Eugenics or social engineering is always a hot topic. What this country needs is just engineering for the production of real wealth.
Why not have random drug testing for everyone who receives a payment from the state? Top down, all branches of government? Entitlements, salary, contracts, whatever. If the Treasurer signs it, be prepared to pee to get it.
I object to people who watch Keith Olberman working for the state, but I don't think there is a urine test for that - yet:-)
Economike asks: And if anyone answered Bob Emrich's question, I missed it.
What would we be trying to accomplish with drug testing of welfare recipients?
The answer is simple. TO HELP THEM. Nobody using large amounts of recreational drugs, and I certainly include alcohol, can ever hope to break out of dependency. A lot of these people just need a little boost to get clean, and tying their welfare benefits to behavior appropriate to reentering the private sector may save them.
Melvin Udall made the indavertntly (if I can use that term) hilarious remark: Can you imagine where we'd be if we treated our kids and pets like we treat those on assistance? Which of course is exactly the problem - most Americans DO treat their children and pets just like the government treats those on assistance. The AVERAGE weekly allowance for the mall surfing sociopaths that pass for children these days was $75 A WEEK - 10 years ago. Lord knows what it is now. And medical insurance for pets is a booming growth industry, soon to include psychiatry.
Mike G was right about the Thelma and Louise thing. But it wasn't Brad Pitt who took our money, worse luck.
And while I thank Heaven every day (almost) for Beth O'Connor, what are we to make of this statement? for those men who make habits of dating and ditching, castrate them to alleviate future problems. It was Eve who gave Adam that apple - women have always been in charge of controlling men's sexual impulses. Ask any married man:-)
Ahh a matriarchal society, I didn't want to bring it up, but there you go, you have broken the known.
The known understanding among men that once you give them that rule you might as well take your balls and go home, because that is actually the fact. Let's face it, America has become a matriarchal society, they rule, the so-called feminine side and they have acclaimed Uncle Sammy is my daddy, well not all of them but lets say a majority of them.
:) :) As far I can see in my anecdotal world most woman are employed in government jobs with dubious retirement plans and limited prospects for continual employment while the men can barely pay for their cell phones.
Earl, read the thread, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Or don't read the thread and come off like an uninformed squawkbox.
So now the personal attacks start..Good form for a so called moderator...And I did apologize if I misundestood what you meant..I guess you didn't read that part huh ?? I'll refrain from calling you a name back because I promised Naran that I would be on my best behavior while Scott was gone but it is difficult.....Yes , your pie in the sky dreams about scrapping it all sound good but you and I both know that ain't happening...What we can do take steps to cut some of the fraud like drug testing and photo ID as well as sensible choices for the food I'm buying for them...Counting the big EIC bonus the feds hand out for not working towards elgibility is a good idea as well...
So if you are a smoker you would not get Mainecare? Sounds like why most people don't want Obamacare, once the govt. controls your healthcare they will control your life, do you really want that?
"It was Eve who gave Adam that apple - women have always been in charge of controlling men's sexual impulses. Ask any married man:-)"
LOL Thras...but it was Adam who took it! And thank you for the kind thoughts.
Is the endgame here to overwhelm the foster care system and tear even more families apart?
That will undoubtedly be the result.
Time to think short term, mid term, and long term as different situations. If you don't you never, ever get beyond the knee jerks.
I have a commercial drivers license, in order to retain it, I have to submit to random drug testing. I have stated my dislike for this requirement on this site before. The standard response, "get a job that does not require a CDL." Welfare is voluntary, if you don't like random drug testing, well, don't apply for the benefits!
It is grossly unfair to paint the "typical" recipient like this:
"they were all without exception using recreational drugs. Not to mention getting tatoos, attending numerous social events weekly and having copious amounts of sex."
I sent an e-mail to with the following message and his response. I was kind of surprised at his lack of response. I guess I was looking for a more definative answer
Dear Senator Saviello,
I saw an article about a bill proposal having to do with denying Mainecare to people who are smokers. I have no problem with this. What I would like to know is would it also remove people from the program who are smokers that are already receiving Mainecare if this became a law?
Here is a true story. I am kind of torn and when you are done reading it, you will see why. My neighbor has lung cancer and is a smoker, he is also on oxygen. I have tried to explain to him from the health standpoint that it would be beneficial for him to stop smoking. That didn't work. I have tried to explain to him that all his treatments are for nothing if he continues to smoke. Nope, no luck there either. I then took the hard core approach and said that I know you are on Mainecare and that the taxpayers are footing the bill for everything, do you think they would approve? I was then told that "It is my life and I can live it anyway I want to".
