted children setting an example. I know, I know, but stranger things have happened. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:10 pm

>I know, I know, but stranger things have happened. :)<

They have? Regards, Len :)

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:11 pm

lennygoran wrote:>the only way to really change the situation in many of the worst urban areas is to emphasize the importance of marriage, parental responsibility, and family and the value of work <

But how specifically do you do it--in the meantime these high cost solutions are needed--welfare, food stamps, medicaid--don't you agree? BTW can we allow the lesbians to get married. Regards, Len :)
I've addressed gay marriage on a number of threads and see no reason to do so here. It's besides the point of this thread.

As far as how you get communities back to focusing on family, getting married before having kids and the value of work over entitlement, it's probably going to have to come mostly from within the communities that suffer most from these problems. It's not something the government is going to be able to fix.
I'm not advocating cutting off food stamps and medicaid cold turkey. But people who receive welfare need to have work, jobs training or back-to-school requirements in order to receive it and there should be cut off dates after a certain period, be it two years, three years or whatever. I'm sorry if it's cruel to your sensibilities to tell someone you're going to get to live off of tax dollars for the next three years, then you need to get a job or you're on your own, but if you don't do that, too many people will have a sense of entitlement to life-long government support; and that's bad for both them and the bottom line in terms of government spending.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by JackC » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:23 pm

Barry wrote:
lennygoran wrote:>the only way to really change the situation in many of the worst urban areas is to emphasize the importance of marriage, parental responsibility, and family and the value of work <

But how specifically do you do it--in the meantime these high cost solutions are needed--welfare, food stamps, medicaid--don't you agree? BTW can we allow the lesbians to get married. Regards, Len :)
I've addressed gay marriage on a number of threads and see no reason to do so here. It's besides the point of this thread.

As far as how you get communities back to focusing on family, getting married before having kids and the value of work over entitlement, it's probably going to have to come mostly from within the communities that suffer most from these problems. It's not something the government is going to be able to fix.
I'm not advocating cutting off food stamps and medicaid cold turkey. But people who receive welfare need to have work, jobs training or back-to-school requirements in order to receive it and there should be cut off dates after a certain period, be it two years, three years or whatever. I'm sorry if it's cruel to your sensibilities to tell someone you're going to get to live off of tax dollars for the next three years, then you need to get a job or you're on your own, but if you don't do that, too many people will have a sense of entitlement to life-long government support; and that's bad for both them and the bottom line in terms of government spending.

What is amazing is that even after all the damage some of these programs have done, there is STILL an entitlement mindset out there that they really HELP people and that saying NO to people at a certain point is cruel and heartless!

That mindset has, in particular, devastated the black commuity.

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:29 pm

>I'm sorry if it's cruel to your sensibilities to tell someone you're going to get to live off of tax dollars for the next three years, then you need to get a job or you're on your own, but if you don't do that, too many people will have a sense of entitlement to life-long government support; and that's bad for both them and the bottom line in terms of government spending.<

My sensibilities don't enter into this at all. We're all looking for realistic solutions to problems. With so many people out of work how do you expect them to find jobs--look at the unemployment benefit situation.

BTW I found this article from MacDonald:

Heather Mac Donald
Wimping Out on Welfare
The Bloomberg administration wants to cut the heart out of welfare reform.
15 October 2003

http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_10_15_03hm.html

I have no objection at all to making those who can work look for jobs but what if they just can't find a job? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:33 pm

lennygoran wrote:>I'm sorry if it's cruel to your sensibilities to tell someone you're going to get to live off of tax dollars for the next three years, then you need to get a job or you're on your own, but if you don't do that, too many people will have a sense of entitlement to life-long government support; and that's bad for both them and the bottom line in terms of government spending.<

My sensibilities don't enter into this at all. We're all looking for realistic solutions to problems. With so many people out of work how do you expect them to find jobs--look at the unemployment benefit situation.

