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Author Topic: Welfare: What is it? What's it for?
pokey
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posted 14 June 2002 10:26 PM      Profile for pokey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, here in Quebec, the PQ has just announced a plan for a guaranteed minimum income. People with children and people with a part-time job that are having trouble making ends meet may be able toq ualify.Le Devoir Editorial about it.

Some antipoverty activsts, of course, condemned the measures are not going far enough, but don't seem to be able to articulate how people on welfare should be encouraged to move into the workforce. I justdon't understand where thay are coming from.

So let's have it: what is welfare supposed to be? Should people be allowd to live on it their entire lives?


From: Quebec | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
agent007
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posted 14 June 2002 10:31 PM      Profile for agent007     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So let's have it: what is welfare supposed to be? Should people be allowd to live on it their entire lives?

pokey, YOU will NOT want to "live on it" your entire life.

That's not living. It's a mere sub-subsistence ... an insult to our rich country.


From: Niagara Falls ON | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 14 June 2002 11:51 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Should people be allowed to live on welfare?
Allowed?
If there are no jobs that pay enough to live on, what are the alternatives?

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 15 June 2002 12:56 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Welfare was designed to be a temporary support program used when people cannot find work or cannot work for some reason. Today there is a major shortage of jobs in many areas of Canada. Therefore, more people need welfare. The problem in part is that welfare and the programs connected with it no longer help people to upgrade their skills or find jobs the way it was originally designed to do. The low amount of money given leaves people hungry in the majority of cases, does not provide for transportation money for job searching, does not help with child care, and actually discourages people, especially women with young children, from doing anything that will let them get ahead.

In some areas, a program has been started to try to assist mothers to find a way to cover expenses and still upgrade themselves in some way because the government isn't even providing enough money to pay rent and food, much less to try to look for work. I haven't had a chance to look into the details because it's fairly new but the subject was brought up during the Women and the Law Conference I attended in March. I personally did not attend the workshop on this subject as I was attending the other women's poverty workshop that was held at the same time.

While I admit that a small percentage of people cheat the system, I also must point out that those are not usually the ones being investigated for fraud. People who are actually working on getting an education or take on part-time jobs for learning purposes are being penalized for this. The amount a person on welfare is allowed to keep from earnings has been reduced to a very small amount and, in my opinion, these earnings should be allowed to be kept to help with the costs of job searching or starting a new job. The government obviously doesn't see it that way.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
pokey
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posted 15 June 2002 12:59 AM      Profile for pokey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oops. I should clarify: single moms and people who are unable to work need this. I think they need more help, not less.

But why, exactly, should a 24 year old healthy male be allowed to simply throw in the towel?

Lots of people say that welfare doesn't work, but I really don't understand what it is supposed to be for.


From: Quebec | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 15 June 2002 01:21 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pokey, I tried to explain what welfare is for, the problem is that the original reason and the help it gave people has changed over the years and isn't giving the recipients what they need any more. I didn't think you were totally against it. Someone able to work and just having trouble needs help to reeducate themselves so they can find a job, they don't need to end up having lower self-esteem than they already have by being condemned before they do any wrong. That is what is happening now. The healthy 24-year old male may need a leg up, the same as anyone else and should not even want to stay on this lower-than-poverty-level line for any longer than is necessary. If the system were to provide real training opportunities and help, a lot fewer people would "throw in the towel". Ask some specific questions and I'll be glad to answer.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ReeferMadness
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posted 15 June 2002 02:46 AM      Profile for ReeferMadness     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My views on welfare are:
1) Welfare recipients are so poorly regarded by society that we take more away from them (in terms of self respect) than we give to them. I pity anyone who is forced to rely on welfare. I remember going through some hard times in the early 80's in Alberta during the recession. I only stayed off the streets on account of the kindness of relatives. Nonetheless, it never even occurred to me to go to welfare. People (myself included at the time) so looked down on welfare recipients, I'd have cheerfully frozen death on the streets of Edmonton before I'd have gone to the welfare office.

2) The idea that only welfare recipients are dependent on society and people who either work or have lots of money are independent is a myth. We are all dependent on society for our standard of living. The differences are in the amount we draw out (the money we spend) and the amount we put in (although economics only seems to recognize effort that is paid). It may be true that there are lots of welfare recipients that don't contribute a lot but it's also true they don't take a lot either. On the flip side, there are certainly ways (inheritance, speculation) to get rich without contributing anything to society and I've really come to question the way the "free market" distributes incomes.

3) Western societies seem to be addicted to the idea that everyone needs to "work". There is no read definition of "work" except that it's something that someone will pay you for. Never mind that there is certainly a lot of "work" that is done that brings questionable value to society (think day traders, stock promoters, speculators of all types, salespeople, advertising and marketing, lawyers all of the labour that goes into producing shoddy goods).

My view is that if we all re-evaluated our wants, took steps to ensure that goods produced are of high quality, and looked hard at the minimum amount of labour to meet our needs, we could get off of the consumerism kick and stop fixating on work. Then welfare recipients wouldn't bother us so much.

BTW, just to head off the usual stereotypical assumptions towards people who hold views like mine:
- I have never collected welfare or UIC
- I have spent roughly equal amounts of time working in the private and public sectors
- I have a decent paying job that I more or less enjoy


From: Way out there | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tom Moore
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posted 15 June 2002 03:35 AM      Profile for Tom Moore   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"...if we all re-evaluated our wants..."
Right there you hit the nail on the head. What exactly are one's 'wants' vs. actual needs? Do we need everthing wrapped up in 3 layers of packaging or a styrofoam wrapped burger at our beck and call as we drive our cars through? Does Pontiac really build excitement? What I consider needed is, as you have stated, a re-evaluation of lifestyle, a re-thinking of our fundamental needs as opposed to our media/advertising-conditioned wants. Now , I admit that some would decry this as a departure from the topic at hand (idem est: welfare), but strictly speaking we all indulge in the 'Amerikan Dream', insofar as our north american lifestyles are concerned. Peut etre now is the time to educate our children that this is NOT a cool way to live, somehow to make everyone see that in reality it's ridiculously UNCOOL to be a consumer. Did you ever hear that if the whole population of our world were Canadian, it would take 14 earths to support us? Gives one pause..

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: Tom Moore ]

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: Tom Moore ]


From: location, location.. | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 15 June 2002 05:45 AM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
Do we really need a computer and a BBS?
Or TV/vcrs/dvd players/cell phones.

How basic shall we get, how basic should wefare get?

Those that are capable of working that are on welfare should do something, they should be retrained and at the very least made to volunteer.

Those that are permanently and severely disabled should recieve the benefits that they require without exception.
Perhaps those on welfare that are capable of workimg could be trained to care for the elderly, injured and disabled.

An no I've never heard that statement concerning Canada.


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 15 June 2002 06:59 AM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As I had to point out on the Progressive Taxation thread in Ask The Rabble Rousers, the vast majority of the unemployed have been forced into their position by economic policy.

It's a valid point that able-bodied people are languishing on welfare (they like it even less than you do) but they are not to blame. Yes, these people should be and could be employed, but only through the loosening of tight money economics can this happen. The poor can't make jobs appear no matter how many times they re-write their resumes. Only the government can do this.

Welfare fulfills a pertinent need in society that is unfortunately swollen to massive proportions by our corrupt elites. A guaranteed annual income combined with full employment strategies would provide for the citizens in hard times and allow them to rise above assistance in the good.

(lately I always feel like I'm chanelling Dr.Conway )


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
bellows
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posted 15 June 2002 08:18 AM      Profile for bellows     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
All able bodied man or woman on welfare should be trained or educated to get a half decent job.If they refuse to do this than they should be cut off. Don't tell me there are no jobs out there, of course there is. Hard labour jobs,such as in the oil fields, construction work etc.etc., but it seems no one wants to work hard these days, why is this?. Maybe they are just lazy, or a girl friend they can't leave, maybe they have it to good at home,free food, free board. Something has to be done, hard working people should not have to support someone who don't want to work.
From: Corner Brook | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 15 June 2002 08:37 AM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's a valid point that able-bodied people are languishing on welfare (they like it even less than you do) but they are not to blame. Yes, these people should be and could be employed, but only through the loosening of tight money economics can this happen. The poor can't make jobs appear no matter how many times they re-write their resumes. Only the government can do this.

I have a worksite right now, Can't find drywallers, floor installers or carpenters. Sure these are skilled trades, but able bodied people can learn them and could get jobs. When we needed general labourers for demolition it was a bit easier but we still could not find as many as we needed.

P.S. The goverrnment can't do shit.

This thread always ignores the segment of welfare recipients who are service resistant and/or able bodied. These people should be addressed differently than those welfare recipients who need help.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 15 June 2002 08:38 AM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm always surprised for some reason at the amount of people who just can't seem to grasp the concept that or wonder great big free society is built upon the NEED for there to be fewer jobs than there are workers.

Or entire economy is based on a pyramid of the few at the top being kept there by the many at the bottom. Those that keep singing the party line of "you could work if you wanted to" remind me of the serfs who could never see point of someone trying to "reach beyond thier station" the system hurts you too and yet you rush to defend it.

What about all the work that is no longer done or considered neccesary? the poets? the philosphers?
What about all the unpaid unrecognized labour of women raising children? caring for the elderly?

Somehow people have bought into the idea that if it doesn't line someone elses pocket it isn't work.