I would not mind so much if he would do the right thing and give up the smoking. It is our taxpayer dollars that are paying for his healthcare. Thanks so much for your time.
you have told a story that truly exhibits why I did this. If we are paying we need to have a say.
I have a commercial drivers license, in order to retain it, I have to submit to random drug testing. I have stated my dislike for this requirement on this site before.
Do you truly believe forcing others to be subjected to an unjust rule is the correct way to do business?
The fundamental question comes down to.
Do we provide welfare to help people in need?
Do we provide welfare to dictate the way people in need live?
It is either a benevolent program to help the needy or it is a method of controlling people.
Stavros, maybe you can point me to the constitutionality of welfare. People say random drug testing would be an unconstitutional provision, for what I say is an unconstitutional program.
If you are on welfare, your assets should be very limited. No snowmobiles, no atv's, no camps, no boats. If you are on welfare, you should have no time for those luxuries, you need to be out looking for a way to support yourself!
And finally, does he have the right to deprive "the children" of Maine of a desirable future by seeing it as "his right" to have an unsustainable economy that cannot offer future prosperity for our young?
I think this question exemplifies the illogical approach to welfare reform taken by many in this thread. A person who receives welfare benefits isn't responsible for depriving others. The guility parties are the tax collector and the agency that distributes welfare benefits.
First we begin with a government that offers a confusing, wasteful mishmash of benefits that pay people to remain aimless and idle; this is welfare dependence. Is the solution to this problem spitefully to treat welfare recipients as a feckless, parasitical, drug-addled gang of thieves?
I wrote this earlier and I think it's worth a repeat:
"And it's not just the politicians and bureaucrats who have perpetuated the system. A large part of the impetus for a fragmented, redundant welfare system has come from conservatives who seek paternalistic constraints on the choices of welfare recipients, this thread being a case in point. It's not a bad thing that Americans find repugnant the idea of living on the dole, but sometimes this strain finds political expression in absurd ways."
I'm astonished that conservatives who presumably understand the incentive effects of marginal tax rates can't understand how the welfare system create incentives to avoid seeking work.
If our goal is to shrink the welfare rolls and to encourage self-sufficiency then we should reform the welfare system - reduce its redundant costs and complexity. We should also reform employment laws to make it easier to find and keep low-skilled jobs.
I sent the Senator a followup e-mail
Yes, but would you remove those who are currently getting mainecare who are smokers. This answer may also help me reach my neighbor and get him to think about quitting. Thanks.
unfortunately no. I cannot make it retroactive. At least i do not think so. BUT you can suggest to your neighbor it might happen.
Robert, I believe the state's have the right to spend your money any way the Legislature sees fit. That is pretty clear in the Constitution. The only limit on spending in Maine is when the state goes into debt.
This nanny statist obsession with smokers and other who don't live within our moral code is a foolish road to travel. Once we take the benefits from those on welfare, then insurance companies will drop smokers and then they will find the next "undesirable" group.
It really bothers me when otherwise intelligent people grab for their torches and pitchforks and don't bother to think of the long term effects of their action.
I find it curious why people are so obsessed with getting the terminally ill or those in nursing homes to quit smoking. Is your life so bitter and unenjoyable that you need to take away the last pleasure a dying person has left?
Interesting point by Stavros: It is either a benevolent program to help the needy or it is a method of controlling people.
You might also ask: Is the point of incarceration rehabilitation or punishment?
The Victorian response would have been that the purpose of these programs is self betterment. They had no doubts they knew what was best, and were perfectly willing to inflict it on their charges (think about the word "charges". They were "charged" by their religious impulses with a Christian duty to reform the lower classes).
Much as I loathe do-gooderism in all its myriad disguises, there is ample evidence it "worked" when it was sufficiently rigorous. A lady I knew who received welfare in Mass in the 60's recounted how social workers showed up unannounced and looked under her bed for any male presence. Their charges were regarded as willful children who needed correction, in order to develop good character. Now there's a word you don't hear much anymore...
Sounds terrible - until you compare it to our modern system, and consider the unintended consequences of allowing slacker behavior.
Stavros: It really bothers me when otherwise intelligent people grab for their torches and pitchforks and don't bother to think of the long term effects of their action.
Now you are playing the false choices game (is our point to help...or control...., etc), and then you lay out the classic shot in your own foot comment.
Why don't you first get us all up to speed on the "long term effects" of our current policies and programs.
And to the poster with the smoking neighbor on oxygen, the last I heard, that's a recipe, if nothing else, for a nice visit from your local Fire Department.
