Rockism 101 discussion

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politics and culture > legalize pot / test people on welfare for hard drugs

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message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Do you support these two things or not?


message 2: by Tanjlisa (new)

Tanjlisa Marie (TanjlisaMarie) | 234 comments Yes and yes. First, I do not do drugs, have never done drugs, and don't ever wish to do drugs. Now, with that nice disclaimer out there let me state I do not think there's anything wrong with pot. It is an herb and before people start their rebuttals about what harm it can do let me stop you. You do anything too much and it can harm you. Cigarettes are legal, alcohol is legal, cars are legal. All of those things kill people; pot does not.

I think people receiving government assistance can be randomly tested for drugs just like people with jobs can be randomly tested for drugs. What's the debate about with that one?


message 3: by Rock (new)

Rock Ism | 284 comments Mod
Legalize it!!! Yes!


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliepietropinto) Legalizing... why not? I personally think it's on the same level as alcohol.

As for testing for hard drugs for people on welfare/government assistance, I have to agree with Tanjlisa. I think it should be random just as if you were getting paid for a job.


message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Comparing pot to alcohol, I can testify that I had a step-father who smoked weed and who was also an alcoholic and believe me he was much more pleasant to be around when he was stoned than when he was drunk.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Price | 31 comments Pot heads are MUCH friendlier. Completely agree!


message 7: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliepietropinto) Yes that's so true, but remember all thing affect people differently.

What I mean is I wouldn't compare it to other hard drugs and I don't think it necessarily leads to hard drugs. I know we are debating this on another board as well.


message 8: by Gary (new)

Gary | 134 comments Ed Wagemann wrote: "Do you support these two things or not?"

Yes and no.

First, I'm not a pot-head, but I do like a drink occasionally. What we do know is that prohibition doesn't work and the biggest problem with pot or hard drugs is that prohibition drives the price up to the point it is extremely profitable and lucrative.

A better solution needs to be found for hard drugs, but the side effects of pot are not much worse than alcohol and far less than tobacco so I think it falls into the category of "at your own risk".

As an aside on drinking though, I was reading an article from a scientist experimenting on human perceptions of drinking. In double-blind tests people who thought they were drunk tended to act with less inhibitions and acted with more violence and promiscuousness whether they'd actually had strong alcohol or a placebo. There was no evidence that alcohol causes antisocial behaviour, instead it seems that the perception that alcohol causes antisocial behaviour gives drunks the 'social permission' to act uninhibited and violent because they have the drink as an excuse.

Therefore prohibitive cultures (like the US and UK) tend to reinforce that anti-social behaviour by reinforcing the belief that it is the alcohol and not the person who is responsible. This also explains why in places like the UK with high tax on alcohol, we suffer from major problems with drunken loutishness, yet more permissive cultures with less tax actually seem to have less problems.

Finally the testing people on welfare for hard drugs has been shown to be lubriciously cost ineffective for a start, unlikely to be that effective thanks to the fact that its actually a low percentage of potential users compared to people who can afford it, plus finally what do you do about it when you find it? Do you withhold welfare and give the person no choice but to turn to crime or starve? Do you just send them to jail straight-away? It costs about 3 times the price to jail someone than to pay them welfare, and the US prisons in general are already filled to bursting with drug related criminals.

I work for a living, but I wish I earned as much money in my salary as it would cost to lock me up!

If it's so ridiculously ineffective, why has it been suggested? Testing welfare recipients for hard drugs is nothing but a political move to scapegoat the poor even further. The right-wing is trying to shift the blame for financial problems from the culprits who took advantage of lax rules to make millions, and to instead blame millions for them not being offered any work. It feeds right into Romney's 47% mythology that welfare recipients are just too lazy to work, while we know that the labour market is actually glutted with people desperate for work.

Of course there is a more sinister US reason, that unfortunately the UK is trying to adopt. Entrepreneurs in the US have for years now used prisoners as cheap slave labour, paying them a fraction of the cost of actually employing a person while letting the state pay for that person's upkeep!

WtF?


message 9: by Gary (new)

Gary | 134 comments Ed Wagemann wrote: "You are correct, it is not very cost effective - but most people think that it is FAIR and that it is the best thing for the well being of our society."

Most people can see that voter ID laws are a 'fair' way to combat in person voter fraud, but is that the real reason for it?

“Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania -- done.” - Mike Turzai.

Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year. - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/was...

Ed Wagemann wrote: "I mean if your tax dollars are going to pay welfare for some crackhead, then you are actually an enabler, are you not?"

That again is feeding into the right-wing narrative of all welfare recipients being feckless drug addicts.

If people are so concerned about Tax dollars going to drug addicts then shouldn't all politicians, state employees and contractors submit to the testing first? They get far more money per person and would be able to afford hard drugs without starving.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-ne...

