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Category: Welfare State

Jun 02 2020

Open Thread

And here we encounter the seeds of government disaster and collapse - the kind that wrecked ancient Rome and every other civilization that allowed a sociopolitical monster called the welfare state to exist. - Barry Goldwater
May 19 2020

$500 Cash Payments to Illegal Aliens in California

The hysterical overreaction to Wuhan coronavirus has inflicted devastating long-term economic damage, costing $trillions and killing tens of millions of jobs. Many Americans have been prevented from providing for their families. But the mainly government-induced economic crisis is no reason for the liberals running California to stop handing out other people’s money to illegal aliens — rather, it serves as the latest excuse for extravagant largesse:

California is rolling out a taxpayer-funded program to aid unauthorized immigrants with $500 cash payments.

Some households will get as much as $1,000. There will be 150,000 lucky illegal winners. Those American citizens who are still permitted under the coronavirus lockdown to generate wealth for California to tax will get stuck with the $75 million bill.

“California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement last month about the program.

It goes without saying that white minority California is diverse racially. By “diverse,” Newsom must mean both American and not American, legal and not legal.

“Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together.”

No, Governor Nuisance, we are not all in this together. Americans who want to be left alone to generate wealth and then spend it on their families are on one side; Big Government and those the government wishes to displace us with are on the other.

On a tip from Steve T.

May 13 2020

Unemployment Guru on How to Exploit ChiCom Virus Lunacy

There is no problem so serious that Big Government can’t create a far worse problem while pretending to fix it. Then Big Government pretends to fix the problem it created, making it worse still. For example, the government responded to the ChiCom virus by pointlessly throwing tens of millions of people out of work. Then it responded to this massive unemployment by paying people so much not to work that businesses can’t reopen even if the government lets them (see here, here, and here).

This is bad news for the economy, but great news for slackers. The Unemployment Guru has helpful advice for those wanting to exploit coronavirus hysteria to get paid for doing nothing:

1. Pretend to have asthma.

2. Identify as black.

3. Cultivate mental problems.

4. Join a union.

Sorry about the language:

On a tip from Sean C.

May 11 2020

Big Government Disincentivizes Returning to Work

Lockdowns on one side, paying their employees to refuse to work on the other. Big Government has launched a pincer movement against small business.

From the Denver Post:

A majority of Colorado workers can make more money collecting state and federal unemployment benefits than they would on the job, according to an analysis from the Regional Economic Development Institute at Colorado State University. …

For someone making $14 an hour before the pandemic, unemployment benefits offer a 150% increase in pay.

Forget $15 minimum wage. Big Government has found something even better at driving small businesses into bankruptcy and preventing people from working.

Here’s an extra level of injustice: so-called “essential” workers get paid less to work than “nonessential” workers get paid not to work. That’s the sort of lunacy you can expect when the free market has been replaced by welfare statism.

Meanwhile, prominent Democrats have submitted a bill that would pay a family of five $120,000 per year for nothing, rendering employment unnecessary. They won’t need the ChiCom virus for much longer; by crippling the economy, they can keep the crisis going indefinitely without it.

On a tip from Lyle.

Apr 30 2020

Open Thread

And here we encounter the seeds of government disaster and collapse - the kind that wrecked ancient Rome and every other civilization that allowed a sociopolitical monster called the welfare state to exist. - Barry Goldwater
Apr 23 2020

AOC: Americans Should Refuse to Go Back to Work

To a liberal, freedom doesn’t mean the government gets off your back so you can earn a living. It means the exact opposite: the government gives you someone else’s money so that you don’t have to earn a living.

Ideally, we wouldn’t even be allowed to work. After all, anything that isn’t mandatory ought to be forbidden. Otherwise, Big Government does not have the absolute power that is the ultimate objective of all left-wing politics. That’s what makes the ChiCom virus panic a foretaste of utopia for Democrats.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the neo-Marxist Future of the Democrat Party, never wants it to end. In response to the suggestion that mandatory lockdowns won’t last forever, she calls on Americans to boycott work:

In an interview with VICE News for the debut show “Seat at the Table” with Anand Giridharadas, the congresswoman hit out at President Donald Trump’s calls to “liberate” states under lockdown orders last week amid protests from citizens.

“Only in America does the president, when the president tweets about liberation, does he mean ‘go back to work.'” the Democratic socialist told VICE. “We have this discussion about ‘going back’ or ‘reopening’ — I think a lot of people should just say, ‘No, we’re not going back to that. We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we can put food on the table and not feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.”

Note that in this clip she doesn’t even mention the virus, which was the original pretext for what is being done to our country:

The Babylon Bee is barely a half-step ahead of reality now.

On tips from ABC of the ANC, Varla, Mr. Freemarket, Bluto, Dragon’s Lair, and Scott D.

