David Frum makes an important point that often gets lost in the rhetoric of who “contributes” to society and who doesn’t:
America is not a society divided between “makers” and “takers.” Instead, almost all of us proceed through a life cycle where we sometimes make and sometimes take as we pass from schooling to employment to retirement.
The line between “making” and “taking” is not a racial line. The biggest government program we have, Medicare, benefits a population that is 85% white.
Indeed. But that shouldn’t be surprising to anybody when it comes to a program like Medicare: the whole point of social insurance is that it kicks in for everybody at a certain pre-designed time.
The first point, however, is one that should always be kept in mind when discussing the sociology of the welfare state. I’m currently representing a client who has been gainfully employed for much of her life, but is currently receiving public assistance after being fired from her job. She has no money other than what she’s currently receiving in the form of food stamps. That’s it. She’s contributed plenty over the course of her life, and hopes to contribute again soon. But for now, she’s a “taker” until she can find a job again.
And that’s how it generally goes. The archetypical long-term “freeloader” from the Reaganite mythos (e.g. “Welfare Queen”) is actually a fairly rare case. The average food stamp recipient only stays on the program for nine months. The average length of time for TANF recipients is 18 months. Few people actually get on the dole and stay there indefinitely. Most people do not stay on public assistance long-term. Which is the way the safety net is intended to operate in the first place.
- econtacted likes this
- teennakedmodels likes this
- cristian-stan likes this
- new-renaissance likes this
- george-allan reblogged this from letterstomycountry
- aglobalscholar likes this
- bjcasillas likes this
- brawlermedia likes this
- thatpoliticalkid reblogged this from letterstomycountry
- theseamushroom reblogged this from letterstomycountry
- sadpoptarts likes this
- picklesforpandas likes this
- flower-crown-feminist likes this
- niesenn reblogged this from letterstomycountry
- lolcatmania reblogged this from letterstomycountry
- rcousens3 reblogged this from laliberty
- tr0tskitty reblogged this from letterstomycountry
- lacking-material reblogged this from laliberty
- sugashane likes this
- michaelangerlo reblogged this from laliberty
- laliberty reblogged this from letterstomycountry and added:
- prettayprettaygood likes this
- politicalprof likes this
- alice44 likes this
- nationofone likes this
- kadalkavithaigal likes this
- letterstomycountry posted this