Again, it's scapegoating the defenceless for a crime that there is no proof the majority of them commit.

Why should people lose their rights to dignity and privacy just because they are poor? Maybe if there was reasonably paid work for everyone who wanted it, then welfare recipients should be viewed with suspicion, but if that was the case welfare wouldn't be needed except for the sick and disabled.

Ed Wagemann wrote: "I mean to use an extreme example: does it financially make alot of sense to spend millions of dollars to track down serial killers?"

A serial killer places other people in danger and importantly the law does not allow for poor people to be randomly interrogated and searched wholesale to find them.

Ed Wagemann wrote: "at the same time it gives society a certain security knowing that we do it."

Except the huge portion of society that feels afraid that they are going to have to submit to undignified tests to qualify for basic human needs, and to risk the chance of a false positive which is statistically inherent in almost all testing.

"If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide." Is a common Orwellian concept.

Ironically it tends to be the right that decries the invasion of "Big Government" into their corporations and wallets, but as soon as poor people's freedoms are invaded it suddenly becomes the height of civic duty.

Again the main function is to redirect public ire for their difficulties onto targets that cannot defend themselves. In the UK they are doing the same. "Benefit cheats" and "scroungers" are vilified every day, despite outright fraud being repeatedly committed by MPs, a private company called ATOS has been hired to repeatedly test disability allowance recipients to declare them "fit for work". "Workfare" schemes to make people work for benefits, which neatly gets around the minimum wage law and means one less person gets real employment.

All this is carried on the concept of "cuts" and "austerity" to feed the myth that the global financial problem is caused by workshy skivers and not the real cause which we know was rampant unregulated speculation that finally crashed.

Yet those people got away scot-free with their winnings and are far more likely to have snorted an entire council estates (US translation: Projects/Slums) worth of hard drugs.

I think with compulsory drug testing and the Patriot Act the US should keep it's tongue firmly in it's cheek when they call themselves 'the land of the free'.


message 10: by Hazel (last edited Nov 09, 2012 12:48PM) (new)

Hazel Yes, legalise pot, Gary put it succintly enough.

No, don't drug test people on welfare, its unethical and partisan. As someone currently living on benefits, through no fault of my own (my last job no longer exists), I would consider it an affront to my basic human rights to have to submit to an unwarranted drug test simply because I'm currently suffering setbacks in my working life. The majority of people on benefits are in the same position as I am, its actually a minority who are trying to scab off the system, but the right wing politicians like to imply that its far more, and that anyone not currently working is a drug addled, drunken leech not fit to wipe shit off their shoes.

If you start suggesting partisan moves like drug testing all benefit claimants purely because they are benefit claimants, where is the line drawn? Why not ban all men under 25 from driving, because they are seen as the most likely to have a car accident? Lets castrate all members of all clergies, because a minority have abused children.

And when you consider it rationally, how many people on benefits or welfare can afford hard drugs? The answer is none, not really. If they're taking, then they're not eating. So its pretty easy to tell, they're starving themselves. And if they are taking, they're probably committing crime to get the drugs, and that will land them in trouble with the law in the long run. And on a moral front, who has the right to say that an addict should be penalised for it in regards to benefits, when what they really need is help to get off the drug.

Its unreasonable and unfair to demonise people who are struggling, instead of focusing on the people who are actually causing harm to economy etc.


message 11: by Rock (new)

Rock Ism | 284 comments Mod
Ed, what do you have against hard drugs? If I want to take hard drugs and I'm not hurting anyone then that is my choice.
And yeah, I'm on welfare. You always preach against the corporate culture dominating reality, but the only way to really earn enough money NOT to be on welfare is if you either sell drugs or sell out to the corporate world.


message 12: by Ed (last edited Nov 11, 2012 09:58PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Ed Wagemann wrote: "I mean if your tax dollars are going to pay welfare for some crackhead, then you are actually an enabler, are you not?"

Gary wrote:That again is feeding into the right-wing narrative of all welfare recipients being feckless drug addicts.


Gary, there you go again. Youre tiresome tactic of tryng to deflect my reasoning by associating it with some easy to dismiss group.
Look, not EVERY argument that the Right has is fucked simply because they are the Right. You can't let partisan politics be your compass on every frickin issue. YOu have to look at each issue objectively.
And after doing such, saying the Right has the better policy on ONE issue is not "feeding into the right-wing narrative". Give me a fucking break! You're not an idiot but using such idiotic reasoning makes you seem like one.