Even in real terms of money spent the poor contribute more than is acknowledged. The fastest growing businesses are those that place the poor in further poverty, pawn shops, payday loans, bank fees.

Poverty is not something people aspire to, welfare is not a prestigious way to earn income. Why don't we just keep off the backs of the poor and start focusing on the ones who are really responsible for the denigration of our society and economy like the politicians and the corporate welfare bums?


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 15 June 2002 08:55 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What are the alternatives?

1. Train/retrain welfare recipients to 'get a half-decent job'.
Result: twice as many qualified people competing for the same number of half-decent jobs. Wages decline; job security dereases even farther; all sick-leave and vacation cancelled; employers demand even more work from each employee, thus hire fewer workers; UI is cut off even sooner. More people on welfare than before, only some of them are not the same people.

2. Workfare or mandatory volunteering (cute)
Result: employers replace paid, qualified workers with unpaid, unskilled ones. Quality of work declines; then, see 1.

3. Put unemployed/unemployable/lazy bums in the poorhouse.
Result: A brief decline in unemployment stats, while the poorhouses are under construction. Therefore, do this in the last quarter before an election: looks good in the papers.

4. Cut off welfare and let them live in the street. The ones who refuse to starve politely and steal to survive can be thrown in jail after.
Result: More expensive than welfare by a factor of 10, but you'll only catch about 1 in 10 anyway; therefore, no net loss. (Actually, a net gain, because the private companies that bid successfully to build the extra prisons will make a profit and possibly increase their campaign contributions.)

5. Job-sharing; infrastructure building; no-interest funding for community initiatives; tax breaks for micro business; environmental clean-up; rehabilitation of maimed public services.
Not bloody likely!

6. Re-evaluation of needs, production and method; fair distribution; fair taxation; repatriation of industry from the Orient and Mexico.
Unthinkable.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
pokey
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posted 15 June 2002 10:27 AM      Profile for pokey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Trisha,

Thank you for a considered and articulate response.

Welfare seems like a trap. After a few years of nothing to do all day, lots of people seem to lose all the skills needed to keep a job. Just handing people money doesn't work. I think most people can agree on that.

So, why are so many antipoverty activists against worfare programs and linking benefits to finishing high school? Yes, the safety net is a right, why should it be a right without obligation?

Questioning whether welfare works or not is not poor bashing. Life's more complicated than that.


From: Quebec | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 15 June 2002 10:29 AM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What are the alternatives?
1. Train/retrain welfare recipients to 'get a half-decent job'.
Result: twice as many qualified people competing for the same number of half-decent jobs. Wages decline; job security dereases even farther; all sick-leave and vacation cancelled; employers demand even more work from each employee, thus hire fewer workers; UI is cut off even sooner. More people on welfare than before, only some of them are not the same people.

THis would not explain why I can't find a drywaller, carpenter right now.
Result: Hogwash

quote:

2. Workfare or mandatory volunteering (cute)
Result: employers replace paid, qualified workers with unpaid, unskilled ones. Quality of work declines; then, see 1.

What evidence do you have of this result????

quote:

3. Put unemployed/unemployable/lazy bums in the poorhouse.
Result: A brief decline in unemployment stats, while the poorhouses are under construction. Therefore, do this in the last quarter before an election: looks good in the papers.

No such thing. Never proposed etc...

quote:

4. Cut off welfare and let them live in the street. The ones who refuse to starve politely and steal to survive can be thrown in jail after.
Result: More expensive than welfare by a factor of 10, but you'll only catch about 1 in 10 anyway; therefore, no net loss. (Actually, a net gain, because the private companies that bid successfully to build the extra prisons will make a profit and possibly increase their campaign contributions.)

Again never proposed. simply a implication that somewhere someone wants this.

quote:

5. Job-sharing; infrastructure building; no-interest funding for community initiatives; tax breaks for micro business; environmental clean-up; rehabilitation of maimed public services.
Not bloody likely!

Job-sharing against human nature. Every other item already happening but limit to the money tree which you think gives endless money. This still does not address service resistant people, substance abuse, education or psychological problems among one portion of welfare recipients.

quote:

6. Re-evaluation of needs, production and method; fair distribution; fair taxation; repatriation of industry from the Orient and Mexico.
Unthinkable.

"repatriation of industry from orient and mexico?" Distribute more of our poverty there is your answer???

NDP had a fair tax commission in 1991. Results, we're already being taxed fairly.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
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posted 15 June 2002 11:02 AM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just to point out an aspect that is kind of obvious but not mentioned to much is that the poor in Toronto or any large city have different circumstances than those in smaller cities and towns around the country.

In Toronto there is alot more opportunity than there is in say, North Bay. But there is also more compatition for the same decent jobs.
As well other factors include housing and cost of living expenses.

In Toronto I think you have a better chance of meeting people who get welfare, pan handle and or work under the table at the same time than you would in a smaller community.

I think one of the problems is that some people just don't know which direction to take or where to start putting things in order to get out of poverty. As well going from welfare to working full time is a big change is lifestyle. Often those big changes can become complicated and confusing.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 15 June 2002 11:20 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dear Willy - The original Le Devoir article quoted at the beginning of this thread addresses this problem. The idea is to allow welfare recipients to earn income up to the poverty line without losing all their benefits. Remember, these aren't just the little cheque but often things such as dental benefits, access to social services, perhaps even public housing.

I find Markbo's problem depends on a slightly different social problem - the lack of valorisation of skilled trades and vocational education among young people looking for a career. I'm 48 years old and certainly able to work and hope to be able to for at least a good 20 -25 years more (no pensions for freelancers...) but have arthritis in an ankle and could not reasonably retrain for the physical jobs he mentions. This is the case for a lot of folks who are no longer young. Here in Quebec anyway the government is making an effort to promote skilled trades among young people so that vocational education is no longer seen as a catch-all without the marks for university.

I belong to a tenants' association in my neighbourhood and a lot of the people on welfare are actually former workers, some have fallen ill or had a work accident that they did not get CSST coverage for. Another category includes refugees and immigrants, in many cases highly educated, whose overseas experience and diplomas are not recognised here. Of course there are also what would be called the "hard-core unemployed" - often people with mental or behavioural problems. Community centres and appropriate housing can often make a major positive change in their lives, but some may never be able to work, even if work is available - far from the case here in Montreal.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 15 June 2002 11:35 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
THis would not explain why I can't find a drywaller, carpenter right now.
Result: Hogwash

You were planning to offer how many drywallers, tapers and carpenters a permanent job, with regular wages, overtime pay, OHIP, vacation and sick leave?

I suspect you were looking for contractors.
Okay. Get the government to recognize the need for these skills, pass the paperwork through channels, get the funding approved, line up the place and instructors - say a year. Recruit fifty able-bodied (very able-bodied, as these are physically demanding jobs) welfare recipients for the course. Train them for six months.

Then, they need to buy tools and equipment, a reliable truck, since most clients expect the contractor to supply materials (Bank loan? Haw, haw!).

Even if, by this time, you still haven't found somebody to do the work, what do you actually need? Maybe six people for maybe six weeks.
Then what?


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 15 June 2002 12:48 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, people. We seem to be heading for the same old merry go round and we don't need to. We can't solve the problem the government has set up but we can at least try to understand the situation as it really is.

First, very few welfare recipients would not accept any job, as long as it left them enough income to live on and cover their children's needs. This has been been made harder by the lack of affordable housing, high costs of utilities and transportation, less access to medical and preventative needs, etc. I'm sure none of you will deny this. There is lots of proof.

Second, lack of child care stops many single parents from being able to work. How can you pay the high prices demanded for this care on a very low-paying job? As Earthmother pointed out, motherhood and family care is no longer respected. Work is considered only earning money outside the home, even if it isn't enough to take care of anyone. Women, especially single parents, are dumped on, accused of a lot of things they don't do, expected to find a man to support them and called tramps for trying or expected to live on next to nothing in sub-standard housing and even if they do work, are kept on the lowest rungs of the human food chain. Are you aware that Workfare in Thunder Bay has forced young women to have to pay a babysitter for their own children in order to go and babysit someone else's children? Does this make sense to you? They aren't paid extra to pay this babysitter with either. So their income is shorted by an amount needed for groceries for their families to satisfy some rich person's idea of what they should be doing. Then they wonder why children are unable to learn and to break the cycle. They are like this because they are starved to the point that it effects them physically and mentally.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 15 June 2002 01:23 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Continuation of above post....I hope you don't mind.

Workfare programs are designed to keep people in the poverty loop but make it look like someone is trying to help them. If this program was really designed to help people to better themselves or provide some sort of real work experience, I wouldn't say this. Most of the workfare jobs will never lead to money-earning jobs. Sadly, the majority of them are babysitting or housecleaning or other unskilled type labour. All this does is let someone not have to pay for unskilled labour, it doesn't help the person made to do the job.

Literacy testing is only good for the illiterate, but government is willing to spend money to test people who have held very good jobs that have disappeared. This I don't agree with. They would be better off providing real training programs instead of the stupid "start your own business" or the useless jobsearch programs they offer now. Neither have a realistic alternative for the volume of people that need the help. Also, many older people have had their jobs disappear. Finishing high school at this point is not good enough, they need real retraining to get new jobs. Why won't the government let these people go into training for things like drywalling and carpenter, these jobs may be seasonal and sporadic but they pay better than slinging hamburgers or driving a taxi.

