Welfare in Canada

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A life on social assistance in Canada is not easy.

 

The recipient gets these benefits from three to ten different social programs. All of these programs have forms to fill out and require various criteria. There is a fair amount of footwork and talking to various civil servants to get the benefits (it is probably easier to find a job). But once the benefits have been approved, the recipient needs only to make occasional reporting to the civil servants.

 

Some benefits are paid out by check or bank deposit. There are no restrictions where this money goes. Having children to take care of will increase the benefits, but these increases do not put the care-giver into some middle class income. 

 

Some benefits are not cash related. Housing is often paid by the social assistance agency to make sure the landlord gets the rent money. To ensure the family maintains its dental health, the social agency pays the dental bills.  The social agency may also pay tuition to put the welfare person back in school and school fees for kids. And if the recipient is undergoing addiction treatment, those fees may also be covered. And health care is free for everyone in Canada, so that part of life is not affected by social assistance. 

 

Benefits cover rent, food, utilities (including a cell phone and cable), public transit, and a little discretionary income. Most welfare homes have a TV and a computer. They have reasonable furniture and kitchen appliances. But their homes won’t make the cover of magazines for interior designers. But there is generally no eating in restaurants or going the movie theatre. If a welfare person has a car, he is probably not driving it very far. There are no nice vacations on social assistance. A single welfare person in Canada is probably “earning” $1000 a month in money and housing benefits.  

 

Recipients can be divided into two groups. There are those whose life has taken a strange twist, and they find themselves in a financial bind. They get their life back together and are often back in the workforce within six months. They have no need of further social assistance. But most will acknowledge the importance of the social assistance during their time of transition.

 

The second group are those recipients are into welfare for the long term. Some of them have a physical disability. Some of them have a mental disability. And I would say that if they can’t find the motivation to find employment and move their income from $1000 to $1800 a month, that is a mental disability. And this brings up a good point: Should we be really be fobbing off this mindset into the workforce?  Chances are these “workers” will be fired shortly after being hired—and the employer has incurred a recruitment cost that did not pay out. I think many employers would say it is cheaper for society to pay these people a minimalistic income than force them to find a job.

 

If seemingly abled-bodied welfare recipients can’t hold a job, then cutting social assistance means one of two things: succumbing to the elements, disease,  or starvation or engaging in petty crime. Again I think many businesses would prefer paying a minimalistic income than to having many more shoplifters in their store.

 

The only flaw I see in Canadian social assistance is that it doesn’t encourage those who may have capacity to work 20 hours a week to find that part time work. If a social assistance client finds a job that works well with her capacity and earns $200 a week, that money is deducted from her social assistance benefit. In other words, she is not rewarded for the extra effort she puts into society. So she makes a rational decision, especially for her mindset: she quits the part-time job. Her mindset will not let her see that keeping the part-time job is actually boosting her confidence and sense of self-worth and learn some new job skills. And she just might later develop the fortitude to work full-time.

 

This can be rectified by a guaranteed basic income (GBI) where everyone gets around $1000 a month. That potential part-time worker can earn another $200 a week and not be penalized for it. A GBI will also eliminate a lot of civil servants who decide who gets social assistance and who does not.  Civil servants will only be needed to assist those who can’t handle their cash.

 

All in all, I think the Canadian social assistance model works reasonably well. But it should be replaced with a GBI.

 

 

Comments

Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 5, 2017 - 3:51pm
I pointed out that result in the USA welfare system.  You have given us half the story how about the other half, David V..  Tell us if welfare has broken families structure, single parent increases.  Tell us about the children of welfare and where the family lives.  Is there welfare neighborhoods?   Complete the story.  
 
My complaint about the Welfare system in American is that it does not correct known problems.  As I asked on WB 85 years have passed since FDR started the Federal welfare and housing programs.  When will you accept that welfare has failed.  
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Dec 5, 2017 - 3:59pm
"The recipient gets these benefits from three to ten different social programs"
 
That is the splendor of socialism!! Look at all the government jobs for paper pushers! Add in crime and drug addiction and more jobs are included.
 
Thomas Sutrina,
 
"My complaint about the Welfare system in American is that it does not correct known problems."
 
I am unaware of any systems in the US that do. How is Affordable Health Care working for the citizens?
A. Jones Added Dec 5, 2017 - 4:30pm
That potential part-time worker can earn another $200 a week and not be penalized for it.
 
Unless that potential part-time worker is satisfied with the $1,000/month GBI + the free time he has to do what he likes (e.g., sleep, watch TV, blog, etc.).
 
There's actually not the slightest reason he should sacrifice his leisure time for another $200.00/week. You're making an assumption about people incentives that isn't borne out by experience.
Dave Volek Added Dec 5, 2017 - 5:06pm
Good Questions Thomas
 
Originally Canadian cities were designed such that rich people here and poor people lived there. There is still some of that ghettoization in place. But in the 1960s, the social engineers created suburbs such that poor/middle/rich neighborhoods were living fairly close to each other. For example in my town, there is a block of fairly wealthy houses and just beyond that block are townhouses for the lower middle class.  In this way, all the bad stuff associated with poverty is not concentrated in one place. So welfare recipients may still be in ghettos, but they may also be immersed in the general population. 
 
And I should say that some of these ghettos have been redeveloped to bring in middle and higher class residents.
 
Family breakdown is happening in all sectors of Canadian society. Drug and alcohol abuse are happening in all classes. The "opioid crisis" seems to be dominated by rich white kids. 
 
A lot of welfare households in Canada are headed by single moms with young kids. I don't think cutting those families off welfare is going to help that much.
 
If welfare in the US has failed, then what is your solution?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 5, 2017 - 5:09pm
ryck
That is the splendor of socialism!! Look at all the government jobs for paper pushers! Add in crime and drug addiction and more jobs are included.
 
Yep, that is one reason why we should go for GBI. If everyone gets $1000 a month, basic needs are covered. Fewer bureaucrats to administer where the money goes!
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 5, 2017 - 5:47pm
A. Jones
Unless that potential part-time worker is satisfied with the $1,000/month GBI + the free time he has to do what he likes (e.g., sleep, watch TV, blog, etc.).
 


 
If you are talking about low motivation people, you are absolutely correct. But what is your solution? Cut their welfare off and believe they will find a job and stick with it?
 
Most people who have this low of ambition will not find work. Most of them are unemployable. Did you not read about physically disabilities? Did you not read about mental disabilities? Are you going to employ these people?
 
There's actually not the slightest reason he should sacrifice his leisure time for another $200.00/week. You're making an assumption about people incentives that isn't borne out by experience.
 
