Post # 1
I want to talk about what is probably a bit of a controversial subject. At least it is with some of my friends. I’m interested to see what the other Bees think but let’s keep it friendly please!! I’m going to try really hard to maintain my stance on this without getting judgey or rude, let’s all try to do the same.
Also, let us know how the system works in other places, it can really vary from place to place and I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the worlds welfare systems!
I live in BC, Canada. I have no personal experience with the welfare system. But I have a few friends who tend to be a little worse off and I have had a little exposure through them. I’m not quite sure how you demonstrate a need for money but somehow you do and then the government forks over a cheque every two weeks. No drug testing, no job or personal counselling, nada. Just fill out your slip once a month and you’re good to go.
Personally, as a law abiding tax paying hard working (well studying currently but you get what I mean) this system frustates me to NO end. I am not saying that everyone on the system is abusing it. But I know there are people who are. And it gets me that so many BC residents are drug tested in order to go out and EARN money to pay taxes and support the system and yet the people relying on the system have no accountability at all.
I don’t think this stance is unreasonable at all. Yes, there are practical applications for the welfare system and yes there are people who need it. Those people will not be hindered by drug testing.
If a person can be denied work because of their extra curricular activities, why can they not be denied the free money that hard working law abidin citizens provide when they are partaking in those extra curriculars we are so adamantly denied?? Double standard much??
How do you Bees feel about this issue? How does the welfare system work where you are? Are you for or against drug testing recipients of welfare? Would you support changing the laws on this issue to reflect different standards?
Post # 3
My mother went from VP of her mortgage company to unemployed for over a year. She was a hardworking woman who had some nasty luck. She got fucked on her 401K too.
She was a couple months away from welfare….with that being said….she would glady submit to a drug test. Why not? I think it’s fair.
Post # 4
I live in an area that has a high percentage of welfare users. Heck, I probably even qualify for it if I would go apply. But I won’t, because to me welfare should be reserved for people who are in really REALLY hard times.
That said, I see no problems with drug testing. At all. The proposed idea reimbuses all costs if you pass the test so that people wouldn’t end up spending needed money on the test. The process of testing is simple enough, and it would really cut down on abuse in my opinion. Just off the top of my head I can think of quite a few people I know wouldn’t pass.
Post # 5
I think drug testing for welfare is totally fair. I also think there should be a time limit on welfare; for instance, someone could claim benefits for 2 years, but then cannot claim again for another 7 or 10 (medical/disability excluded). Of course, I’ve never been on welfare, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Post # 6
Uhhh I guess for me it’s a waste of money. Do you know how easy it is to pass a urinalysis unless you smoke a lot of pot? And once they pass, they are going to go back to doing the same drug. Yeah it would be ideal but unless you are willing to submit them to randomized drug testing (which could be possible, but almost just as costly to administrate which would be passed onto us) this concept will not work. You just are not going to catch a lot of people. I don’t think the concept is at all feasible. We could do hair follicle, but those are extremely expensive, and I tend to believe a little intrusive for simply trying to get on welfare.
Post # 7
I’m all for it, but I think in the US they determined it would be so costly it wouldn’t be worth it.
Post # 8
@lalalyanne: yes the welfare system in the US needs more oversight and regulation which includes but is not limited to drug testing. However those that abuse the system will aLways find a way. I’m not entirely sure it’s worth it to spend even more money on regulating a system that can never be truly regulated.
Post # 9
My understanding is that in the locations in the USA where it has been tried, it has cost considerably more money than it has saved and found that drug use among welfare recipients was really not an issue. So while there are ethical debates to be had, I think I can stand against it on that point alone – the taxpayer burden is increased by drug testing, not decreased.
