I agree with Ron Haskins here that when today’s Progressives say that Americans in poverty only live on $2 a day, they tend to leave out things like public housing, food assistance, Medicaid to use as examples. All of these benefits that go to low-income non-workers and unemployed workers. All of these benefits are obviously worth money and help people in poverty pay their bills and survive in the short-term. Plus all the benefits that people get from private charity as well. Like extra food, blankets, clothes, furniture even. All of these things that we all need to live well and survive in America that go to low-income people whether they work, or not for free and they all have cash value.
The way for more people on Welfare to earn more money is to either go to work, or get a good job. And where government can help is help low-income people find good jobs. And if they’re also low-skilled empower them to finish or further their education. Public assistance in America was never designed for people to live comfortably and to feel like they are part of the middle class. Especially when you have to be out of work, or have a low-income job in order just to qualify for public assistance. The idea is to encourage as many physically and mentally able people to become independent and work with a good job. So we have as small of a poverty population as possible which gives us more resources to help the less-fortunate.
One of the reasons why I would like to see a 10-12 dollar an hour minimum or living wage in America at least for adults who have finished high school is to encourage more low-income people to work. And then apply the $7.25 minimum wage to people on Welfare for a forty hours a week. Have people on Welfare take the first job that they are qualified for and give them real work experience. As well as assistance for child support and education so they can get themselves the skills that they need to get a good job. Like finishing high school if they haven’t done that, junior college, or vocational training, empower them to start their own business’s even and even work from home.
Today’s Progressives, Social Democrats really, seem to believe that everyone born in America is entitled to at least a middle class income for simply being live in America even if they didn’t earn that income form their own skills and what they bring to the market. The problem with that is once you encourage people to not earn their own living and not work for it that is exactly what is going to happen. You’ll see more Americans decide, “why should I finish my education and get a good job when Uncle Sam is just going to give me a check every week or month that covers all of my bills and allows for me to live comfortably?” Plus throw in how expensive and national basic income would be. Even if you have that you’re still going to have to have a lot of deciding to get educated and earn a good living for themselves.
Public assistance is social insurance. You collect from it to help you get by in the short-term while you’re rebuilding your lives, or a building a life for yourself and your family. But unless you’re disabled it is not meant to live off of at least not indefinitely, but to help you get by in the short-term. And one thing that you can also do with social insurance is to prepare people and empower people to take control and charge over their own affairs. That comes with education and a good job, economic development, infrastructure, small business loans, to empower people who are struggling to get on their own feet and no longer have to live in public assistance at all. You don’t move people out of poverty by giving them bigger public assistance checks. That just encourages more people to get on public assistance. Especially if they’re already struggling.