I disagree! I have been in the situation where I couldn't work because of an illness. I stayed out for two years. I would have preferred another year of recovery, but the bank account was dictating otherwise. I knew I was stronger in the evening and if I was physically active. So I took a minimum wage job pumping gas in the evenings. My boss set me up with 2 shifts a week. The first few shifts were really hard. But I had a day or two to recover. Eventually I worked up to five shifts a week. And then it was time to find a new job. I told my new boss that I have a condition that I will not be the fastest worker, but I will be thorough and reliable. 
 
 
People have different fortitude for work. I used to work on the drilling rigs, and I saw a lot of young men who could not handle this work. I guess all of them are losers, right?
 
In a like manner, some people will find 40 hours of a simple job very difficult. But maybe they can do 15 or 20 hours. It is better for their psyche to take on this part time work than to stay on welfare. But if they are not getting a supplemental income, they can't afford to work 15 hours a week.
 
If the recipient is on GBI, he has incentive to take on that part-time work. $1500 a month is better than $1000. If he can't see that math, then we have a very low motivation person. I doubt cutting him off welfare is going to turn him into a good worker. 
 
You are probably going to disagree with me, so I would like to hear your solution.
 
opher goodwin Added Dec 5, 2017 - 5:52pm
Dave - that sounds like a compassionate system and a model for other less compassionate societies to aim for. I agree that GBI would make it less bureaucratic and simpler and probably cheaper too.
A. Jones Added Dec 5, 2017 - 6:50pm
But what is your solution? Cut their welfare off and believe they will find a job and stick with it?
 
Hence the advantage of voluntary charities.
  
Most people who have this low of ambition will not find work.
 
I didn't say anything about low ambition. Perhaps they're using their $1,000 GBI + leisure time to write The Great Canadian Novel, or compose the next Ann Murray hit. Who knows. That's not the point.
Jeff Michka Added Dec 5, 2017 - 7:23pm
There's actually not the slightest reason he should sacrifice his leisure time for another $200.00/week.-In the states, that extra $200 a week might just buy you 1/3 of cost of child care to do the work to make that extra $200.  Sutrino and syck ryck the Barry Goldwater republican. think anyone receiving the pittance "welfare" in the states should be either imprisoned or shot, since they are, obviously, in rightist "logic"(meaning the lack of same) lazy drug addicts and lack any morals.  If they weren't that way, they'd be working 90 hours a week to "make up the difference." No questions ever asked.
A. Jones Added Dec 5, 2017 - 8:14pm
There's a maxim in economics that it might be wise to learn:
 
If you want less of something, tax it. If you want more of something, subsidize it.
 
You should consider the possibility that a GBI – despite its pretty name – might simply be subsidizing (that is, incentivizing) unemployment.
Dave Volek Added Dec 6, 2017 - 12:27am
A Jones
You ducked the point that different people have different fortitude for working. Most people on long-term welfare----I wouldn't hire them to watch paint dry. They are so psychologically damaged that they are untrainable. You can hire them and prove me wrong. 
 
You are quoting classical economics. Sometimes that theory doesn't match up with reality. For example, we tax people to pay for schools. Taxes take away from economy, right? But 15 years later, educated people make better workers than uneducated people. Economic activity increases. The investment in education pays dividends in the future.
 
If your classical interpretation is so correct, then it makes sense to shut down all schools from the public purse. Hmmm, try selling that one on the campaign trail.
 
 
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 6, 2017 - 12:31am
Jeff
In Canada, a person with a child would get an additional $300 (about) per child. And the governments are pretty good at going after dead-beat dads--even the one-night stand types.
 
So a single Mom with two kids would get about $1600 a month. With a GBI, she could get a noon-time job at a restaurant while her kids are at school. If she can earn another $500 a month at that job, that's a little better life for her kids. And it helps Mom's psyche too.
 
 
A. Jones Added Dec 6, 2017 - 6:09am
$1500 a month is better than $1000.
 
Wrong.
 
The two things the hypothetical worker is comparing are not "$1,500/month" vs. "$1,000/month". His choice is between "$1,500/month and no leisure time to write a Great Canadian Novel or binge watch episodes of Game of Thrones or do something else" vs. "$1,000/month GBI plus the leisure time to write a Great Canadian Novel or binge watch Game of Thrones or do something else".
 
You're assuming that the additional $500 he might earn from accepting part-time work is worth more to him than the additional leisure time he would still have for other activities if he lived only on GBI. Not necessarily true.
 
You might value the that additional purchasing power more than the additional leisure time, but he might not.
 
The ultimate resource that each person must husband carefully is TIME, not money. In principle, money can always be reacquired — earned, borrowed, begged, or stolen — but time cannot. Once it's gone, it's gone. That's the main reason people value time that's completely their own, i.e., leisure time.
 
Economics is not so much a "subject" as it is a tool of reasoning about the social world. Your economic reasoning is as faulty as that of old Thomas Malthus, who wrote that productivity improvements by means of investment in better technology would not help workers in the long run because the higher wages they received would do nothing but incentivize them to have more children; the higher wages, he believed, would be extinguished in the additional food and clothing needed for increased child rearing. Hence, the social conditions of the working class would never improve.
 
He was wrong. In fact, as wages rose from increased productivity, workers had fewer children — not only because medical improvements made it unnecessary to have many children, but also because workers discovered that they (and their families) were better off with fewer children and more leisure time. They could have had more children had they wanted them, but they didn't. So Malthus's idea of what incentivized people was wrong — just as your idea about the incentives of the hypothetical worker above was wrong.
 
Re: public education:
 
You've framed the argument incorrectly. By taxing citizens to pay for public education, you're getting less investment and less spending in some other part or parts of the economy. Since government is spending that money instead of each individual worker who earned it in the first place, we'll never know how that money might have been spent.
 
The idea that unless government does something (e.g., education) it just won't get done at all, is incorrect. The truth is that when government decides to do something, it tends to "crowd out" private individuals from investing their own saved capital in similar ventures . . . especially when government declares itself the sole legal provider of such good or service.
 
The history of public education in the U.S. is pretty clear on this: the entire venture was undertaken as a way of ensuring that the great influx of immigrants that were starting to arrive were 1) uniformly educated in such a way as to think of themselves as "Americans" and not as foreigners who happen to live in America; and 2) to ensure that these immigrants were educated in such a way as to be nudged toward jobs in industry, manufacturing, and some professions (medicine, engineering) and away from those careers founded on a solid, traditional, liberal arts education (history, philosophy, literature, law, politics, debate, leadership), which is the main reason the classical approach to the liberal arts was eventually removed from most public school curricula while it still flourished in private schools (and today, flourishes in many approaches to home schooling).
 
Public education in the U.S. (and elsewhere) was, and is, a vast program for social engineering.
 
Should government be involved in vast programs of social engineering? I don't think so. But then, I'm a traditional liberal.
 