Disability is structured in such a way that many people who should be on it are not accepted so are left on welfare and treated as if they're not sick at all. This is wrong. Again, the very small percentage of cheaters does not justify leaving those who legitimately need the service without it. If the government would allow all disabled or ill people to be supported properly, there would be fewer on welfare itself. This could solve a few problems.

Nonesuch voiced a good alternative, but it needs to apply to more than just the jobs mentioned. Why not train people in retail, commercial, etc. The problem is, if the person goes to school on their own, they are considered attempting to fraud. The government needs to design a REALISTIC living wage that allows people to go to school or retrain without being in danger of this. They also need to set up a loan program for needed tools, etc. as well as childcare, clothing allowances, etc. for job searching and for the first while on the job, along with a reasonable payback plan based on the person's earnings once employed and taking into account living expenses and working expenses.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 15 June 2002 01:34 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Workfare programs are designed to keep people in the poverty loop but make it look like someone is trying to help them.

Most of the workfare jobs will never lead to money-earning jobs.


What data do you have to support these assumptions? or are they simply your beliefs based on no supporting facts whatsoever??

Welfare reforms in many U.S. states have yeilded results however. You can give many outside factors contributing to the lower welfare rolls but nonetheless you cannot give any evidence that increasing welfare payments and eligibility has ever resulted in a reduction in recipients. There simply isn't any.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 15 June 2002 01:50 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Markbo, the data is just beginning to come out that a lot of the Workfare jobs are volunteer positions or dead-end jobs. It will be a while before enough data is available to prove it. You'll just have to look into it as best you can in your city for now. The way I see it, as long as employers don't have to pay their workers, they will take advantage of it.

Reducing welfare benefits hasn't helped anyone either. Dropping training programs also hasn't helped. Stopping people from getting further education hasn't helped. Getting rid of child care assistance hasn't helped. Starving people, especially children, hasn't helped. Making people homeless hasn't helped. There is no way that welfare should be considered a permanent income in the majority of cases, but it should be a help, a leg up to self-sufficiency. When the routes to self-sufficiency are not there, nobody benefits.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 15 June 2002 02:30 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The welfare debate is too deep for me but I do recall a statistic about the “poor” that is revealing if true (I don’t remember where I heard it but it should be easy to check). In the US if you: (i) don’t get into drugs, (ii) don’t have a child out-of-wedlock, and (iii) graduate from high school, you are 98% certain to never live in poverty.
From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 15 June 2002 03:00 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The welfare debate is too deep for me but I do recall a statistic about the “poor” that is revealing if true (I don’t remember where I heard it but it should be easy to check). In the US if you: (i) don’t get into drugs, (ii) don’t have a child out-of-wedlock, and (iii) graduate from high school, you are 98% certain to never live in poverty

Yes because then sickness and disease will never befall you.

You will never have anything catastrophic like fire, flood, serious accident.

There will be no chance that one of the breadwinners in the family will die without insurance or without adequate insurance.

Your job will be secure for the rest of your life with adequate benefits and cost of living increases.

Ah ya know the hell of it is that some people actually believe this crap.


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ReeferMadness
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posted 15 June 2002 03:08 PM      Profile for ReeferMadness     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Money is not real; it's an abstraction that is supposed to reflect reality. It doesn't do a very good job - which is why there are so many ways to make money that don't involve satisfying real needs or creating goods.

Yet, our reliance on money has made it very real to us; so real that we prefer it to the physical world. Everyone claims to be interested in protecting the environment upon which all life depends; but in most cases that interest only holds to the point where it costs a significant amount of money.

It is our fixation on money that causes us to see poor people as problems that will be "fixed" when we put them to work in paying jobs.

It's interesting that we get monthly updates from Statistics Canada on the unemployment rate. It's as if everyone who is employed suddenly has no problems.

Does getting welfare workers into low paying jobs fix more problems than it solves? Who can know? The only statistics that seem to be regularly reported are unemployment rates and GDP numbers.

quote:
The significant problems we face cannot be resolved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: ReeferMadness ]

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: ReeferMadness ]


From: Way out there | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 15 June 2002 03:09 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And of course MARRIED spouses with children are never abandoned by their better half...
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 15 June 2002 06:31 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'll just have to repeat myself from the thread I referred to above.

The government assumes a "natural" rate of unemployment of roughly 7-8%, over two million Canadians, that it is dangerous to be under. If the number of jobless individuals somehow drops below this arbitrary (and shockingly large) number, they immediately raise interest rates in order to bring the rate of unemployment back up to the 7-8% range.

Get it now? It is deliberate and systematic. They are intent on maintaining this huge mass of idle citizens, not just in a vauge ideological way, but in a concrete, cause and effect way. If too many poor people suddenly become super motivated to improve their station, the elites respond immediately and get immediate results. They hammer at the economy until these upstarts are shown their place, or, if they are stubborn, until someone else fills this unemployment niche.

Because there are apparently not enough disabled people to complete this magic number, the able-bodied are made to fill up the difference. Yes, one individual can rise above this. Theoretically, a hundred thousand can, but if they do, another hundred thousand must be driven out of work to satisfy this economic policy.

This is why poor sods who are perfectly able to work are forced onto welfare and have their lives' hopes and aspirations crushed. It is a clear result of government policy.

As for your problem, Markbo, I would say that the reason you can't find a drywall/carpenter is because it's summer, when all the construction happens. Training people in these fields will do no good, because while the ready pool of labour in these fields is sometimes insufficient for four months of the year, it is usually well oversaturated for the remaining months.

As well, it takes many years to become competent in these fields. I myself worked as a construction assistant for more than four years, on and off (it's the nature of the business) and would still be hesitant to take on any big or tricky projects without some more experienced help.

Welfare recipients cannot set policy and can do very little to improve their prospects for employment in a society that wants them jobless. Government, of course, has every power to help them, but uses that power to grind them underfoot. A shame that so many of their fellow citizens would rather deflect the blame to them instead of addressing the real causes of their situation.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 15 June 2002 06:40 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Money is not real; it's an abstraction that is supposed to reflect reality. It doesn't do a very good job - which is why there are so many ways to make money that don't involve satisfying real needs or creating goods.

You will never get meaningful dialogue on this. People like to drag out statistics on how many dollars have gone toward this, how many dollars that might cost and how many dollars the other shouldn't get. They're not keen on figuring out WHAT is wrong and WHAT needs doing, in simple, non-fiscal terms. Basic principles are not popular subjects; superficial details are.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 15 June 2002 07:03 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If the number of jobless individuals somehow drops below this arbitrary (and shockingly large) number, they immediately raise interest rates in order to bring the rate of unemployment back up to the 7-8% range.
I don’t know about Canada but Greenspan and such respond to inflation, not unemployment, when setting monetary policy. Granted, some of the old school just assumes that low employment numbers equate to inflation, sooner or later, but when the facts proved otherwise, they adjusted. The record is clear, unemployment is not the determining factor; it’s inflation. If there’s no inflation and [pick your unemployment number], there will be no throttle-back from the Fed.

Squelching inflation is more essential because if the money your given for your hard worked labor ain’t worth anything, everything is lost; for everybody, not just the unemployed. Your Us and Them analysis is wanting; to me anyway.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 15 June 2002 07:28 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SHH - Jacob is right. Documented an'all.
Dr. Conway has (several times) explained exactly how this works, and to whose benefit and why.

My explanation is shorter and more brutal.
It is necessary to have a lot of people unemployed and dirt poor, so that the workers don't get uppity. As long they're insecure and frightened, they will compete for rotten, underpaid jobs; they won't demand better conditions. This is good for employers. Anything big business likes isn't gonna change - except to more, much more, of the same.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 15 June 2002 07:31 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The welfare debate is too deep for me but I do recall a statistic about the “poor” that is revealing if true (I don’t remember where I heard it but it should be easy to check). In the US if you: (i) don’t get into drugs, (ii) don’t have a child out-of-wedlock, and (iii) graduate from high school, you are 98% certain to never live in poverty.

I guess that's only the US. I've never done drugs, my son was conceived and born during my marriage, and I've graduated from high school. I've lived in poverty before, and that was after graduating from high school, before getting married, and before having children, and having never done drugs.

Maybe I'm one of the 2%.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
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posted 15 June 2002 07:44 PM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Welfare reforms in many U.S. states have yeilded results however.

How is this relevant to the welfare system in Canada? There isn't federal welfare that I know of only provincial for rural and small towns and municipal for larger cities. All of them are different in what they alot from province to province.

So what may work for one place doesn't mean it will work for all places.

There are places for people to get industrial training that is supported by the government. As well there are many local resource centres that have all sorts of assistance programs that help with resumes, interviews, training, job hunting, refferals and other things.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 15 June 2002 08:20 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
How is this relevant to the welfare system in Canada? There isn't federal welfare that I know of only provincial for rural and small towns and municipal for larger cities. All of them are different in what they alot from province to province.

So what may work for one place doesn't mean it will work for all places.


Yeah but its a helluva good place to start. Or would you rather start with methods that have actually been proven not to help????

quote:
As for your problem, Markbo, I would say that the reason you can't find a drywall/carpenter is because it's summer, when all the construction happens. Training people in these fields will do no good, because while the ready pool of labour in these fields is sometimes insufficient for four months of the year, it is usually well oversaturated for the remaining months.

