Should government benefits be conditionally granted?


by WhoWee
Tags: conditionally, government, granted
Jimmy Snyder
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#19
Feb13-12, 07:30 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Jimmy: a prospective employer requires you to take a drug test before hiring you: voluntary or invasion of privacy?
That's the other thread. This thread is different. However, a private company is different from the govt. You made that distinction yourself in that other thread.
WhoWee
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#20
Feb13-12, 07:36 AM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
This twists my words into an amazing contortion. I asked whether the fact that an action was voluntary could be considered the sole reason to negate a person's protection against searches by the government and somehow my question has been married to the question in the title of this thread.

As for this thread, are we talking about all government benefits, or just welfare? Are we talking about enforcing all laws, or just drug laws? Are we talking about searches with a warrant or without? If you deny someone welfare benefits because they had a poppy seed bagel in the morning before a random drug test, you could save thousands of dollars. But if you did a thorough examination of the financial records of the executives who get bailouts and found out that they forgot to report a poppy seed bagel in their tax return you could save trillions. Which do you propose?
I don't think we're talking about second hand smoke or a random poppy seed - and 3 strikes is probably the end compromise in the real world.
SixNein
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#21
Feb13-12, 08:01 AM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
That's the other thread. This thread is different. However, a private company is different from the govt. You made that distinction yourself in that other thread.
I think there is also a bias here since he is targeting a very specific group.

I don't hear him moaning about how CEO's got bailouts; therefore, they should piss in a cup.
Galteeth
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#22
Feb13-12, 08:17 AM
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I think so much of this depends on the circumstances. There are some pretty broad things being discussed here.
I think part of the issue has to do with the reason for the government assistance. Is it because someone is out of work? Or is it more of a disability thing? I think there should be different standards based on the circumstances.
Also, when you say law-abiding, what do you really mean? There's hardly anyone who is completely law abiding (and this is due to the insane number of laws.)
This has probably been mentioned, by the florida testing program actually lost money for the state.
I also think it's relevant what drugs they're testing for and how the test is done. Specifically, as many of you know, marijuana can remain in your system for months after you've smoked. Now someone who is applying for welfare benefits, just because they may have smoked marijuana in the past three months I don't think is a good reason to disqualify them.

EDIT: And of course in my perfect world, i wouldn't have government benefits at all, but considering the total budgetary impact of welfare, it's not high on my list of priorities. I mean I recognize there are negative consequences to the system, but I think there's alot of bad stuff to get rid of first.
WhoWee
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#23
Feb13-12, 08:40 AM
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Quote Quote by SixNein View Post
I think there is also a bias here since he is targeting a very specific group.

I don't hear him moaning about how CEO's got bailouts; therefore, they should piss in a cup.
Did CEO's get bailouts - personally - can you name them please? Perhaps you'd like all of the shareholders of the public companies and their union employees to "P" in a cup?
Office_Shredder
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#24
Feb13-12, 08:58 AM
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Why the employees? That's like drug testing the guy at seven eleven because someone spent welfare money there. But all the share holders? Still no, the minority holders didn't actually get a say in the bailout, so it doesn't apply. But the people who asked the government for money and received it are certainly valid targets under your proposed scenario
daveb
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#25
Feb13-12, 08:59 AM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
I don't know of any assistance programs that end because someone is arrested or tests positive for drugs (outside of the FL program) - do you?
Yes - federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans for college. You can't get any (well at least you couldn't several years ago when I was in college and needed the loans) if you've been convicted of drug possession.
WhoWee
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#26
Feb13-12, 09:05 AM
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IMO - if a system doesn't have checks and balances - that is accountability - it will be abused more than if the controls were in place.
Jimmy Snyder
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#27
Feb13-12, 10:41 AM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
Did CEO's get bailouts - personally - can you name them please? Perhaps you'd like all of the shareholders of the public companies and their union employees to "P" in a cup?
No. If the company gets govt. money, then let's see the books. I don't want tax cheating companies to get the money.
WhoWee
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#28
Feb13-12, 10:45 AM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
No. If the company gets govt. money, then let's see the books. I don't want tax cheating companies to get the money.
I don't want any corporate welfare.
Jimmy Snyder
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#29
Feb13-12, 10:52 AM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
I don't want any corporate welfare.
And your first line of attack is social welfare? I'm not talking about corporate welfare. The govt also signs contracts with these companies. I want to know that there is no child porn on company computers. I want a thorough investigation to see that all laws are being obeyed and I don't want to be troubled getting a warrant.
WhoWee
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#30
Feb13-12, 01:18 PM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
And your first line of attack is social welfare? I'm not talking about corporate welfare. The govt also signs contracts with these companies. I want to know that there is no child porn on company computers. I want a thorough investigation to see that all laws are being obeyed and I don't want to be troubled getting a warrant.
Are we certain there's no child porn on Government computers - would a federal (union) employee lose their job and/or pension over child porn? I'm for accountability at EVERY level!
MarcoD
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#31
Feb13-12, 01:23 PM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
Are we certain there's no child porn on Government computers - would a federal (union) employee lose their job and/or pension over child porn? I'm for accountability at EVERY level!
Hmm. I am pretty liberal, but I think it is pretty normal people can lose their job watching (normal) porn at work.
WhoWee
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#32
Feb13-12, 01:33 PM
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Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
Hmm. I am pretty liberal, but I think it is pretty normal people can lose their job watching (normal) porn at work.
Are we certain the federal employees lost their jobs last year when caught - what was effect on their pensions or benefits - maybe they owe compensation for the time they were paid to watch porn - does anyone know?

