My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The latest "good idea" from the government

The newest idea in welfare reform:

"...under new federal rules, studying for a bachelor's degree no longer counts by itself as an acceptable way for people on welfare to spend their time.

A decade after the government set out to transform the nation's welfare system, the limits on college are part of a controversial second phase of welfare reform that is beginning to ripple across the country. The new rules, written by Congress and the Bush administration, require states to focus intensely on making more poor people work, while discouraging other activities that might help untangle their lives.

By Oct. 1, state and local welfare offices must figure out how to steer hundreds of thousands of low-income adults into jobs or longer work hours. They also must adjust to limits on the length of time people on welfare can devote to trying to shed drug addictions, recover from mental illnesses or get an education.

This second generation of change reverses a central idea behind the 1996 law that ended six decades of welfare as an unlimited federal entitlement to cash assistance. The law decentralized welfare, handing states a lump sum of money and the freedom to design their own programs of temporary help for poor families. Ten years later, the government is tightening the federal reins.

Many state officials and advocates are furious. "You had fixed block grants in exchange for state flexibility," said Elaine M. Ryan, deputy executive director of the American Public Human Services Association, which represents welfare directors around the country. "Now you have fixed block grants in exchange for federal micromanagement. . . . That was not the deal."

Aside from government micromanagement, I really don't think this is a good idea. I'm not saying send them to Medical School, but shit...obtaining education that will help get not only that one person off welfare, but their family as well. And create a role model of a working parent instead of a welfare parent, not to mention a parent who went to college.

I've paid for my own education, and still I'm not a fan of handing out college degrees to welfare recipients (or prisoners for that matter) but it makes more sense than paying them to sit around on their asses, or work jobs that still qualify them for welfare...

Once upon a time I taught (adult learners) the Certified Nurses Aide classes at a job I once had. They gave me a group of about 17 or 18 people of varying ages and races. I took the job seriously, and worked to make these kids and older adults successful.
I had a girl in my class who looked like a typical trailer trash dumb ass blonde. When I graded the first exam I was shocked to see she had gotten one of the highest grades in the class. When the class was over I started to talk to her about her exam. What struck me so much about this girl was how insistant she was that she was stupid. It took me months to convince her she was not only smart, but that she had the ability to go on with her education and become a nurse.

I had the highest passing percentage of CNA's in the entire history of that facilities classes. That class and I turned more than a few peoples lives in a better direction. A couple years later, after I had left that job, I got a phone call from that girl's boyfriend telling me she had just graduated from Nursing School. He told me she wanted me to be at her graduation, instead of her Mother, because her Mother was an abusive alcoholic loser who couldn't care less for her daughters accomplishments. He told me that throughout her entire time at Nursing School when things got tough, she talked about the nurse who had encouraged her, and told her she had the ability to be a great nurse, and was the first person in her life to tell her she was smart and capable and deserved a better life than the shit she was handed... He wanted to thank me...but he already had...

Some people are lazy, manipulative losers who earn the shitty lives they lead. But some people aren't. I guess I would rather take the chance on paying to make sure that one of the deserving ones aren't overlooked... Maybe that's liberal, maybe its bleeding heart and maybe it's stupid. But it's how I see it. Some people have just had so much shit poured on their head that they can't overcome it all. Not everyone has the same chances in life. I'm a fighter for the underdog and I guess I always will be. But that girl showed me something. Even a white trailer trash loser may really be a smart capable nurse in disguise...



At Mon Aug 07, 12:44:00 PM, Blogger kimmyk said...

In Ohio you can only collect assistance for I think 3 years and then send you to a trade school. I think this is a wonderful incentive of sorts.

At Tue Aug 08, 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Badbeans said...


I don't mean to be beating a dead horse, but I thought that you might find this interesting in regards to our recent conversation on the minimum wage.

If you do not know who Thomas Sowell is, you should read up on him.

At Sun Aug 13, 03:20:00 AM, Blogger WDKY said...

Bloody hell... that photo reminded me why I'm off for a run in a minute!

Hope the weekends going well, Hammy x


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