I've lived in the inner city of Chicago for 15 years. I've seen crackheads exchange foodstamps and other welfare benefits for street drugs. Its been a pretty common practice for some time. Not only do the druggies use their beneifits, but they sign their young kids up too and use their childrens benefits to get drugs while leaving their kids to fend for themselves or to starve. This isn't some right-wing narative, this is fucking reality. I've seen it with my own two eyes. And everytime some limosine liberals bends over backwards to defend these cretins it jsut goes to reinfoce my reasoning for being an Independent and not a full-out left-winger. Most of my views lean left, but not all of them because I value realism just as much as idealism.


message 13: by Ed (last edited Nov 11, 2012 10:26PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments hazel wroteAnd when you consider it rationally, how many people on benefits or welfare can afford hard drugs? The answer is none, not really. If they're taking, then they're not eating

Good lord hazel, you have no idea what you are talking about. This is how it works. Druggies break the law. They steal, they rob, they scam. They fake disabilities, they forge documents, they lie on welfare aplications, they do whatever they have to in order to get drugs. THey would rather spend welfare checks on drugs and then get food from a food pantry or a soup kitchen or from the dumpsters behind resturants. They would rather spend welfare money on drugs and then sleep in shelters or in alleys and abandoned buildings.

And how often do you hear of someone going to jail for welfare fraud? There is no enforcement. Even less enforcment than of the billion dollar corporations who defraud the tax payer by buying off polticians.

We need to crack down on welfare cheats JUST AS MUCH as we need to crack down on the corporate executives and dirty corporatists that are scamming bilions in tax loop holes and corporate subsidies, etc.

We can't crack down on one, then turn a blind eye toward the other. Both sides are corrupting our poltical-economic system. Both sides need to be held accountable for breaking the rules. Stealing tax payer money, no matter if it is millions or hundreds, is WRONG. It is not fair to the hard-working middle-class tax payer who plays by the rules.

And in many ways, even if the welfare cheat isnt stealing as much money as the corporate billionaires, they are just as much of a drain on our society. And by allowing them to continue, with no honest enforcement, only goes to enable them. We need to move them off the welfare system. We need to identify them as drug addicts and law breakers - and put them into the legal system. Of course our country doesnt have the money for that. It is more "cost effective" to jsut leave them in the welfare system. But THAT isn't solving the huge problems we face in our country. So we look the other way and we don't enforce welfare regulation.


message 14: by Hazel (last edited Nov 12, 2012 02:10AM) (new)

Hazel Ed, did you even read the sentence after the one you quoted?

Also, cracking down on welfare cheats should not include demonising and persecuting all benefit claimants, which is what a blanket drugs test policy would do.


message 15: by Gary (new)

Gary | 134 comments Ed Wagemann wrote: "Gary, there you go again. Youre tiresome tactic of tryng to deflect my reasoning by associating it with some easy to dismiss group."

And you seem to be adopting the reasoning that if I disagree with you then I've not thought it through which is rather egotistic.

I wasn't dismissing the argument with a particular group, I was using the groups known tactics in demonising vulnerable groups as part of an agenda.

Certainly there are drug addicts on welfare. There are also people who take hard drugs who are rich, politicians that do it etc.

Did you read what I said about the idea that if people on welfare should be tested because its "immorally funding drug addiction" then surely all other recipients of public money should be tested for exactly the same reason? Including;

* Politicians
* Public Servants
* Contractors for government services (Privately run jails etc.)
* Police & Emergency services
* Soldiers
* Charities (Because they receive tax exemption)
* Churches (Because they receive tax exemption)

Direct question - If the principle is that it is immoral for the state to potentially fund drug taking, regardless of the costs involved in testing, then why should only welfare recipients be targeted for tests?

Ed Wagemann wrote: "You can't let partisan politics be your compass on every frickin issue."

I don't, I am politically unaligned, though I do tend to agree less with the further right.

What I have done is looked at the issue objectively and have rational objections which I am happy to detail.

Ed Wagemann wrote: "saying the Right has the better policy on ONE issue is not "feeding into the right-wing narrative"."

I didn't say it had the better policy.

I said the right was seeking to use such anecdotal reasoning as yours to feed into the public perception of welfare recipients as being lazy druggies, because this makes it easier for them to justify the slashing welfare payments and use that to lower taxes.

According to US Chamber of Commerce 70% of all illicit drug users are employed.

Ed Wagemann wrote: "Give me a fucking break! You're not an idiot but using such idiotic reasoning makes you seem like one."

So again instead of answering any of my points in a rational manner you have first accused me of being biased (without any evidence other than disagreeing with you) and you have resorted again to name-calling and profanity.

Perhaps you should stop seeing disagreement with you as a personal attack and instead try to listen to the reasons you are being presented with and either dispute them with evidence or counter them with logic.


