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Workfare Revolt? (Minnesota's welfare-to-work program draws increasing fire)
City Pages ^ | 17 January 2007 | Beth Hawkins

Posted on 01/16/2007 4:53:06 PM PST by shrinkermd

Last week, the board got some answers. In 2006, 739 of Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay as a condition of continuing to receive welfare benefits. They worked an average of four to six weeks apiece at a long list of local nonprofits. Hennepin County contracts with an outside agency to provide the placements. (Under a separate program, the county spent $600,000 subsidizing the wages of another 200 MFIP recipients who were having trouble finding jobs.)

Thirty-two of the people performing unpaid work were eventually hired by the agencies where they were working. Results for the rest were mixed: 28 percent went on to part-time work at an average wage of $9.51; 36 percent went to work full-time (more than 32 hours a week); 7 percent saw their benefits reduced for failing to do enough; and the other 30 percent or so were unable to keep working because of family or medical issues or chemical dependency.

Because of new rules imposed on states by the federal government, this year, welfare rights advocates and state lawmakers say, the number of people pushed into unpaid work stands to mushroom.

Workfare, as the practice of requiring people to work for benefits is known, is hardly a new idea. When Congress passed the landmark 1996 welfare reform, they created a series of rules regarding the duration of benefits for individuals and the number of recipients who had to be moved into the workforce. Minnesota chose to meet the federal requirements by providing extra support to families during the process, in the hope that they would become truly independent and not just cycle back onto the rolls whenever they stum

(Excerpt) Read more at citypages.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: revolt; welfare; workfare
This is a well written, honest article with a view different from the results given. There are anecdotal stories of troubles and heaps of blame on Republicans but examining the data and knowing the population leads to the conclusion it is working even for difficult to place people.
1 posted on 01/16/2007 4:53:10 PM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

If you are on welfare it is natural for an employer to look at you funny.


2 posted on 01/16/2007 4:55:24 PM PST by misterrob (Jack Bauer/Chuck Norris 2008)
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To: shrinkermd

In the Twin Cities we have a serious shortage of low-skill labor, though the job market is tougher in the rural areas.

In the Twin Cities, there really is no excuse not to be able to find a low-skill job, absent health or child care problems.


3 posted on 01/16/2007 4:57:06 PM PST by Parmenio
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To: shrinkermd

One of the implications of the article seems to be that when the minimum wage goes up, fewer hours will be required.


4 posted on 01/16/2007 5:01:40 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: MplsSteve

ping


5 posted on 01/16/2007 5:09:43 PM PST by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: shrinkermd

"In 2006, 739 of Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay"

I couldn't get past that line. If they are on welfare they ARE getting paid for doing the work, it is just not direct payment.


6 posted on 01/16/2007 5:15:22 PM PST by sheana
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To: shrinkermd
It's just really sad Minnesota has reached a level where we're making poor people work for free," she says.

Unbelievable that someone would state such a quote, however it's believable that in MN there are those who actually feel that what is given to them in their time of need is free and not redistributed.

7 posted on 01/16/2007 5:41:28 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: sheana
"In 2006, 739 of Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay"

Cash flow for the county of Hennepin is 3rd only behind the state of Minnesota and 3M....

8 posted on 01/16/2007 5:44:03 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: trussell

ping...


9 posted on 01/16/2007 5:45:19 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: sheana

"Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay"

Now, if it only said: " 11,000 Hennepin County prisoners
worked 60 hour weeks removing grafitti from public and private
property".
Then, the people paying for these 'feel good' programs would
see some benefit.


10 posted on 01/16/2007 5:47:03 PM PST by Fireone (Homeland security is 10,000 rounds of dry ammo and 10 cords of dry firewood.)
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To: shrinkermd
and the other 30 percent or so were unable to keep working because of family or medical issues or chemical dependency.

Yeah, I can read between the lines.

11 posted on 01/16/2007 5:53:18 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: shrinkermd
 MFIP recipients worked for no pay as a condition of continuing to receive welfare benefits.

I have long searched for it, and now found it: this is the single most gloriously stupid sentence I've ever read in my life.

Its idiocy is so perfect as to almost be mystical.  How the author wrote this without immediately ascending to Nirvana, I'll never understand..

12 posted on 01/16/2007 5:55:21 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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To: EGPWS

Used to be Northwest Airlines.


13 posted on 01/16/2007 5:56:42 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: shrinkermd
Commissioners Penny Steele and Linda Koblick were untroubled by the Welfare Rights Committee's complaints, saying they see nothing wrong with requiring people to work off their grants.

Nice to see that there are some people there with the sanity and guts to speak the plain truth.

