Archive for the ‘Combating Poverty’ Category

Public Assistance-C

12 Oct

Programs for the disabled have caused just as many problems.  Disabled benefits are taken out of Social Security funds for those who haven’t reached retirement age but paid into Social Security and are unable to work. That adds to the number of people drawing on the fund. However, the worst problem is the way it is administered. There are many people who are disabled who could work with help. I had Polio when I was young and have trouble with my legs. There are a lot of jobs I can’t do, but I have found jobs I could do. I have been able to work most of my life up to retirement and still take odd jobs. While many recipients of disability are limited in the work they can do, there are other jobs they can do. It may require training but it would be far cheaper to train them and return them to the work force than to continue to support them. In addition, many have disabilities that could be helped with assistance devices but the devices are too expensive for disabled people who cannot work without them. It would be far cheaper to get them the devices  and return them to the workforce than to continue to support them. Most of the social programs developed by the Democrats are geared toward maintaining those in need and not to returning them to active employment. The programs make the people dependent on government support instead of helping them provide for themselves. The real problem is that Democrats having been using that dependency to pressure recipients to vote for them. They claim that if Republicans get in power they will end the programs and recipients will lose their benefits. Republicans have made no such threats and have pushed to redesign the programs to make them more geared toward making recipients better able to provide for their own needs. Republicans did it with welfare and can do it with other programs if given the chance.



Public Assistance-B

12 Oct

The programs for the elderly have been just as bad. Prior to Social Security, people worked until they could no longer work. Then they went in a nursing home or went to live with family. Social Security was meant for the few who could not work but were not in need of a nursing home. Now many people retire at 65 or even 62 so they can enjoy their retirement. As a result, a lot more people are drawing benefits and they are drawing them longer because many people live far longer than they used to.  That would not have been a problem if Democrats had not drained the Social Security fund to develop other poverty programs. The money paid in would have drawn interest and continued to support the withdrawals.  By draining the surplus, it forced the money paid in to fund current recipients and not sit drawing interest. That was not a problem at the time because there were more working than were  drawing Social Security, however the signs pointed to trouble ahead, but they ignored them. The fact that people were living longer and drawing longer, is putting a bigger strain on Social Security than the designers planned on. In addition, abortion has eliminated one out of three babies. That, and the fact the more women are working and having fewer kids means that fewer kids are coming into the work force. That means that fewer workers are paying into the system while more are drawing out of it.  That is putting an even bigger strain on the system which many predict will soon run out of money. In addition, Social Security has not kept up with inflation and many Seniors are struggling.  Their solution is to increase the tax on the rich to provide extra benefits to the poorer recipients. They ignore the fact that there are very few very rich and the added income will not cover the added benefits to the lower income recipients that make up the bulk of recipients. Since Seniors are more healthy and many could work ten to twenty more years, It makes more sense to support Republican plans to raise the retirement age. That way more workers will work longer and draw for a shorter time. While they work, they will continue paying into the system while not drawing from it. That would provide far more benefits because the number contributing would be far greater. The number of people dying increases with age so the age group with the highest number is just after retirement. It addition, it would help if the Democrats just returned the funds they took out for other social programs, including the interest it would have made if invested. The workers paid that money in expecting it would be there for them when they retired but Democrats betrayed them by spending it on other programs. Those funds would support the program for many years to come. The Democrats cry about how Social Security is running out of funds even though those on Social Security paid that money into the fund but continue to add  to the benefits that go to those on welfare who did not pay into it with no thought to the cost. If welfare benefits can be taken from the general fund, there is no reason that funds for Social Security can not be taken out. Seniors deserve it far more.