You figure that because a trade doesn't guarantee 12 monts of work that why waste time even working 4-6 months. Hell They can get welfare, why bother even trying to work part of the year.

Thats such a bullshit excuse. Its also completely false. Show me welfare recipients that can drywall and work carpentry and I'll make them former welfare recipients.

That is completely not the problem. The problem is that either they are unwilling to learn a trade or unable. If their unable then they need our help, if they're unwilling then they need some other type of help.

P.S. before you demonize me and villify me, I completely understand and appreciate that 90%+ are unable. But what about the < %10

But then we have to look at the reasons regarding why they're unable. Again probably 90% + have difficult if not impossible to solve reasons. But what about the < 10%

ANd the ones that are difficult to solve but not impossible, what about them.

THe ones who are left over, well they'll now have quite a bit more resources available to them.

You just don't want to deal with the ones we can help. You want to categorize them all as unhelpable. Handouts only.

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: Markbo ]

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: Markbo ]


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 15 June 2002 08:28 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
SHH - Jacob is right. Documented an'all.
Dr. Conway has (several times) explained exactly how this works, and to whose benefit and why.
My explanation is shorter and more brutal.
It is necessary to have a lot of people unemployed and dirt poor, so that the workers don't get uppity. As long they're insecure and frightened, they will compete for rotten, underpaid jobs; they won't demand better conditions. This is good for employers. Anything big business likes isn't gonna change - except to more, much more, of the same.


nonesuch: Although hungry workers are seemingly good for the employer and wage suppression I’ve never met a business owner that even vaguely suggested this was a good situation. Every situation has its trade-offs. Pissed off and desperate employees are, in any practical sense, a thing to avoid.

Michelle: You may be the US version of the 2%, but I don’t think so. Your obvious intelligence, as evidenced by your writing abilities, and perseverance, say otherwise. What very little I know about you makes me think that 20 years from now, you and your son will be just fine; more than fine actually. Forgive me if I seem too personal in these comments; but I mean them most sincerely.

I must now cook for my guests, good night all!


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 15 June 2002 09:12 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One of the underlying assumptions in this thread seems to be that there are a large number of employable welfare recipients who simply do not want to work.

It's not true.

I don't have stats for other provinces, but in BC the average employable welfare applicant collects benefits for only 3 months. More than 1/3 of all employable applicants collect benefits for only 1 month. Fewer than 10% of applicants collect for more than 12 months.

That number could probably be reduced if the welfare system provided funding for workers in areas of high unemployment to move to areas where unemployment is low. But it doesn't. Long-term recipients in many cases are trapped in towns where there is no work, but are receiving too little money to move.

In BC, as well, recipients are taxed 100% on every dollar they earn from part-time employment. So there is no incentive for a welfare recipient to take a part-time or temporary job. Neither is there any funding available to cover clothing, transportation and other work-related expenses that a newly-hired welfare recipient must pay before receiving his first pay cheque.

There is evidence, BTW, that reducing welfare benefits actually increases the length of time recipients collect, and reduce the quality of the jobs they eventually find. That isn't completely counter-intuitive. It costs money to look for work. If you have less money, you can't pursue as effective a search for work, and end up taking lower-paying jobs.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 16 June 2002 01:45 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Terry has it right, the system itself stops a lot of people from being able to find work the way it is set up now.

Markbo, I know of at least three trained and experienced construction workers who have been living in the emergency shelter for the winter in town here. Jobs have been scarce.

Most people end up poor as a result of conditions they can't control such as job loss or illness or a shortage of good-paying jobs. It can happen to anyone, regardless of education or their personal work ethic. Getting people into low paying jobs still leaves them poor and more prone to eventually ending up on welfare when those jobs disappear and there is little work available.

Willy, most of these programs are either limited or have been abolished, others are simply not among the things the poor are told about. I know for certain that the offices that used to help with job searches and resumes have been pulled out of many towns. Also, some of the programs you mentioned were temporary to start with and only used to try to make the government look good. Very few people were able to take advantage of them.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 01:52 AM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
Jobs are scare regionally.

Here in Edmonton Burger King has a sign out front advertising jobs, nay begging for workers at 9 dollars an hour, they can't get people.

Same at Tim Horton's, they can't get night shift workers.

In Fort McMurray MacDonald's has 500 dollar incentives if you work extra shits and they are paying near 12 dollars per hour.


People need to move where the jobs are, if you want a job there are many.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North ]


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 16 June 2002 02:07 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And after people move and still don't find work, what do they do? Plus, who pays for the move when they already have no real income? There are many people in Toronto, as earlier threads have pointed out, who have gone there looking for work and ended up on the streets. Also, people leaving a province lose their benefits and can't get help in the new province immediately. It would be nice if the government would make some sort of allowance to help people to move to where there are jobs. That would solve a few problems for sure.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 02:14 AM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
Indeed it would and it would solve some regional problems.
From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 16 June 2002 02:19 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it would also prove that a lot more people are willing to work than people think. We still get people coming to Thunder Bay looking for jobs and getting stuck here because there are so few. I'm sure the bigger cities are having the same things happen. Jobs may be advertised but out of 100 applicants, only one gets a job.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 02:39 AM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
Yes but that does not stop the fact that right now, here, there are jobs unfilled, that there are places that cannot honestly get people to work for 12 dollars an hour.
SuperStore has similar problems and their sign not only advertises for workers and the wage and incentives but guarantees hours.

From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 16 June 2002 02:45 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't know what you're getting at. It would be good if people could get there to fill the jobs, I agree. I know a lot of people pass through here heading west. Maybe the problem will be solved soon.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
frandroid_atreides
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posted 16 June 2002 04:06 AM      Profile for frandroid_atreides   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't separate myself from my family and friends to get a 12$/h job at MacDonald's across the country, in Edmonton of all places, with arctic winters & all. Like, get real!

Markbo: My father was a construction worker in Québec all his life, and was making ~20$/h due to unions fighting for this kind of wage. Carpentry schools and such were packed. Then the government deregulated the sector, salaries went down the drain, so did the enrollment in schools, and workers are asked to work harder than ever. One of my uncles is still a construction worker and he's exploited like crazy. Also, a whole bunch of old workers have retired due to these conditions, and thus a lot of young people do not have old mentors to show them how to do good work. My father was lucky, he got a job as a civil servant a few years beforehand... Anyway, I don't know how much your company pays and stuff, but worsening work conditions (I hear that Ontario deregulated the industry a long time ago) might explain some of your hiring problems...


From: Toronto, Arrakis | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 16 June 2002 05:07 AM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You figure that because a trade doesn't guarantee 12 monts of work that why waste time even working
4-6 months. Hell They can get welfare, why bother even trying to work part of the year.

Thats such a bullshit excuse. Its also completely false. Show me welfare recipients that can drywall and
work carpentry and I'll make them former welfare recipients.


I never meant to suggest that training people is useless, just that it is not addressing the real problem. Just because you perceive a shortage of labour during the very months that this labour is in highest demand does not mean there is actually a shortage of labour. As our unemployment figures show, there is a glut of labour, both generally and in the specific field we are discussing. High school kids need summer jobs; everyone else needs a steady income.

Creating skilled workers, while good, is not the same as creating jobs for them to fill. Only the government can do this, by changing its economic policy. Without this, you just have skilled people on welfare (and Canada has many).

quote:
You just don't want to deal with the ones we can help. You want to categorize them all as unhelpable.
Handouts only.

No, I want the government to do it's job and create employment. Doesn't that sound like a better solution than "handouts" or "help"? If there are jobs to be filled, then people will be hired and they'll get all the training they need on the job. That's how I learned.

quote:
People need to move where the jobs are, if you want a job there are many.

But if you get a job, someone else has to lose theirs, as I've outlined in detail. Until this policy is attacked and beaten back, no amount of training or advice will solve the problem of unemployment.

Welfare is, as people suggest, a terrible solution to the unemployment problem. Blaming the recipients, however, is going into this debate with both blinders on. They are not setting policy. They are not creating unemployment. They are only bearing the brunt of these damaging policies that are hurting us all.

quote:
The record is
clear, unemployment is not the determining factor; it’s inflation. If there’s no inflation and [pick your
unemployment number], there will be no throttle-back from the Fed.

If only this were true (it would still be stupid, but less so). The Canadian government has often launched pre-emptive strikes against inflation (with the effect of increasing unemployment) by raising interest rates because they suspect that inflation may rise, but before it actually does. This is well documented.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 10:31 AM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
How does someone getting a job cause a person to lose theirs?


We are begging for people to work in Alberta.
Advertising even.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North ]


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 16 June 2002 11:27 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We get your point, Sir Canuck, you aren't getting ours. People cannot move easily in this country. It takes a lot of money to do that. Even if there were 10,000 jobs in Alberta, only 10,000 people would get them. If 20,000 moved, there would be 10,000 more unemployed people in Alberta. Poor people cannot just jump all over the country on speculation because they can't afford to. If you move to a new province, you have no income until you can establish residency.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 16 June 2002 11:43 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anyway, Qebec seems to have been passing some progressive legislation, in contrast to other provinces. Bravo!
From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 12:03 PM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North ]


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 12:05 PM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
You missed mine, people in Edmonton are not filling these jobs let alone those in Quebec or where ever.

