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bighead384
02-16-2009, 04:34 PM
I'm looking for a good place to find statistics on welfare (or maybe you could just post the statistics). I was recently in a discussion about welfare, and while I tend to think welfare is great for people who need 1 or 2 years to get back on their feet, I lack statistics that support my belief that it is generally not abused.

Do too many people abuse the welfare system?

Is it common for people on welfare to refuse to take on more hours or work full-time because they want to sit at home and collect their check from the government? (I guess this one is less about statistics and more about understanding poverty as a whole and the mindset of those in poverty)

How common are long term welfare recipients?

Thanks in advance.

chicapowerpunk
02-16-2009, 04:50 PM
:confused:Well there are people who do not need welfare, but good, sorry but I have no idea where to get what you need.

wheelchairman
02-16-2009, 05:05 PM
It would be unlikely you could find any reliable statistics on this. I would say that the social leaches are relatively small compared to the group that uses it honestly.

But you also have to remember that even people who are 'honest' are probably trying to squeeze every penny of it. At least I would.

bighead384
02-16-2009, 05:30 PM
It would be unlikely you could find any reliable statistics on this. I would say that the social leaches are relatively small compared to the group that uses it honestly.

I think statistics on the percentage of people that stay on welfare for 3 years or longer would help determine the answer to this. It's hard to know for sure, but I'd say it's pretty safe to say that if you're on welfare for longer than 3 years, there's a decent chance you're abusing the system. That's not the case for EVERYONE who is on welfare for that long, but I'm sure that often times it is. I've been trying to Google this but I can't find anything.

wheelchairman
02-16-2009, 05:44 PM
It depends on how you define abuse.

Welfare covers a lot of thing from being unable to work mentally, physically, or not having jobs available in the area.

And those are all valid reasons for not being able to work. However you will have no idea what percentage of these reasons are in the statistic. You'll have no idea. And you have no percentage of which of these reasons are legitimately unable, or fudged a bit to get the label in the first place.

In fact that statistic will really tell you nothing.

Al Coholic
02-16-2009, 11:57 PM
What exactly constitutes abuse of the Welfare system? For example a buddy of mine collects unemployment. He could get a job, and work 30 hours a week, to make about as much as he does not working at all. Who in their right mind would do that? No, he opted instead to work under the table and collect both. Being broke enough he's going to spend all that money anyway, so its going right back into the economy. I think most people on unemployment either can't find a job or work under the table. The first isn't abusive at all, the second isn't really to me. The third kind, which I think are in the minority, are those that could work but choose not to because they'd rather do nothing. I think their in the minority not because of moral reasons, but economic. I doubt a majority of us(and our kids/dependants) can live well enough on unemployment.

There's countless little shades of gray like this, you can't accurately record stats of it.

T-6005
02-17-2009, 05:01 AM
In fact that statistic will really tell you nothing.

Per just described most of the applications of the field of statistics.

Jesus
02-17-2009, 08:55 AM
I think statistics on the percentage of people that stay on welfare for 3 years or longer would help determine the answer to this. It's hard to know for sure, but I'd say it's pretty safe to say that if you're on welfare for longer than 3 years, there's a decent chance you're abusing the system. That's not the case for EVERYONE who is on welfare for that long, but I'm sure that often times it is. I've been trying to Google this but I can't find anything.
well unemployment insurance is technically limited to 26 weeks, which can be extended a couple times for a certain amount of weeks under certain circumstances.... or changed into some other forms of welfare. So you probably won't find any data on it, regardless if it would be useful or not.

It obviously also depends on the general state of the economy, here's a graph of long term unemployment (over 27 weeks) in the US in thousands from 2000-2008:
http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/2981/lns13008636476001234881sz8.gif
It's not as if these people around late 2007 all of a sudden collectively decided to remain unemployment because they like it or like welfare, the overall state of the economy would be a better indicator.

Bipolar Bear
02-17-2009, 10:06 AM
I'm not against welfare, since it seems very necessary, despite its downsides and abusers. You just have to live with the abusers, I guess.

bighead384
02-17-2009, 10:55 AM
I'm kinda in the position where I'm seeing both sides to the argument and I'm not sure which side to take.

On one hand, I think: could we be doing more to prevent abusers? More regulations maybe? Tax payers shouldn't be paying for the thousands of people who are doing absolutely nothing to get a job for 3 or more years.

On the other hand, I understand the point of other perspectives as well. One of my professors once made the point that the US has been losing jobs ever since deindustrialization and so Bill Clinton's welfare reform was bad policy, because the people who got dropped from welfare aren't going to have any jobs to go to.

wheelchairman
02-17-2009, 11:17 AM
That but it also prevents that spiraling into destitution that can happen, it increases consumption which is something I believe the US economy could use.

Apparently Denmark for years had a perfect economy or something (this of course depends on the definition of perfect economy) or whatever, it's not important. Either way we have one of the most developed welfare states, AND the recession really hasn't hit us too hard.

bighead384
02-17-2009, 11:21 AM
That but it also prevents that spiraling into destitution that can happen, it increases consumption which is something I believe the US economy could use.

How exactly does it increase consumption? If you're in poverty and you get a check from the government, aren't you more likely to just pay bills with it?

wheelchairman
02-17-2009, 11:58 AM
How exactly does it increase consumption? If you're in poverty and you get a check from the government, aren't you more likely to just pay bills with it?

You're going to pay bills, you're going to do the groceries and all the other things you need to spend money on. (Paying bills is also consumption btw, and it allows the electricity company to keep on growing electricity!).

When you are poor you are far less likely to have it sit in a savings account somewhere. The point of consumption is to keep the money circulating.

So even if you pay the electric company, the electric company will then pay it's employee, this employee will go over and say "hey I like this product I am going to use my salary on it", then the money will go to the store, the store will pay it's employee who will likely continue the process. It's a good deal.