Bill Kamps Added Dec 6, 2017 - 7:10am
Dave,  I see another flaw in the Canadian system, and ours as well.  As you said there are multiple agencies involved in giving out benefits, and multiple forms required to dispense and monitor the benefits.  This has a lot of overhead to it.  I dont know how much as a percentage, but even the time it takes to fill out the forms and going to visit the various agencies is significant.  It takes time for the recipient and for the government.
 
The GBI could eliminate this.  Just send out a check. 
 
Who cares how people spend it, until they fall into the category of people who cant manage their bills, then the  government can monitor things more closely for those few.  Right now the systems assume people will cheat, so it goes to great pains to try to stop cheating.  It doesnt stop it for people determined to cheat, but it does raise the cost a lot.   The Food Stamp program in the US has huge overhead to try to make sure people spend the money on food, we had to create a secondary currency to facilitate the program. 
 
How many people are employed by these agencies to deal with the  forms, and visit with the people? How many times are people asked for the same information by each different agency?  Just get rid of it all, send out a check based on their income tax form.  If they fall below a line send them a check, above a line dont send them a check.  Yes some people will get a bit more, but the savings in administration should more than pay for the extra cost.
 
 
opher goodwin Added Dec 6, 2017 - 7:20am
Dave - investment in education always pays off in so many ways.
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 6, 2017 - 8:43am
Jones Dec 6, 6:09am started to answer you question what next.  One major problem is that welfare agency goal is to continue to employ people thus welfare can not end thus the poor will always exist and all those forms will continue.  Welfare is a national program and the federal government can print money.  Step one is to push welfare down to the smallest level of government and even to private non-profit organizations.  The federal administer, are watch dogs for corruption and following the basic rules
 
"Quoting natural rights philosopher John Locke, "The law of nature teaches no only self-preservation but also preservation of others, 'when one's own preservation comes into competition.'"  in other words, society is organized for the security of its members as well as their liberty and property. [class societies,example socialism, each class will have different rules]  A society that fails to respond to those in need jeopardizes it own preservation.  In early America the founders saw a great danger in overly generous welfare policy that would promote irresponsible behavior.  that, in turn, would threaten the inherent natural right of every individual "to liberty, including the right to the free exercise of one's industry and its fruits."" http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2011/07/what-would-the-founders-do-about-welfare
The reason to go local is the ability to adjust quicker if it is not working and that is where the non-profits come in since the local government can choose different approaches of different non-profits.   Also the honey pot has a bottom. 
 
Second, the goal is to end poverty for those capable of working.  Since a two parent family is more likely to get out of poverty then the goal is to promote two parent families by providing more money and job skill training and to make the removal of money a shallower slope, not penalize working.   Their will always be people that can not work, [perform jobs worth more then the pay associated with them].  The goal for them will be to help them live a the highest level of functionality as possible so less help overall is needed.  Their job to get welfare maybe doing what is needed to maintain and improve their lives.    
George N Romey Added Dec 6, 2017 - 10:54am
Welfare ultimately entraps people and leads to bad behaviors which set up for generational poverty and ignorance.  We in the US have never developed a good system of hand ups.  Primarily because hand ups are much more difficult to carry out not to mention the initial costs.
Dave Volek Added Dec 6, 2017 - 11:28am
Bill
100% correct. Just give everyone $1000 a month. Don't worry about cheating. For the few that can't handle their cash, set up an account for the landlord and utility companies to get paid. Food stamps for the grocery store. Maybe $100 cash: the recipient can shop at goodwill stores for clothes.
 
A Jones
he two things the hypothetical worker is comparing are not "$1,500/month" vs. "$1,000/month". His choice is between "$1,500/month and no leisure time to write a Great Canadian Novel or binge watch episodes of Game of Thrones or do something else" vs. "$1,000/month GBI plus the leisure time to write a Great Canadian Novel or binge watch Game of Thrones or do something else".
 
You are 100% right! "Workers" would make their own free choice in this matter. Their decisions would be based on their economic utility. Some would take the $1000 and put the time in their hobbies. Some would work part-time. And many would still prefer to work full-time, going for a reasonable maximum of their earning potential. All in all, a GBI gives workers a lot more choice in life. More choice means more contentment, which eventually means a more productive and peaceful society.
 
For some reason, I wanted a free-lance lifestyle. I tried this for about three years, but I found it hard to pay the bills, and went back to a full-time employment. With a GBI, I probably could have afforded the free lance lifestyle, and my potential employers would still have me available for short-term contracts. A GBI is going to change the nature of work. 
 
Economists and philosophers are often wrong. That's why, when we get into any kind of social engineering, we need to apply our knowledge, experience, and wisdom as best as  we can, decide on a course of action, and watch the results. We make changes if things don't go right. Relying on philosophers to tell us the right way has its limits. We need to try something and see what happens.  
 
Public Education: I'm all for it. I have yet to see a viable alternative proffered from libertarian thinkers.
 
Thomas
There are all sorts of statistics that married people are economically better off then single people--even with the expense of kids.
 
But families do break up. And some husbands are jerks; so are some wives. And the sex drive is often not used in the best way.
 
It's one thing to say PROMOTE THE TWO PARENT FAMILY. But regardless of how well we promote it, some people are not going follow this good advice.
 
I had a visit from a former student last week. She has not made a good choice in men in her life, and she was left with four kids. She has spent most of her life on welfare. But she was a doting mother. She told me that two kids are now in university and the other two are doing well in high school. Had we forced her to get a job somewhere, she would not have been as available for her kids. I think society has made a good investment.
 
George
A hand up is better than a hand out. I think we Canadians are doing the hand up much better than Americans. We do have people enter the welfare roles for a short time to help them through some tough times. And that should be acknowledged as a successful social program.
 
However, our success rate for long term welfare recipients users is probably about 30%. Some horses just won't drink the water when brought to the water trough.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Dec 6, 2017 - 12:34pm
Dave Volek
 
"Yep, that is one reason why we should go for GBI. If everyone gets $1000 a month, basic needs are covered. Fewer bureaucrats to administer where the money goes!"
 
That is what quashed the career of George McGovern.
 
Such a guarantee does nothing for the work effort or the employment rate. People can just sit around and sell drugs, provide prostitution, black markets and such, all subsidized by the government. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Dec 6, 2017 - 12:36pm
Dave Volek
 
"For some reason, I wanted a free-lance lifestyle. I tried this for about three years, but I found it hard to pay the bills, and went back to a full-time employment. With a GBI, I probably could have afforded the free lance lifestyle, and my potential employers would still have me available for short-term contracts. A GBI is going to change the nature of work. "
 
In high school our counselor told us this: You can do what you want or do what other's want for money. Your choice.
 