Still would like to know how someone getting a job takes one away from someone else.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North ]


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 16 June 2002 12:10 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sir Canuck, it was explained to you. Someone getting a job eliminates a job from the potential employment list. Poor people cannot easily move from province to province. Simple. Now if you have something new to add, continue please.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
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posted 16 June 2002 12:29 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, if need be, we should support people for life - but if other injustices were corrected we wouldn't have to.

There are presuppositions in your question which press hot buttons for a lot of people. It's the right wing bogeyman of 'laziness'. I advocate for welfare and disability allowance recipients every day and they're not lazy. They are people in desperate situations trying to maintain their pride, in the various ways that humans have developed to do that. Trouble is, achieving the sort of 'pride' (ie. economic success) that is so directly and indirectly lauded in our society is unattainable for most people in economic hardship.

The most obvious manifestation of the difficulty of getting off of welfare is that you can't live on minimum wage either. This situation dispirits people so much that many just say to hell with all social standards presented to them by authority figures. Who can blame them, even when they do what welfare says they should do (ie. get jobs), they can't support themselves or their families anyway.

So obviously, what of the drastic decline in welfare roles in Ontario (where I work). Well, the PC's of course claim they all got jobs. In my heuristic experience they have shifted to other systems or to no system at all. These include the street, hospitals, jails and prisons, dysfunctional - and for many women, dangerous - domestic situations. Many as well have moved in with their now older parents, further reducing the quality of life of these people in their older years. Some move out of the province. Some have killed themselves, intentionally or otherwise. I imagine a few also got jobs that can support themselves.

The dysfunction of welfare is analogous to the dysfunction of the theory of rehabilitation in prisons: neither system is structured to actually achieve the 'functionality' of the subject, nor do they operate in a larger social matrix which could support financial independence or rehabilitation, as the case may be. This dysfunction is created because the social debate about causation of poverty hasn't transcended the 19th century dialectics that are embodied in your question.

It's not about laziness and explotation of the taxpayer, it's about understanding the drive to dignity that we all possess, and facilitating it's release.

Trust me, not one of my hundreds of clients wants to be on welfare if they had any achievable options.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North
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posted 16 June 2002 12:36 PM      Profile for Sir-Canuck-Of-The-North        Edit/Delete Post
Not one?

C'mon, not one could go to school?

Minimum wage may be a concern in Ont, but with McDonalds paying 12 dollars an hour why aren't these jobs filled.

.................
A job is lost because it is taken off the list?

What?


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 16 June 2002 12:36 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Welcome Simon. Good post.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
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posted 16 June 2002 01:02 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sir Canuck -

I didn't know McDonald's paid $12/hour. That's maybe $1300 per month after taxes. Sounds good. I wonder why the City of Toronto doesn't send my clients there. Recipients who turn down employment can be cut off. Any idea why?

Sorry, didn't include school in my 'where do they go list'. A few also go to school through OSAP (Ontario Student loans) if they've got high school. Many do not so they go to high school upgrading through workfare. Many are in ESL classes.


You seem to have searched my posts for weak spots. Any comments on the stuff you haven't challenged - or are we to assume you agree?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
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posted 16 June 2002 01:59 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sir Canuck -

Did I miss it? Give me a reference for that $12 McDonald's hourly wage. I checked their .ca website and couldn't find anything. You'd figure it's something they's shout about ...

It's not an average wage is it?

Simon Shields
Toronto


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 16 June 2002 02:03 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Could it be that they pay the same minium as anywhere else? That the twelve dollars is a reflection of what the dollar per hour would be *if* one used the full dollar amount of ones benefits?

Which of course only kick in after a probationary term.


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 16 June 2002 02:15 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The parsimonious attitude about welfare expenditures is bad for the economy. Give the people money to spend!

There is no moral issue about CEOs receiving compensation packages well in excess of their abilities. Why should there be a moral issue about feeding the poor? Keeping families poor is socially more expensive than raising them out of poverty.

The parsimony, as always, is penny wise and pound foolish.

Why should we be telling others how to live their lives? 'They should do this' is insulting and robs them of their dignity.


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
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posted 16 June 2002 02:19 PM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The most obvious manifestation of the difficulty of getting off of welfare is that you can't live on minimum wage either.

I think this is a misconception. Minimum wage jobs are for those with no experience to gain that experience and move on to higher paying jobs as they develop new skills and prove themselves responsible enough to manage more sensitive tasks.

From what you have said it sounds as though you are a social worker or something along those lines. If so, then you would be a good person to ask why welfare recipients are not taking training courses that are offered by the government and other organizations?

What I see in most of the pro-welfare arguments (if I can call it that) is poor problem solving methods. What I mean by that is that it would seem that the first problem that comes along is justification not to try to find a way around it and get on with making a living.

No matter what is touted as factual here, by far the majority of people who enter the system are not in it for very long. Most get some help and find a way to remove or get around the barriers and either retrain for a new position or find work they are able to do. I think it is no secret how to get out of that cycle, it just takes sacrifice.
For the few who are disabled and can't reasonably be expected to work, yes they should be cared for at an apporpriate level of support that allows for dignity and comfort.

As always this argument tends to drift to the extremes. From lazy bums who are ripping off welfare to innocent victims who try harder than any person alive and get slammed back in their chair by a corupt and bigotted society that enjoys to watch the suffing of the poor.
Both extremes are in fact very rare and I think of no real use to the disscusion.

I think most people on welfare who have been on welfare for an extended period (over a year) are neither lazy or stupid. But what I have seen so far is that they face a seemingly insermountable set of barriers and can nolonger figure out where to start. People get pushed around from one over worked and disillusioned person to the next where the extra time and effort to get those barriers cut down to a managable level is nolonger forthcoming.

Like a house that is left in a tip, on day one it is easy to figure out where to get started and make some progress towards cleaning it up. But after a couple of hundred days where the house is as bad as when they started, it begins to seem pointless to try.

This is why I feel it is helpful to have someone who is objective and organized step in and help evaluate, instigate, network and prioritize efforts to cut those barriers down to size and encourage what may seem to be risk taking that in the aftermath shows to be a viable solution to the problems.

The end result being earning a livable wage.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 16 June 2002 02:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You figure that because a trade doesn't guarantee 12 monts of work that why waste time even working 4-6 months. Hell They can get welfare, why bother even trying to work part of the year.

Okay, so we glut the market with carpenters so that there will be no shortage of them in the summer. Then do you promise not to whine when they have to go on EI for the winter because their work is seasonal?

And you still haven't addressed nonesuch questions about whether you are offering them a contract or actual employment. And if you're offering them a contract, why haven't you addressed nonesuch's concern that in order to become an independent contractor, it's not just a matter of learning the skills, it's a matter of buying a small truck, buying all your tools, setting up a business, etc. Where do you think a welfare recipient is going to get the capital for that? And how are they going to be able to make payments on all that stuff when winter rolls around and there's no business for them?

quote:
Michelle: You may be the US version of the 2%, but I don’t think so. Your obvious intelligence, as evidenced by your writing abilities, and perseverance, say otherwise.

Thanks, SHH, I appreciate that - but what I was trying to say is that even with all of those good qualities, and even having met the criteria you were mentioning, I have already lived in poverty in my adult life (and no, not just while going to school). So I don't really believe that people who fit all three criteria will never live in poverty.

quote:
Same at Tim Horton's, they can't get night shift workers.

How do you figure a single parent on welfare is going to be able to work night shifts at Tim Horton's? Even if there is subsidized day care in Edmonton, no day care centres have subsidized spots at night. Most of the income gained at the job would go to child care alone. My child care expenses would be $850 a month if I didn't have subsidized day care. And I'm lucky, because my school hours are within the hours of the day care centre's hours. My day care centre is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Do you think everyone who works at McDonald's is guaranteed day shifts during weekdays during prime day care times? I don't THINK so. You have to be working there for quite a while in order to get the plum work schedulings, and I don't think I've ever met a McDonald's or fast food worker yet who has had an unchanging work schedule.

A few slightly-over minimum wage jobs are not the solution to the welfare problem.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1258

posted 16 June 2002 03:08 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Job Number: 4707678
Job Title: LATE NIGHT CREW
Date Posted: 2002/06/03
Full/Part-Time: PERM FT 35-38 HRS/WK
Salary: $7.00/HOUR
Experience: NO EXP.,TRAINING PROVIDED/ CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS/ TEAM WORK ORIENTED/ HANDLE CASH/ GRILLS, VATS, DRIVE-THRU HEAD SETS EQUIPMENT USED.
Location: EDMONTON
Employer: MCDONALD'S RESTAURANT
Contact: IN PERSON
Address: 3404 - 99 STREET
EDMONTON
ALT T6J 5X5


Job Title: FAST FOOD SERVICE WORKER
Date Posted: 2002/05/28
Salary: $7.00/HOUR + OTHER
Experience: TEAM WORK ORIENTED/ WILLING TO LEARN/ CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS/ INTERPERSONAL SKILLS/ COMMUNICATION SKILLS/ VARIABLEHOURS/ SEND RESUME/ APPLY BY PHONE/ APPLY IN PERSON/
Details: INTEREST IN FOOD/CLEANING, SCHOLAR- SHIP PROGRAM AVAILABLE.
Location: EDMONTON
Employer: B.T. ENTERPRISES/TIM HORTONS
Contact: CRISSI OLIVER
Address: 2133-99 ST.
EDMONTON
ALT T6N 1J7
TELEPHONE 780) 440-3666
FAX 780) 440-3307
INTERNET ADDRESS:TeamTims@aol.com

From the HRDC site. No signs of those promised $12 an hour jobs nothing posted for Fort Mcmurray burger king. Hmmm

Better not ride the rails yet boys.