Apr 23 2020

Excessive Federal Handouts Will Prolong Coronavirus Crisis, Help Dems Win

First, Big Government’s media enablers hype a problem into a crisis. Then Big Government addresses the crisis by breaking your leg. Then it addresses your broken leg by breaking your other leg. Then people vote for more of it in November.

The first broken leg was the economic paralysis caused by the ill-advised shutdowns. The second broken leg was the blizzard of free money thrown to the winds.

An example was given yesterday of how Washington paying people more not to work than they would make by working will delay the opening of businesses even beyond the mandated lockdowns. Moving from the specific to the general,

Employees say they’ll take the unemployment check for as long as they can make more money by not working. One internal Trump Administration analysis estimates that this work disincentive applies to millions of Americans.

This does not mean these workers are lazy. Workers are making rational decisions based on the economic incentives the political class has created.

That’s how capitalism works; acting in the perceived best interest of themselves and their families, people respond to incentives. Deranged incentives derange the economy.

A handful of Republican Senators objected to the massive handouts. Democrats predictably denounced them as “cruel” — as if it were not cruel to prolong the lockdown by paying people with other people’s money not to work.

[N]o matter when governors announce their states’ reopenings, many businesses will still have to wait until July 31—when the extra $600 expires—to be able to afford the workers they need to reopen.

This makes perfect sense — to Democrats:

Democrats will try to extend the $600 for another few months, and then a few more after that, as they describe anyone who disagrees as heartless. Republicans who cower at that argument without fighting back will hurt their own electoral prospects as the jobless rate will stay higher for longer and the recovery will take that much longer to take hold.

Either the Republicans cruelly stop handing out free candy, subjecting themselves to media demonization, or the economy remains in a coma. A win-win for the Dems.

On a tip from Varla.

Apr 22 2020

Excessive Welfare Worsens Wuhan Virus Lockdown

There is no problem that Big Government creates — no matter how massive — that it can’t exacerbate by trying to fix it. One of the worst problems our government has ever imposed is the economic lockdown in response to the ChiCom virus. Kurt Huffman, owner of ChefStable in Portland, explains how the government manages to make even coronavirus hysteria worse by fixing it:

My company works with local chefs to open and operate their restaurants. We are currently a partner in more than 20 of them. We closed our dining rooms March 15, two days before the governor mandated we do so, and had to lay off some 700 employees.

They have been providing takeout and delivery at some restaurants in an attempt to stay alive until the government lets them reopen. This worked better than expected, so they asked laid-off employees to return. Too late: Big Government has already enlisted them in the Welfare State.

We started making the calls last week, just as our furloughed employees began receiving weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation checks of $600 under the Cares Act.

The former workers, now professional couch potatoes, declined to return.

The starting wage for a line cook in one of our restaurants is $15 an hour. These cooks receive at least $1 an hour in tips, so at a minimum they make $16 an hour, or $640 before taxes for a 40-hour week. The overwhelming majority of our laid-off cooks qualified for Oregon unemployment compensation of 1.25% of their annual gross wages weekly, or $416 in our example. The extra $224 a week provides a strong incentive to return to work.

But as of this week, that same employee receives $1,016 a week, or $376 more than he made as a full time employee.

If people can make more by watching Netflix all day than they can by working, they will watch Netflix all day. A downside is that if people don’t work, they don’t generate wealth for the government to redistribute.

Even if the lockdown is lifted, ChefStable won’t be opening dining rooms before August 1. That’s when “the government stops paying people $15 an hour, on top of standard unemployment compensation, to stay home.”

Thank you, Wuhan coronavirus, for teaching us how welfare works.

On a tip from Varla.

Apr 06 2020

Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?

Moonbats say the incarceration rate proves that America is “racist” and less free than socialist dystopias like Cuba. As always, they are wrong. In the video below, Rafael Mangual gives the real reason for incarceration in the USA. It has to do with the people getting incarcerated having committed violent crimes.

Considering the level of violent crime out there, the incarceration rate is too low, not too high. Crime will not be reduced by letting the criminals run free, as New York has already learned.

If reducing the incarceration rate is the goal, rather than letting criminals loose only to have them return for future crimes, a more constructive approach would be to scale back the welfare state that sires them and stop undermining the traditional two-parent family.

On a tip from KirklesWorth.

Jan 25 2020

Open Thread

Can the real Constitution be restored? Probably not. Too many Americans depend on government money under programs the Constitution doesn't authorize, and money talks with an eloquence Shakespeare could only envy. Ignorant people don't understand The Federalist Papers, but they understand government checks with their names on them. - Joseph Sobran
Jan 22 2020

Open Thread

The results of the Great Society experiments started coming in and began showing that, for all its good intentions, the War on Poverty was causing irreparable damage to the very communities it was designed to help. - Charles Krauthammer
Nov 29 2019

How New York City Exports Its Welfare State

Put a left-wing punk in charge of a city and you don’t get government. You get a looting spree. New York City presents welfare state liberalism approaching the last extremes of extravagance:

From the tropical shores of Honolulu and Puerto Rico, to the badlands of Utah and backwaters of Louisiana, the Big Apple has sent local homeless families to 373 cities across the country with a full year of rent in their pockets as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Special One-Time Assistance [SOTA] Program.” Usually, the receiving city knows nothing about it.