IF you want "a free-lance lifestyle" then do so and take the risks .
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 6, 2017 - 12:38pm
Dave V., so what does, "But families do break up. And some husbands are jerks; so are some wives. And the sex drive is often not used in the best way." have to do with the present practice of promoting single parent house holds, "University of Washington showed that an increase of roughly $200 a month in welfare benefits [per child] per family correlated with a 150% increase in the illegitimate birth rate among teens. [in the USA and I assume in principle in Canada and Europe.]"
 
I do agree with, "It's one thing to say PROMOTE THE TWO PARENT FAMILY. But regardless of how well we promote it, some people are not going follow this good advice."   That is why we PROMOTE and not force.
Dave Volek Added Dec 6, 2017 - 12:55pm
Thomas
A correlation does not always mean a causation. When I try to put myself into a teenage girl's mind, I doubt it very much she is thinking about the extra $200 a month she will get if she gets pregnant with her loser boyfriend.
 
I have my doubts about this study. Probably from some right-wing think tank that wants to eliminate social services.
 
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 6, 2017 - 2:42pm
General rule is that universities have liberal staff guess 80%.   And Washington state is definitely a liberal state so that jumps to 99%.   Even Harvard professors do still believe in the importance of facts that they presented on gun ownership relationship to homicide.
Dave Volek Added Dec 6, 2017 - 4:02pm
Thomas
 
Can you provide a link to this study?
 
Sorry, but my understanding of teenage girls that get themselves pregnant must be off. If anything, they are more likely to believe that they can't get pregnant if they have sex.
 
 
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 6, 2017 - 4:28pm
Dave V.,  here is the reference: http://fumento.com/economy/greatsociety.html
IS THE GREAT SOCIETY TO BLAME? IF NOT, WHY HAVE PROBLEMS WORSENED SINCE ’60S?
BY MICHAEL FUMENTO
Investor’s Business Daily, June 19,1992
Copyright 1992 Investor’s Business Daily
Dave Volek Added Dec 6, 2017 - 4:59pm
Thomas
Look at the publisher! This is not a university. This is a business sponsored journal, which is probably right-wing thinking.
 
I couldn't find the statement that teenage girls get pregnant so they can get another $200 a month, but the paper was interesting other ways:
 
Kaus advocates starting anew. He would junk welfare, including AFDC, housing subsidies and food stamps, and replace it with a guaranteed government job for every able-bodied citizen over 18.
 
Almost sounds like a GBI!
 
The only problem is that many long-term welfare recipients are not able-bodied enough to hold onto job. If the government somehow gets involved, the workers might show up but not much work will get done. Might as well give them a $1000 check and tell them to stay home.
 
this kind of "make-work" program was tried in Eastern Canada in the 1970s and 1980s as a means for local populations to stay in their depressed communities. Most of these programs did not work very well.
 
Give the eastern Canadian $1000 a month. He can choose to find some work in his local economy and stay close to his roots or he can move better opportunites to move out. Much cheaper than make-work projects.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 6, 2017 - 5:08pm
So it is a business site.  You have not documents most of what you say and tell us it is fact.  Sorry but for WB it is good enough.  If it is false then present another source with a different conclusion.
A. Jones Added Dec 6, 2017 - 6:52pm
Just give everyone $1000 a month.
 
And when inflation rears its ugly head (as it always does), you'll have no problem getting government to increase that amount, right? Or does it always remain at $1000/month regardless of the cost of living?
 
Public Education: I'm all for it. I have yet to see a viable alternative proffered from libertarian thinkers.
 
You don't need to ask libertarian thinkers. Ask parents. They want choice. So let the market provide all kinds of different educational choices for them. Like all monopolists, you're afraid of competition and innovation.
 
As I posted earlier, the money-obsessed (and self-obsessed) political left is wrong in its assumption that unless government does something, it just won't get done at all.
 
With a GBI, I probably could have afforded the free lance lifestyle,
 
So? Why would taxpayers be enthusiastic about subsidizing your freelance lifestyle when they have other uses for their own money?
 
Conversely, if the taxpayers really were enthusiastic about subsidizing your freelance lifestyle, they wouldn't have to be coerced by government into doing it; they would fund you voluntarily.
 
The economy as a whole is better of with more people doing higher-productivity work. It's better off with your working a full-time job than it would be if you worked part-time and then dawdled on your sofa the rest of the time by virtue of a GBI.
 
You might want to consider other people beside yourself.
A. Jones Added Dec 6, 2017 - 10:22pm
General rule is that universities have liberal staff
 
Indeed.
 
See this survey (downloadable PDF):
 
THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL VIEWS OF AMERICAN PROFESSORS (2007)
 
Neil Gross
Harvard University
ngross@wjh.harvard.edu
 
Solon Simmons
George Mason University
ssimmon5@gmu.edu
 
"Although we would not contest the claim that professors are one of the most liberal occupational groups in American society, or that the professoriate is a Democratic stronghold, we have shown that there is a sizable, and often ignored, center/center-left contingent within the faculty; that on several important attitude domains – and in terms of overall political orientation – moderatism appears to be on the upswing*; that, according to several measures, it is liberal arts colleges, and not elite, PhD granting institutions that house the most liberal faculty; and that there is much disagreement among professors about the role that politics should play in teaching and research.
 
In our view, such scholarship should address three interrelated questions. First, what are the social mechanisms and processes that account for the relative liberalism of the faculty, and in particular for the specific form of liberalism we find to be most prevalent, namely liberalism on sex, gender, and foreign policy combined with more center left views on socioeconomic matters and race? And what accounts for differences in political orientation across fields and institutions? We have reviewed some of the hypotheses offered by first wave researchers with regard to both questions, but efforts to test these hypotheses using empirical data have been extremely limited, and surely more robust explanations could be imagined. Second, what – if any – are the effects of professors’ politics on the knowledge they produce, the dynamics of knowledge growth, the structure of intellectual fields, and on student learning and socialization? Sociologists of knowledge have addressed some of these matters, but much more work remains to be done."
 
* Some critiques of this study from the National Association of Scholars:
 
"Take, for example, their claim that there is a 'moderate' bloc comprising 46.6% of the sample, which is bigger than the 44.1% they classify as 'liberal', and the 9.2% they call 'conservative'. Examined more closely, it turns out that this claim depends on a methodological sleight-of-hand.
 
Gross and Simmons produce their 'moderates' by taking seven survey-elicited ideological self-designations, extremely liberal, liberal, slightly liberal, middle-of-the-road, slightly conservative, conservative, and very conservative, and lumping the two "slightlys" [i.e., "slightly liberal" and "slightly conservative"] with the "middle-of-the-roaders". But is this composite category actually made up of "moderates"?
 
