I was just watching a bit on AlJazeera about the German economy possibly being used to help prop up the struggling economy for other parts of Europe. (Even though Germany has their own problems.) I caught a bit where they touched on a program that basically puts unemployed people to work through volunteer programs. They don't get paid for their services by way of a payroll check, but they are able to receive aid benefits for their work. No volunteer work, no benefits. This got me thinking about things here in the U.S. We have an ever growing number of people applying for unemployment, welfare, and disability benefits. The other day, I saw a snippet of a documentary about people on unemployment and disability. Most of the people being interviewed admitted that they don't really actively look for gainful employment for one bs reason or another. What if we told these people they must do volunteer work of some capacity in order to receive their benefits? Now, unemployment is one thing, but what about those on disability? I'm on disability. I have a number of legitimate health issues that make it very difficult to even find a job, much less keep it. However, there's another road block where disability is concerned. It's our government. They make it really hard for sick people to get disability in the first place. What's worse is if someone feels better, goes back to work, then gets sick again, they have an even harder time getting their benefits back. For that reason, very few people on disability feel encouraged to try to work for fear that if they can't do the job, they will lose everything. I, for one, would jump at the opportunity to do volunteer work for my benefits as long as it was work I could physically do. What if volunteer work was expected of all people on unemployment, and of disabled people who could do some work in one capacity or another? Personally, I think it's a grand idea! It helps people like myself to not feel like such a burden, and it forces lazy people to work in one way or another; either get a job, or volunteer to work to get your benefits. Imagine the possibilities! What do y'all think?