Neither do taxpayers, or they would rebel. Oh wait, it’s right here in the newspaper, in a story dated last month, yet this is the first I’ve heard about it because no one is making a significant stink. New York taxpayers will never rebel, so long as they are being robbed blind in the name of moonbattery.

City taxpayers have spent $89 million on rent alone since the program’s August 2017 inception to export 5,074 homeless families — 12,482 individuals — to places as close as Newark and as far as the South Pacific, according to Department of Homeless Services [DHS] data obtained by The Post. Families who once lived in city shelters decamped to 32 states and Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, the city ostentatiously opens its doors to needy Third Worlders who are in the country illegally, freeing thousands of criminal illegal aliens, literally making the term “illegal alien” illegal lest it offend them, creating an ID card that helps them collect taxpayer-financed benefits, promising them free healthcare, moving toward granting them voting rights, et cetera.

The city also paid travel expenses, through a separate taxpayer-funded program called Project Reconnect, but would not divulge how much it spent. A Friday flight to Honolulu for four people would cost about $1,400. …

Add to the tab the cost of furnishings, which the city also did not disclose. One SOTA recipient said she received $1,000 for them.

Bureaucrats say this is actually cheaper than keeping them in city shelters. When the year is up, the lucky recipients will demand that taxpayers provide them with free housing again, but it will be someone else’s problem. Unless of course insanely generous welfare handouts draw them straight back to New York.

[H]undreds of the homeless families are returning to the five boroughs — and some are even suing NYC over being abandoned in barely livable conditions.

That is a characteristic means of expressing gratitude for handouts: sue for abandonment if the torrent of free money slows down.

DHS said 224 SOTA families have ended up back in New York City shelters.

But at least some of them are in other cities’ shelters.

On a tip from Varla.

Nov 25 2019

Academics Confirm Welfare Draws Immigrants

Does welfare draw vast numbers of unproductive people from the Third World, who then proceed to bloat welfare rolls? There are two ways to answer this crucial question: (1) apply common sense, which instantly produces the answer, “Yes, obviously”; or (2) pay academics to pull on their chins and conduct a study, which eventually produces the answer, “Yes, obviously.”

From a translation at Gates of Vienna of an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

Many refugees only make their way to Europe because they know that they can collect lavish social benefits here. This thesis is particularly persistent in the immigration debate — but this so-called “pull effect” of the welfare state is controversial in research.

It is controversial because some leftists fear that if they admitted they are forcing people to finance their own displacement, resistance could arise.

A group of researchers led by Princeton economist Henrik Kleven now counters this skepticism about the pull of a strong welfare state with hard figures from Denmark: According to the figures, there have been significantly fewer immigrants from countries outside the EU every year since the Danish government cut benefits specifically for migrants from this group.

Denmark goes back and forth on generous welfare benefits to immigrants, depending on whether the center-right or center-left is in power.

The effect the researchers found in the data was large. With the reduction in social benefits for non-EU nationals in 2002, net immigration from this immigrant group decreased by 5,000 persons per year compared to average annual migration movements before the change in the law. And that’s not all: when the centre-left government reversed the law, immigration figures from the affected group of countries immediately rose again — to almost the same level as before.

Fortunately, the center-right got back in and restored the welfare cuts.

Five thousand per year is a significant number when you consider that the population of Denmark is smaller than that of greater Houston (5.77 million vs 6.16 million). Plus, many of the immigrants who were already there sponging probably left for greener pastures when the benefits went down.

Tightening family reunification rules had a similar effect, causing immigrants in Denmark to move on to Sweden. Once again, the canary in coalmine of moonbattery loses.

On a tip from Dragon’s Lair.

Aug 05 2019

Reparations for Indians in Minnesota

When leftist demagogues like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren demand reparations for blacks, taxpayers can’t help but think of the $trillions already flushed down the welfare state. Likewise, Indians are already getting reparations from the white man — or rather, the taxpayer — at least in Minnesota:

The Minnesota Department of Human Services overpaid two American Indian tribes more than $25 million for substance abuse treatments covered by Medicaid…

Tribes have been getting reimbursed for in-person visits when actually the substance abusers take their medication at home.

Medicaid payments to tribal providers are fully funded by the federal government, with the state agency acting as an intermediary.

The overpayments have been going on for years.

The tribes say it is the state’s fault. I say it is the federal government’s fault. When you start handing out free money, it corrupts everyone.

On a tip from Don W.

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