When Gross and Simmons report how the seven original categories distribute themselves according to a multi-issue policy scale, it turns out that all but the self-designated "conservatives" and "very conservatives", fall to the left of the scale's center. Worse yet, the "slightly liberal", are actually closer on the scale to the "liberals" and "extreme liberals" than they are to the "middle-of-the-roaders" with whom Gross and Simmons lump them. (On the 1 to 5 scale, the score for the "liberal/extremely liberal" group is 1.4, that of the "slightly liberals" 1.7, that of the "middle of the roaders" 2.2, and that of the "slightly conservative" 2.8. Only the "conservatives and very conservatives" actually fall to the right of the scale's midpoint at 3.7.)"
 
[I believe the above is a fair criticism of the authors' methodology. They take "slightly left" and "slightly right" and combine them both with the "middle-of-the-road", claiming that the combined group is "moderate." But in a different part of the survey in which the groups opine on specific policy issues, all of them fall left of center except those specifically calling themselves "conservative" or "very conservative."]
opher goodwin Added Dec 7, 2017 - 7:16am
Dave - it sounds a fair system to me. I think a society can be judged by how it treats its weaker members.
Welfare should be seen as a safety net. The Jarrow marchers were not marching for welfare; they were marching for work.
I believe most people on welfare are in great need. The scroungers, layabouts and scammers are the minority. The system should help people to get back into meaningful employment. Most people need work for their own self-esteem.
Dave Volek Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:46am
A Jones
When I proffered my freelance experience and how it might parlay into a GBI, I was not trying to advocate a cushy position for myself. I tried a certain lifestyle out; it didn't work; I went back to another lifestyle.
 
Is there value to society had I remained a free lancer because a GBI was in place? I have a hypothesis, for sure. But in the end, it will be the experts making an analysis and giving their findings and projections to the politicians who will try to figure out that balance. If the politicians make more good decisions than bad ones, they get to stay in office.
 
Are universities more liberal than the average citizenry. For sure, in the humanity faculties. I didn't need a lengthy report to prove that. For business, engineering, science, law, and medical faculties, probably not so much so. They are probably closer to representing the population. Which professors get most of the attention from the media? It is the humanities.
 
I'm going to propose a reason why the humanities are a breeding ground for liberals. When we are addressing concepts like welfare and poverty, conservative thinkers already have the answer: "cut off welfare and the former recipients will find jobs to feed themselves."  The conservatives do not need any academic approach to reach that conclusion. More progressive thinkers, on the other hand, understand that poverty and work motivation have complex roots to them. To solve these problems, we need a deeper understanding of the issue, and this requires study, research, experimentation, and analysis. If conservatives already know the answer, then why should they consult the fields of psychology, sociology, and political science?  I can't see why a conservative thinker would want a career in these fields. Hence, you won't find many.
 
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:55am
Opher
You are right. Even those scammers have an errant mindset that needs an understanding. 
 
I had a neighbor in my apartment building. He had a little issue with alcohol. But he was a hustler and was able to find work, but he couldn't keep a job more than a few months. Finally he qualified for unemployment insurance, and he rode that ride for a year.
 
During this time, he was working on the side. He would get up at 3:00 am, walk two kilometers to a highway gas station, ask a trucker for ride to the big city (2 hours away), get into the city about 7:00, get to the day-labor pick-up location at 8:00, get a day labor job and $100 cash, find his way back to his town. He was so proud of himself that he could fool the system to collect both unemployment insurance and get $100 a couple times a week. He thought he was so smart!
 
But his mindset is not in the right place. This is the plight of many people on long-term welfare.
 
 
Mircea Negres Added Dec 7, 2017 - 2:55pm
Dave, the social assistance your refer to would actually qualify as a very decent salary (junior to lower middle-grade management) in South Africa. When it comes to "social assistance", what we get here is welfare payments to teenage mothers who have children they can't take care of, along with those handicapped for some reason or another (blind, deaf, dumb, retarded, etc.), short-term unemployed (6 months, on a decreasing scale starting from 66% of last salary in the first month assuming the government pays you on time [which they usually do not] to 0% by month 7 IF you were fired- if you quit or were forced {called "constructive dismissal" aka "the boss makes your life a living hell" kind of situation} to do so, you DO NOT qualify for unemployment insurance) and pensioners whose collective (if they're married) yearly earnings fall below R33.000 (or +/- US $2.200) PER YEAR!!! You guys have it good. In the "South of Africa" as I like to call the ass end of the universe on the African friggin' continent, teenage mothers spend their monthly R220 (+/- US $ 15) or so welfare payment (per child) on ONE trip to the hairstylist (no shit) and pensioners earn around R1.700 per month- money which is insufficient to have a decent last meal and hang yourself with a good quality rope that will not break when you swing off the tree branch...
Dave Volek Added Dec 7, 2017 - 4:08pm
Mircea
 
The C$1000 a month is not a great living by western standards. But the basics can be covered. And I acknowledge that it may be a very good salary in other parts of the world. 
 
I was in post-communist Czechoslovakia. Food was a lot cheaper. So too was rent, beer and bus tickets. I got by pretty good with $500 a month.
 
True it is that some welfare recipients do not spend their money wisely. Tobacco has been an addiction of the lower classes for a couple of decades: very few middle class people smoke. Many welfare recipients still smoke. I suspect their discretionary income is used up in that way.
 
In my town, there are two agencies that provide free food boxes. But there is a screening process and applicants can only use the service once a month (one time for each agency). I suspect that this free food gives them some economic freedom to buy cigarettes. 
 
Poverty puts people in a strange mindset.
 
 
 
Mircea Negres Added Dec 7, 2017 - 4:20pm
Dave, thanks for the reply. My input was not a criticism, just in case you thought it was. On the contrary, based on what I know of South Africa (here for 26 years), it was a compliment. As a matter of interest, I think the exchange rate is roughly R12 to 1 C$. It certainly is around R13.70 to 1 US$ these days... Along with other countries of West European mindset and decency, Canada seems to have an institutional understanding of what poverty is and what it does to people. That makes it more humane than the South African system in my book. 
Dave Volek Added Dec 7, 2017 - 5:00pm
Mircea
I think we have stumbled that paying some people $1000 a month is better than them getting into petty crime.
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 7, 2017 - 5:56pm
Dave V. I use the posted web site to bring up the article.  I have copied the lines around the one I cited.  Different search engines display lines differently.  Also these statement add to the first one.
 
The percentage of black households headed by women grew from 28% to 40% between 1970 and 1980.
 
At the beginning of World War II, the illegitimate birth rate among black Americans was slightly less than 19%. Between 1955 and 1965 — the year of the Watts riots and also the start of the War on Poverty — it rose slowly, from 22% to 28%.
 
But beginning in the late 1960s the slow trend rapidly accelerated, reaching 49% in 1975 and 65% in 1989.
 
Empirical studies have borne out the theory that welfare is behind much of this disintegration.
 
For example, a study at the University of Washington showed that an increase of roughly $200 a month in welfare benefits per family correlated with a 150% increase in the illegitimate birth rate among teens.
 