My DH has also worked in a welfare office in NYC – his anecdotal testimony is that while lazy people trying to do the bare minimum exist, they are not common, that the vast majority of the people he met were good, well-intentioned, diligent people who had simply fallen on hard times and wanted very much to dig themselves out no matter how hard they had to work for it. They were embarassed, not pleased, to be receiving welfare. They also were not permitted to just show up for the check – they had to attend classes and meet with a job counselor and prove a certain amount of time each week had been spent searching for work.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
I’m from Central PA… I look at it as this: In high school, we had to submit to random drug tests if you were an athlete. You did it for the priveledge of being part of the sports team. For a job, you often have to take a drug test… for the priveledge of working for the company. The military drug tests.
So yes, I think you should be able to submit to a drug test if you need welfare money. I sort of think that often there are pockets of people abusing the system that give the whole thing a bad name, and it’s really not as MANY people abusing as it looks like. I could be 100% wrong, but you know. However if I would have to agree to a drug test for a job where I am going to work and provide a service, why shouldn’t you have to do a drug test when you are getting assitance from the government to get back on your feet?
I would be curious to hear from other bees though what would happen to those people who fail the drug test. They get taken off? To get their money they have to agree to rehab/counseling services (which would have to be free to them because more than likely they wouldn’t be able to afford it). Would they be given 1, 2, 3 chances to pass later on before coming off of welfare? Do you think it would solve a huge chunk of the abuse or not?
Post # 11
I don’t think it’s unfair to drug test in order to receive welfare, but I do think it could be cost prohibitive for the already overextended government.
I get it, I have to pee in a cup to get a job so I can pay taxes to support those who are either A)legitimately going through a hard time and need assistance, and B)those who are too lazy to do anything to better themselves of their situation.
I do get some kind of ragey though when someone sits around, smokes pot, uses my hard earned tax dollars to feed themselves, but somehow has the money laying around for a brand new iPhone, nice car, and trips to the salon for fancy manicures. On the other hand, it’s not my job to tell other adults how to spend their money.
In an ideal world, there would be measures in place to avoid widespread system abuse- including drug testing.
Post # 12
The welfare system is broken and it has very little to do with drugs ( although it does make up a portion), that at this point– I wouldn’t support the funding for it unless it came alongside a huge overhaul package. Things are already stretched so thin and allocated so poorly, I see it being even more of a burden to the taxpayer than alleviating some of the cost.
Unfortunately- the welfare system is so far off base that drug testing wouldn’t even put a dent in cracking down on abuse of the system.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
Oh I was writing my post while you posted. That makes sense then, that if areas have already tried it and it’s just more costly than it’s worth… ah well then.
Post # 14
I think many will agree that drug testing in general is a reasonable requirement for receiving welfare. Employers and other organizations require drug testing, so why not those who are receiving welfare? The larger issue IMO is how states are executing the drug testing. I do not agree with states passing the cost of drug testing on to the welfare recipients. If states care so much about drug testing, they need to fund it themselves and they need to make the system equitable. They were debating a law like this in my state (not sure if it passed or not, I think it did), and someone tried to slip in a provision that state legislators (and all govt. employees) had to submit to a drug test too, as they are also paid by the state. Shockingly, that provision did not pass. Can’t take their own medicine, I suppose.
Post # 15
Well and the other glaring problem I see with this is — there is no baseline. We don’t drug test today so we don’t know how big abuse is. I feel like its more stereotypical than anything, and not based on fact. Most welfare cards, in addition, have been restricted to buy certain items. So if they are using money to but drugs, I don’t know necessarily its welfare money they are using. The problem is they have income that is not being reported that might disqualify them for welfare.
Post # 16
I’m against it simply because I don’t think the children of drug addicts deserve to be punished any more than they already are. Also, true drug addiction is a disease, not a choice – when you view it as an illness, I find it more difficult to stand behind mandatory drug testing as a requirement to receive aid from the state. I understand why people are for it, I really do, I just don’t think it would solve any problem (not to mention the cost of it all, which PPs have mentioned) – and it would end up harming a lot of children and a lot of people who are truly trying to get off drugs and better their lives.
In addition, if you look at real, reliable studies on welfare fraud, the numbers are quite low (at least in the US), as it’s actually pretty difficult to get on welfare in most parts of the country.