What's wrong with work?

Why can't people collecting public assistance offer labor in return?

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How pitiable that it’s considered taboo to suggest someone on public assistance do something – anything – that resembles actual work.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has, predictably, been criticized by the left for suggesting schoolchildren receiving free lunches sweep cafeteria floors as a way to encourage a work ethic, something the Savannah Republican believes will serve them as much as anything they learn in the classroom.

Of course, the inevitable outrage from the usual suspects was so foreseeable it might as well have been telegraphed: Another mean ol’ conservative picking on the poor

Kingston, one of eight candidates seeking to replace the retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., also raised liberal ire by suggesting last week at a speaking engagement in Augusta that able-bodied individuals receiving food stamps should be required to work. He unsuccessfully pushed for the measure in the $1 trillion farm bill that passed the U.S. House last month.

Again, why are people demonized for merely suggesting able-bodied people on the government dole do something in return for the handout?

If your Uncle Larry gave you some cash until you got back on your feet, wouldn’t you inevitably feel compelled to mow his lawn or clean his gutters or – something?

What makes Uncle Sam different?

We commend Kingston for standing behind the substance of his remarks. There is nothing wrong with espousing the value and dignity of work, particularly to young people.

Public assistance is for people who need it. And there is no shame in asking for help. But neither is there shame in able-bodied recipients helping out.

We can think of one student whose work ethic was partially shaped by cleaning his school cafeteria, the late Joseph D. Greene.

Greene’s family was so poor that he earned lunch through custodial work at his Emanuel County school. He detailed the formative experience in his memoir, From Cotton Fields to Board Rooms.

Greene, who died in 2007, was executive vice president/chief marketing officer for Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Co., one of Augusta’s oldest and largest black-owned businesses, before retiring in 1991. He then had a second career as a business professor at Augusta State University.

He was the first African-American elected official in McDuffie County, and was chairman of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. His civic contributions culminated in his posthumous induction into the Junior Achievement CSRA Business Hall of Fame in 2011.

Childhood chores didn’t seem to have a negative effect on him.

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specsta
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specsta 02/05/14 - 03:40 am
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20
Did ACES Really Just Go There? Have A Seat, Please...

Okay, ACES - so those who receive government assistance should do something in return? Then, pray tell, where is the editorial requiring companies that receive millions and billions in government handouts to render service to American communities?

Imagine what could happen if an Exxon Mobile or a JP Morgan Chase (recipients of a portion of the $92 billion the feds give away to corporations every year) were required to provide community clean-ups, build parks, renovate housing, or repair infrastructure as part of the deal to receive government funds. A lot of folks would be helped immensely, that's what would happen.

But...

To some right-wing conservatives, such as ACES, it is far more important to penalize the men, women and children who are having a hard time - to make it just a little harder for them to live. This is a mindset of cruelty. Consider that over 83% of people who receive SNAP benefits are the elderly, the disabled, and children.

For a person who must eat on the pittance of $4.50 a day, exactly where are they supposed to get extra money for gas, bus fare, work uniforms, babysitters, etc. so that they can go to work to receive benefits? The idea is just asinine. People apply for benefits because they need help - not to incur expenses in receiving that help.

It is only a person who has no concept of struggle, who has no concept of the plight of the poor, who has no concept of facing hunger or homelessness, that would make such an ignorant request of someone in need.

The humiliation of seeking government assistance isn't enough for these conservatives; now they want to incur punishment on the most vulnerable members of our society. Maybe they need to experience some "want" and "lack" in their lives before they open their mouths.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/05/14 - 06:59 am
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For some reason I always hear

For some reason I always hear a violin playing in the background when specsta post? Hmmmm

I'm not sure where you get your figures specsta and it appears you completely misunderstand the article.

According to http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3894
Approximately 48% of the households receiving SNAP benefits with children, and a NON-elderly adult or NON-disabled adult, worked while receiving benefits. Households with just children who worked, around 44%, so your figure that 83% of the benefits are children, elderly and disabled, does not seem accurate.

