W E L F A R E R E F O R M
As I'm not sure you would have guessed or not...I agree with you. I think if a person, welfare recipient or not, is qualified for a job..they should be entitled to have it. Seems simple enough.
Hmm. Actually, I'm not too sure about this. "Entitled" to have a job?
A job is a resource; resources are limited; therefore there cannot be an entitlement to a job because it is impossible to guarantee a limited resource.
Too arcane? Try it this way: What happens when two people are qualified for the same job? Who gets the entitlement? Suppose there are 2500 people qualified to be CEO of Disney... will you insist that Michael Eisner share? How do you plan to convince him to do so? How do you explain to the employees that their jobs are gone because the CEOs couldn't make decisions in time to react to what the public wants from Disney?
What happens when there's no job meeting a particular individual's qualifications? If she's "entitled" to that job, then someone will have to create it. Either the government uses its power to tax to pay for a new government job, or else it uses its power to coerce some private industry to transfer some of its limited resources to create that job instead of doing something else, even though no market for that new job exists (otherwise it would already have been created).
It gets worse. Who decides who's "qualified?" If you're going to insist that everyone who's qualified for a job is entitled to have it, then it seems clear that you're going to need someone to determine qualifications and assign work. In a free market, employers are able to reject some applicants in favor of others. If they make stupid decisions, they fail, and the companies which can better provide for their employees survive.
But when it becomes impossible to reject any applicants because all are "entitled" to a job, then someone other than the employer must decide which qualifications fit which jobs. (Otherwise employers might "disqualify" applicants they didn't want.) So those who judge qualifications must be persons whose priority is not business success, but rather personal satisfaction. In other words, more businesses must fail in order to satisfy the notion of "entitlement" to a job.
Who benefits from that?
And one last point--who will qualify the qualifiers?
Does this not smack to you at all of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs?"
I'd say we've already traveled quite far enough down that road.
How would you suggest we get the welfare system back in order?
By relying on what works--the free market--instead of counting on the commissars to decide for individuals what is in their best interests.
As I've said before, it's not that private industry is wiser than particular individuals who have the power to direct the application of resources... it's that when power is diffuse (as in the market), unwise decisions do less harm than unwise decisions made by individuals with the power to affect millions of lives.
There's always this temptation to think that national economies require active direction from the enlightened, that without the wise and benevolent governance of centralized planning committees, and control boards, and commissariats, that resources will not be directed to where they "need" to be. This temptation is understandable... and it is mistaken. It should be resisted, in favor of what works better--markets that are free to reflect good decision-making.
Businesses thrive by growth. They need to hire good workers to grow. With the central planners and nanny-statists of our government off their backs, they could afford to grow... and hire far more than 10,000 people.
With the jobs there, there'd be no reason to allow welfare to continue to be a lifetime opportunity, rather than the temporary assistance rendered to individuals capable of looking out for their own best interests that it was always intended to be.
After their time limit, they [welfare recipients] either have to be working, or try to exist without any cash inflow..a sure ticket to death by disease, exposure, or starvation. Of course that solution has the advantage of eliminating surplus people without the stigma of death camps; but since the outcome is the same, I am not sure there is any genuine moral distinction.
Interesting... so because I believe that humans are remarkable beings, capable of creating work for themselves if necessary, I'm the moral twin of the Nazis firing the ovens at Dachau, is that it?
I will say this: I agree with you that cutting people off of the welfare rolls without making provision for their employment is wrong. It hurts people; it's bad policy, whether cast by Republicans, Democrats, whatever.
That said, I do not agree with your next statement, that we must "find jobs for" persons coming off of welfare by forcing employers to hire them or else let them die. Yes, there should be jobs available to those who wish to work... but "force" is not the only answer--only the easiest.
The right answer is unfortunately much harder: Get the government out of business. The centralized, hierarchical command structure is what you need when you're at war with an external foe... but that is precisely the wrong approach to dealing with internal economic choices of law-abiding individual citizens. It is not the proper business of government to "protect" individuals from everything under the sun, including unemployment. That is nothing more or less than a pretext to gain power over individual choice.
It's not just stupidly counter-productive--it's wrong.
We don't need to create a new army of "welfare worker support teams" to open up jobs. We can do better by cutting out the ever-increasing legal threats to businesses that force them to hire squads of their own lawyers--just in case. We can do better by dumping the countless "thou shalt" laws which require even small businesses to dance to some petty official's tune ("Can you prove that you've hired a sufficient number of minorities...WHERE ARE YOUR PAPERS, CITIZEN?!") We can do better by reforming the IRS which penalizes the self-employed with harrassing tactics such as audits, unfair tax burdens, and quarterly paperwork filing requirements; this would let more people start their own businesses instead of waiting on a handout from some megacorporation (or Uncle Sam).
Your choice. Hope you can live with the results.
We've been living with the results of an insanely harmful welfare system that pays people not to work. I think we all deserve better.