Comments about ‘Letter: Dignified work’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Several states have tried drug-testing welfare recipients. The program cost more than it saved. Only a few people failed and were denied benefits, not nearly enough to cover the cost of running the program.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Sune, in states like Florida, where they have done the drug tests, they have found that set use among welfare recipients is lower than the general population. States ended up losing more money doing the tests than saved. Why not let science and history be our guide then?

Why must we be so punitive and wasteful in this state? Why do we act like we know everything when in reality we don't? Or we choose to ignore data from other states because we have an anti-welfare agenda?

Murray, UT

Working for what you get is always more dignified than taking a handout.

Drug screening is part of working in our world today. Drug addiction costs society more than the welfare one might get for not holding down a job. To say that drug screening doesn't pay for itself fails to take into account all the societal costs.

The little red hens of Utah are tired of giving their bread to the pig, the cat and the lamb, who won't work. The ants don't think the grasshoppers should do what they can to take care of themselves first.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Drug screening is part of working in our world today."

Agreed. We must therefore insist on drug tests for legislators and any business executive whose company has contracts with the government on any level or that receives government subsidies or tax breaks.

Failure to comply with testing, or failing a test, would result in expulsion from office, termination of employment, and the cancellation of business contracts.

Fair enough?

Murray, UT

Correction, that should have said, The ants think the grasshoppers should do what they can to take care of themselves first.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Badger as soon as they start testing all elected officials regularly and randomly, than it is a simple prejudice reaction to a to the poor, plenty of research proves this out, as the 2 other commenters stated.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We could end poverty and all the ineffective and expensive programs that go with it, if our government would set up a program to hire every worker available as an alternative to the voluntary slavery of employment by business.

There are billions of jobs that need doing for America and Americans, so government employment would not be welfare or charity. And no stigma attached to working for the government.

The government job would provide an alternate to private employment and provide a basic wage for workers. Business operations would no longer be able to manipulate the labor supply. Working people would be able to come up to the same level of rights and freedoms as businessmen.

A tax on business operations would be use to fund the program. Business is already paying for all the welfare and charity for these people, only it is being passed through the wages of people now working. The tax would provide an incentive for business operations to hire and get the labor benefit of the government workers. Business could eliminate the tax by hiring all the workers themselves.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

When able-bodied people live with their hands out for public support when they should be using those hands to do work, something is wrong. There is a problem in their lives that needs to be corrected. Maybe their self esteem needs lifting. Maybe their skills need improving. Maybe they need transportation to a job. Maybe they need to shut off their computer or other electronic devices. Whatever the problem, it can be fixed.

If every welfare recipient was required to work, even for the State, at a job that he/she could do; if every welfare recipient was given the opportunity to increase his/her skills to become more valuable to an employer; if the core problems were addressed; then perhaps, many of those who receive tax dollars would become productively employed.

Drugs may be part of the problem, but givng people welfare when they could and should be productive members of society, whatever the problem, destroys those people and demeans society.

Hoof Hearted
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with Blue and Ultra Bob. I'm not really in favor of drug testing, though I'd be happy to comply, as long as the method is swabbing the inside of my mouth rather than what has been known as a whiz quiz, handling bodily excretions is sickening to me. Also, the swabbing method leaves no room for cheating, as has been done successfully for years.
As for drug use in general, well the war on drugs has been a failure from the beginning. Its also obvious that the war is not on drugs, but on the people. I say, legalize regulate and take the profit motive out of drugs. We'll end up with a whole lot less users if we do, that's whats happened in the Netherlands.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

For centuries the rule for human beings has been that you earn the right to live only by working. It worked well because each individual owned his own efforts and they could only taken from him by force or bribery. Even so, the efforts could not be separated form the individual.

In today's world, a persons efforts (work) can be purchased once and used over and over. This is due to the benefits of technology and automation. An ordinary worker cannot profit by the continued use of his efforts like the song writer, the author or the inventor.

Perhaps we need a new way for a person to earn his right to live. The founding fathers implied that a person didn't have to earn the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right was already present just by being alive.

Or we need to drop the notion that a person has to earn his right to life.

Or we need to forget the whole thing and let what ever happens happen.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IMO all work is dignified.

And any person with dignity should be working. Even people with mental and physical handicaps that you may think would prevent them from working... are finding jobs and being employed in some productive way.

Just sitting home watching TV and collecting checks from the Government is not dignified. I know layoffs and stuff happen. But when they do... you should be scrambling like your life depends on it to find another job (not seeing how long you can keep those unemployment checks coming).