Public Assistance-A

12 Oct

Democrats say they are concerned about social causes and care about the poor, the elderly, and the disabled and they work to provide safety nets. While that sounds good, the programs they have developed have caused tremendous problems. While private agencies help the needy on the basis of need, the government programs are based on eligibility. When I worked for the welfare dept., we constantly checked to make sure they fell in the income guidelines, however income is not a very good gage of need. A family with no income that got $400 a month  in assistance and paid $300-400 a month for rent had nothing left over for utilities. If the family owned their home, they could pocket anything left over, but would have to spend it so they didn’t accumulate more savings than allowed, so they spent it recklessly.  Both families met the qualifications but only one really needed that much. The same with Food Stamps. The family with a garden got the same as the family without, but one needed it more than the other. While Public assistance required recipients to look for work, many jobs they could have got did not pay as much as they got on welfare so it was often better to go on welfare.  They could still work and get partial benefits to make up the difference  but the program punished recipients for working by holding their welfare checks until they got the pay stubs and refigured what they were eligible for so their checks would be late. I encouraged my clients to find work to enable them to move off welfare but the other Social Workers would get after me because it made more work for them when one of my clients moved into their area. I figured the extra work was worth it if the recipient was able to better themselves. While the recipients would look for work, it was easy to keep from getting a job by making a poor showing at job interviews. In addition, the husband had to leave the home before the family could get help. That caused a lot of broken marriages as husbands left the home so the rest of the family could get help. There was no limit on help and children would grow up and go on welfare, which was easier than working. The “Welfare Reform & Upward Mobility Act”  restored the connection between work and assistance by establishing a 100 hour per month work requirement. There would be an exemption for single parents with children under age 6 but they would still have access to all vocational opportunities. It provides money to assist  with vocational programs for those having trouble finding work. Married couples could split the work requirement enabling them to juggle family and work. In addition, it put a cap on benefits so people could not spend their whole life on assistance. However, they put in a loophole so they  could shift a lot of people from welfare to disability once their benefits reached the limit. It did a lot to curb abuses but there is a long way to go. Many recipients are third generation welfare recipients and have never developed the work habits needed to get and keep a job. It will take a long time to retrain them to support themselves, but the benefits will far outweigh the cost of continuing to maintain them.



Eleventh Sunday of Pentecost-B

10 Aug

Inner city ministry The church has become so middle class oriented that most church members find the inner-city to be like a foreign country. Churches which grew up in the inner-city when it was a middle class neighborhood, are moving to the suburbs as their members become employed and move out and the neighborhood deteriorates into a slum. The problem is that in doing so, they leave their poorer and older members behind since they can not commute and there is no one left to minister to them. In addition, the church gives up its neighborhood base. Without a building in the inner-city, it is almost impossible to carry on a ministry there without renting a building and your motives will be suspect by residents who see you as an outside group trying to exploit them. The problem could be solved by keeping the inner-city church and building a satellite church in the suburbs. By building partnerships with inner-city churches, the rural and suburban church can help the inner-city church carry on ministry. Usually the members of such churches are poor and elderly. They do not have the money or personnel to carry on ministry. The churches outside the city can supply funds and personnel badly needed while the inner-city church can supply the facilities and the trust of the people, as well as a knowledge of the needs and how to meet those needs. As those from outside the city work in the inner-city, the learn about the need and how to minister to them. That  information is helpful as many of those needs are moving to the suburbs which lacks the trained people to deal with them.


Eleventh Sunday of Pentecost-Aug 14-A

10 Aug

Homeless shelter ministry-Many people think of drunks and drug addicts when they think of homeless shelters but a growing number of families are ending up in shelters when they lose their housing. Life can be boring and never ending when there is very little to do, especially for children. Donations of magazines, books, toys, and personal items are always appreciated. In addition, volunteers are needed to provide activities. Churches with buses could take residents to free activities such as museums and collect money to pay their way to ball games, the zoo, or other activities, enabling them to get out and do things they might not otherwise be able to do. Many men and women could use help finding employment, getting their GED, or simply getting clothes suitable for job interviews. Even such things as haircuts and manicures are helpful.


videos-A Servant’s Heart-part-B-book promo

30 May


Videos-Truly in the World-part-A-book promo

22 Apr


“Truly in the World But Not of it-part-A” Examines the various aspects of the world around us in light of the Bible teaching laid out in part-A which deals with Personal Relationships, Health, and Welfare  (available from Lulu Press in paperback and E-book) see Truly In the World But Not of It-part-A (2) by Robert Barr – BookBub


Previous Posts 7/12

02 Oct

This is the seventh in the series of previous posts and highlights
Sanctity of Life, special privileges, Gay Rights, Combating Poverty

Click on the links below to access those series.