Everyone agrees that there will always be those in society that will never be able to support themselves and will need help, like the child with a major handicap or the adult who really can’t do any form of productive work.
The problem with our system of entitlements is that it encourages people to get on the government dole and not get off it, even if they are able-bodied. We need to trim the safety net to help only those who really need it, and cull those cheating the system. There is particular abuse with claims for social security disability.
It’s human nature that people will react to incentives for things they want or need. If society’s only option was to work to get money to pay the rent, that is what people would have to do to keep a roof over their heads. Government entitlement programs have established a whole new set of incentives to survive.
“Working the System”
The social safety net can become so attractive, that people are drawn to it. Instead of seeking employment, many spend their time “working the system” to reap its bounty, including food stamps, housing assistance, free health care, utility assistance, free phones, etc …
Some work “under the table” and will not take a W-2 job whose reporting will jeopardize their benefits. Women know not to tell the caseworker that their boyfriends live with them and the baby, as that might nix the food stamps. This is cultural knowledge passed from generation to generation.
That is why Conservatives cringe with the proposed solutions to “income inequality,” because “redistributing” more wealth will only create more incentive to live off the public dole.
An entire culture has evolved, not just in the minority community, where women now have children without men in their lives, knowing that they are not going to have to pay for any of it. The safety net intended to protect innocent children, has turned into an incentive for a lifestyle of single motherhood, a lifestyle where one can do nothing but hang out and watch TV all day.
“Working the system” is not the exclusive province of the poor. Many in the middle class have been “working the system” lately to maximize unemployment benefits. As long as you get free money, what is the incentive to take that less-than-ideal job? It’s called funemployment, when one uses that time to travel and visit friends or get that perfect tan at the beach.