For example;

Ed Wagemann wrote: "I've lived in the inner city of Chicago for 15 years. I've seen crackheads exchange foodstamps and other welfare benefits for street drugs. Its been a pretty common practice for some time."

This is anecdotal reasoning. I do not dispute you have seen these things, but what percentage of welfare recipients are involved statistically? How many are also in a bad area where use is high compared to the welfare recipients in different parts of your country?

Anecdotal evidence is a favourite motivator of partisanship arguments because it bypasses logic and evidence for an emotive response and emotive responses can be easily crafted.

Ed Wagemann wrote: "Most of my views lean left, but not all of them because I value realism just as much as idealism."

Then address the issue instead of accusing others of partisanship.


message 16: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 08:18AM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Hazel wrote: "Ed, did you even read the sentence after the one you quoted?

Also, cracking down on welfare cheats should not include demonising and persecuting all benefit claimants, which is what a blanket drug..."


The welfare system is a voluntary one Hazel. Anyone who doesn't want to be drug tested, doesn't have to sign up. You know, many companies require drug testing before they hire someone. Are these companies "demonising and persecuting" their employees?
I've taken drug tests myself. You go into a room, you piss in a cup, and its no big deal.
This nonsense about it demonizing folks is hogwash. Its all about perception - and if someone is so thin skinned that they are going to let the fact that they have to be drug tested make them feel persectued and victimized then that person is a bit of a dipshit.


message 17: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 08:37AM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Gary writes: Did you read what I said about the idea that if people on welfare should be tested because its "immorally funding drug addiction" then surely all other recipients of public money should be tested for exactly the same reason? Including;

* Politicians
* Public Servants
* Contractors for government services (Privately run jails etc.)
* Police & Emergency services
* Soldiers
* Charities (Because they receive tax exemption)
* Churches (Because they receive tax exemption)

Direct question - If the principle is that it is immoral for the state to potentially fund drug taking, regardless of the costs involved in testing, then why should only welfare recipients be targeted for tests?


They aren't the only ones! When did I EVER day that? I don't know how things are done in the UK but here in the US, our military personnel are drug tested, our police, firemen, etc. And it is my opinion that the politicians & public servants should be also.

Politicians & public servants are given the best health insurance coverage in the America. They should be drug tested. In fact, thanks to ObamaCare, the US is taking the first steps toward a single-payer health care system. Millions of Americans will be on Medicare/Medicaid & government-funded healthcare. ALL of these folks should to be drug tested. Drug users need to be diagnosed, identified, etc.

----
gary writes:Anecdotal evidence is a favourite motivator of partisanship arguments because it bypasses logic and evidence for an emotive response and emotive responses can be easily crafted.

Anecdotal evidence has weaknesses, but it is used so often because it helps folks visualize a clear picture, especially folks who don't seem to be getting the point that is trying to be made through the use of data or argumentative evidence.
You have used it often yourself, so stop being a hypocrit by attacking the technique when I use it.
Also, please don't discredt emotive responses. Humans have emotions for a very good reason. We are not robots. Sometimes our emotions are much better barameters of right and wrong than cold and callous calculation are.


message 18: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 08:50AM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Gary wrote:I think with compulsory drug testing and the Patriot Act the US should keep it's tongue firmly in it's cheek when they call themselves 'the land of the free'.

Gary wrote:
"If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide." Is a common Orwellian concept.


We live in the age of information. Society needs information to make the best decisions. The more free information there is, the better decisions society can make. Remember that everytime a child molester is caught thanks to a surveillance camera. Or a corporation is exposed thanks to a wikileaks whistle blower. Or a poltician is nabbed due to electronic wiretapping. Our society would be doing itself a favor if we continue to evolve toward total transparancy and the free flow of information.

The downside of some people's widdle feelings will get hurt because their privacy is invaded does NOT outweigh the benifits of living in a free and open and transparent society.


message 19: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Ed Wagemann wrote: "Hazel wrote: "Ed, did you even read the sentence after the one you quoted?

Also, cracking down on welfare cheats should not include demonising and persecuting all benefit claimants, which is what ..."


your original comment said nothing about voluntary, maybe you should make the parameters of your discussions clear in the first post


message 20: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 09:01AM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Hazel, I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying that drug testing SHOULD be mandatory for welfare recipents. The voluntary part is that welfare is NOT mandatory. It is voluntary. People have a free choice if they want to apply for welfare or not - its voluntary. No one is forcing them to apply. Just like no one is forcing someone who applies to State Farm insurance (for example)to apply for a job there. BUT, if they do apply THEN a drug test is mandatory.


message 21: by Hazel (last edited Nov 12, 2012 11:51AM) (new)

Hazel in that case, no drug tests should not be mandatory. Its unethical and demonises people who are in a difficult position.