Grandpa Jode's modern day dream shattered

"When I get to Albertee I'm goin ta get me whole mess of chicken mcnuggets and smear emm all over my face, then I'm going to get a whole tub full of timbits and squish around in them...the land of coke and super sized fries yessiree." Sorry Grandpappy.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 16 June 2002 04:17 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Creating skilled workers, while good, is not the same as creating jobs for them to fill. Only the government can do this, by changing its economic policy. Without this, you just have skilled people on welfare (and Canada has many).

No, I want the government to do it's job and create employment. Doesn't that sound like a better solution than "handouts" or "help"? If there are jobs to be filled, then people will be hired and they'll get all the training they need on the job. That's how I learned.


Government doesn't create jobs, businesses do, the only role of government is to create an environment where business are encouraged to invest more.

quote:
Okay, so we glut the market with carpenters so that there will be no shortage of them in the summer. Then do you promise not to whine when they have to go on EI for the winter because their work is seasonal?

You know what, How often have you heard me whine about seasonal workers in Atlantic Canada. No one said glut the market. You sound so sarcastic, like "FINE well force them to work to make you happy". There is work for carpenters in Windsor almost all year round.

quote:

And you still haven't addressed nonesuch questions about whether you are offering them a contract or actual employment. And if you're offering them a contract, why haven't you addressed nonesuch's concern that in order to become an independent contractor, it's not just a matter of learning the skills, it's a matter of buying a small truck, buying all your tools, setting up a business, etc. Where do you think a welfare recipient is going to get the capital for that? And how are they going to be able to make payments on all that stuff when winter rolls around and there's no business for them?

Tell you what, get them trained first, then on to the next problem. Right now I could use carpenters with or without tools.

Remember the Winston CHurchil quote Michelle. The axiom 'nothing but perfection' can also be spelled P A R A L I S Y S.

quote:
How do you figure a single parent on welfare is going to be able to work night shifts at Tim Horton's?

Fine lets employ all the non parents on welfare first. THen we'll have that much more resources to dedicate to the single parents.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 16 June 2002 05:08 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The axiom 'nothing but perfection' can also be spelled P A R A L I S Y S.

ROTFL.

Y'know, Markbo, I think this might well be the anniversary of the first time I heard you pull that old chestnut out -- first time you misspelled it, too.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2092

posted 16 June 2002 05:20 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Still would like to know how someone getting a job takes one away from someone else.

Because if unemployment drops too low, the government raises interest rates, which puts the squeeze on industry and forces it back up again. I'm willing to keep repeating this until you understand, so take your time.

And by the way, if you're really interested in learning, you should read Linda Mcquaig's wonderful books, _Shooting the Hippo_ and _The Cult of Impotence_ which have plenty to say about this all-important topic. All Canadians should read these books. Read them now!

quote:
Government doesn't create jobs, businesses do, the only role of government is to create an environment
where business are encouraged to invest more.

Well, this isn't precisely true. Governments create plenty of employment as well, but I'm quibbling.

Your essential point is sound. What I meant is that government has to stimulate industry with its policies, which then creates employment. One of the key ways this is done is by lowering interest rates so that plenty of investment capital is made available to the business community.

But because low interest rates are not good for rich moneylenders and bondholders, this policy doesn't appear on the list of things that we are told create a good business environment.

The things that do appear on the list are lower government spending, lower taxes, lower wages, loose labour laws, privatisation, etc. You know, the usual IMF-style social restructuring. Now it's true that this tends to attract some investment capital in the short term but the wealth that is generated by this investment tends to drain out of the country, since it's not going to workers or being taxed. Then this capital tends to leave altogether once the economy starts to decline, which always occurs with austerity economics, as the long string of IMF-devestated countries show.

These policies don't stimulate industry. They just stimulate short-term profits for irresponsible capital.

Government has to invest in the industry of it's country if the economy is to succeed. While this means government spending (and occasionally even deficit spending) it is more than made up for in economic growth. If you refuse to make this investment then infrastructure deteriorates and business suffers.

But unfortunately, all the things that would stimulate industry (low interest rates, government investment requiring tax revenue, and yes, even high wages which create a consumer public with money to spend) are frowned upon by the rich because they cut into their bottom line. For this reason Canada has been artificially forced into recession for at least a decade. More, really.

Which brings us back to able-bodied people wasting away on welfare, another little side-effect of this trumped-up recession. If you want to solve this problem, go to its root. Don't look to the ones who have been caught in the crossfire as if something they could do could solve everything.

Welfare recipients don't set policy. They don't create unemployment. They can't un-create it either.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Liam McCarthy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 800

posted 16 June 2002 05:41 PM      Profile for Liam McCarthy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Tell you what, get them trained first, then on to the next problem. Right now I could use carpenters with or without tools.

Good, so I got your support for free tuition now.


From: Windsor, Ont. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 16 June 2002 05:44 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Remember the Winston CHurchil quote Michelle. The axiom 'nothing but perfection' can also be spelled P A R A L I S Y S.

Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday, Markbo.

How about this one?

Constantly repeating the same tired old phrase is R E D U N D A N T.

or

Constantly repeating the same tired old phrase with the same tired old spelling mistake (which I wouldn't normally draw attention to, except that you specifically stated that "paralysis" is spelled that way) is

S I L L L I E

quote:
You know what, How often have you heard me whine about seasonal workers in Atlantic Canada. No one said glut the market.

First of all, I wasn't talking about Atlantic Canada either. I was talking about Windsor.

First you said that you couldn't find a carpenter and that the government should train more. Then nonesuch said that the reason you can't find any right NOW is because carpentry work is seasonal. Then you said to train more carpenters then, because it's better that they work a few months a year than not at all.

In other words, even though you acknowledged that there is a lay off season for carpenters, you still want more and more to be trained, knowing that they will only be able to work 4-6 months of the year. That's what I meant by glutting the market. What are all those carpenters going to do during the winter, Markbo?

As for not worrying about how carpenters will be able to buy tools to actually PRACTICE their trade once they're done training, that's just laughable. Buying tools is not just some silly frill that independent contractors may or may not have to worry about. It is THE most important thing for them to have. It's the tools of their trade. In fact, I know that for auto mechanics, even if they're hired by a garage as an employee, they have to have their own tools - and that can run anywhere from close to a thousand dollars to several thousand dollars. That's BEFORE any of them can even think about working.

What would you do if you wanted to hire a carpenter to do some work on your house, and he came over with an estimate and then said, "Oh, btw, you have all the specialized tools I'll need to do the job, right?"

And seriously Markbo, you're ready, right now, to buy all the tools a carpenter will need to do the work you need done at the moment? You're going to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars for tools so that an independent contractor can do work for you?

Baloney. I'll believe that when I see it. I just can't believe that you think it's okay to say to people, "Okay, train to become independent contractors even though we have no clue how you're going to get the money to start up your business."

Great business plan, Markbo.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
agent007
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1189

posted 16 June 2002 06:07 PM      Profile for agent007     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First a short reply to Markbo ... if you get in touch with Windsor Construction Association you'll get all the trades that you need.

In so far as welfare is concerned: so long as society does not recognize home-care to be a full-time job and worthy of a paycheque instead of a handout, the problem will never be solved regardless of which political stripe is at the helm.

I suggest to all Lefties that all governmental services should not be dependent on tax-revenues. It should be that whatever job is done, on behalf of society -- home-care is one of them -- be paid with money created by the very job that is performed.


From: Niagara Falls ON | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 16 June 2002 06:21 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
agent007, sorry, already tried that, no carpenters.


quote:
In other words, even though you acknowledged that there is a lay off season for carpenters, you still want more and more to be trained, knowing that they will only be able to work 4-6 months of the year. That's what I meant by glutting the market. What are all those carpenters going to do during the winter, Markbo?

Number one you have no evidence that there is only 4-6 months of work available. WIndsor has one of the longest construction seasons available in Canada.

quote:
It is THE most important thing for them to have. It's the tools of their trade. In fact, I know that for auto mechanics, even if they're hired by a garage as an employee, they have to have their own tools - and that can run anywhere from close to a thousand dollars to several thousand dollars. That's BEFORE any of them can even think about working.

you know what, when I start seeing skilled people complaining the only reason they can't find work is a lack of tools, I'll buy into that argument. At this stage it is not the case. Show me skilled trades that can't find work simply because of a lack of tools.

quote:
What would you do if you wanted to hire a carpenter to do some work on your house, and he came over with an estimate and then said, "Oh, btw, you have all the specialized tools I'll need to do the job, right?"

Actually we did it with our painters to save money. We even joked and called them UGOT construction. UGOT A Sprayer, UGOT A ladder, UGOT some tarps etc.. IT was good fun and they did a decent jobs. THey took their pay and bought their own sprayer. They are now bidding on several other jobs in the area that they couldn't bid on before. A Made in Windsor Success story, if I do say so myself.

quote:
And seriously Markbo, you're ready, right now, to buy all the tools a carpenter will need to do the work you need done at the moment? You're going to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars for tools so that an independent contractor can do work for you?