"now they want to incur punishment on the most vulnerable members of our society"

Specsta, I have no issue with anyone receiving benefits to provide food (so long as it isn't abused) but asking a students for receive free lunch to participate in minor chores such as taking out trash, wiping down tables or sweeping floors is not punishment (and this includes all children so don't even go down the race avenue). I suppose these same students are not required to do any chores at home either, since they are so vulnerable? No wonder we have an ever increasing group of individuals standing around with their hands stuck out waiting for someone else to fill it, with the attitude "I'm owed this".

localguy55
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localguy55 02/05/14 - 08:12 am
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5
InChristlove

Good retort.
2 Timothy 2-6: It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.

deestafford
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deestafford 02/05/14 - 08:16 am
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4
Specta, Specta, Specta.....

Specta, Specta, Specta, Exxon does not receive handouts. They pay more in taxes than any company in the US. What they do and try to increase is keeping more of the money THEY EARN.

The corporations you demonize pay taxes and provide valuable services to the country. Where would we be if we did not have energy companies such as Exxon? Still in mule and wagons? Still heating with wood and coal?

I will grant that some companies may not be paying as much as it appears they should, such as GE, but it is not their fault as much as it is that of the politicians who have allow such as ineffective tax system to exist.

The answer to our tax problem is the FAIR TAX.

As to to the editorial, once again it is dead on target. It was Newt who brought this idea to the forefront of children working as janitors to pay their way. When he did the liberals swallowed their snuff! Why having children work would single them out they and their family being on the dole and it would hurt their self esteem. Now, we can't have the children learn a work ethic and that there is no such thing as a free lunch at a cost of diminishing their sacred self esteem, can we?

Who knows? Maybe the sight of the children working around the school would shame the able bodied to get off their duff and get a job so their children wouldn't be "losing their self esteem" by contributing for their assistance.

Pond Life
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Pond Life 02/05/14 - 08:36 am
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Why do those on the left
Unpublished

Why do those on the left consider it a handout from the government when a corporation is allowed to keep the money they earn? The same people who defend those who actually DO receive handouts while producing NOTHING.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 02/05/14 - 10:02 am
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5
They COULD reign in the

They COULD reign in the fraudulent government assistance; making sure those who are receiving it, are the ones who truly deserve it. Then, you can do like North Carolina and CUT the benefits of those who CAN work, but won't.

North Carolina has seen unemployment go down and employment go up!! Will the Feds take this example and use it? Of course not!!! They NEED people dependent on government, period!! They WANT this nanny state and that includes republicans like the Speaker of the House!!! They depend on it for their jobs!!! They want control!! One day, the people will rebell!!

dsterling9
964
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dsterling9 02/05/14 - 10:34 am
9
1
What's Wrong With Work

First things first. Get rid the criminals working within the system aiding those not deserving to receive assistance. Hire honest administrators (if you can find them) to oversee the process. Second: Those on public assistance who are physically capable of work should be required to look for employment just as those on unemployment. Failure to comply would mean drop from assistance. A medical verification would be required of those not capable of work.

soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 02/05/14 - 10:34 am
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Remember working welfare? Management cost. Demeaning task.
Unpublished

Remember working welfare? Management cost. Demeaning task.

soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 02/05/14 - 10:35 am
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Public housing is an excellent opportunity to earn, co pay.
Unpublished

Public housing is an excellent opportunity to earn, co pay.

soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 02/05/14 - 10:36 am
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Dependents on whatever guvmit reservation do not have to work.
Unpublished

Dependents on whatever guvmit reservation do not have to work.

soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 02/05/14 - 10:37 am
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0
soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 02/05/14 - 10:39 am
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Manifest Destiny. The bible of the despot.
Unpublished

Manifest Destiny. The bible of the despot.

nofanofobama
6856
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nofanofobama 02/05/14 - 11:39 am
11
2
its NOT govt money....the

its NOT govt money....the problem with any govt program is that its other working people that provide the revenue for these programs..not the govt...exxon pays a ton of taxes plus providing good paying jobs that the govt collects taxes off....so what is wrong with work????

nofanofobama
6856
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nofanofobama 02/05/14 - 11:48 am
9
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SPECSTA..got a bridge in

SPECSTA..got a bridge in brooklyn to sell ...for to believe the blanket statement that those who recieve assistance are all humiliated defies empirical evidence..do you realize that their are families with children nevering seein a parent get up and go to work..i would be surprised if 20 percent feel bad...most feel entitled... and since johnsons great war on provert in the sixities we have taken 15-20 trillion dollars from tax payers to give to the poor...why did we lose the war?? BECAUSE MOST FELT ENTITLED TO IT.......