And yes, people are forced to apply for benefits. Otherwise they starve, end up homeless, lose their kids, lose the chance at a life thats better than where they are now. It might not be people forcing claimants to apply, but circumstance certainly does.

The difference between a job expecting mandatory drugs tests and the benefits office is that a job comes with a contract, that you can chose not to sign, and not take the job, but losing your job through whatever reason is not something people choose, and not something that comes with a contract that you can refuse if you don't like the terms, and is not something you can turn round and say "actually, I don't think I'll lose my job today, thanks very much". If you lose your job, and are having to search for another, its not like you can just decide to not be jobless, you have to work hard at it, and you have no choice but to be jobless until you hit it lucky with that one job out of the hundreds you've applied for.


message 22: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Ed Wagemann wrote: "Hazel, I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying that drug testing SHOULD be mandatory for welfare recipents. The voluntary part is that welfare is NOT mandatory. It is voluntary. People have a fr..."

If only it were even remotely as effective as its proponents suggest.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/76.... According to this article, only 5-10 percent of the welfare population are drug addicts.

Hazel's point above, that the drug test for a job comes with a contract offer but that unemployment is seldom voluntary is well taken.

I wonder where your outrage is about employed people who are drug addicts? According to this article, 70 percent of drug addicts between ages 18 and 49 are employed full-time. http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/...

I think that a far more effective use of the funds used to force everyone to pee into a cup only to find 1 or two "criminals" is better education. When people feel like they have no choices, and do not have access to opportunities, self-medication is seldom far behind.


message 23: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Why doesn't this page have a "like" button... oh yes, because its better than facebook for conversation :D Well said, Sharon.


message 24: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 02:04PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Hazel wrote: "drug tests should not be mandatory. Its unethical and demonises people who are in a difficult position. ..."

Hazel, with all due respect, that it is total bullshit. I've been drug tested before. Its simply pissing in a frickin cup. Lets not get all high and might and pretend that taking a piss is some sacred private act or some shit and it is unethical to ask someone who is requesting money from the tax payers to do such.

I mean it is all about perspective.

If being asked to take a drug test is the requirement to get tax payers money, and if you want that money, then just do it - what's the big whoop? There is nothing unethical or demonizing about it at all. I've taken piss tests before. Lots of companies require it. Lots of government departments require it.

And for those who have such frail constitutions as to dem taking a piss test unethical, then guess what? They dont HAVE to apply for welfare.

Btw, it is also posible to be drug tested by giving a sample of your hair. Please dont tell me that you think getting a haircut is unethical also!

;)


message 25: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 02:01PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments I wonder where your outrage is about employed people who are drug addicts?

First of all? Really? Outrage? Expressing one's honest opinion constitutes "Outrage" in your opinion? Hyperbole much there, Sharon?
;)

Second of all, if you want to see where I stand when it comes to drug abusers then by all means start a thread on that subject matter and you will see EXACTLY where I stand.


message 26: by Hazel (last edited Nov 12, 2012 02:10PM) (new)

Hazel Ed Wagemann wrote: "Hazel wrote: "drug tests should not be mandatory. Its unethical and demonises people who are in a difficult position. ..."

Hazel, with all due respect, that it is total bullshit. I've been drug t..."


"with all de respect I'm going to be disrespectful"

Ed, its not about pissing in a cup, its about the implications of telling all people in a specific group that they have to take a drugs test. You have claimed that some employers expect their employees to take drugs test, well thats not the equivalent of expecting all people on benefits to submit to one, the equivalent would be that all workers in all workplaces all ahve to take a drugs test simply to be allowed to work.

If you don't do it across the board for everyone, and instead pick out a subset of the population and demand they take drugs tests purely because they are part of that subset, and when only a very small percentage of that subset do take drugs, then it is demonising an entire subset of the population purely for being in a difficult position they didn't ask for, because of the speculated actions of a very small minority. Lets face it, the people clamouring for this aren't also clamouring for all employed people to be tested.

And no, they don't have to apply for welfare, they can starve instead. How humane of you to point out they have that option.


message 27: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 02:32PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Hazel, when it comes to being "humane" in terms of this issue, then I liken it to those folks who refuse medical care, eventhough they are dying, because it is against their religion. It is their choice, correct? They are adults and they understand the situation. Same thing applies to people who think drug tests are unethical. They have a choice. If they choose to starve then that is THEIR choice. Not mine. People need to start taking responsibility for their own actions instead of always blaming someone else.


message 28: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Ed Wagemann wrote: "First of all? Really? Outrage? Expressing one's honest opinion constitutes "Outrage" in your opinion? Hyperbole much there, Sharon?"