If I could get a trained carpenter tomorrow, I would without blinking, AM I CLEAR!!!!!!! I DARE ANYONE ON RABBLE TO CALL ME ON MY BLUFF EMAIL ME IMMEDIATELY IF YOU CAN START WORK TOMORROW. CONDITION THAT YOU ARE A SKILLED CARPENTER.

PS IF YOU DO A GOOD JOB AND PUT IN SOME OVERTIME I WILL BONUS YOU A PORTION OF THE TOOLS I PURCHASE FOR YOU TO TAKE WITH YOU AT THE END OF THE JOB.[/QUOTE]


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2771

posted 16 June 2002 08:18 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Enthusiastic bunch aren't we...

Ok, first thanks to NR Kissed for the McDonald's wage evidence. I invite supplementation/ correction/ rebuttal/ groveling, as appropriate.

Second, Slick Willy, several things:

1. not a social worker, a lawyer - though sometimes it's hard to tell the difference in this field

2. as far as I know people are taking the courses, in fact courses are an integral part of mandatory workfare in Ontario - do you have stats to the contrary you can refer us to?

3. welfare as short-term: since the major Ontario welfare revisions 1995-97 single mothers (who if they have non-school age kids cannot for the most part work due to child-care responsibilities) are on welfare. Even when kids are in school most single mothers can't afford to work and raise kids unless they are well up in wage levels. Single mothers got demoted from the earlier FBA (family benefits) program where they were treated as equivalent to disabled persons.

I regularly have single persons clients on welfare steady for 10 plus years. Again, I invite stats to the contrary as my experience may be unrepresentative.

4. re taking care of the disabled. A single disabled adult (renter) in Ontario gets a maximum (it could be less if rent is less than $414/mo) of $930/mo (roughly minimum wage AFTER TAXES). Boarders get about $650. You do the math re rents, food and other expenses in your area.

5. First you say my comment about minimum wage being a barrier to getting off welfare is a "misconception", then later you blame welfare reliance on "insurmountable barriers". Which is it? Defend yourself.

Agent 007 re caregivers. That's been an up and coming issue for a while. I once tried to argue before the Social Assistance Review Board (the welfare appeal body) that under the HR Code caregivers should be treated the same as disabled and (at that time) single mothers. They weasled out of it by giving my client a disabled allowance on the merits (ie. his medical facts, which were pathetic).

The only accomodation given the care-giving in Ontario welfare law at present is that a care-giver's rent share will not be counted to reduce a recipient's shelter allowance: that is, if A the caregiver and B the recipient share paying a rent of $1000/mo, B will be deemed to have a rent of $1000, with no reduction for A's share. This makes little practical difference in most cases as the maximum shelter allowance for most ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) is $414.

This is fun. If any one wants more specifics on Ontario Works (aka welfare) or ODSP (aka disabled allowance), please post.

For instance - did you know that since last months the "receipt of social assistance" is now a s.15 Charter protected category in Ontario! These and other interesting welfare tidbits are available but for the asking ...

Simon Shields
Toronto


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 184

posted 16 June 2002 09:50 PM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
5. First you say my comment about minimum wage being a barrier to getting off welfare is a "misconception", then later you blame welfare
reliance on "insurmountable barriers". Which is it? Defend yourself.

Defend myself eh? Are you sure you really want that? Well fine I guess I will.

First off, get your shit together and start quoting or piss off. If you want to take things out of context and try to blow them up into something they all together aren't you have another thing coming.

Minimum wage is a starting point. Or didn't you know? It is a useful tool in getting those without experience the opportunity without an employer having to pay out 30k plus benefits per year just to find out if someone can handle the job.

"Seemingly insurmountable" You're a lawyer, you go look up the meaning of seemingly and then drop in with your comments.

Though it probably hasn't manifested in those who you so vigorusly defend, if you stick with a job for a few years, your wages go up. I am sure you could find some dildo that could manage to stick to the same job and find a way to fuck up ever getting a raise or promotion. But that is hardly the norm now is it.

I was hopeing we could get away from the extremes but from what it looks like here that is the last thing some of you want to do. Perhaps it is admitting that there are some people who are just plain lazy and others that are being held down by the system. I don't see any realistic solutions offered up here. It just give more money or give less and kick people off. I don't see those as much help at all. In fact about all you're doing is perpetuating stereo types.

So perhaps some of you are just here to argue.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Slick Willy ]


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
bellows
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 747

posted 16 June 2002 10:13 PM      Profile for bellows     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
http://www.classifiedextra.ca/search97cgi/s97_cgi

Jobs


From: Corner Brook | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 16 June 2002 11:18 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Minimum wage is a starting point.

In theory. I know three people who have worked years (years!) in fast food, been given responsibility (opening, closing, managing, cashing out - which basically means, you work longer and harder than the rest of the crew) and their salary climbed, by 25-cent increments, to a grand $8.50 or $8.75/hr. Try to raise a family.
These are bullshit jobs and never get better.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
frandroid_atreides
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2569

posted 17 June 2002 01:44 AM      Profile for frandroid_atreides   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Y'know, Markbo, I think this might well be the anniversary of the first time I heard you pull that old chestnut out -- first time you misspelled it, too.

God, don't you people get it? "Nothing but perfection"! It's not spelled properly! Imperfect!!

Sigh. :)


From: Toronto, Arrakis | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
frandroid_atreides
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2569

posted 17 June 2002 02:00 AM      Profile for frandroid_atreides   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
For instance - did you know that since last months the "receipt of social assistance" is now a s.15 Charter protected category in Ontario! These and other interesting welfare tidbits are available but for the asking ...

Can you translate the meaning of this change in English? :)

To go back up the thread:

quote:
I have a worksite right now, Can't find drywallers, floor installers or carpenters. Sure these are skilled trades, but able bodied people can learn them and could get jobs. When we needed general labourers for demolition it was a bit easier but we still could not find as many as we needed.

I think it's funny how your comment derailed out of the original argument... People were saying that the jobless rate is artificially maintained by the Bank of Canada through interest rate/inflation control. You and Sir Canuck replied by giving anecdotal evidence about jobs being available for people on welfare. To this I would send you back your Churchill quote, ie. the world isn't perfect, and there can be shortage of of workers in one field even when there are tons of unemployed people around. :)

BTW, I want to mention that I highly appreciate your contributions here on Rabble. You seem very grounded in the day to day workplace and have experience in business, which is often lacking within leftist circles, or even with the people we tend to debate with, who are often right-wing whackos that aren't any more educated about the economy and other matters as their opponents (there are a few specimen on this board...) I think that your contributions do force many of us to pinpoint our arguments and make them fit with reality, whereas debating with a right-whacko never leads anywhere.


From: Toronto, Arrakis | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1258

posted 17 June 2002 03:00 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Government doesn't create jobs, businesses do, the only role of government is to create an environment where business are encouraged to invest more.

This is an ideological position rather than a statement of reality.

Business' primary interest is profit and they utilize labour in order to maximize profit.

I've never heard any corporate Ceo's suggest that they reduce their profits in order to support their job creating interests.

Government has always been in the job creation business both directly and indirectly. I could direct you to the innumerable threads in which Dr. C has discussed military industrial Keynesian practice in the U.S.A.

As to the present problem of lack of carpenters in Windsor. A shortage in supply in Windsor does not mean there is necessarily a shortage provincially or even that there will be a shortage in Windsor in the future. As was mentioned early certain lines of reasoning suggest that the unemployed should be some how able to predict surpluses or deficits in certain areas of the "labour market." Training in any area usually takes a couple of years in which conditions will invariably change. Present working conditions will also influence the number of people that will be attracted to any profession. The experience of nurses and teachers is instructive not only how government policy creates deficits in labour markets but also how also how potential trainees can be frightened away from pursuing a certain course of study.

Since it has already been established that only a minority of individuals are on welfare for any length of time it would make sense to examine what the barriers are that these people face. A little bit of preliminary research I discovered this."Welfare recipients who are struggling to move into the workforce can face a multitude of barriers. These barriers include lack of specialized child care, disability, domestic violence, financial emergencies, housing instability, lack of health insurance, mental illness, substance abuse, and inadequate transportation. Furthermore, many people face multiple barriers concurrently.

A recent Mathematica report examines ten barriers that welfare recipients face in the transition to work. For each barrier, the report discusses the need for services, welfare agency approaches, a variety of program models, and key organizations and research documents for further information."

Other barriers have been mentioned above for example the fact that some workers amy sustain injuries that prevent them from doing certain types of work such as construction but they are not considered eligible for O.D.S.P.

There also those that are chronically disenfranchised people who have repeatedly screwed over by the system that they really don't have a great deal of faith or allegiance to it. These are not people that are lazy rather they have worked exceedingly hard and got nothing so they don't really see the point in trying any more. Some of them find creative ways to survive and get labelled as frauds. How do you defraud a system that is fraudulent to begin?

[ June 17, 2002: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2771

posted 17 June 2002 09:28 AM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Slick Willy -

Feeling threatened are we? Ok, I give up, how do you quote ... and I'm only going to read your response if you don't use bad words.