BTW I found this article from MacDonald:

Heather Mac Donald
Wimping Out on Welfare
The Bloomberg administration wants to cut the heart out of welfare reform.
15 October 2003

http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_10_15_03hm.html

I have no objection at all to making those who can work look for jobs but what if they just can't find a job? Regards, Len
Honestly, while I can see people going years without finding work in their chosen field, I find it difficult to believe that someone in decent health who has decent manners can't find work that doesn't take a high skill set (retail; fast food; whatever) after three years if he or she is actually trying to find something as hard as they can. Again, that may not seem fair to some people, but at some point, you just have to say, "too bad."
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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JackC
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by JackC » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:39 pm

lennygoran wrote:>I'm sorry if it's cruel to your sensibilities to tell someone you're going to get to live off of tax dollars for the next three years, then you need to get a job or you're on your own, but if you don't do that, too many people will have a sense of entitlement to life-long government support; and that's bad for both them and the bottom line in terms of government spending.<

My sensibilities don't enter into this at all. We're all looking for realistic solutions to problems. With so many people out of work how do you expect them to find jobs--look at the unemployment benefit situation.

BTW I found this article from MacDonald:

Heather Mac Donald
Wimping Out on Welfare
The Bloomberg administration wants to cut the heart out of welfare reform.
15 October 2003

http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_10_15_03hm.html

I have no objection at all to making those who can work look for jobs but what if they just can't find a job? Regards, Len
The number of people who "can't work" is very very small and not part of the overall problem.

Why not at least make those people receiving "public" money, which is just everyone's tax dollars, at least so some meneal jobs for the cities wher they live etc etc. They would be bad paying jobs and embarassing to have to take them, but that is GOOD because it would give them an incentive to go get a better job. The alternative, sitting around any doing nothing and collecting money for extended period is harmful to everyone, THEM included.

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:42 pm

>but at some point, you just have to say, "too bad."<

Why--let's set a standard for monitoring their efforts--as long as they're trying I don't think you should cut off their benefits. And to the slackers what should we do for their children if anything? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:52 pm

lennygoran wrote:>but at some point, you just have to say, "too bad."<

Why--let's set a standard for monitoring their efforts--as long as they're trying I don't think you should cut off their benefits. And to the slackers what should we do for their children if anything? Regards, Len
Jack and I have answered the "why" question on this thread and i've done it a number of times on different threads (I hate to break this to you, Len, but it's been impossible for me to miss that you have a habit of repeating the same question over and over in spite of the answers that have been given to you).

When will you be satisfied? If someone tells you they've spent the past 10 years looking hard for a job every day, but can't even come up with something that requires not even the least bit of skill, would you take that at face value? Sometimes people won't do what they have to unless they are given no choice. How about 20 years?
Last edited by Barry on Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:56 pm

>Why not at least make those people receiving "public" money, which is just everyone's tax dollars, at least so some meneal jobs for the cities wher they live etc etc.<

I think that could be discussed--any idea what kind of menial jobs we're discussing here?

Wiki has quite a bit of material on workfare--it's kind of complicated imo:

Criticism

Frances Fox Piven questioned whether the problem with AFDC was not so much a problem with the welfare system, but with the structuring of low-wage work in general:

"Logically, but not in the heated and vitriolic politics created by the attack on welfare, a concern with the relationship of welfare to dependency should have directed attention to the deteriorating conditions of the low-wage labor market. After all, if there were jobs that paid living wages, and if health care and child care were available, a great many women on AFDC would leap at the chance of a better income and a little social respect."[18]

Feminist critics, such as Barbara Ehrenreich, point to a degree of misogyny and racism in the lead up to PRWORA, claiming that advocates for workfare rehashed stereotypes that had been around for centuries.[19] Through the perceived demonization of single mothers, Ehrenreich sees welfare reform as stigmatizing "unpaid, family-directed labor" and believes that the reform put many women into exploitative situations:

"Stigmatizing unemployment obviously works to promote the kind of docility businesses crave in their employees. TANF requires recipients to take whatever jobs are available, and usually the first job that comes along. Lose the job – for example, because you have to stay at home with a sick child or because you tell the boss to stop propositioning you – and you may lose whatever supplementary benefits you were receiving. The message is clear: Do not complain or make trouble; accept employment on the bosses’ terms or risk homelessness and hunger."