According to the House Ways and Means Committee "Green Book" for 1990, about 40% of parents collecting AFDC were black, 38% white and 17% Hispanic. Blacks make up about 12% of the population, while Hispanics make up about 9% of the population.
 
The Green Book took its data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Family Assistance of the Family Support Administration.
 
The concept of welfare dependency was also bolstered recently by a study by David Elwood of Harvard University. He found that of the 3.8 million families currently on AFDC, well over half will remain dependent for more than 10 years, many others for 15 years or longer.
 
Studies also show a correlation between crime and broken homes. It isn’t so much the crime committed by the members of the broken home itself, says Robert Sampson, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, as it is the impact of broken homes on the community.
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 7, 2017 - 6:02pm
As I said earlier I do not think America welfare is significantly different then other western nations like Canada.  Identical no but the general approach are the same.  Thus welfare in the west promote single parent house holds.  Economic conditions concentrates welfare into neighborhoods.   The lack of parental supervision, one parent and not male role model for many youths result in the conditions to create gangs. 
 
The results is observed and nothing is done to alter the way welfare is distributed. 
Edward Miessner Added Dec 7, 2017 - 6:32pm
Dave,
 
Your description of the Canadian welfare system is very much like the USA welfare system, EXCEPT "workfare" is a part of it; i.e., working is required for most social welfare clients here in the States. And yes, there is a sliding scale where benefits are reduced or eliminated based on how much money you make. For example, with SNAP, or foodstamps, the cutoff point is the official poverty line which is about 15K for a single person or 25K for a family of four. This is really not much, especially when to work in the USA having an automobile is compulsory---which means that one can make as much as 30K a year and still be poor even though the USA government, which should be prosecuted and dissolved under its own RICO statute, counts him as "middle class."
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 7, 2017 - 7:45pm
Edward M. Obama stopped requiring work.  I do not recall Trump changing that yet.  I said the fundamental nature of welfare was similar.  Like rewarding single parent house holds.
A. Jones Added Dec 7, 2017 - 11:53pm
it will be the experts making an analysis and giving their findings and projections to the politicians who will try to figure out that balance.
 
Why put your faith in "experts"? Why not let ordinary working people decide if your personal leisure time benefits them?
 
To solve these problems, we need a deeper understanding of the issue,
 
And you believe that you have a "deeper understanding" of the issue?
 
If conservatives already know the answer, then why should they consult the fields of psychology, sociology, and political science?
 
You believe that poverty and work motivation are the only issues in psychology, sociology, and political science? Nothing else to study? Maybe genuine liberals (which you call "conservatives") are interested in those other things and find them worthy of research.
 
I can't see why a conservative thinker would want a career in these fields. Hence, you won't find many.
 
Maybe they just don't get hired by leftist administrators.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Dec 8, 2017 - 10:08am
Are the Canadians calling for a wall to keep Americans from getting free medical, or are the Americans calling for a wall to keep Canadians from getting good medical?
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Dec 8, 2017 - 11:35am
Dave V
 
"More progressive thinkers, on the other hand, understand that poverty and work motivation have complex roots to them. To solve these problems, we need a deeper understanding of the issue, and this requires study, research, experimentation, and analysis. "
 
This sounds like a 'root problem discovery' platitude. You propose questions here that ostensibly could only be answered by left-wing academics of the subservient type. That would include 'research' [read recycle old, stale platitudes with new definitions and spin], a big fat grant and the preemptive applause and lauds from the leftist press. 
 
Definition: Progressive means left-liberal that demands higher taxes and more government control of everything.
 
Poverty: ask about crime, drug addiction, sloth, broken homes and more. 
Work: ask about criminal records, again drug addiction, work history and education, if any. Ask about welfare and other government 'benefits' that encourage sloth. 
 
The answers to many of these are not so complex.
Edward Miessner Added Dec 8, 2017 - 1:27pm
Thomas,
 
"Edward M. Obama stopped requiring work." And Obama had the duly permitted authority to do this how? Unless there was a provision in the 1995 Clinton-Gingrich Welfare Reform Law that permitted the POTUS to waive the work requirement in the teeth of the Great Recession, I don't see how he could get away with it! By my own knowledge, here in Louisiana unless you are disabled or otherwise unable to work, or are a single mother, the State requires you to work in order to receive food stamps.
 
Edward Miessner Added Dec 8, 2017 - 1:28pm
Dr. Rupert Green, they should.
Edward Miessner Added Dec 8, 2017 - 1:29pm
I meant the Canadians. I think the high cost of "good" medical here in the States is deterrent enough.
Dave Volek Added Dec 8, 2017 - 3:37pm
Ryck
This sounds like a 'root problem discovery' platitude.
Yep. It is. Get to the roots of the problem and you have a better chance of solving the problem. But we can't accuse the politically right of proferring platitudes, can we?
 
A. Jones
You believe that poverty and work motivation are the only issues in psychology, sociology, and political science? Nothing else to study? Maybe genuine liberals (which you call "conservatives") are interested in those other things and find them worthy of research.
 
Like what?
1) Cut out welfare and the "sloth" will stop.
2) Reduce taxes and the economy will be stimulated.
3) Hire more police officers and build more jails to reduce crime.
4) People with addictions should just stop doing their addiction.
 
I don't see much reason for many right-wingers to conduct any research. They already have the answer. We might as well abolish all humanities in all universities.
 
 
Thomas
For example, a study at the University of Washington showed that an increase of roughly $200 a month in welfare benefits per family correlated with a 150% increase in the illegitimate birth rate among teens.
 
I would still like to see that study. It seems counter intuitive to me. I would like to see if the researchers have deemed whether the correlation does translate into a causation. If so, what are their reasonings?
 
Edward
Your description of the Canadian welfare system is very much like the USA welfare system, EXCEPT "workfare" is a part of it;
Some provinces have tried a workfare approach. From what I understand, it really didn't work out that well. More civil servants were required to administer this program--to keep tabs on the recipient at the workplace. And, I suspect, it really didn't transform long-term welfare recipients into productive workers. 
 
Personally, for most people I know on long-term welfare, I wouldn't hire them to watch paint dry. Paying them $1000 a month is easier on the economy. 
 
A. Jones Added Dec 8, 2017 - 6:08pm
Like what?
 
I thought you claimed to be well educated.
 
Some current issues in psychology:
 
1. Eating Disorders
2. Depression
3. Phobias
4. Borderline Personality Disorder
5. Seasonal Affective Disorder
6. Schizophrenia
7. Antisocial Personality Disorder
 
Nothing there about poverty or work motivation.
 
