T Nation

Welfare Checks Tied to Grades/Attendance

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/28/tennessee-wants-to-tie-welfare-benefits-to-good-grades/

I just had a conversation about this type of idea with a friend of mine that has been teaching for 10 years in the public school system. My mother also taught for over 25 years in the public school system and the biggest issues both face are the students that are on some type of entitlement and their inability of their parents to engage and help their children out. If the money stops flowing then the parents might get involved.

I think incentivizing kids themselves to work harder & behave better would be a much better strategy.

Tweaking welfare checks on the basis of school performance is just going add more fuel to various: Elitist/ social class arguments.

I know, if I was a lil kid again & I knew the benefits my parents received were being affected purely because I wasn’t hitting a certain grade, this likely wouldn’t have motivated me to try harder, it would have just made even more convinced than I already was that schools/governments care much more in reality about grades/statistics as opposed to actually cultivating raw ABILITY.

But hey, I am a contrarian…so, maybe this is a good idea…I can just see a lot more negatives than positives with it.

I like this. Good students are made good students by good parents. If this pushes some mothers to suddenly start taking an interest in Johnny’s attendance record, then it’s worth it.

I think that would be like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.

How about combining the Welfare and Employment services and offer jobs to the parents? Maybe use it like a temp service. Farmer Brown needs his tomatoes picked and is willing to pay $10 an hour? We have unemployed people right here!

Don’t want to pick tomatoes, eh? So then, the part about desperately looking for a job was a lie. Benefits denied. NEXT!

I have absolutely no problem with helping people through rough spots or when they need a helping hand. That’s what we are supposed to do as civilized people. I have a HUGE problem with rewarding the laziness and excuses and belly-aching of people who take advantage of the system. So long as we continue to do so, you cannot motivate people to do better for themselves and their families.

I don’t see how it will pass , it would be way to difficult to implement

I would love to have the answer, but I will tell you all the current system is broken, and something needs to be done. Doing something is better than doing nothing, and that is my opinion. I want everyone to succeed. I want to help people who actually need help. I would prefer more accountability, and not just send a check or reloading a debit card.

Chicago tried paying students to get better grades, I don’t see why the above idea is any worse.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Chicago tried paying students to get better grades, I don’t see why the above idea is any worse. [/quote]

Paying for grades is a reward. This is messing with money these people are ENTITLED to. Totally worse.

[quote]dmaddox wrote:
I would love to have the answer, but I will tell you all the current system is broken, and something needs to be done. Doing something is better than doing nothing, and that is my opinion. I want everyone to succeed. I want to help people who actually need help. I would prefer more accountability, and not just send a check or reloading a debit card.[/quote]

Couldn’t agree more.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.
[/quote]

It is blanket statements like this that make these conversations absolutely worthless.

Our society happens to be one of the most productive in the world. We work longer hours and accomplish more work during those hours than essentially any other fully-developed country; even manufacturing powerhouses like China are less productive. The three in one hundred Americans who are chronically unemployed outside of recessions and weak recoveries–many of whom suffer from various mental illnesses–do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

As for the second part, while welfare dependency is a problem, it’s nothing like the insidious, gargantuan scam that Reaganites love to pretend it is. There are more adult SNAP recipients who earn–as in, from working–more than 50 percent of their total income than those who do not by a factor of three.

Which is not to say it isn’t a problem. But it’s better to look at the actual problem than its caricature.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.
[/quote]

It is blanket statements like this that make these conversations absolutely worthless.

Our society happens to be one of the most productive in the world. We work longer hours and accomplish more work during those hours than essentially any other fully-developed country; even manufacturing powerhouses like China are less productive. The three in one hundred Americans who are chronically unemployed outside of recessions and weak recoveries–many of whom suffer from various mental illnesses–do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

As for the second part, while welfare dependency is a problem, it’s nothing like the insidious, gargantuan scam that Reaganites love to pretend it is. There are more adult SNAP recipients who earn–as in, from working–more than 50 percent of their total income than those who do not by a factor of three.

Which is not to say it isn’t a problem. But it’s better to look at the actual problem than its caricature.[/quote]
A fair assessment, though I would disagree with the 3% fraud estimate in welfare (depends on what you constitute as fraud).

I was being myopic about it to prove a point.

Good parents with good kids who happen to be on welfare won’t be affected. Good parents with bad kids (there are some out there who just can’t be taught what’s right) who happen to be on welfare will get screwed. Bad parents with good kids (there are some who just can’t be brought down) will benefit through no action of there own, as usual. And bad parents with bad kids will get screwed.

So how much good would we really do with this program? Impossible to say, even with a long hard look at the stats, I think. Worth a try? Sure it is! But I doubt it will do much good, and will probably hurt good, honest people as an unfortunate unintended consequence.

I think that education and training to foster skills an abilities should be the central focus of any program that claims to be beneficial to the public’s welfare.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.
[/quote]

It is blanket statements like this that make these conversations absolutely worthless.