The child support enforcement measures, designed to keep single parent families off welfare, have been criticized as ineffective. A CBO report accompanying legislation reauthorizing the TANF program (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005) estimated that only 10% of the passport revocations were related to TANF or former TANF families. The enforcement provisions affecting US passports have thus far survived Constitutional challenges in Weinstein v Albright (2001), Eunique v Powell (2002), In re James K. Walker (2002), Dept of Revenue v Nesbitt (2008), Risenhoover v Washington (2008), and Borracchini v Jones (2009).

Consequences

Welfare and poverty rates both declined during the late-1990s, leading many commentators to declare that the legislation was a success. An editorial in The New Republic opined, "A broad consensus now holds that welfare reform was certainly not a disaster--and that it may, in fact, have worked much as its designers had hoped."[21]

Critics of the law[who?] argue that a large reduction in the number of people collecting welfare was largely a result of steady and strong economic growth in the years following enactment of the law.[22] Others[who?] question the definition of success, asking whether "success", as measured by caseload reduction, was merely a political construction for policy makers to easily claim credit in front of their constituencies. In analyzing the effects of welfare reform, political scientist Joe Soss notes that caseload reduction is not very demanding, especially compared to improving material conditions in poor communities:

"The TANF program does not offer benefits sufficient to lift recipients out of poverty, and despite a strong economy, the majority of families who have moved off the TANF rolls have remained in poverty. Considerations of another traditional economic goal, reduction of inequality, only makes matters worse. Welfare reform has coincided with massive growth in income and wealth disparities; it has done little to slow the expansion of inequality and may have actually accelerated the trend. Has welfare reform created job opportunities for the poor? Has it promoted wages that allow low-wage workers to escape poverty? In both of these areas, the economic story remains the same: we have little evidence that reform has produced achievements that warrant the label of success."[17]

Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:58 pm

lennygoran wrote:... any idea what kind of menial jobs we're discussing here?
...
What categories of menial jobs would you consider to be unacceptable as a replacement for collecting welfare year after year?
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:01 pm

>If someone tells you they've spent the past 10 years looking hard for a job every day, but can't even come up with something that requires not even the least bit of skill, would you take that at face value?<

Hey I got you to go from 3 years to 10! :) Seriously it's not an answer to what I asked you--why not monitor their efforts and then determine if they're slacking off or not. Also what about the children of the slackers--how do you handle them? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:11 pm

>What categories of menial jobs would you consider to be unacceptable as a replacement for collecting welfare year after year?<

To be truthful I hadn't thought about it.

I did some googling:

What are the worst possible menial jobs?

Here are some yahoo answers:

1. If you take pride in your work, no job is menial.

2. The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago does periodic studies of the prestige rankings of 99 job categories. This study has been going on since the end of World War II and is considered to be the best continuous study of this subject.

At the bottom of the list are: street sweeper, ditch digger, motel/hotel maid, prostitute, street-corner drug dealer, and migrant farm worker.

Note: Although prostitutes are often glamorized by television and movies, these images do not reflect the lives of actual prostitutes. Admittedly some have made a lot of money. But, the chances of that happening are about the same as becoming a millionaire professional athlete. Also, as we all know, some people get fabulously wealthy selling drugs. However, this does not apply to the thousands of street-corner dealers, most of whom are users, homeless, and destined to short lives because of the conditions under which they live.
Source(s):
NORC, University of Chicago

Again I am open to a discussion of workfare but can someone suggest a sensible practical fair plan to deal with this. Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:18 pm

lennygoran wrote:
"The TANF program does not offer benefits sufficient to lift recipients out of poverty, and despite a strong economy, the majority of families who have moved off the TANF rolls have remained in poverty. Considerations of another traditional economic goal, reduction of inequality, only makes matters worse. Welfare reform has coincided with massive growth in income and wealth disparities; it has done little to slow the expansion of inequality and may have actually accelerated the trend. Has welfare reform created job opportunities for the poor? Has it promoted wages that allow low-wage workers to escape poverty? In both of these areas, the economic story remains the same: we have little evidence that reform has produced achievements that warrant the label of success."[17]