Certainly no more hyperbolic than your maintaining that people on welfare are "crackheads" ...


message 29: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 04:22PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Sharon wrote:
Certainly no more hyperbolic than your maintaining that people on welfare are "crackheads"..."


Are you saying that there are no crackheads on welfare? Get real. I never said that all people on welfare are crackheads - I've been on welfare myself. I have NOTHING against folks on welfare. What I have a problem with is the "crackheads" who are on welfare... and the Latte Liberals who are always try to enable them.


message 30: by Hazel (new)

Hazel no-one has claimed there are no hard drug users on welfare, but the evidence has been shown that they are a very small minority, and what yo're suggesting is that the the law abiding majority should be forced to have a drugs test because of the actions of a small minority. The introduction of such an across the board test would tar all claimants with the same brush, and demonise them in the eyes of people who don't bother actually looking at the stats or information about drug use among claimants. People who are in hardship don't need it being made harder for them.


message 31: by Sharon (last edited Nov 12, 2012 04:35PM) (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Ed Wagemann wrote: "What I have a problem with is the "crackheads" who are on welfare... and the Latte Liberals who are always try to enable them. "

Which brings me back to the previous question. I already cited the source: 70 percent of illicit drug users between the ages of 18 and 49 are employed full-time. I don't see you getting upset about the "crackheads" who are drawing salaries, just about a tiny percentage of folks on welfare, for which you are willing to demonize everyone on welfare without probable cause. I don't understand it.

And please, stop with the strawmen. I didn't say any such thing, and you know it.

And if believing that every born human being has the right to adequate food, clothing and shelter makes me a so-called "latte liberal," I'll take it.


message 32: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Ed Wagemann wrote: "Hazel, when it comes to being "humane" in terms of this issue, then I liken it to those folks who refuse medical care, eventhough they are dying, because it is against their religion. It is their ..."

no-one claimed that drug tests are unethical, however forcing a subsection of the population (welfare claimants) to have to take one for no better reason than they belong to that subsection of the population is unethical. You do like to twist what people are saying, and build your strawmen to knock down, don't you.

if people should take responsibility for their actions (I agree with that sentiment, btw), doesn't that mean the people who are putting others out of work should take responsibility for having put them out of work? Losing your job is not a choice, not getting the jobs you apply for along with several hundred other people is not a choice, being in a shitty situation where you have to give up doing anything but buying food, and trying to pay the bills is not a choice, its something thats happened that you have to deal with, welfare helps you deal with it, being forced to take tests for actions you haven't taken is not helpful or right.

If you want people to take responsibility for their actions, fine, but people who haven't ever taken drugs should not have to "take responsibility" for the drug taking actions of others who have, and should not be forced to undergo the same tests as someone who has taken the action of drug taking.


message 33: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Hazel wrote: "If you want people to take responsibility for their actions, fine, but people who haven't ever taken drugs should not have to "take responsibility" for the drug taking actions of others who have, and should not be forced to undergo the same tests as someone who has taken the action of drug taking.
"


This. Right here.


message 34: by Ed (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments no-one has claimed there are no hard drug users on welfare, but the evidence has been shown that they are a very small minority, and what yo're suggesting is that the the law abiding majority should be forced to have a drugs test because of the actions of a small minority.

Sorry Hazel, but that is just how society works. I mean why should I be required to pass a background check to purchase a gun? I've never committed any crime? And why should I have to go through a metal detector at the airport? I dont have a bomb in my shoe. And why do I have to drive the speed limit? I've never been in a wreck.

See? There are just certain "inconveniences" folks have to put up with if they want to be a part of a functioning society. These rules make society better.


message 35: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Ed Wagemann wrote: "See? There are just certain "inconveniences" folks have to put up with if they want to be a part of a functioning society. These rules make society better.
"


So, being subjected to invasion of privacy/unwarranted search and seizure is a mere "inconvenience" to you? Okay then. That explains a good many of your positions in these debates. ::shrug::


message 36: by Hazel (last edited Nov 12, 2012 05:01PM) (new)

Hazel Someone can't kill someone with a welfare claim, Ed, you're comparing apples and oranges. Theres no problem with things that protect society, such as teachers having to have a CRB check, but forcing welfare claimants to have drug tests is not among those things that protect society from dangerous people,it only succeeds in creating ill feeling and prejudice against people who are in a difficult and unfortunate position. You're are being very disingenuous with your arguments.


message 37: by Christina (new)

Christina My husband is a Marine and they have drug testing. It does not bother my husband one bit. I had to do it for sports. And it is indeed uneventful.

I don't know what the solution is, and I don't know how widespread the problem is, but if one person is trading food stamps for drugs, thus depriving his or her children of food, that is one too many. All I know is that if I had to go on welfare to feed my children, I would gladly pee in a cup.


message 38: by Ed (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments if people should take responsibility for their actions (I agree with that sentiment, btw), doesn't that mean the people who are putting others out of work should take responsibility for having put them out of work?