14 posted on 01/16/2007 6:01:21 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: shrinkermd
In 2006, 739 of Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay as a condition of continuing to receive welfare benefits.

To say they worked for no pay is inaccurate, as this single sentence shows. It would be nice if this journalist believed in reporting accurately.

15 posted on 01/16/2007 6:03:01 PM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: shrinkermd
Because of new rules imposed on states by the federal government, this year, welfare rights advocates and state lawmakers say, the number of people pushed into unpaid work stands to mushroom.

Why does this person insist on calling this "unpaid work"? For crying out loud, AREN'T THEY GETTING WELFARE???!!!!

16 posted on 01/16/2007 6:12:13 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (Celebrate Mediocrity!)
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To: shrinkermd
In 2006, 739 of Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay as a condition of continuing to receive welfare benefits. They worked an average of four to six weeks apiece at a long list of local nonprofits.

Fewer than 7% of the county's 11,000 people on welfare were given the opportunity to work an unpaid 4-6 week internship. As a result, approximately 2/3 of those people eventually obtained full or part-time jobs. Sounds like excellent results for people who were formerly living off the taxpayers.

17 posted on 01/16/2007 6:12:29 PM PST by eggman (Democrat party - The black hole of liberalism from which no rational thought can escape.)
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To: shrinkermd

We've finally found the wisdom of China's employment system, and it's alright to continue employing thousands of middle class American women to break families. [...little irony and sarcasm on the praise of feminist policy and mention of "wisdom."] We added speed to the process, though, by sucking hordes of anti-American people in from other countries to displace Americans.


18 posted on 01/16/2007 6:17:29 PM PST by familyop
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Used to be Northwest Airlines.

Al Checci comes to mind...

19 posted on 01/16/2007 6:20:59 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: shrinkermd
Because of new rules imposed on states by the federal government, this year, welfare rights advocates and state lawmakers say, the number of people pushed into unpaid work stands to mushroom.

There is no right to welfare. The fact that it exists is an affront to all who work to provide for their own sustenance.

20 posted on 01/16/2007 6:21:45 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: shrinkermd

Aw they can come on down here to Iowa and work for the meat packers. They have 400 openings.


21 posted on 01/16/2007 6:31:58 PM PST by lindalew2
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Speaking of big welfare recipients.

Used to be Northwest Airlines

22 posted on 01/16/2007 7:01:09 PM PST by DManA
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To: DManA

Before Al Checi.


23 posted on 01/16/2007 7:04:24 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I can't believe how many tax dollars the state pumped into those bunch of con artists. Everyone would be better off if they'd folded the first time.


24 posted on 01/16/2007 7:32:43 PM PST by DManA
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To: shrinkermd
They worked an average of four to six weeks apiece at a long list of local nonprofits.

The devil is in the details. Bet you the "long list" has a severe port list.
25 posted on 01/16/2007 7:37:33 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth ("I'll build the g--d---- fence if they want it." -- John McCain, A Modern Profile In Courage)
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To: shrinkermd
A better idea is to abolish welfare entirely, and let the free market work its magic.

Sooner or later the recipients will get a job, somewhere.

26 posted on 01/16/2007 7:42:51 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Why can't Republicans stand up to Democrats like they do to terrorists?)
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To: shrinkermd
Because of new rules imposed on states by the federal government, this year, welfare rights advocates and state lawmakers say, the number of people pushed into unpaid work stands to mushroom.

Illinois does this. I know some people who are refugees who were told, after having been here a while and gotten language and job training, that they would have to do this in order to keep receiving benefits. Some of them thought that they'd get their benefits plus an hourly amount for each hour worked. I told them, no, you'll only get your monthly allowance. They thought it wasn't fair. I said, "Hey, you're coming here and receiving help from the government to get trained and adjusted to life here. If you want to take the money, you have to follow the rules of the one handing out the money. If you want more money than that, then go out and find a job. But even then you'll have to follow your employer's conditions to receive the money." Some of them said, "But now I'll be working for nothing." I said, "No, before you were getting money for nothing. Now you'll be working in order to continue receiving that money. If you don't like that work, then go out and find a job you do like." Most of the refugees I know, though, move very quickly into work, work hard, and do well for themselves and their families.
27 posted on 01/17/2007 5:24:25 AM PST by aruanan
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To: shrinkermd

In 2006, 739 of Hennepin County's 11,000 MFIP recipients worked for no pay as a condition of continuing to receive welfare benefits.

Wonder if they ever considered working FOR PAY?
/Radical Concept


28 posted on 01/17/2007 8:00:48 AM PST by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Lancey Howard

This is the legacy of Jesse Ventura. I'm glad to see that this effort is actually being monitored.


29 posted on 01/17/2007 8:01:28 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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