dichotomy
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dichotomy 02/05/14 - 12:09 pm
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3
You are ignoring the new

You are ignoring the new Democrat buzzword. Free stuff allows people to be "dynamic". DYNAMIC now means that you do not have to work and the government will feed, clothe, house, and provide medical care. You don't have to work at that mean old job. With free stuff you can quit you job and pursue your dream of making sculptures out of scrap metal or something. DYNAMIC.....definition change.....somebody call Merriam Webster.

dichotomy
34336
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dichotomy 02/05/14 - 12:11 pm
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All these years I've been

All these years I've been calling them welfare toads and now I find out they are just being DYNAMIC.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/05/14 - 12:32 pm
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4
Sweeping Floors

So this Jack Kingston wants school children who receive free school lunches to do work to improve school grounds. I can see some benefit in that. Work is a character-building and esteem-building thing.

However, does Jack Kingston know that Richmond County BOE decided this year to give free school lunches (and free school breakfasts) to every student who uses the cafeterias, regardless of parental income? That's right. They figure it will bump up the self-esteem of the low-income students if they see high-income students receiving the same benefits as they themselves. Kind of perverse, isn't it?

Alright, now. Some teachers and assistant principals will have to monitor the work details to involve every single student on campus. They only way a student can avoid a school work detail is to eschew the cafeteria and brown bag it.

The brown bag will become a badge of honor, meaning his wealth has exempted him from forced labor.

We live in a strange world.

Darby
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Darby 02/05/14 - 01:16 pm
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2
"Then, pray tell, where is the editorial

requiring companies that receive millions and billions in government handouts to render service to American communities?"

.
Specsta is nothing if not COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OUT OF TOUCH. Wonder just where he/she thinks the government gets that money to provide "handouts" to ANYONE?

The government has NO MONEY of it's own. That which it gives away (or wastes) it must first take from the people, companies and corporations it then redistributes it to.

A highly inefficient and wasteful process and under our current socialist leaning administration, and absolutely devastating to the national economy.

Someone really needs to wake up look around.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that for every dollar the government "redistributes" three dollars are lost forever into some ethereal wasteland.

That and the fact that the one dollar that IS redistributed is done so on the sole basis of political ideology and therefore suspect.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 02/05/14 - 01:08 pm
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2
The brown bag could be a
Unpublished

The brown bag could be a badge of honor....except that the government is trying to ban that as well.

http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/brown-bag-ban-fed-programs-preschool-say...

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/chicago-school-bans-the-brown-bag-lunch...

Nanny state at its best.

Little Lamb
46874
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Little Lamb 02/05/14 - 02:47 pm
4
1
Shades of Allen

That link from Pond Life called "Organic Prepper" had an interesting wrinkle in it. The article said that school system nutrition directors can take the free fresh food they get from the USDA commodity program and send it to processors to turn it into ready-to-heat food that children will eat (i.e., pizza, fried chicken nuggets, sweetened fruit pasties, french fried potatoes, etc.). The school systems have to pay the processors for the processing.

The secret that is not often told to the school administrators is that the food processors will give kickbacks to the nutrition directors under the table. That kind of reminds me of the Columbia County Tax Commissioner's deals with Grovetown and Harlem giving her money to have the county tax commission employees to send out Grovetown and Harlem tax bills.

What a racket.

burninater
9680
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burninater 02/05/14 - 02:57 pm
4
9
Morality, not politics

"U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has, predictably, been criticized by the left ..."
-----
No, he's been criticized by people who think forced child labor in order to receive basic nutrition, in one if the wealthiest countries in the world, is immoral, plain and simple.

Dixieman
15901
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Dixieman 02/05/14 - 03:05 pm
6
1
Newsflash

Asian schoolkids, even from rich countries like Japan, do janitorial and maintenance work first thing in the morning and then before they go home at their schools to help the schools financially and to learn to take care of places where they work. I am in favor of ALL kids in America doing this to learn this valuable lesson. It is ridiculous to complain about it!!

dahreese
4743
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dahreese 02/05/14 - 03:15 pm
0
0
"Of course, the inevitable
Unpublished

"Of course, the inevitable outrage from the usual suspects was so foreseeable it might as well have been telegraphed: Another mean ol’ conservative picking on the poor."

I suppose by now I've established myself as one of the "usual suspects."