Even if you are out of work... you should be doing SOMETHING productive. Helping your community, helping your neighbors, learning a new skill, teaching neighborhood kids some skill you have, SOMETHING!

If you are doing SOMETHING... you are "working", whether you are getting paid or not. and ALL "work" is dignified.

salt lake city, utah

"When able-bodied people live with their hands out for public support when they should be using those hands to do work, something is wrong. There is a problem in their lives that needs to be corrected."

See "welfare recipients are lazy and broken. They're not unlucky or part of a systemic economic problem their not as good as me. These are people who don't regretfully and humbly accept help when falling on hard times, they walk around with their "hands out". If they were just as respectful as me.

Who thinks like this? Those who buy into "earning" blessings and salvations. Clearly when you aren't blessed you haven't earned and when you accept you beg. That is until the shoe turns, which it never may.

The President must have mentioned the need to take personal responsibility at least a dozen times in the SOTU address Tues., but there are times when you are at least temporarily out of personal options.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It seems like a no-brainer to me that public-assistance should NOT be used to buy drugs.

Public tax funds should not be used to support your drug habit (which may be part of the reason you are unemployed, or could prevent you from finding new employment).

Any person who is collecting unemployment should be happy to submit to a drug test as a condition of receiving public-assistance.

Why are so many defending people's right to be on drugs and use public assistance to fund their habit? That seems so obviously wrong to me.

I would rather our funds be used to help them get OFF drugs... than to just pay for their drugs while they have no obligation to be tested or be willing to be rehabilitated.

Drugs are a VERY expensive habit.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

"Why are so many defending people's right to be on drugs and use public assistance to fund their habit? That seems so obviously wrong to me. "

I agree it's is wrong to use public funds for drugs.
It's not the right to use drugs, it's the right to privacy, and dignity. I've never been asked to pee in front of another person for a drug test, and without reason I don't think anyone should. It assumes your guilty until you prove your innocence, kinda backwards of regular law.

"I would rather our funds be used to help them get OFF drugs... than to just pay for their drugs while they have no obligation to be tested or be willing to be rehabilitated."
Agreed, however the private prison lobby would disagree.

"Drugs are a VERY expensive habit." which is why so few welfare recipients are users, and why these testing programs cost more than they save taxpayers.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

How do you help them get off drugs... if mush-minded people prevent you from even finding out they HAVE a drug problem?

They wont turn themselves in! Denial is part of addiction. Why would they end their welfare meal ticket?

First you have to determine there is a drug problem. The best way I can think of is testing. Do you know a better way?

I get the innocent until prove guilty... but this isn't a court of law. We don't have the same "innocent until proven guilty" protection in every aspect of life.

Every time a traffic cop points his radar gun at me... is he assuming I'm guilty? He is testing me... right? He shouldn't be doing that (testing me) unless he already has proof that I'm guilty ... right? That's just bogus logic!

If no one can be tested until you can prove they are guilty... and you say we can't test to see if there's a problem... what can we do? Ask druggies to just turn themselves in? Ask speeders to turn themselves in (because it would be assuming guilt to test them with a radar gun)?

Sandy, UT

There seems to be a real disconnect republicans have on reality.

First of all being laid off or on food stamps is not some great life style. Are there people who take advantage of the system? Yes. But do the majority of people take advantage of the system? No.

As far as all able people should work. I think most people in this country would agree. However, getting a job or any job is not as simple as it sounds. If someone who got laid off has specialized skills or a degree applies for a low skill job they are probably not going to get it. Why? What business would hire a way over qualified person in this labor market? The company knows the over qualified person is going to quit as soon as they get something better.

This is the vicious cycle that skilled people live in. There are plenty of low skilled people to fill low skilled jobs. This is why there are people who are stuck on unemployment, not because they are lazy, but because there is less demand more skilled individuals.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I've been layed off. Republicans know what it means to be layed off. Not only Democrats get layed off.

I've collected unemployment before. I didn't care if they test me. Why would I? Pride?

And I tried like heck every day to get off... I didn't just try to see how many months I could get it extended.

Is that real enough?

I have no problem with unemployment or welfare. They are needed. But when all you are concerned about is making sure we are NOT tested for drugs... EVER... and you just focus on how many more months of benefits you can get added (instead of helping them find a job)... that's in touch with reality?

Don't assume someone is out of touch with reality just because they don't agree with you. You never know.. it could be YOU that is out of touch with reality. IMO the dignity of work IS reality.

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