It makes the Leftists mad.
I’m convinced that we all want the same thing in this world. We want people to work hard, take care of themselves and when they can’t, we wanna make sure we do what we can to help ’em. Serious. Who doesn’t want that?
The difference is in the process.
But, of course, the process matters. Giving someone a hundred bucks is different from giving them a job that will pay them a hundred bucks. And depending on the situation, each is a fine and acceptable solution. For example, if I have a buddy who is otherwise self-reliant but needs extra cash in a pinch, givin’ him the $100 is okay. But if there is someone who routinely is down on his luck and requesting aid, perhaps providing the opportunity to work is the better answer.
In one case, having to ask for the hundred is enough to drive behavior. In the other, having to work is enough to drive behavior.
And this is what frustrates me the most when it comes to Leftists. No one disputes that folks need help. What is often the issue is the delivery mechanism. I am not convinced that simply handing money to someone, often for months and years at a time, is really truly helping that person. Further, by offering that assistance, we create a situation where the incentive exists to REMAIN on that assistance.
Gary Phillips purchased a $400 airline ticket to Hawaii three months ago. He was homeless in San Diego for years, but is now earning cash from Hawaii’s 5-cent redemption program for plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
“I recycle here,” he says. “I make money doing that.” Some days, over $40, he says.
Didja’ catch that? A homeless man living in America scraped together $400 and made his way to Hawaii for the chance to make $40 a day! Why, WHY in the world would he do that?
he sleeps at the IHS shelter for $3 a day, with three free meals, $200 worth of food stamps and the state’s free health care program.
Ahhh, I see it now. Mr. Phillips made his way to Hawaii because he was incented. The lure of a high quality of life drew him to Hawaii in the same way that the lure of a high quality of life drives an executive to move to where ever HIS next job is.
I mean, check the math:
Mr. Phillips’ monthly take is $800 from his aluminum can business. His living expenses is $93 a month. Further, he eats for free AND is given $200 a month in the form of additional government aid via food stamps.
Compare that with a working man who makes 48k a year, or 4 grand a month. After taxes that comes down to $2,880. His mortgage or rent is near $900 a month. In other words, the proportion of the working man’s income that goes to his housing is about 1/3. Mr. Phillips? About 1/11th.
Pretty good deal for Mr. Phillips huh?
And the left wonders why we have such a problem meeting the demand:
The shelter’s annual operating budget of $2 million is funded largely by state taxpayers. Connie Mitchell is executive director. She says 28 percent of her shelter and food budget is spent on new arrivals from the mainland.
Why is that? It’s because the incentives are all wrong:
Many are single, middle-aged men from the mainland, like former computer programmer Gary Titleman.
“Well, I was kind of homeless in Flagstaff and Prescott [Arizona], and a guy told me that you could go to Hawaii for $150, so I had some savings and bought a ticket,” he says.
He chooses to work odd jobs at minimum wage.
The good news? At least one Leftist gets it:
Connie Mitchell says the resource drain caused by newly arrived single male transients is getting more acute. She says Hawaiian lawmakers need to develop policies to address this problem.
“I think that we really need to begin to look at who’s really homeless — not by choice and by misfortune — and who’s really homeless by choice, and have a different solution for the two different populations.”
Like maybe kicking them out on their asses and telling ’em to get a effin’ job?