By "people who are putting others out of work" who are you referring to exactly? The people who build robots that replace assembly line workers? The people who create software programs that take the work that used to require 100 people and reduces it to requiring only 1 person?

If you want to get into a discussion about what can be done aobut the high unemployment rates in AMerica right now, then I have many ideas about that. A large responsibility falls upon large corporations who outsource jobs, but there are many other factors as well. Maybe the most important of which is that small businesses are at an extreme disadvantage when trying to compete with large corporations. And there are things that can be done to change that.


message 39: by Hazel (new)

Hazel I'm sure you do have many ideas about that, and I'm sure you're convinced of the rightness of them, however, right now its gone 1 in the morning, and I'm going to go hit the sack, as I should have been in bed a couple of hours ago, and have completely lost track of time. Night night.


message 40: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 05:15PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Night Hazel, maybe we can chat some more tomorow
:)

Sharon wrote:So, being subjected to invasion of privacy/unwarranted search and seizure is a mere "inconvenience" to you? Okay then. That explains a good many of your positions in these debates. ::shrug::

As Christine says, a simple piss test is not a big deal - a mere inconvenience is exactly what I would call it.

And if we want a society in which folks are more accountable for their own actions, then drug testing welfare folks is a good idea.
But above and beyond that, as I said before, it also seperates the criminals and druggies from the deserving welfare recepiants who have just run across a bit of hard luck. We all want to lend a hand up to those folks and by identifying the abusers and weeding them out of the system we will be able to more successfully help those who are actually deserving of benfits.


message 41: by Ed (last edited Nov 12, 2012 05:24PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Hazel wrote: forcing welfare claimants to have drug tests is not among those things that protect society from dangerous people,it only succeeds in creating ill feeling and prejudice against people who are in a difficult and unfortunate position. You're are being very disingenuous with your arguments.

Disingenuous? How is that? As I've said, I've been on welfare myself before. I've been there, I know its not fun - which is why I can empathize with welfare folks and understand them alot better than the latte liberals who have never actually lived side by side with them.

I want to help folks on welfare. I have no prejudices against folks on welfare. I have prejudices against crackheads who use welfare to pay for their habits.


message 42: by Gary (new)

Gary | 134 comments Ed Wagemann wrote: "And if we want a society in which folks are more accountable for their own actions, then drug testing welfare folks is a good idea.
But above and beyond that, as I said before, it also seperates the criminals and druggies from the deserving welfare recepiants who have just run across a bit of hard luck. We all want to lend a hand up to those folks and by identifying the abusers and weeding them out of the system we will be able to more successfully help those who are actually deserving of benfits. "


You've already admitted though that this wouldn't happen. What would actually happen is the costs for drug testing would spiral well above the Welfare bill so either people pay more in taxes or more services get cut to support this testing.

So either you penalise all welfare recipients for the crimes of a minority or you penalise all taxpayers for the crimes of a minority.

Worse still, what do you do with these people that you leave to starve. You are now forcing them to commit crimes or die. So either you execute them or lock them up for their crime at further taxpayer expense.

Meanwhile the testing of welfare recipients spreads the public perception of the majority of them being drug addicts, or why would the government be testing them?

Still I don't see any answer to my point. If you believe that welfare recipients should be randomly drug tested, shouldn't all recipients of public money?

In fact shouldn't everyone undergo mandatory testing by that logic.


message 43: by Hazel (new)

Hazel You may not have that prejudice, but if a blanket test was created for all welfare claimants, then it would create that prejudice in the general public. In he UK at the moment, because of propaganda campaigns by the government and their pet media claimants are being attacked, especially disabled claimants, because they are seen as scroungers and leeches on the state. It is wrong that honest people are being targeted because of the tiny minority that are benefit cheats.

By having a scheme that demands all claimants take a drug test the message is being sent that the government believes that a large proportion of claimants are drug users, because why else would the consider it worth the expense? Of course, it's simply not the case that a large proportion are drug users, most of them are employed full time, you've been shown the stats for that already. It doesn't matter if its true or not, most people don't check the facts out, most people don't bother to question what the newspapers are telling them, they just form an opinion on the information they're given, and the propaganda works.

Your arguments are disingenuous because they do not compare with the welfare arguments, you know that protecting society from people who are unstable by making it difficult to get guns, or by making it hard for bombs/knives etc to get through airport security etc is not the same as some making a welfare application, these situations are not comparable.


message 44: by Ed (last edited Nov 13, 2012 10:20AM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Gary, you must have missed my answer to your point. The answer is YES, I do think all DIRECT recipients of public money should be drug tested. If you want tax payer's hard earned money, then you need to take a test that shows you are not on hard drugs.