And that's fine with me.

This is just another "usual" AC editorial with an idea that sounds sooooo simple, and the "other" "usual suspects" are eating it up "as usual."

"U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has, predictably, been criticized by the left for suggesting schoolchildren receiving free lunches sweep cafeteria floors as a way to encourage a work ethic, something the Savannah Republican believes will serve them as much as anything they learn in the classroom."

So, it isn't enough that public schools and teachers try to teach a "work ethic" while teaching academics; we must add a physical component to that.

Very well.

Just when in the academic day does Mr. Kingston (and the writer of this editorial) propose to add that "ethical" component?

What subject shall we remove, or shorten, in order to add that "work ethic" component to an already crowded school curriculum?

Yes, let's throw the problem to the public schools and the teachers to solve/teach.

Joseph D. Greene was unknown to me until I read this editorial. Certainly his accomplishments are to be admired.

But if his accomplishments are to be set as an example of why children should have to work for their school lunches, what does that say about those in the applauding choir (the other 'usual suspects') who have not achieved the goals Mr. Greene accomplished?

itsanotherday1
45303
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itsanotherday1 02/05/14 - 03:20 pm
4
1
Only in a liberal's mind are

Only in a liberal's mind are tax credits considered "giving" someone something. How is the government "giving" welfare to corps by allowing them to pay less in taxes?

Welfare is when you give to those who haven't earned it.

dahreese
4743
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dahreese 02/05/14 - 03:28 pm
0
0
"The government has NO MONEY
Unpublished

"The government has NO MONEY of it's own. That which it gives away (or wastes) it must first take from the people, companies and corporations it then redistributes it to."

Of course, the government has no money of its own!

What a misleading statement (sometimes said by others on here).

On the other hand YOU are a member of the government (a U.S. citizen?) receiving government benefits just like the rest of us; paved roads, airports, military, hospitals, government research, public education, fire and police protection, public water/sewer systems, public health systems.

How much of that could you pay for out of your own pocket?

Whether you like these programs or not is a different matter.

We pool our money together in the form of taxes.

And once we do that, the money is not mine, it is not yours, it is OURS.

It's the government's.

burninater
9680
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burninater 02/05/14 - 03:44 pm
4
4
Newsflash, Dixieman

They're not talking about ALL the kids learning the valuable lesson. Just the hungry ones.

What you propose, Dixieman, is moral. What Kingston and this editorial espouses is not.

Bizkit
32867
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Bizkit 02/05/14 - 03:43 pm
4
1
The CBO says because of

The CBO says because of Obamacare my high taxes will foot subsidies such that poorer people won't have incentive to work and 2.3 million people will choose not to work (because why would they I, and other middle to upper income people, am footing their bill)-as I work harder to foot their bill. Hey something wrong with that picture. Of course the same lack of incentive will affect the middle to upper middle and wealthier to work less too-why should they work to pay for them when they can work less and escape the higher taxes and maybe qualify for the same benefits. We will all be on the govt dole much like a Marxist utopia. Sounds great eh.

Bizkit
32867
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Bizkit 02/05/14 - 03:45 pm
4
1
Why child labor? Why not make

Why child labor? Why not make the parents work eh? hee,hee,hee. Hmmmmmm.

Bizkit
32867
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Bizkit 02/05/14 - 03:52 pm
5
1
I always wanted to be an

I always wanted to be an artist or a musician-now because of Obamacare I can quit all my responsibilities and chase my dreams-maybe move to New York City. If debtors call-I'll just tell them-I'm chasin' my Obama dream so bug off-Obama said he will pay for it. Fact is, to be fair, I should start getting paid a salary for the potential to be an artist and musician-give me a grant and send me off to one of those high falootin' music schools-hey maybe i'll learn some manners too-etiquette. I'll come back from NYC polished, in a nice suit, and a progressive Dem (because conservatives are shot on the spot in NYC-no, no can't have that. They wasted a bunch of money on Solendra so why not throw some my way too-where's mine-I want my "fair share".

GnipGnop
12450
Points
GnipGnop 02/05/14 - 04:09 pm
2
1
Able bodied people

on the government teat that do nothing are no comparison to ANY company getting tax breaks that give millions of jobs to people, pay taxes and provide some type of goods that are also taxable. Specsta might want to take a economics class and leave the wealth envy at the door.

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