False welfare reform; and other phony info

I saw this message about drug testing welfare recipients on Facebook. It irritated me, and I wrote: “This is an amazing waste of money. 1) Most jobs DON’T require it. 2) In places, such as Florida, it’s cost more to do the testing than the savings gained by denying benefits.

The only reason I’m even bothering to bring this up here – besides as a response to my low blogging output of late – is that the person who posted was a friend, not a Facebook “friend”, but a real-life friend. I had thought to dispute the post via Instant Messaging, but once the post started getting LIKEs, it seemed that I needed to answer via the same medium. (Rather like how I feel a front-page newspaper error should be corrected in the same location.)

The only other “correction of the Internet” I tend to do publicly – as opposed to private fixes of typos – involves finding some myth that has easily corrected via Snopes. So I was mildly disappointed to discover that sometimes Snopes is not the authoritative source either. “They concocted a section called ‘The Repository of Lost Legends’ (‘TROLL’), consisting of nine stories made up by the Snopes duo, five of which they flagged as ‘True.’ Here is the ‘pear flag’ story, and there is also one about how Mississippi removed fractions and decimals from the school curriculum, and three other stories which are just believable enough – but are fake.” They do warn against false authority, even themselves.

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8 thoughts on “False welfare reform; and other phony info

  1. It’s exceedingly hard for me to imagine an alternative to ad hominem argument in a world so flush with information. Or people will have to start admitting that they really don’t know and just cite sources,.

    • In fact, I DO agree with you, Dan, but making the economic argument to someone who is convinced of the rightness of his or her position may be the only thing that works.

  2. This nonsensical drug-testing position is just another strategy to denigrate people receiving public benefits as if the majority of them are somehow lazy cheats. This is not at all knew, remembering Ronald Raygun’s “Welfare Cadillacs.” I’ve read posts on Facebook by people whom I also actually know who have complained about people buying groceries with food stamps who DARE to have a “smart phone.” Apparently people receiving public benefits are supposed tosell all of their worldly posessions, wear sack cloth, and walk through the streets shouting “I am scum!”

  3. It’s not just an American thing. Our ruling conservative party wanted to put in drug testing for beneficiaries, and the Deputy Prime Minister declared that the forestry industry in his electorate couldn’t employ workers on the unemployment benefit because they couldn’t pass drug tests. Only problem is, there’s absolutely no evidence of that being true. None. Naturally, they didn’t let facts get in the way of ideologically-driven policy.

    Related, they decided to “crack down” on “welfare fraud”, which really meant kicking needy people off the welfare rolls. It turns out, genuine “welfare fraud” is a tiny percentage of the money lost through tax evasion. But they’re not as easy a target and beneficiaries are.

  4. Well Roger, we have this thing called the Fourth Amendment. Those folks who need to be convinced about the “rightness” of the Bill of Rights… I’m sick of arguing with them. As far as I’m concerned they can leave this country. As they say, I’m done.

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