Skip to comments.The Comfort of Welfare
Posted on 02/01/2013 8:09:50 AM PST by Kaslin
This week Japan announced its intention to cut welfare payments by a billion dollars over the next three years because people live too comfortably.
Imagine that, a government would actually tell its citizens you are getting fat and lazy and have no incentive to work because someone else pays your bills. We just found out you can't get government work by telling citizens they're takers. But after its economy derailed, Japan slipped into a two-decade slumber marked by people giving up on old beliefs and traditions like Japan's legendary work ethic. When we thought Japan would conquer the world, including the United States, we marveled at their four hours of daily commuting and loyalty to a single employer.
During the past twenty years, Japan and its warrior culture faded. It failed to conquer the world militarily, and then economically. Sure, it's a rich nation, but that has also worked against them as the youth take those riches for granted. But debt and policies based on bailing out and propping up failed businesses sapped that eagerness and drive from the country. Consider Sony (SNE), was there any way it should have lost out on music devices that propelled Apple? What about televisions? All I used to buy was Sony, now it's Samsung.
In the midst of fading glory is a generation of children that probably only heard about the samurai spirit of the nation, but certainly haven't experienced it firsthand. It's resulted in a bunch of young men that won't even make the first move on dates. They live in cushioned cocoons that include very small circles of friends and visits to beauty salons and no desire to put in the kind of work that leads to an extraordinary life. They have no clue how to put in the kind of extraordinary work that builds a military machine that almost toppled America and an economy that almost bought America.
New leadership in Japan recognizes this, and they're taking action. Don't get me wrong, the samurai attitude resulted in inhumane acts of aggression against its neighbors and a fierce war with America. Yet, I long for leadership in America that doesn't lower the bar of achievement to the point where mediocrity is the goal. I fear the idea of everyone getting a trophy in school will muffle the inner seeds of innovation and competitiveness that historically blossomed into the leaders that changed the world.
Japan is correct. Poverty shouldn't be so comfortable you don't want to work.
The dole is more than just a handout, it's a way of life for those that get sucked into it long term. It's an insidious trap, and the longer one gets stuck, the more difficult it is to get un-stuck.
The promotion of welfare, food stamps and even higher minimum wage as birthrights rather than temporary aide afforded citizens is really disgraceful. Poverty sucks, I know this, but nothing is worse than being an American that never takes advantage of the opportunities this nation provides.
There is a fine line between down-and-out and comfort. It's too attractive in America to drop out of the job market. The goodies are like anchors to incentive and desire.
So, Japan has it right, and it only took twenty years to figure it out. How long will it take for America to get this right? The Great Society delivered by LBJ, picked up from FDR, put entitlements on steroids and created the modern welfare and food stamp society. It was supposed to erase poverty and make all Americans prosperous. It didn't work.
Speaking of Work
The Center for College Affordability and Productivity produced "Why Are Recent College Graduates Underemployed?" which pointed out several thorny issues with the economy and employment reality. Here are some highlights:
> 48% of employed US college grads in jobs that require less than four-year college education
> Five million college grads in jobs that require less than high school education
> 24.6% of employees in retail sales have college degree
> 10.2% of cashiers have college degree
> 115,520 janitors have college degree
It's an exhaustive paper, and I'm still trying to understand all the implications, but for sure it says this is an economy that's not generating enough jobs or the right jobs. College grads have to gut it out and resist the temptation to drop out of the work force. I tip my hat to them and know it should get better because it can get better. But you can see how the allure of moving to the sideline must look to frustrated and underpaid grads.
The irony is a lot of high school dropouts aren't gutting it out; they don't have to. Portrayed as victims, they get to demand greater slices of wealth from the rich and not-so-rich. You wonder how long college grads can hold out before checking out.
Recent college grads are not necessarily underemployed.
About 5% of them are functionally illiterate, and 30% have a low level of literacy. So waiting on customers at the local watering hole may be the right job for them.
Colleges pursuing "diversity" admit "underprivileged" applicants who need remedial classes - which apparently often fail to remedy. And my freshman daughter, at a "diverse" college, is in a 200-level chemistry class where the first subject covered was unit conversions - which she had already learned in (a much less "diverse") high school!
One of the reasons for this is because a famous comedian Junichi Komoto (who is quite rich) has a mother that was discovered to be on welfare even though Komoto could take care of her easily. Then, quite a few celebrities with large incomes were found to have parents on welfare even though they could comfortably care for them.
Thus, this became a topic of controversy in Japan.
With the deterioration of the trade schools and apprentiseship programs in the US, “colleges” began the propaganda one must have a college “degree” to do well. Layer on top of this the diversity programs most schools are forced to accept and what you end up with is a substantial number of individuals pursuing degrees in areas foreign to their abilities or desires. Layer one more thing over these wherein high schools graduate a large number of mental midgets or wherein admissions in an effort to get cheeks in the seats and checks in the bank accept GD degrees or even life experiences for entry and the result is what we have...a large base of “degreed” applicants without the sense of how to turn on a light switch.
like Obama’s Aunt, another freeloader?
“So, Japan has it right, and it only took twenty years to figure it out. How long will it take for America to get this right? The Great Society delivered by LBJ, picked up from FDR, put entitlements on steroids and created the modern welfare and food stamp society. It was supposed to erase poverty and make all Americans prosperous. It didn’t work.”
It might work in Japan.
It won’t work here.
The difference: demographics.
Charles Payne and I are on the same wavelength. Honored to be in his company. I posted a blurb on this same topic from the Japan Times today.
I’d say 98.5% of America’s poor are ‘Comfortably Poor.’
And when the government eventually has to cut back on its services our sorry demographic lot will struggle and scrape to be labeled ‘Poorer then Poor’ and ‘Dirt Poor’ to keep getting their largess.
You can be ‘Comfortably Poor’ in Japan, because you can’t cry racist in that homogenous society. But that euphemistic PC term is coming to America because the money is running out for the socialists.
Progressives always fail the proletariat, but the idiot voters never seem to realize it.
Japan’s homogenous demographics allow it to make an across the board 6.5% cut in welfare payments to the “Comfortably Poor.”
If only the Progressive-Fascist-Socialists here were that brave and honest. They prefer groveling in their insidiousness. Welfare will be cut here, but it will be in the guise of controlling social behavior. You will only be entitled to full benefits if you tow the ‘State’ line.
If you smoke, are obese, or take drugs your health care will cost more. Sugar, salt and fats will be taxed. I just read about one locality that is going to reduce welfare payments 20% if your child is failing in school.
Payments will be reduced if your cardboard box hovel doesn’t meet federal standards. Whatever; they will find ways of making you comply with Mark Steyn’s famous Bureau of Compliances.
Maybe you can tow it to a remedial English class at your local university.