Gary wrote: "Meanwhile the testing of welfare recipients spreads the public perception of the majority of them being drug addicts, or why would the government be testing them?..."

I think that's bullshit. People who already have a negative view of welfare recipients might actually have less of one if they KNOW that they are not on drugs. Making the program more respectable isn't going to lower anyones opinion of those who are on it.

Gary wrote:Worse still, what do you do with these people that you leave to starve. You are now forcing them to commit crimes or die. So either you execute them or lock them up for their crime at further taxpayer expense.

Drug addiction is something that most people do not overdome. By the time you are dealing with addicts, you've already lost the battle. To win the war you have to do it through education. Educate kids at a young age of the evils of addiction.

But you asked what do wo we with the folks who are already addicted. These folks have made bad decisions and they must face the piper for these bad decisons. If they are using illegal drugs, then that is a crime. So the best thing for society is to move these folks from the welfare line to the prison line.

I'll actually dealt with drug addicts before. I am a humanitarian. Addiction is the ugliest, most vile thing that can happen to someone - and I sympathize with these folks. But playing softball with them isn't going to do them any good. I take the hard line. I beleive that if it is even possible for an addict to reform then tough love is the only way for it to happen.


message 45: by Ed (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Hazel wrote: "Your arguments are disingenuous because they do not compare with the welfare arguments, you know that protecting society from people who are unstable by making it difficult to get guns, or by making it hard for bombs/knives etc to get through airport security etc is not the same as some making a welfare application, these situations are not comparable."

I honestly disagree. I think they are very comparable. In each case you are trying to weed out the few bad seeds to protect the rest of the population.


message 46: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Ed Wagemann wrote: " I beleive that if it is even possible for an addict to reform then tough love is the only way for it to happen.
"


Yeah, that must be why twelve-step programs are so brutal in their approach. /sarcasm

I must say, it's been kind of fascinating to watch your thought process in this discussion and the abortion one.

If I am understanding how your positions would come together, you want to force all women to gestate pregnancies whether or not they wish to or are able to (for whatever reason). Then, if the woman is unable to make ends meet and requires AFDC or WIC to help feed her kids, she should be forced to have a drug test to satisfy some bizarre sense of self-righteous morality a *second time.*

I really don't get it, Ed.


message 47: by Christina (new)

Christina I think I missed something. What # comment did Ed suggest that only women should be subjected to drug testing?


message 48: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Ed Wagemann wrote: "Hazel wrote: "Your arguments are disingenuous because they do not compare with the welfare arguments, you know that protecting society from people who are unstable by making it difficult to get gun..."

you're comparing situations in which not checking could result in people being hurt,and a situation in which it doesn't result in people getting hurt. Introducing the drugs test would result in people getting hurt. The two types of situation are not comparable, its like trying to make traffic policy based on airplane accidents.


message 49: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Christina wrote: "I think I missed something. What # comment did Ed suggest that only women should be subjected to drug testing?"

He didn't. In another thread, he's talking about how women should not be permitted to terminate pregnancies. In this thread, he's talking about how anyone receiving any public assistance should be forced to have a drug test. This group would, perforce, include any woman who needed AFDC/WIC for the child she was forced to have under his other plan -- without any other probable cause than trying to keep her kids from going hungry.


message 50: by Ed (last edited Nov 13, 2012 06:01PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (EdWagemann) | 985 comments Christina wrote: "I think I missed something. What # comment did Ed suggest that only women should be subjected to drug testing?"

I never said that. Sharon is just still stuck in hyperbole overdrive that partisan hacks spiral into during election season where they cant stop exagerating and demoaguaging everything to death. It's an illness really, and I don't hold it against her.

Hazel wrote:you're comparing situations in which not checking could result in people being hurt,and a situation in which it doesn't result in people getting hurt. Introducing the drugs test would result in people getting hurt. The two types of situation are not comparable, its like trying to make traffic policy based on airplane accidents.

I disagree. The basic idea here is that I believe in aggresseively going after fraud, waste and abuse at EVERY level of the government. Name any program that is designed to attack fraud, waste and abuse of our tax dollars and I'm gonna be for it. And I think it is wrong to pick and choose which abusers to the system you are going to go after.

Sharon wrote: "If I am understanding how your positions would come together, you want to force all women to gestate pregnancies whether or not they wish to or are able to (for whatever reason). Then, if the woman is unable to make ends meet and requires AFDC or WIC to help feed her kids, she should be forced to have a drug test to satisfy some bizarre sense of self-righteous morality a *second time.*

I really don't get it, Ed. "


Well I agree with you on that. You DON'T get it.


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