Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Unemployment and Welfare Entitlements

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – no I’m not talking about the book, nor the movie. I am talking about the way some Americans are treated by systems that are meant to help and improve their status in life. I see Unemployment Insurance as a necessary evil and Welfare Entitlements as just as bad. While I am a liberty Democrat, I am not so liberty as to want to give away the people’s money without anything in return.

I would have expected our elected officials to have resolved this problem prior to my having to provide them with the necessary guidelines to achieve an end result that makes everybody happy. Here is my take…

Any decision to support an applicant for Welfare or Unemployment should have been accompanied by a solution to get that person off of the ‘social’ support that they requested.

Let me explain… currently, if you are on Welfare, you are required to do the same things that the unemployed are doing when they are receiving payments – look for a job! In some instances, Welfare recipients are required to come into their local office and use the facilities there to find a job. If you have children, you are required to request a voucher for the money that you would need to pay a baby-sitter while you cut out employment notices.

Why not institute this… ascertain the qualifications of the person receiving benefits to see where they stand in the job market. In most instances, re-tooling the individual to better meet the requirements/demands of the job market gives them a better chance to find a job sooner that will keep them employed for some time to come. The sooner the person can qualify for a job currently in demand by the job market, the sooner they are off of unemployment/welfare. Sounds too easy – doesn’t it; sometimes the best solution can be the easiest solution… then why is it not policy?

I asked an official within the Anne Arundel County Welfare Department why was it so hard for this idea to take root. His explanation… we are not required to re-educate people coming to us for help. The Welfare System is not responsible for re-tooling its applicants so that they can get a job and get off of Welfare – duh! I am thinking that the average person on Welfare collects those entitlements (food stamps, WIC, etc.) to the tune of more than thirty thousand dollars per year – multiply that by five years and you could have supported the schooling that would have gotten that person into the job market. It takes approximately six to eight months to finish school to be a Licensed Practical Nurse – we need qualified persons in the medical field. It takes even less time to produce a plumber, electrician, or other skill set that will keep a man working.

The same can be applied to unemployment recipients. No one wants to be receiving a ‘handout’ as has been said so many times by Republicans. Truly, the situation has never been worst for minorities – Blacks in particular! Education is the answer for any situation that involves destitute persons. The lack of an education is the common factor in all instances of the poor. A Rocket Scientist may be out of a job because of a layoff, but he is not going to be out of work for long. The same cannot be said for an uneducated man. Our responses in the past have been based along this policy line. Somebody has to get smart and make the change!

In a democracy, silence is not golden; it is condonance in the face of injustices; it is fear, where the thought of reprisal fosters control – Rodney A. Davis

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