Getting something for nothing generally never ends well as seems to be played out annually in America with more and more people choosing to subsist on government benefits rather than finding a job or making themselves better equipped to maintain an income in the job market.
It seems to be the case that unemployment will last forever and food is free in the current environment with no sign of change coming anytime soon. All of that has to be paid for by someone eventually though and without a way to either pay back into the pool so to speak or eventually work some people out of the system the price tag is getting pretty steep.
According to an article found on statisticbrain.com that cites its source as coming directly from the Department of Health and Human Services 12,800,000 people in America currently receive welfare assistance with an additional 46,700,000 people on food stamps. To put that into perspective the number of people on food stamps alone almost equals the total population of the US Midwest.
Now I realize that some people do need these services, I also realize that some people may have to be on some of these things indefinitely eg: people with disabilities. However, a large percentage of people are clearly taking advantage of the system.
One solution to discourage abuse, as well as possibly help pay one’s way in the system, may be to require able bodied people who get benefits after a determined time to do a certain amount of community service work each week to qualify for the assistance they receive.
These positions could include everything from school crossing guards to cooking lunches at community schools to helping maintain the city’s dog pound to picking up trash along the highways and city streets.
These are all currently paid positions that one could do for the benefits one currently receives for nothing. The jobs that could be filled through the “work for benefits” programs would eventually be saving local, and eventually national, government’s money.
It would also help “convince” some of the individuals who would take advantage of long term benefits currently offered because if one has to work either way, one would probably rather be in charge of their all of their own finances rather than relying on government handouts and would be more motivated to find a job rather than simply working for food.