Here's a case we can follow.
http://www.ajc.com/news/federal-work...n-1200439.html

Here's the one I remember.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fed...ederal_wo.html

"Several of employees held senior positions, earning between $99,300 and $222,418 per year, the inspector general's summary said. Three of the incidents occurred this year, ten in 2009, 16 in 2008, two in 2007 and one each in 2006 and 2005.

In one instance, a regional office staff account admitted viewing pornography on his office computer and on his SEC-issued laptop while on official government travel. Another staff account received nearly 1,800 access denials for pornography Web sites in a two-week period and had more than 600 images saved on her laptop’s hard drive, the report said.

A senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington admitted he sometimes spent as much as eight hours viewing pornography from his office computer, according to the report. The attorney’s computer ran out of space for the downloaded images, so he started storing them on CDs and DVDs that he stored in his office. "


A quick follow up story.
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local...117729298.html
"Federal employees in Chicago and six other cities are being reprimanded for watching porn on the job."
MarcoD
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#33
Feb13-12, 01:52 PM
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Yeah well. It's all a bit silly too somehow. I know lots of people, mostly young, who had sex on their work, often just for fun or for imagined kicks. And now people are contemplating what to do with men who masturbated at work. Normally, I guess one could just call that healthy behavior.

Watching porn for eight hours when you should be working is a bit over the top -the guy is ill,- and porn at work does offend women often, so I am not against banning it.

(I used to teach at an IT college. Then porn is a problem. But it would be a bigger problem if it wouldn't be a problem. Of course, nearly all the male students watch porn, what else?)

Uhm, before everybody thinks we're all depraved individuals in the Netherlands, it usually boils down to incidents. An indecent wallpaper or some students finding something 'hilarious' on the Internet and watching 'that' in the cantina to the dismay of others. Students...
WhoWee
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#34
Feb13-12, 02:06 PM
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Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
Yeah well. It's all a bit silly too somehow. I know lots of people, mostly young, who had sex on their work, often just for fun or for imagined kicks. And now people are contemplating what to do with men who masturbated at work. Normally, I guess one could just call that healthy behavior.

Watching porn for eight hours when you should be working is a bit over the top -the guy is ill,- and porn at work does offend women often, so I am not against banning it.
Some of these fellows worked at the Securities and Exchage Commission - the Wall St watchdog agency.
MarcoD
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#35
Feb13-12, 02:27 PM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
Some of these fellows worked at the Securities and Exchage Commission - the Wall St watchdog agency.
Yeah well, we're all dumb, drunk, and horny. (Okay, occasionally.) I don't get upset about sex.

The SEC, huh? Guess they had it coming.
BobG
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#36
Feb13-12, 06:25 PM
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There's two issues.

1) Is requiring drug tests an unreasonable search on innocent people? The number of guilty people (in this case, people poor because of their own poor life decisions) denied benefits is part of the equation on reasonableness. Or in other words, the benefits can justify some invasion of privacy (the US Supreme Court upholding random sobriety checks, for example).

Given some of the downside of drugs (especially a few highly addictive drugs such as meth, crack cocaine, heroin that are almost impossible to use in moderation), you'd expect more drug users to wind up needing financial assistance and the statistics do bear that out to a certain extent according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. (If broken out, marijuana use shows almost no difference in use between incomes.)

A. Any Illicit Drug Use in the Past Year
Age Group      12-17 18-25 26-34 35+  Total
Do receive     20.4  21.4  16.9  15.5 18.0  
Do not receive 18.6  25.7  14.1  5.8  10.9
So, requiring drug testing would theoretically cut welfare rolls quite drastically if the behavior of welfare recipients didn't change. That's probably unrealistic, though. The more likely result is that almost all welfare recipients would stop using illegal drugs. The only savings would come from those too addicted to change their behavior.

The majority of welfare recipients would be imposed on for no reason at all. The monetary benefit would be small. A small percentage of welfare recipients would make healthier life choices (which is almost always a good thing).

2) Is it fair to require a person to give up some freedoms in order to receive benefits from other taxpayers? This is equivalent to requiring a person to earn their rights by proving they're able to be independent adults.

Theoretically, the monetary impact should be positive. Earning the right to be a full citizen protected by the Constitution would increase the motivation of welfare recipients to support themselves and get off welfare. But that benefit relies on the assumption that welfare recipients are on welfare because they're lazy and would rather get money for nothing.

I don't think the idea would provide more motivation than the current federal program which limits the duration of welfare benefits (granted, those limitations tend to be diluted at least a little by the states and even federal regulations provide some exceptions to the limit on how long a person can receive benefits).

I also think setting some requirement for earning the right to Constitutional protection would run afoul of the Constitution.

Welfare benefits aren't the only benefit received by low income people. Earned income credit is part of the modern version of welfare benefits and that has no limits except the probability of a working person to eventually push their income above the poverty level. If the requirement for drug testing is going to expand to all that receive earned income credit, then I think there's going to be some drastic problems that go beyond just violating the rights of a few individuals. If we consider special tax deductions (child care credit, educational expenses, extra exemptions for each child, etc) and all the other things that result in nearly half the population paying no net income tax, then I think the problems of that proposal rise to the point where an entire political party could be driven out of existence.

I think the intent is clearly to limit drug testing to a group small enough that there will be almost no impact at all other than rhetorical.


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