Some current issues in sociology:
 
1. Al Jazeera’s migrant–refugee distinction and the European culture of (mis)trust
 
2. Cultural consumption through the epistemologies of the South: ‘Humanization’ in transnational football fan solidarities
 
3. Constructing a sense of commitment in ‘Living Apart Together’ (LAT) relationships: Interpretive agency and individualization
 
4. We haven’t even buried the dead yet’: Ethics of discursive contestation in a crisis situation
 
5. Caught between restrictions and freedom: Narrative biographies shed light on how gendered structures and processes affect the drop-out of females from universities
 
6. Doctors’ reflexivity in hospital organisations: The nexus between institutional and behavioural dynamics in the sociology of professions
 
7. Cultural omnivorousness in Turkey
 
Nothing there about poverty or work motivation.
 
Some current issues in political science:
 
1. Immigration
2. Border Security
3. Gun Control
4. Equal Pay
5. Abortion
6. Electoral College
7. Same-Sex Marriage
 
Nothing there about poverty or work motivation.
 
Try doing just a little research before posting something stupid.
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 8, 2017 - 6:08pm
Dave V. I can see where you may not believe the University of Washington study, but it agrees with the statistical data and my experience and likely yours.   
 
Why did the civil right start in the south and church and families participated with King? This is important. Segregation actually kept the family together as it did during slavery. Democratic controlled southern states, KKK the enforcement arm, and state run welfare from FDR to 60s kept the poor blacks' in indentured servitude. State welfare system: 1) kicked off welfare during growing season 2) residence laws prevented mobility 3) two parents were excluded from receiving AFDC until 1961, but ‘illegitimacy,’ could cost a woman her assistance 4) employable mother rule required working in the fields during harvest and thus children also worked.
 
After winning Civil Right Laws mid 60s and thus ending servitude in the south this caused sweeping social change.  There was mass migration north and mass poverty. The "great Society" bypassed local government helping disenfranchised groups and getting their vote to keep the welfare flowing.  "AFDC in the 60s caseload grew 30-40% in inner cities but less then 10% in other areas."   Blacks ended up controlled the political process in these cities, keep the welfare flowing. https://people.eou.edu/socwelf/readings/week-2/welfare-expands-in-the-1960s/
Williams a black economist said. “The truth is that black female-headed households were just 18% of households in 1950, as opposed to about 68% today. In fact, from 1890 to 1940, the black marriage rate was slightly higher than that of whites. Even during slavery, when marriage was forbidden for blacks, most black children lived in biological two-parent families. In New York City, in 1925, 85% of black households were two-parent households. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were two-parent households.” http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2013/07/31/black-selfsabotage-n1651550
He goes on to say "But this isn’t just relegated to the American welfare state, but is seen in European welfare states as well."
http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/04/walter-e-williams-on-welfare-as-govt-plays-father-blackmales-
have-become-dispensable/#ixzz40GiegQWe

He also tells us, "In 1948, the unemployment rate for black teens was slightly less than that of their white counterparts 9.4% compared with 10.2%. During that same period, black youths were either just as active in the labor force or more so than white youths. Since the 1960s, both the labor force participation rate and the employment rate of black youths have fallen to what they are today, over 50%. Why? Are employers more racially discriminatory today than yesteryear? Were black youths of yesteryear more skilled than whites of yesteryear? The answer to both questions is a big fat no.
The minimum wage law and other labor regulations have cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder."
http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2015/05/20/thetrueblacktragedyn2000459/print
A. Jones Added Dec 8, 2017 - 6:31pm
1) Cut out welfare and the "sloth" will stop.
 
Conservatives and libertarians don't think in terms of perfect solutions to problems the way leftists do (e.g., see Opher Goodwin's current post on his personal vision for a "perfect society"). Cutting out guaranteed, unlimited public welfare would unquestionably reduce sloth, even if it didn't stop it entirely. You're not interested in reducing sloth?
 
2) Reduce taxes and the economy will be stimulated.
 
Most economists agree that the single most important action that would stimulate the economy would be for government to spend less.  Tax cuts are great (the bigger, the better) but only if accompanied by spending cuts.
 
3) Hire more police officers and build more jails to reduce crime.
 
Hire more police officers, build more jails, catch more criminals, prosecute more criminals, and throw more criminals in jail would reduce crime. The U.S. has had a declining crime rate trend for the past few decades, which correlates with the above, as well as correlating with a large increase in firearm ownership. While it's true that correlation does not mean causation, it doesn't rule it out, either. From a libertarian perspective, another policy change that would reduce crime would be to decriminalize all drugs and prostitution. These are "victimless crimes."
 
4) People with addictions should just stop doing their addiction.
 
All the evidence points to the fact that addiction rates increase when government offers free help to addicts;
 
Teenage pregnancies increase when government offers free abortions;
 
Unemployment duration increases when government offers free support to the unemployed;
 
It's called "Moral Hazard." Look it up if you don't know what it means.
 
I'm not saying not to offer free help. I'm saying you should expect the situation to worsen when you do offer free help.
Dave Volek Added Dec 9, 2017 - 11:07am
A. Jones
 
I think you missed the point I was trying to make. Conservatives already have the answer, so there is no point in consulting with the psychology, sociology, and political science professions. Your average high graduate with a conservative ideology already knows more about how the world works than the Ph.D.'s in these profession. So there is no point to these professions in the first place. Can you comment on this?
 
But I'm glad you acknowledge that crime rates have gone down in most western societies. Many conservative thinkers tend to disregard these facts.
 
However this decrease in crime is only marginally related to a higher level of a police state (if we did go in this direction). I would say the decrease is because of more social programs in society.
 
You mentioned sloth again. So I will bring up my point again, based on my anecdotal experience of people on long-term welfare: these people are terrible workers! Most don't have the mindset to find and hold down a job. Maybe in the US, it is different, but in Canada.
 
Will cutting the welfare programs force welfare recipients back to work. Some will. Most won't because they can't. They will either turn to petty crime or become street people. But I guess that is fine by you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 9, 2017 - 11:18am
Thomas
 
You keep bringing up these "black" statistics. It seems you are blaming black people for welfare. I could take your numbers to show that far more white people are on welfare than black people in the USA. This is not a black problem by any means. 
 
In the book "Sovereign Psyche", author Ezrah Aharone proffers a theory that many African-Americans are still psychologically affected by slavery. We can argue that five or six generations have passed, and they should just get over it.
 
But I find it interesting that you can blame ills on American society from Democratic legislation 70 or 150 years ago, and yet claim the African-American should not be affected by their past. This is a double-standard.
 
And we should bring back that Republicans have had many opportunities to repeal bad Democratic legislation. This current administration is one such opportunity, especially with both houses in their control. Are they repealing welfare in any significant way? No, they are not. Why? I hypothesize that white people on welfare are a significant part of Mr. Trump's base.
 
 
 
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 9, 2017 - 11:30am
A. Jones
 
I looked up "Moral Hazard" in Wikipedia. The article's examples were mostly related to business ethics, so this is an all encompassing feature of society, not just those in poverty.
 