Regards, Len
Which brings us back to the cultural problems I keep bringing up over and over. A change in welfare laws, or virtually anything else the federal government does, may have some minor impact, but if families aren't rebuilt, marriage isn't restored to it's formal place in our culture and children are conceived within marriages, of course there are still going to be huge problems, including poverty. You keep asking what should be done, and I keep telling you there is NOTHING that can be done in terms of policy as far as the most serious problems facing poor urban communities (and to a lesser extent, even the wider culture at large. You keep asking for solutions as if there is something someone else should be doing. Stop shifting responsibility, Len. It may not be fair, but the sad reality is that most of the work will have to be done by the people in the communities that are suffering most. That doesn't mean cutting off food stamps or doing away with welfare altogether, but those are band aids.

You're asking me what to do about the children of parents who abuse the system. I don't know. I don't have answers to all of your questions. I certainly don't oppose education reform, both for the children and adult education and job training for their parents. But in terms of the most serious problems, I'm skeptical that any policy changes are going to make a difference.

To answer your other question, I have tried to be as clear as I can that I don't believe that people who really want to work, even if it's a job they haven't envisioned themselves doing, can go more than a few years without finding something. I'm not saying they'll find a job overnight, which is why I support extended unemployment benefits, for as long as two years, during tough economic times. But with a lot of people, I think it's basic human psychology that they aren't going to REALLY try as hard as they can to find something until they know their benefits are about to expire. And I say that partially out of experience. I was let go from the last job I had before the place I've been at for many years now. I was in the top bracket as far as unemployment benefits and I didn't really feel pressure to find something until it was getting close to the end of my six months, which was the limit at the time. And sure enough, I found my current job just as the six months came to an end.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:20 pm

lennygoran wrote: Again I am open to a discussion of workfare but can someone suggest a sensible practical fair plan to deal with this. Regards, Len
I think you're being unreasonable in demanding an answer for a question for which there isn't one that will both work and satisfy you.

While I never even considered prostitution, or anything else that's illegal for that matter, as a job someone should take if they can't find anything else, physical labor for people in good health isn't the worst thing in the world; nor is street sweeper when compared to sitting home for years at a time.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:40 pm

> You keep asking what should be done, and I keep telling you there is NOTHING that can be done in terms of policy as far as the most serious problems facing poor urban communities (and to a lesser extent, even the wider culture at large. You keep asking for solutions as if there is something someone else should be doing. Stop shifting responsibility, Len.<

Barry maybe it's you who are shifting responsibility--you seem to now say nothing can be done? I don't accept that answer. Some policy has to be in place.

>That doesn't mean cutting off food stamps or doing away with welfare altogether, but those are band aids.<

But that's what you suggested--after 3 years get rid of those benefits. And please don't discount the value of those welfare checks, medicaid and food stamps--they're more than just band aids.

>You're asking me what to do about the children of parents who abuse the system. I don't know.<

And until you do know we have to be very careful about cutting off their parents from benefits--at least that's how I see it.

>But in terms of the most serious problems, I'm skeptical that any policy changes are going to make a difference.<

But weren't you and Jack advocating some sort of workfare for menial jobs--now you seem to be just giving up. This is something the government can't afford to do. But I don't blame you for being frustrated--the answers are all very tough. I don't think me, you or Heather have all the answers.

> I was let go from the last job I had before the place I've been at for many years now. <

So if a qualified bright individual like you is having so much trouble can you imagine the dilemma the poor are facing? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:45 pm

>physical labor for people in good health isn't the worst thing in the world; nor is street sweeper when compared to sitting home for years at a time.<

Well I agree with you there on physical labor provided the person is not in such a bad state of health it would cause him serious health problems. I'll overlook your remarks on prostitution. Regards, Len :)

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:48 pm

>I think you're being unreasonable in demanding an answer for a question for which there isn't one that will both work and satisfy you.<

Forget me, my satisfaction and my sensibilities :) --what's wrong with asking for a sensible fair practical plan? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:10 pm

lennygoran wrote: Barry maybe it's you who are shifting responsibility--you seem to now say nothing can be done? I don't accept that answer. Some policy has to be in place.