Robert, I believe the state's have the right to spend your money any way the Legislature sees fit.
Could you please show me where the legislature has the power to take what is mine and give it to someone else? Could you please show me a document that grants that power? Does the state constitution trump the US constitution?
I just the neightbor a copy of the newspaper article and my first e-mail and we had a discussion about what might happen as a possibility. He said that it now is time for him to think about it, but he wants to see if the law passes first and he also wants to talk to his wife as well because she is also receiving Mainecare and is also a smoker. At least this time he was a little more receptive than the last time.
in English history, any sum of money, disguised as a gift, extorted by various English kings, from Edward IV to James I, from their subjects without Parliament's consent. Forced loans had been taken earlier, but Edward IV discarded even the pretense of repayment, and the word benevolence was first used in 1473 to describe an extorted gift. Richard III's attempts to raise benevolences were opposed by Parliament, which in 1484 abolished them as "new and unlawful inventions." In spite of the law, Henry VII made widespread use of the practice, in 1495 persuading Parliament to make those who had promised gifts legally liable for unpaid arrears. Henry VIII demanded benevolences in 1528 and 1545, but the practice was not followed by his successors. It was revived by James I, who received large sums in 1614. Further attempts to exact gifts in 1615, 1620, and 1622 aroused considerable protest, and the practice was finally discontinued.
Yes, Starvros it is certainly a benevolent program and perhaps it is time history repeats itself.
Here is a touching story of people helping people without the help of government programs. People will help other people if the government wasn't involved!
Speaking of powerful, rent seeking interests and the welfare system:
The More Americans That Go On Food Stamps The More Money JP Morgan Makes
"JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. JP Morgan [handles] food stamp debit cards in 26 . . . states and [DC]. JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes. Yes, you read that correctly. When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money."
So Mel, your solution to a poorly thought out plan is to replace it with another poorly thought out plan. Rather than consider the long term consequences. Personally, I think the welfare system sucks but I find it preferable to a police state where people's actions are subject to the whim of what government decides is healthy or unhealthy behavior. After welfare comes Medicare and then insurance companies. Not to mention the effect of adding thousands of more kids to the foster system.
Robert, I have no idea what the point of your argument is so I will concede the point. The government has no right to our tax dollars and cannot spend it on welfare. So it must not exist. None of this is happening and this entire discussion is moot.
Robert, on your other post, I completely agree that these issues should be dealt with by churches. That's why I served a decade on my church board and another on the Salvation Army Advisory board.
I completely agree this is not a role the government should play. That being said, if the government is doing it to help the needy, then it is a HUGE mistake to pick and choose based on government whims who we help. That only creates more social engineering.
And personally I would rather have my tax dollars feed 100 smokers' kids candy than give a bureaucrat that kind of power over the life of one family on hard times.
Hey, Stavros, in case you missed it, here's the post that started this thread:
Howie just mentioned legislators in another state (??) that are proposing a bill to require random drug testing for welfare recipients.
I had to pass a drug test to get the last job I took in 1999. Nothing random about it.
What say AMG'ers about this approach in Maine? If you fail the test, the likelihood of getting a decent job is pretty slim as well. This could be a good incentive to clean up one's act. Or not, I suppose.
So do us a favor, and dial down the fever a few degrees. And please don't try the "it may cost billions and billions, but if it saves one life it will have been worth it" style postulate. No it won't. Because there are other uses for the money that yield better results.
This was a thread to explore the concept, not mandate its enactment. So put on your temperature sensing sprinkler hat.
Nice try Mel, but lets look at facts.
This was my original post.
I stand by it as exactly on point with your thread. Since then I have merely responded to off topic responses to my post. Its interesting that you would give them all pass for hijacking your thread because they agree with you but call me out for responding because I disagree.
Personally I don't care if it saves one life or not. I do care that we increase the size and scope of the nanny state.
Newflash: Its a nanny state when one side starts imposing its views on others. If you disagree with a nanny state then you need to oppose it at all times. Thats is being consistent. If you only oppose it when you disagree, that makes you a hypocrite.
And for the record I think the tests are a great idea. But the nanny state was built on making great ideas law instead of allowing people to live free.
Lets try another approach.
We are told that we as conservatives and Republicans should moderate our position on abortion and gay rights to grow our party. Clearly because we are afraid of alienating gays and those who support or profit form abortions.
So how exactly does taking a hard line position that alienates every recreational drug user in America help to grow our base or strengthen our position as the party of more freedom and less government?
" . . . the party of more freedom and less government."
Isn't that just a campaign slogan?