My anecdotal experience is that some Canadians do depend on unemployment insurance a little too much. And it were cut off, most of these people would find other solutions.
 
And yes, some young women do consciously use abortions as a form of birth control: "If I have sex and get pregnant, I will just go the abortion clinic". But I would wager that more teenage pregnancies have this thinking: "If I don't give my boyfriend sex, he will leave me, and I will be alone and unloved, and I probably won't get pregnant."
 
Which is mindset is more correct? I may have an opinion, but I think it is better to put that analysis to psychologists.
 
But of course, if you are conservative thinker, you already know the answer.
 
 
Edward Miessner Added Dec 9, 2017 - 3:20pm
Dave,
 
"Some provinces have tried a workfare approach. From what I understand, it really didn't work out that well. More civil servants were required to administer this program--to keep tabs on the recipient at the workplace. And, I suspect, it really didn't transform long-term welfare recipients into productive workers."
 
I suspect that was all true here in the United States as well. But I also suspect that once a state or the federal govt waives a workfare requirement, the state does NOT lay off the additional social workers it hired, unless it had to.  
 
"Personally, for most people I know on long-term welfare, I wouldn't hire them to watch paint dry. Paying them $1000 a month is easier on the economy."
 
Yes, there is that de-skilling phenomenon that comes with being without a job for a long amount of time. Employers usually are loath to hire anybody who's been out of work for longer than six months. Plus with your long-term welfare recipients there is also a shortened attention span from watching too much TV, among other issues.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Dec 9, 2017 - 3:37pm
Edward and Dave
 
""Personally, for most people I know on long-term welfare, I wouldn't hire them to watch paint dry. Paying them $1000 a month is easier on the economy.""
 
The left, as part of their strategy to capture votes, pays such a sum to keep folk out of the economy and critically dependent upon left-wing social programs that always work in reverse.
 
The 'education' process in the US, sorry as it is, produces many students who cannot read or write or do basic arithmetic. This works well as then some additional training is needed, such as remedial math and reading at university level for such students on their way to a guaranteed PhD in certain political areas.
 
Add in sloth, drug addiction, a rap sheet and other problems this then produces the perfect citizen for a left-wing government. 
Edward Miessner Added Dec 9, 2017 - 3:54pm
Ryck JFK,
 
The Republicans had many opportunities to repeal or change these Welfare laws and the only time when they did change them was in 1995 when the Welfare Reform Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton, a (faux) left-wing Democrat.
 
"Add in sloth, drug addiction, a rap sheet and other problems this then produces the perfect citizen for a left-wing government."
 
You mean a neo-liberal government because sloth, drug addiction, etc., makes for a docile population who doesn't care they they've been screwed by the corporations and the government. Add rap sheets and you can guarantee that they won't ever be employed until and unless employers are desperate, and currently they are not.
 
Now the Soviet Union was a left-wing government and you never heard of people on welfare there. Worker's Paradise meant everybody worked, even those in the Gulags. Nor did you hear of slothful and alcohol or drug-addicted Soviet citizens until the Union's terminal decline. 
A. Jones Added Dec 10, 2017 - 5:34pm
the Welfare Reform Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton, a (faux) left-wing Democrat.
 
Both chambers of congress had flipped to Republican because of the "Newt Gingrich revolution" ("Contract With America") one of whose demands was that welfare be reformed. Clinton had always been a leftist, Big Government-Spending Democrat, but he was also, by nature, a pragmatist. Had congress not become conservative, Clinton would never have considered (let alone have signed) such a bill. We can thank congress for the welfare reform, not POTUS.
 
the Soviet Union was a left-wing government and you never heard of people on welfare there.
 
The entire workforce, by definition, was on the government dole. Everyone, in effect, was on welfare.
 
Nor did you hear of slothful and alcohol or drug-addicted Soviet citizens
 
Yes, we did. Widespread alcoholism had always existed in the USSR, and illicit drug use increased right up until the country's dissolution. As for sloth, since there was zero incentive for workers to be energetic and diligent at their jobs, laziness, cutting corners, and shirking became the norm – not the exception, but the norm. Holding a gun to a worker's head and tellling him, "Produce more and meet your quota or I'll send you to Siberia!" is not an incentive to become excellent at one's job, but rather, an incentive for the workers to look for a way out, i.e., do the least that is expected.
A. Jones Added Dec 10, 2017 - 5:40pm
so this is an all encompassing feature of society, not just those in poverty.
 
Moral hazard is a feature of any relationship in which one party increases its exposure to risk at the expense of a second party who bears the cost of that exposure. I never claimed it was restricted to those on the public dole. The important point is that the concept of moral hazard most definitely includes those on the dole. Moral hazard applies to any public bailout, whether corporate or individual.
 
My anecdotal experience is that some Canadians do depend on unemployment insurance a little too much. And it were cut off, most of these people would find other solutions.
 
Actually, everyone would find other solutions, unless they were suicidal.
 
And yes, some young women do consciously use abortions as a form of birth control: "If I have sex and get pregnant, I will just go the abortion clinic". But I would wager that more teenage pregnancies have this thinking: "If I don't give my boyfriend sex, he will leave me, and I will be alone and unloved, and I probably won't get pregnant."
 
Your 2nd psychological scenario is irrelevant to the issue of moral hazard. The facts prove that when abortions are the responsibility of the parties involved (boyfriend and girlfriend) alone to pay for (or if abortions are unavailable by dint of legislation) the girl is far less likely to become pregnant. She'll either say "no" to her boyfriend, or she'll take precautions. Sorry, but the facts show that easily available, publicly-subsidized abortions increase the moral hazard of teenage girls getting pregnant. Her personal psychological reasons for intending to have sex or not intending to have sex are entirely irrelevant to the moral hazard issue.

Which is mindset is more correct?
 
It makes absolutely no difference to the statistical outcome. The question is: do more teenage girls get pregnant? Or do fewer teenage girls get pregnant? Those are the only questions that matter. No one cares what the girl is thinking, feeling, wishing, or hoping subjectively. The only relevant question is: what does the girl choose to do?
 
But of course, if you are conservative thinker, you already know the answer.
 
And, of course, if you're a leftist thinker, you're perpetually and dogmatically uncertain.
Dave Volek Added Dec 10, 2017 - 9:40pm
A. Jones
 
All good points about moral hazard.
 
I have heard that a few promiscuous teenager girls use abortions as a means of birth control. I am uncertain whether Canada's health care covers it or not (not everything is covered or fully covered). The studies I have read that most couples who get caught somehow believe they are above the odds. (cognitive dissonance).
 
 
My experience is that teenagers don't think this far in advance as to whether who is going to pay for the abortion. I would like to read the full study.

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