Cutting people off at some point IS a policy because it motivates where nothing else will in many cases. Forcing people to get job training or further education during their period on welfare is another policy. But none of those things will make the long term difference than making the right decisions in matters related to family and having children.
lennygoran wrote:But that's what you suggested--after 3 years get rid of those benefits. And please don't discount the value of those welfare checks, medicaid and food stamps--they're more than just band aids.
A band aid in this sense is something that isn't a long-term solution. Welfare checks and food stamps aren't long term solutions. If you differ on that, you'll have to be more specific as to why. And yes, while I don't want welfare to be done away with altogether, I do think it needs to be limited in duration rather than permitting someone to stay on it indefinitely. To do otherwise is irresponsible in my opinion because telling people they can stay on government benefits indefinitely regardless of their physical and mental condition is inviting them to sit back and develop a sense of entitlement. I want government policy tailored to human nature. Trying to change that nature is a losing battle.
lennygoran wrote:And until you do know we have to be very careful about cutting off their parents from benefits--at least that's how I see it.
Someone who has young mouths to feed and won't take any kind of menial (and legal) work after three years isn't a responsible parent and shouldn't be rewarded for that irresponsibility. I'd rather have benefits narrowly tailored to go to the children (three meals a day at school if necessary) in those situations.
lennygoran wrote:But weren't you and Jack advocating some sort of workfare for menial jobs--now you seem to be just giving up. This is something the government can't afford to do. But I don't blame you for being frustrated--the answers are all very tough. I don't think me, you or Heather have all the answers.
At some point, if the government winds up providing the employment for too many people, the issue of paying for it with more tax dollars becomes a problem. Yes, I'm in favor of taking menial jobs if that's the only alternative to doing nothing, but I don't think the government should have to provide most of those jobs; some of them yes, but that shouldn't be looked at as a wide-spread solution to the problem.

lennygoran wrote:So if a qualified bright individual like you is having so much trouble can you imagine the dilemma the poor are facing? Regards, Len
You're ignoring my point to make what I think is an invalid one. First, I was pointing out that it's human nature for a lot of people to not do unpleasant things that need to get done (like finding a job you probably won't enjoy) until their backs are up against the wall. But leaving that aside, there is a BIG gap between six months and three years, Len.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:14 pm

lennygoran wrote:>I think you're being unreasonable in demanding an answer for a question for which there isn't one that will both work and satisfy you.<

Forget me, my satisfaction and my sensibilities :) --what's wrong with asking for a sensible fair practical plan? Regards, Len
It's often the case in matters of international affairs, when conflicting interests exist between various countries, that there are NO good solutions; only less bad ones. Well that can also be the case in domestic matters. Stamping your foot and demanding a solution or government plan doesn't mean an effective one exists. Sometimes the tough solutions (changing behavior and thought patterns over a long period of time) are the only ones.

In the mean time, it's not as if these assistance programs are being done away with. They just need to be tailored to encourage people to not develop a sense that they can remain on them indefinitely.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:32 pm

> Forcing people to get job training or further education during their period on welfare is another policy.<

I could live with a policy like this--the specifics would be important.

> A band aid in this sense is something that isn't a long-term solution. Welfare checks and food stamps aren't long term solutions. If you differ on that, you'll have to be more specific as to why.<

Until you can supply these people with another source of income it's the best we have. If we can get them jobs and off welfare fine. If the jobs aren't out there then we have to keep the other "bandaids" in place imo.

> And yes, while I don't want welfare to be done away with altogether, I do think it needs to be limited in duration rather than permitting someone to stay on it indefinitely.<

Repeating my plea--when you can find them jobs then the welfare can stop.

>Someone who has young mouths to feed and won't take any kind of menial (and legal) work after three years isn't a responsible parent and shouldn't be rewarded for that irresponsibility. I'd rather have benefits narrowly tailored to go to the children (three meals a day at school if necessary) in those situations.<

What if the children are not school age--the schools should stay open to provide dinner for the school kids--what about rent--who will get the kids clothing--I think your idea is very impractical on this point.