Our society happens to be one of the most productive in the world. We work longer hours and accomplish more work during those hours than essentially any other fully-developed country; even manufacturing powerhouses like China are less productive. The three in one hundred Americans who are chronically unemployed outside of recessions and weak recoveries–many of whom suffer from various mental illnesses–do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

As for the second part, while welfare dependency is a problem, it’s nothing like the insidious, gargantuan scam that Reaganites love to pretend it is. There are more adult SNAP recipients who earn–as in, from working–more than 50 percent of their total income than those who do not by a factor of three.

Which is not to say it isn’t a problem. But it’s better to look at the actual problem than its caricature.[/quote]
A fair assessment, though I would disagree with the 3% fraud estimate in welfare (depends on what you constitute as fraud).

I was being myopic about it to prove a point.

Good parents with good kids who happen to be on welfare won’t be affected. Good parents with bad kids (there are some out there who just can’t be taught what’s right) who happen to be on welfare will get screwed. Bad parents with good kids (there are some who just can’t be brought down) will benefit through no action of there own, as usual. And bad parents with bad kids will get screwed.

So how much good would we really do with this program? Impossible to say, even with a long hard look at the stats, I think. Worth a try? Sure it is! But I doubt it will do much good, and will probably hurt good, honest people as an unfortunate unintended consequence.

I think that education and training to foster skills an abilities should be the central focus of any program that claims to be beneficial to the public’s welfare.[/quote]

I agree with this good, thoughtful post.

As an aside–I did not mean that three in one hundred welfare recipients commit welfare fraud; I mean that the chronically unemployed–the people who literally don’t work, ever, and probably don’t look for work either–tends to spike and dip between .5 percent and 3 percent in the United States. Meaning that, at any given time, there are roughly two truly lazy, refuse-to-work chiselers for every 98 people who are not (two caveats: this rate has risen to about four in this recession, though it should come down; and lazy is often a bad term for many of these people, because there is a lot of serious mental incapacity in there).

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.
[/quote]

It is blanket statements like this that make these conversations absolutely worthless.

Our society happens to be one of the most productive in the world. We work longer hours and accomplish more work during those hours than essentially any other fully-developed country; even manufacturing powerhouses like China are less productive. The three in one hundred Americans who are chronically unemployed outside of recessions and weak recoveries–many of whom suffer from various mental illnesses–do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

As for the second part, while welfare dependency is a problem, it’s nothing like the insidious, gargantuan scam that Reaganites love to pretend it is. There are more adult SNAP recipients who earn–as in, from working–more than 50 percent of their total income than those who do not by a factor of three.

Which is not to say it isn’t a problem. But it’s better to look at the actual problem than its caricature.[/quote]

The output per hour worked is actually higher in a lot of European countries, the fact that Chinas is lower is due to the fact that they are not even nearly as indrustrialized as the US.

So yes, you work longer hours, but no, you do net get more done in those hours, per hour.

[quote]smh23 wrote:
do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

[/quote]

I have had two clients in Hotel/resort type industry tell me in the last 30 days that the J1’s the bring in for “on-season” hires are ten fold the employees the Americans are, and they are going back to an 80/20 split.

Basically saying many of the Americans they get just don’t put the effort into a job like that and see it as beneath them, while the Eastern Europeans work their ass off. (And then party like it is 1999 with massive orgies in the staff housing, but hey… Guests are happy.)

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.
[/quote]

It is blanket statements like this that make these conversations absolutely worthless.

Our society happens to be one of the most productive in the world. We work longer hours and accomplish more work during those hours than essentially any other fully-developed country; even manufacturing powerhouses like China are less productive. The three in one hundred Americans who are chronically unemployed outside of recessions and weak recoveries–many of whom suffer from various mental illnesses–do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

As for the second part, while welfare dependency is a problem, it’s nothing like the insidious, gargantuan scam that Reaganites love to pretend it is. There are more adult SNAP recipients who earn–as in, from working–more than 50 percent of their total income than those who do not by a factor of three.

Which is not to say it isn’t a problem. But it’s better to look at the actual problem than its caricature.[/quote]

The output per hour worked is actually higher in a lot of European countries, the fact that Chinas is lower is due to the fact that they are not even nearly as indrustrialized as the US.

So yes, you work longer hours, but no, you do net get more done in those hours, per hour.[/quote]

But not including Greece. I know it’s way off-topic but when you bring up national productivity you can almost tie it with national debt capacity. As long as you maintain a productive workforce and keep unemployment manageable to the point you have sustainable growth in gross national output (GDP) then you are able to run government deficits and debt. Yes, there will be a tipping fulcrum where your borrowings dangerously exceed national output but productivity is key. American productivity is one of the reasons US debt is so cheap. (Yes we get it the Fed is still actively running its purchasing programs – however that is probably responsible for about 30-100 basis points in lower-than-otherwise rates)

This is an interesting idea although I believe it is too controversial to ever get passed and signed. It shouldn’t be controversial, I keep hearing about how the US educational system is broken and this is simply a proposed solution. At least it brings legislative spotlight on the educational system so more proposals can be designed and discussed.

