Volunteer Work for Benefits

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pearl75, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. 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?
  2. Just to be clear. The program in Germany is people volunteer to work for the gov't to recieve gov't benefits?
  3. I don't know if they work for the government, just that they have to volunteer to do some form of work. They can't just sit at home on their butts and collect a check.
  4. Listen to my idea. If you put your trust and life in Gods hands he wont let you down. You dont need government or people to make you feel worthy or to not feel like a "burden"
  5. I completely agree. It would also do alot to help cut the budget of big government, because otherwise salaried position are now being staffed by people on welfare.
  6. ^^Exactly! Tripace gets it. :smoke:
  7. It's an interesting idea/program.

    On one hand it seems better than the current U.S. benefits system.

    On the other hand getting rid of minimum wage laws, regulations, and lowering taxes would do a lot to get people paying jobs...and reduce reliance on gov't benefits.
  8. The problem with the US system is that it rewards some lazy people for doing nothing. This would end that, you have to do something to earn the money, so those who just want to be lazy can't get away with that as an excuse, since they have to work anyway, they might as well go get a real job somewhere. In the end a system like this would probably push out all, or at least most of those that are in the system just in order to take advantage of it. The only ones that would remain are those that truly need it to survive. And that is something I can get behind.
  9. I agree with what you're saying. But it's like Tripace said, a program like this would force the freeloaders to work, while at the same time helping those who want to work.
  10. ^ Some of what you say about the current system is true...it incentivizes laziness. However I'm sure we can agree that some people can't find work, even if they want to.

    I like to believe, perhaps naively, that most people on unemployment can't find work. Also starting a business is becoming increasingly difficult. This is why I said a better solution would be to remove obstacles/barriers to economic activity.

    I'm more concerned with peoples' potential going untapped than worrying how to keep lazy people off the government's teet.
  11. #11 garrison68, Aug 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2012
    If people are forced to work to continue getting their health benefits, unemployment, welfare, etc., they are not "volunteers", possibly they could be called auxiliary workers, or something else - but it's not voluntary.
  12. Also what kind of volunteer work would be required. I volunteer at an arboretum clearing/fixing the trails and I doubt I add much to the economy by doing it. The trails are open to everyone (free) but they have an atrium they rent out for events.

    If I wound up unemployed I'd rather be able to find/make another job than to do volunteer work with no real economic benefit for a gov't check.

    I'm agreeing with y'all that 'volunteer work for benefits' is better than 'benefits for being unemployed'.
    Maybe I'm misinterpreting that you don't agree that 'having a job' is better than 'volunteer work for benefits'?
  13. ^^That's the part that stumps me. Where would these people work?
  14. LOL just when I was about to leave Garrison shows up to breath a little life into this thread!

    I hope you are well, Garrison.
  15. Although it's pathetic that it's come to this, in America (which is currently in last place for health care in the industrialized world), many unemployed and/or retired people, including myself, would gladly "volunteer" 20 or so hours a week in a job to get our health insurance and dental bills paid - but there is no such thing, at least not in America.

    What we really need is major health care reform - among other things.
  16. @Pearl75 Short answer: I have no idea.

    Longer answer: All I'm saying is if obstacles to economic activity were removed (like wage laws, regs, taxes, etc.) there would be more economic activity...more jobs in other words.

    I'm just always wary of gov't programs aimed at fixing problems caused by previous gov't programs. Especially in Europe where 'they' have shot themselves in the foot for many years (Spain official unemployment rate at 25%)
  17. Orrrrr... if they are working, pay them.

    Crazy concept.

    A community shelter, for example, that requires it's residents to do chores or help with other operational tasks, in exchange for a bed and meals? That is a fine idea.

    The state forcing people to work for what... vouchers? That sounds an awful lot like Cuba. Or The Socialist Republic of Vietnam back in the 80's.
  18. @Garrison & Penelope

    1st it's not their money or their benefits. Just because someone got a gov't check last week doesn't mean they own a lifetime supply of gov't checks.

    2nd Since it's not their money/benefit it's not force to require they do volunteer work in order to get the money/benefit.

    2 birds...1 stone
  19. Yeah, those elderly and disabled. They don't pay their fair share!

    Are you working on the assumption an elderly person who worked for 60 years, and paid taxes for 60 years (at tax rates much higher then you are paying now), should be forced to volunteer for their medicare and social security, because it's "not their money"?

    Or how about a 50 year old, who becomes disabled after working and paying taxes for 25 years?

    What the fuck do you mean when you say it's not THEIR money?

  20. In my case, I am not collecting any unemployment insurance, or other, benefits. I pay what would be considered a very high price for health care insurance and dental care - and in the case of the health care insurance, even though part of the cost of my plan is subdidized by the state, my contribution is still very high - more, in fact, than some people in some states that pay 100% themselves.

    I do not have dental, and pay full price out of pocket at the dentist, peridontist, endontist, etc. - but the prescriptions for dental care are covered by the health insurance plan and I pay a certain amount at the drug store when I need them.

    I would gladly do volunteer work for 20 hours a week just for comprehensive health insurance, and dental care benefits, even if I didn't get a paycheck. Pretty fucked up, but I think a lot of people would do it.

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