NR Kissed -

Just a technical correction, having a WSIB (formerly WCB) compensable injury does not disentitle from ODSP, it's just that any WSIB payments are 100% deductible from ODSP. Sounds like no difference but it makes a real difference while a WSIB claim is pending - if successful there will be a WSIB repayment. ODSP eligibility exists irregardless of causation of the medical impairment. Even self-inflicted injuries are not refused, though medication or surgery 'non-compliance' are live issues.

Frandroid -

Ok, Charter 101 time.

The Charter (part of the constitution) is a body of law that in some circumstances can override 'regular' laws (ie. statutes and regs, passed by parliaments and legislatures, and cabinets, respectively). Most Charter stuff you will read about involves ss.7-13, which are primarily criminal defendant rights like search and seizure, self-incrimination, etc.

Section 15 rights as you likely know are equality rights. The enumerated s.15 rights include "race, national and ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability." The courts have also held that there are a group of 'analogous' grounds to these. For instance, sexual orientation.

Well, the Ontario Court of Appeal last month, in a case called Falkiner which dealt with the legality of Ontario's definition of 'spouse' for welfare and disability allowance purposes, decided that 'receipt of social assistance' was an analogous ground. That means that receiving welfare or ODSP as such, gives a person a right to argue equality rights under s.15.

The Falkiner case itself pivoted around the concept of "benefit unit", which is the group of people who are aggregated for welfare assessment and payment purposes. Specifically, it is the income and assets of all members of the benefit unit that are assessed to determine eligibility. As well the size of the benefit unit determines the amount of allowance. Benefit units include the applicant and all their 'dependents'. 'Spouses' are dependents. The battle in Falkiner was over a legal change made by the Harris government which dispensed with the old Family Law Act definition of spouse (3 years of cohabitation) and replaced it with a de facto presumption of spousal status when heterosexual cohabitation first occured. It's more involved than that, and it was (and is) still open to such pairs of persons to argue that their relationship was not 'spousal' (which is really tested by financial intermingling). The law is still very awkward as cohabiting care giver-receiver couples could technically be caught, as could brother-sister relationships.

The gem out of Falkiner was the s.15 inclusion. I think it was a very politic move by the court as they had to bend pre-existing Charter law considerably to get there. I think it was a conscious toss of the issue to the Supreme Court of Canada because of the obvious plight that welfare recipients have been placed by the Harris and other, governments.

As to what we do with it, we're all still trying to piece that together. Nothing will really be settled until the Supremes rule on it though. But meantime those of in the field are sharpening our factums.

Ask me more, I love showing how smart I am ... ;-)

Simon Shields
Toronto


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
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posted 17 June 2002 10:58 AM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Ask me more, I love showing how smart I am

rtfm.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
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posted 17 June 2002 12:42 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Re Slick Willy

What does "rtfm" mean? Is he being rude again? Someone else tell me how to quote.

Simon Shields
Toronto


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 17 June 2002 12:51 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What does "rtfm" mean?

Read The F***ing Manual


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 17 June 2002 01:52 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In response to those who believe skill deficit in the workplace is the cause of unemployment.
Michael Handel
quote:
Many economists and other social scientists and policymakers believe that the growth in inequality in the last two decades reflects mostly an imbalance between the demand for and the supply of employee skills driven by technological change, particularly the spread of computers. However, the empirical basis for this belief is not strong. The growth in inequality was concentrated in the recession years of the early 1980s and any imbalance between the supply of and demand for workers with technological skills likely did not occur until later. The growth of the supply of more-educated workers decelerated during the 1980s, but any impact of that likely would not have been felt until the late 1980s and 1990s. However, inequality actually stabilized during this latter period. On the demand side, trends in occupational composition do not suggest that upgrading was particularly rapid in the 1980s and 1990s compared to the 1970s. Computers do not seem to have greatly affected employment in a number of narrow occupations that are likely to be sensitive to technological change (e.g., computer programmers, bank tellers). Computer use itself does seem to be associated with more education, even controlling for occupation, but the causal status of this relationship is uncertain and even the magnitude of the observed association does not seem large enough to have seriously compromised the ability of supply to meet the implied growth in demand. By contrast, the recession of the early 1980s coincides with a dramatic decline of traditionally better paid blue collar workers, particularly in manufacturing. This suggests a need for a closer look at other possible causes of inequality growth, such as macroeconomic forces and the decline of institutional protections for workers.

[on this site.

Simon: click on quote button in Instant formatting, cut and paste.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
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posted 17 June 2002 08:25 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What does "rtfm" mean?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Cool .... it works (I hope) . Thank you earthmother and nonsuch.

Slick Willy - don't be such a curmudgeon. Not everyone is as smart as you .... ;-)

Simon Shields
Toronto


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 18 June 2002 03:08 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Awright, awright, yo, boys and girls. DrC back from the bad kitty box.

Lemme set SHH straight here and point out this little tidbit for ya:

Canadian monetary policy is not conducted in the same way as US monetary policy. Alan Greenspan has never adopted formal inflation targets, and indeed to my knowledge the various federal reserves generally do not advocate this either.

It is therefore to the US's credit that they have done (at least) one thing better than Canada - operate with more discretion and therefore with the ability to "run" a looser monetary policy where necessary. By contrast, the Canadian inflation targetting removes some of the potency from Canadian monetary policy by weakening the discretionary authority of the Board of Governors.

The difference shows up most clearly in the differential of unemployment rates and inflation rates.

I refer you to the inflation rates of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Please notice that through the 1970s and 1980s, the US and Canadian inflation rates tended to track each other rather closely - but in the 1990s, there is a noted divergence which produces an average for Canada of about 2.2% per year, and the USA, 3.0% per year.

You will also further note the consistent spread that begins to form after 1992 - this is largely a result of the stringency with which monetary policy was conducted in Canada versus the USA.

Recall that even John Crow did not advocate formal inflation targets; he simply insisted on zero inflation, damn the consequences and all. This allowed him discretion in raising interest rates or lowering them as he saw fit.

quote:
Squelching inflation is more essential because if the money your given for your hard worked labor ain’t worth anything, everything is lost; for everybody, not just the unemployed. Your Us and Them analysis is wanting; to me anyway.

And finally, a note: This concern for the protection against the fall in the value of money for us humble workers seems to be pretty shallow, given that low inflation rates just mean we get nil or

small
raises.

It is far more reasonable to suggest, as well, that while no businessperson would ever say so openly, the fact that monetary policy is conducted in such a way as to control inflation by raising unemployment creates opportunity for relief from the relentless squeeze on profits created by poor aggregate demand by allowing real wages to erode over time.

In effect, then, the worker gets it in the shorts coming both ways - by the Bank of Canada curbing planned investment spending (which would otherwise stimulate employment) via high interest rates, and squeezes on workforces by companies looking for any way out of their sagging profitability due to sagging aggregate demand.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 18 June 2002 09:51 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just to round out this fun discussion, I redrew a portion of a chart that was drawn by a Bank of Canada guest lecturer at one of my economics classes. I think it was macro, but anyway..

So he started talking about the inflation targets and drew this thing, minus the "Output gap" part:

Terms and definitions:

LRAS = Long-Run Aggregate Supply
SAS = Short-run Aggregate Supply
AD = Aggregate Demand
GDP = Gross Domestic Product (for our purposes we can term this "total production") - the "fe" subscript means the full-employment GDP. The star above the other one means the present GDP.

The LRAS line is the theoretical upper limit of production if all available resources are used. Any attempt to increase production past this point will simply cause inflationary pressures.

The SAS curve is the aggregate-supply curve in the short run - that is, a time period too short for factor costs to change to reflect new economic conditions. Basically it means a period before rents, wages, or costs increase or decrease.

The AD curve in this set-up is passive - that is, it responds to movements along the SAS curve.

Now, for the moment of truth.

Our lecturer, in drawing this chart, droned on that the inflation targetting meant that if full-employment GDP could only be reached if inflation was allowed to rise to, say, 5 percent per year, then since 2% inflation is the midrange of the target bounds, GDP would have to be at a lower level.

Of course, nobody in the class shot up their hand (I was too busy biting my tongue) and expressed horror at this, but the essential point is this:

He admitted that the Bank of Canada deliberately allows an output gap in the Canadian economy and prevents it from ever reaching full employment.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 19 June 2002 07:31 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[QUOTE ]He admitted that the Bank of Canada deliberately allows an output gap in the Canadian economy and prevents it from ever reaching full employment.

[/QUOTE]

Incredible.

I guess the only time Bank of Canada economists speak honestly is when they're lecturing to economics students.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 20 June 2002 06:46 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
For anyone interested in what's really going on with Welfare and Workfare, check out the information on this site.

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk2.htm


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon Shields
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2771

posted 20 June 2002 06:52 PM      Profile for Simon Shields     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
For anyone interested in what's really going on with Welfare and Workfare, check out the information on this site.
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk2.htm


That's Gilles Seguin, who in his other life works for the feds. He's very cool and what's more he has cats.

But for the real scoop, I'm sorry, but you can't beat a practising lawyer (blush, blush) ...


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
frandroid_atreides
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Babbler # 2569

posted 21 June 2002 10:24 PM      Profile for frandroid_atreides   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Of course, nobody in the class shot up their hand (I was too busy biting my tongue) and expressed horror at this, but the essential point is this:

DrConway, let's talk about the politics of shutting up in class when a Bank of Canada lecturer comes to class...


From: Toronto, Arrakis | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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