The following is the text from a radio message that Ronald Reagan gave in 1976. Reagan reworked the story of The Little Red Hen by putting it into a modern economic context. You can listen to it here. Its s relevant today as it was in 1976. In fact, its always relevant: A modern day little red hen may not sound like or appear to be a quotable authority on economics but then some authorities aren't worth quoting. I'll be right back. About a year ago I imposed a little poetry on you. It was called "The Incredible Bread Machine" and made a lot of sense with reference to matters economic. You didn't object too much so having gotten away with it once I'm going to try again. This is a little treatise on basic economics called "The Modern little Red Hen." Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. She called her neighbors and said 'If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?' "Not I, "said the cow. "Not I," said the duck. "Not I," said the pig. "Not I," said the goose. "Then I will," said the little red hen. And she did. The wheat grew tall and ripened into golden grain. "Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen. "Not I," said the duck. "Out of my classification," said the pig. "I'd lose my seniority," said the cow. "I'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the goose. "Then I will," said the little red hen, and she did. At last the time came to bake the bread. "Who will help me bake bread?" asked the little red hen. "That would be overtime for me," said the cow. "I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the duck. "I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the pig. "If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the goose. "Then I will," said the little red hen. She baked five loaves and held them up for the neighbors to see. They all wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, "No, I can eat the five loaves myself." "Excess profits," cried the cow. "Capitalist leech," screamed the duck. "I demand equal rights," yelled the goose. And the pig just grunted. And they painted "unfair" picket signs and marched round and around the little red hen shouting obscenities. When the government agent came, he said to the little red hen, "You must not be greedy." "But I earned the bread," said the little red hen. "Exactly," said the agent. "That's the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations productive workers must divide their products with the idle." And they lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, I am grateful." But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked any more bread.
When welfare pays better than work By MICHAEL TANNER Last Updated: 10:30 PM, August 18, 2013 Posted: 10:14 PM, August 18, 2013 Michael Tanner Heres an offer for you: $38,004 per year, tax free.No work required.Apply at your local welfare office. was article that came out today including other postings .
The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs.Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time. Today, the Cato institute is releasing a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother with two children. In the Empire State, a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation. While that might not sound overly generous, remember that welfare benefits arent taxed, while wages are. So someone in New York would have to earn more than $21 per hour to be better off than they would be on welfare.Thats more than the average statewide entry-level salary for a teacher. Plus, going to work means added costs such as paying for child care, transportation and clothing.Not to mention that, even if its not a money-loser, a person moving from welfare to work will see some form of loss namely, less time for leisure as opposed to work. Is it any wonder, then, that, despite the work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform, only 27.6 percent of adult welfare recipients in New York are working in unsubsidized jobs?(Another 13 percent are involved in the more broadly defined work participation, which includes job search, training and other things.) Welfare is slightly more generous in Connecticut, where benefits are worth $38,761; a person leaving welfare for work would have to earn $21.33 per hour to be better off.And in New Jersey, a worker would have to make $20.89 to beat welfare. Nationwide, our study found that the wage-equivalent value of benefits for a mother and two children ranged from a high of $60,590 in Hawaii to a low of $11,150 in Idaho. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job. In 12 states and DC, the welfare package is more generous than a $15-an-hour job. Of course, not everyone on welfare gets all seven of the benefits in our study. But, for many recipients particularly the long-term dependents welfare clearly pays substantially more than an entry-level job. To be clear: There is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of them consistently show their desire for a job. But theyre also not stupid. If you pay them more not to work than they can earn by working, many will choose not to work. While this makes sense for them in the short term, it may actually hurt them over the long term. One of the most important steps toward avoiding or getting out of poverty is a job.Only 2.6 percent of full-time workers are poor, vs. 23.9 percent of adults who dont work. And, while many anti-poverty activists decry low-wage jobs, even starting at a minimum-wage job can be a springboard out of poverty. Thus, by providing such generous welfare payments, we may actually not be helping recipients. There should be a public-policy preference for work over welfare. And while it would be nice to raise the wages of entry-level service workers, government has no ability to do so. (Studies have shown that attempts to mandate wage increases, such as minimum-wage hikes, primarily result in higher unemployment for the lowest-skilled workers.) If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions and narrowing the definition of work. In New York, lawmakers should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.
I am also the recipient of some of the government programs. If you know where I can find a job, any job that works with the fact that I only have child care from 7am until 6 with friends occasionally able to help out until 7pm, I'm all for it. What I receive from the government doesn't help with my mortgage and only puts a little food on the table. There was a period where the cook at the school I worked in would sneak leftovers to me because she knew I wasn't making ends meet. I got offered a job but I had to start at 7am about 20 minutes away. They were not willing to work with me. I've applied to all the big box stores, many smaller retail stores along with jobs in my field. Retail wants you available every weekend and evenings. Especially with my custody not being final, this short term job could cause me to loose full custody of my son. Chances are slim, but still, not a chance I want to take.
As for jobs in my field, I'm between two levels. People don't want to hire me for the lesser job because they know that I want to be a step up, but I'm not qualified for the step up. This was basically told to me in my last interview. You either do A or B. In the time I've been here, no one has ever moved up. I've gone to temp agencies and the last job I found through them required me to work OT in the evening and be available every weekend with no insurance which is something my son has through the state. I spend anywhere from 5-8 hours a day looking for work and applying for jobs. The damn applicant tracking systems make it really hard for me to get a foot in the door because the "computer" doesn't think I'm qualified. Give me a chance and I'll prove the computer wrong. Just because I don't have 3-5 years of experience with that particular title doesn't mean I can't do the job. With more and more employers moving to electronic applications, qualified people are not making the cut because they are not the picture perfect candidate. I have only once gotten a call about a job I applied for through an on-line application and that was only because I checked the right boxes.
There are plenty of people that abuse the system. I know that, I've seen it. They get away with it because no one wants to say anything. If you know that your neighbor is able-bodied and showing up in a wheelchair and you don't say anything, I don't feel you have a right to complain about it. I am a firm believer that if you are not willing to do anything about it, you have no right to complain about it. I don't think you were complaining about your neighbor, but there are plenty of people that do and this is why people continue to abuse the system, because they can. People can live off the government, but is that really the life you would want for yourself or kids? It's a drug. once they have you hooked, it's hard to get back on the right track.
Sorry for the rant. This is a subject that is a little close to home.