November 27, 2018 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #1631685
Why does it bother someone when someone else is on welfare or food stamps? We’ll never go back to 1800s capitalism and the government budgets the spending, anyway.November 27, 2018 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #1631745
I dont know that it bothers anyone. I think that people consider welfare/food stamps a “safety net.” These programs are to make sure that people do not starve or become homeless. To that extent, they are good. I think that people object to the use of these programs without the individual trying to be self supportive. I assume that it is the objection. (Obviously fraud is a different topic). (There is also the problem that some programs are disinstentive to work. I had a friend with a special needs child. He told me that if he made $1 dollar more than a certain amount — he would lose $50,000 in benefits. It is in resposne to those stories, that people seek welfare reform.)November 27, 2018 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1631776
A $65,000 job for a married couple isn’t self supporting.November 27, 2018 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1631781
Welfare programs are an income based entitlement. There is plenty of gravy for our friends at the other end of the economic spectrum. The fact that this squeezes the middle class and creates a “poverty trap” is a problem for the boys and girls in the public policy / legislative sector (and the economists that advise them).November 27, 2018 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1631782
Welfare goes back well before 1800. In western Europe it was the responsibility of religious groups to run the program and gradually the government took over. For many years “welfare” involved waiting until the person was down to the clothes on their back and nothing more, and giving them food and shelter in the “poor house”. The switch to “home relief” (giving them money so they stay in their houses) was largely 20th century, and has proven to be cost effective.
There is the halachic issue involving taking charity from goyim. There is also the issue of whether it is counter-productive to give people able to work money rather than jobs (this is best observed by noticing how employment among able-bodied persons over 65 has radically fallen since the government started paying them not to work, and continued even after unemployment ceased to be a condition of receiving social security). This is especially a problem now that most industrialized countries are facing serious labor shortages.November 27, 2018 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #1631798
It bothers people for different reasons. Mostly for the reason MrSarahLevine613 mentioned, but some because they feel that the tax burden is unfair.November 27, 2018 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #1631855
“There is the halachic issue involving taking charity from goyim.”
You do understand the distinction between charity and an entitlement, No?November 27, 2018 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #1631866
Most yeshivas which have kollelim actually encourage the boys who are in the shidduch parsha ,too on assistance before they even get married.
Same encouragement you also find in girls seminaries.November 27, 2018 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #1631873
☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
I think you made that upNovember 27, 2018 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1631961
A $65,000 job for a married couple may not be self supporting for a couple in the urban northeastern US, but it is in many areas of the country.November 27, 2018 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #1631984
CTL: true, but it’s a major problem with our tax system, and to some extent government benefits. Many young people have most of their income go towards rent, yet their tax rates don’t take into account that they barely have any discretionary income. If they can manage to move elsewhere with a lower cost of living, their job prospects/income will likely suffer.
I understand it’s not a simple fix, but we could do better.November 27, 2018 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #1631985
Non-political: Jews traditionally regarded that the poor had an entitlement to be given tsadakkah, and those with the means had an obligation to provide it. The goyim borrowed the concept from us. Under American law, there are no economic entitlements. The constitution gives you rights to vote, free exercise of religion, right to a jury trial – those are entitlements. There are no entitlements to get money. Programs such as social security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, WIC, etc., are pure charity. The government is under no obligation to give you the money, but has voted to do so (and could at any time stop doing so). While Jews (and some others) have managed to convince most Americans that it is a good thing to give “welfare” to those in need, it is purely a matter of getting most voters to feel charitable enough to divert their tax dollars. — What the Amreicans (fum Jews in particular) call “entitlements” are charitable programs whereby the government has stated anyone meeting a certain condition gets a set benefit, which is cheaper than requiring a special statute to be passed for each individual giving them a special benefit (which was done at one time, and proved unworkable).November 28, 2018 1:20 am at 1:20 am #1632033
What you say has a degree of intuitive appeal. But you will need to set the bar a bit higher before asserting that many frum yidden are transgressing a prohibition. I personally discussed your very point with one of the top Poskim in the US and he disagreed with your definition. As a matter of fact, in that conversation I was the one advocating the same position you are.
So, here is my current take on the matter:
The government has stated anyone meeting a certain condition gets a set benefit = entitlement
As an aside, I’m sure you are aware that there is a whole cottage industry assisting wealthy families to spend down assets to qualify for medicaid upon entering nursing homes.November 28, 2018 1:40 am at 1:40 am #1632061
NP, who says that they are entitled? When the limousine liberals will support low-income housing in their suburbs and chic neighborhoods, even if it means tearing down “landmarks” I will take them seriously. According to Halacha the highest form of charity is finding someone a productive job. Food stamps and other forms of aid should only be permanent for the elderly and disabled who cannot work. It does not mean making welfare a family business. I also does not mean trying to make one feel good about oneself. There is a story about a “baal chesed” who told no one about a poor acquaintance’s plight so that he could give him a gift every Purim.November 28, 2018 8:39 am at 8:39 am #1632149
“A $65,000 job for a married couple isn’t self supporting. ”
That’s simply not true. Its totally possible for 2 people to live in frum NYC on $65000 and that’s without receiving benefits. I’m doing it right now and we are living well too.
As for well fare. I think the biggest argument against it is that it reduces incentive to work and become self sufficient.November 28, 2018 9:21 am at 9:21 am #1632158
Bk613 if you get supported by your parents.November 28, 2018 10:18 am at 10:18 am #1632227
$65k for a couple is perfect for life in NYC
And I have a bridge to sell youNovember 28, 2018 10:45 am at 10:45 am #1632278November 28, 2018 11:35 am at 11:35 am #1632308
Actually, the solution is paying out even more, but to people who earn more, not the very poor.November 28, 2018 11:36 am at 11:36 am #1632347
My question is why the frum oilom, which relies so heavily on welfare and other federal MOIFSIM (מאדיקאר, וולפאר, פודסטמפ, סקשין אכט) programs are so overwhelmingly anti-Democrat which is the party that’s constantly pushing to increase these programs.November 28, 2018 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm #1632442
Yserbius, even those that get welfare, understand that its wrong. They would be happier with lower taxes, lower property taxes which would make rent affordable and an opportunity to earn a living.November 28, 2018 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #1632469
Yseribus: Because moral issues are more important than financial issues to frum people.November 28, 2018 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #1632421
Akuperma, tzedaka is not the same as charity. A capitalist who starts a business and employs people who were unemployed (or someone who refers them to jobs) is giving the highest form of tzedaka.
Yserbius123, maybe because that party is also pushing social agenda that it anathema to Judaism – and trying to force everyone to adopt it. It has even gotten to the point where the U of Iowa is not allowing religious student groups (e.g. Xtian Fellowship) to restrict leadership positions to adherents of the relevant religions. Of course, just as there are RINOs there are DINOs who represent Orthodox communities on the state and local levels.November 28, 2018 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #1632451
@ Avi K
“who says that they are entitled”
The government says so.
Does the current system of entitlements create a disincentive to work because a higher income means losing programs and ending up with less disposable income? Yes it does. Economists call this the poverty trap.
Is there a moral / ethical imperative to do so anyways? Maybe so. It really depends on the specific circumstances of each individual’s situation. Self sufficiency is certainly very commendable but it is not the pinnacle in our hierarchy of values. There was a place where self sufficiency did occupy such a position it was called Sdom.
Does taking government entitlements transgress a prohibition for those who qualify. Nope.November 28, 2018 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #1632491
The poverty trap can be ironed out by changing the specifics of how programs work.
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