The Narrative: Welfare Dependence Is A Zero-Sum Game
In fiscal year 2019, the federal government spent $4.4 trillion, amounting to 21 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Of that $4.4 trillion, over $3.5 trillion was financed by federal revenues. The remaining amount ($984 billion) was financed by borrowing.
Twenty-three percent of the budget went to Social Security, 25-percent went to Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and ACA subsidies, 16-percent went to defense and international security, and two categories accounted for about eight-percent (less than a fifth) of the budget: Interest on debt and safety net programs, such as aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship.
Safety net programs include: the refundable portions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which assist low- and moderate-income working families; programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households, including Supplemental Security Income for the elderly or disabled poor and unemployment insurance; various forms of in-kind assistance for low-income people, including SNAP (food stamps), school meals, low-income housing assistance, child care assistance, and help meeting home energy bills; and various other programs such as those that aid abused or neglected children.
Such programs keep millions of people out of poverty each year.
A CBPP analysis using Census’ Supplemental Poverty Measure shows that government safety net programs kept 37 million people out of poverty in calendar year 2018. Without any government income assistance, either from safety net programs or other income supports like Social Security, the poverty rate would have been 24.0 percent in 2018, nearly double the actual 12.8 percent. And these programs reduced the depth of poverty for millions more, even when not bringing them above the poverty line.
Lifeboat v. Safety Net
It goes without saying that eight-percent of the national budget is not a lot to pick apart.
It would cost the U.S. government far more to have homeless, starving people running rampant all over it who are without the basic necessities of living, let alone human dignity. It almost makes the nation's reasons for starting wars with other countries (allegedly "saving" others from destitute, meaningless, non-economic lives under various terrorists and dictators and such) null and void.
A country that does the same thing they accuse others of doesn't have a fight to pick - with anyone.
Secondarily, considering that welfare was initially created as a financial lifeboat for newly-unemployed plantation workers; a lifeboat on a sinking ship once known as the "slave economy," and that it ultimately became a safety net for unemployed European-Americans during lean and hard economic times, the only real social stigma is the many courtroom battles that had to take place in order for poverty-stricken white people and black people under the same or similar circumstances, to be treated equally by a government only one of them literally slaved to build.
There was always a certain negative social stigma attached to government program dependence, but it becomes awkwardly negative when a particular race is pinned to it with the words "lazy" and "unwilling to work" attached to it. People tend to forget that the system itself was built and funded by the very people who were not allowed to partake of it for a very long time.
The Zillion-Dollar Trap That Nurses Economic Disparities
When "zillionaire" Jeff Bezos told his employees "thank you" for allowing him to be so rich that he could catapult himself into outer space in a phallic-shaped space vehicle with marginally sexist tattoos glued to it, it cast a long harmful shadow over the futures of his employees - mostly young people who work hard with very little pay and next to no benefits - who worked "like slaves" to get him there.
It was so atrociously stupid for him to say that in public that he may as well have added the word "suckers" to the end of that statement. That was how it should have made them feel ... but he did have to literally pay for being willfully ignorant, and some of his "free ride to the outer hemisphere" constituents are now in the process of organizing their labor under Union leadership.
Amazon Will Offer Free College To Employees: Joining Efforts By Companies And Congress To Reduce Reliance On Student Loans. ... The company plans to cover 100% of tuition, as well as fees and the costs of books, for its 750,000 hourly employees. The benefits will be provided through Amazon's Career Choice program. - Sep 10, 2021
The so-called dubious 'welfare economy', especially for those who go to work everyday and still need government assistance just to make ends meet, ought to learn to do the same - no matter how people look, how much they weigh, who they are related to, or what side of the street they live on.
Tell the truth and shame the devil.
The mistaken notion is that prevails is that people who "get off welfare" will get a job, and if they get a job, they will advance and succeed in life.
That's a rolling zombie of untruth.
There was never an absolute guarantee that a "commitment to hard work" would help people make it in the Americas. Most people who work hard don't make it.
The United States has never had a time in its history when it had available work opportunities for anyone and everyone who wanted a job, let alone equal opportunities for suppressed minorities. That never happened. Even in good economic times when the nation is bursting with at the seams with jobs, there is no such thing as a "good job with benefits" for everyone who can work or who wants to.
Let's be real.
The majority of people who are government-dependent can't work for some reason or another. Some of them are too old and have already lived their lives working in poverty jobs with nothing left to save, are too young (minors under the age of 16), and many are mentally or physically or emotionally handicapped.
The reason the social "safety net" is only at eight percent is because it doesn't represent for the other 92-percent of the federal deficit where people of all races and ethnicities are working and understand that part of their taxes (8%) goes to help those who cannot help themselves.
As an aside, churches that demand "tithing" really ought to only get the other two(2)-percent that doesn't go to the government, especially if they don't do a lot to help the people in their own communities.
That's less than the 10-percent that the Bible talks about paying in tithes and offerings for the purpose of equality of distribution - "so that he who has much does not have too much and he who has little suffers no lack" - 2nd Corinthians 8:15. To come into alignment with that scripture, the government would need to add another two-percent to that eight for the safety net.
Countless factors, from "blacklisting" to nepotism to retaliation, and from budgeting concerns within small and mid-sized businesses, and also from prevailing cultural skin-color racism and male chauvinism, to the lack of educability and training options, and even the sideways shaved off 'hits' on job opportunities (a direct result of social stigmas with regard to people's looks, weight, height, grammar, interview mannerisms, zip codes and the types of names on their resumes, and anything else a biased mind wants to see for the moment), closes the doors on what could be available jobs for others who are only circumstantially unemployable due to various biases.
Caveat: Add to that the jobs that are only made up for people who are owed 'favors' and/or given to people who "sleep with" or marry or even finagle their way into positions that would not ordinarily be theirs ... and you have any number of hundreds of thousands of job opportunities that are not going to be filled by the folks who need the work the most.
"Go get a job, You Lazy Bum"
...isn't as accomplishable as people who say it try to make it sound.
The inevitable and only appropriate response to "Go get a job!" is "Are you hiring?" No? Then shut up until you can employ people who need one.
In a zero-sum game, it can be said that "houses need people", not the other way around. But if people get houses and don't have to pay for them, someone loses, correct?
Nobody truly wins if the only financial gains made are designed for someone else to lose; yet, this is how the American economy works. It's made for those who get rich to have to pay more because the economic playing field was never level in the first place.
The Gig Economy is a factor that needs to happen, because "getting off welfare" is never going to be a guaranteed walk to "making it," especially not with earned wages about 65 years behind the weaponized cost-of-living at this point.
Working for poverty should not have been option, but it was. An average person pays $50-$100 a day to keep a job, above the $250-500 they paid to get one. Expenses are not a non-factor in social enterprise, which is what always makes welfare more appealing even to those who could work, but know it's not worth it.
What does the future hold?
Nobody knows, but it is highly dependent on the available opportunities and who is holding the keys to the doors that unlock them and what they choose to do with those keys.
Call it a matrix, a rabbit hole, whatever you want to call it, but the the absence of welfare dependency makes the U.S. a modern-day third world nation that still won't get anyone a job regardless.
That social dynamic of "job-getting" and "job-having" and "job-keeping" is platted on another grid where the people who "luck out" or "get blessed" don't even have to have a college degree to make it, let alone a job.
Yet ... the economic "wall street-type" set-up in this nation is that someone has to lose in order to make winners.
Note: Always take your best shot, always think positively, always be motivated to make it ... but just remember there are no guarantees regardless.
That never-ending so-called "socialist" cycle will never end. If the free market is to remain free, someone must lose; and others will have to pay for those losses. Oh oh ...