>At some point, if the government winds up providing the employment for too many people, the issue of paying for it with more tax dollars becomes a problem. Yes, I'm in favor of taking menial jobs if that's the only alternative to doing nothing, but I don't think the government should have to provide most of those jobs; some of them yes, but that shouldn't be looked at as a wide-spread solution to the problem.<

We seem to be going around in circles--let's take a case where a woman with 2 young children listens to their welfare caseworker--gets training and an education but just can't get a job--so you're going to cut her off welfare, food stamps and medicaid after 3 years? How will she and the kids wind up--will we have a homeless situation on our hands?

>You're ignoring my point to make what I think is an invalid one. First, I was pointing out that it's human nature for a lot of people to not do unpleasant things that need to get done (like finding a job you probably won't enjoy) until their backs are up against the wall. But leaving that aside, there is a BIG gap between six months and three years, Len.<

This seems to be a generalization that may be true for a lot of people--then again it may not be true. I'd rather try to tackle this problem without putting people with their backs to the wall. Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:34 pm

>They just need to be tailored to encourage people to not develop a sense that they can remain on them indefinitely.<

Barry I would love to see this take place. Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:40 pm

lennygoran wrote: We seem to be going around in circles
Yes. We are.

I'll just add that in your example of someone spending the three years returning to school or getting job training, and can't find anything in the field they trained for, I'd be okay with an extension (maybe another year), but at some point, they have to settle for any kind of job they can get. You apparently think that people can go indefinitely (5 years? 10 years? 20 years?) actually trying hard to find a job without coming up with anything. I don't (I'm referring to people in decent physical and mental condition). And when they settle for something menial, if they need additional assistance for their children or with food stamps, we can talk about that. But at least the government won't be providing their weekly pay check.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:42 am

>they have to settle for any kind of job they can get. <

Well we may not be that far apart then. We had included in the discussion menial jobs. Let's take a mother with one young child, a 1 year old--let's say she could get a job at a McDonalds--what if she has no one to take care of the one year old--how would you handle that? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:58 pm

lennygoran wrote:>they have to settle for any kind of job they can get. <

Well we may not be that far apart then. We had included in the discussion menial jobs. Let's take a mother with one young child, a 1 year old--let's say she could get a job at a McDonalds--what if she has no one to take care of the one year old--how would you handle that? Regards, Len
Did you read my prior post? What degree of specifics do you expect from me?
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:21 am

>What degree of specifics do you expect from me?<

Just an answer to the question about what the mother should do with her young child while she's working the menial job at MacDonald's. If you've answered that already I'm afraid I've missed it? Regards, Len

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Barry » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:19 am

lennygoran wrote:>What degree of specifics do you expect from me?<

Just an answer to the question about what the mother should do with her young child while she's working the menial job at MacDonald's. If you've answered that already I'm afraid I've missed it? Regards, Len
From a couple posts ago (by me): "And when they settle for something menial, if they need additional assistance for their children or with food stamps, we can talk about that. But at least the government won't be providing their weekly pay check."

Don't ask for me to map out a specific plan. I accept that working mothers who aren't making enough to feed their family (and don't have anyone who can watch the children while they're working) and keep a roof over their heads need assistance.

Were you around during the pre-welfare reform period, when mothers were essentially rewarded with more and more government aid for having more children, usually not with any sort of stable family setup? As I understand it, while the percentage of births out of wedlock isn't declining, the number of teen births has declined (I'll have to try to find numbers for that later ... I'm pressed for time now). If you set up government policy in a way that rewards tragically irresponsible behavior, you're bound to get more tragically irresponsible behavior. It will be an endless cycle. I understand that your overriding concern is what to do about poor children. Mine is to stop so many children from being born into those circumstances in the first place. You concern doesn't have to be ignored to achieve mine. But just continuing or going back to the old policies that helped cause the problem in the first place is no solution.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by lennygoran » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:43 am

>Were you around during the pre-welfare reform period,<

Yes I started working for the Essex County Welfare Board in Newark in 1970. Regards, Len

Cosima___J
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Re: Restoring the Social Order in American Cities

Post by Cosima___J » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:54 am

And don't forget that minimum wage earners pay NO income tax and in fact get the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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