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Our society frowns on discipline and rewards laziness. You can’t motivate the kids if the parents make a living by sitting on their asses.
[/quote]

It is blanket statements like this that make these conversations absolutely worthless.

Our society happens to be one of the most productive in the world. We work longer hours and accomplish more work during those hours than essentially any other fully-developed country; even manufacturing powerhouses like China are less productive. The three in one hundred Americans who are chronically unemployed outside of recessions and weak recoveries–many of whom suffer from various mental illnesses–do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

As for the second part, while welfare dependency is a problem, it’s nothing like the insidious, gargantuan scam that Reaganites love to pretend it is. There are more adult SNAP recipients who earn–as in, from working–more than 50 percent of their total income than those who do not by a factor of three.

Which is not to say it isn’t a problem. But it’s better to look at the actual problem than its caricature.[/quote]

The output per hour worked is actually higher in a lot of European countries, the fact that Chinas is lower is due to the fact that they are not even nearly as indrustrialized as the US.

So yes, you work longer hours, but no, you do net get more done in those hours, per hour.[/quote]

Actually, the Chinese work longer hours and produce far less (I’m not sure if your last sentence referred to the Chinese or not).

Anyway, American hours worked vs. productivity rates–both must be high ir order to have a truly productive workforce–tend to be, on balance, exceptional. And nearly always better than the Europeans (though I understand that the Norwegians have the first-place slot for total value generated per hour, with the US just second. This is, of course, balanced out by the fact that the US works more). I have a heap of studies which confirm this.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:
do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

[/quote]

I have had two clients in Hotel/resort type industry tell me in the last 30 days that the J1’s the bring in for “on-season” hires are ten fold the employees the Americans are, and they are going back to an 80/20 split.

Basically saying many of the Americans they get just don’t put the effort into a job like that and see it as beneath them, while the Eastern Europeans work their ass off. (And then party like it is 1999 with massive orgies in the staff housing, but hey… Guests are happy.)[/quote]

I, too, have experienced the sheer superiority of immigrant workers over their American counterparts. Keep in mind, though, that this tends to be in low-income work and that low-income work tends to fall to American teenagers and/or dropouts.

When you’re talking productivity, you’re talking a lot more than that–the value that you generate per hour multiplied by what I’m sure is the ungodly amount of hours you work until the end of tax season, for example. Or the amount of work that an American engineer at Boeing does in comparison with his Russian counterpart.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:
do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

[/quote]

I have had two clients in Hotel/resort type industry tell me in the last 30 days that the J1’s the bring in for “on-season” hires are ten fold the employees the Americans are, and they are going back to an 80/20 split.

Basically saying many of the Americans they get just don’t put the effort into a job like that and see it as beneath them, while the Eastern Europeans work their ass off. (And then party like it is 1999 with massive orgies in the staff housing, but hey… Guests are happy.)[/quote]

I, too, have experienced the sheer superiority of immigrant workers over their American counterparts. Keep in mind, though, that this tends to be in low-income work and that low-income work tends to fall to American teenagers and/or dropouts.

When you’re talking productivity, you’re talking a lot more than that–the value that you generate per hour multiplied by what I’m sure is the ungodly amount of hours you work until the end of tax season, for example. Or the amount of work that an American engineer at Boeing does in comparison with his Russian counterpart.[/quote]

I contend the immigrant does not know how they are being exploited by low wages and if they do know they are not sure what to do about it . Time fixes all :slight_smile:

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:
do not define a nation in which the other ninety-seven are among the best workers there are.

[/quote]

I have had two clients in Hotel/resort type industry tell me in the last 30 days that the J1’s the bring in for “on-season” hires are ten fold the employees the Americans are, and they are going back to an 80/20 split.

Basically saying many of the Americans they get just don’t put the effort into a job like that and see it as beneath them, while the Eastern Europeans work their ass off. (And then party like it is 1999 with massive orgies in the staff housing, but hey… Guests are happy.)[/quote]

I, too, have experienced the sheer superiority of immigrant workers over their American counterparts. Keep in mind, though, that this tends to be in low-income work and that low-income work tends to fall to American teenagers and/or dropouts.

When you’re talking productivity, you’re talking a lot more than that–the value that you generate per hour multiplied by what I’m sure is the ungodly amount of hours you work until the end of tax season, for example. Or the amount of work that an American engineer at Boeing does in comparison with his Russian counterpart.[/quote]

I contend the immigrant does not know how they are being exploited by low wages and if they do know they are not sure what to do about it . Time fixes all :slight_smile:
[/quote]

To be fair, these kids aren’t being paid slave wages. 19-23k over 4 months, and orgies in America… Not too shabby.