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Why Welfare Cannot Work

Welfare pays more money than an honest job?

By Petrarch  |  July 23, 2010

The Daily Mail reports:

A haulage boss was left stunned after an unemployed driver rejected the offer of a job paying more than £500 a week so he could remain on benefits.

Graham Poole, the managing director of a 23-wagon fleet in Rochdale, offered the job to the man who had been out of work for 18 months only to be told told it was not enough to have him come off government handouts.

The man turned the job down claiming he could get more money on benefits by 'sitting around at home'.

"That's not true!" you shout.  "Welfare can't possibly be that generous!"

Maybe, maybe not; opinions differ strongly on the Daily Mail's website, ranging from rank incredulity to "Sure it's true, I'm doing it myself."  Whether welfare pays that much or not is beside the point.

What's clear is that this individual - we'll call him John - clearly believed it to be true; and this tale illustrates why welfare as we know it today not only does not, but cannot work.

Who Does the Gruntwork?

John was offered a job as a truck driver.  A truck driver is not a stockbroker, but neither is he a fry-flipper at McDonald's.  Driving a truck has been a solid working-class job for as long as trucks have existed.

What's more, virtually everything John needs at his home, whether paid for by a salary or by welfare benefits, comes on a truck.  His Barcalounger and TV?  The microwave frozen pizzas and TV dinners?  His bed?  All come by truck.

If John can truly earn more on welfare then he can earn as a truck driver, he has a serious problem in his future.  Sooner or later, all the other truck drivers will figure out the raw deal they're getting, quit their jobs, and go on welfare themselves.  Then who will deliver the food?

The answer, of course, is people who don't qualify for welfare: immigrants, particularly illegal ones.  We saw a similar issue here in the United States two years ago when John McCain insulted an audience of voters by claiming they were too lazy to pick lettuce; that, said he, is why we need the illegals to do it for us.

It's true that few Americans do pick lettuce today, but that isn't because they loathe that particular vegetable, as McCain's audience loudly and angrily informed him.  American workers do not pick lettuce because they are not willing to do it for the few pennies that illegals cost.  For Americans, life on welfare is far better than life as a lettuce-picker paid a couple dollars a day; it's only because the illegals can't get welfare that they're willing to do the work if it's the only thing available.

Is this the fault of the illegals for taking American jobs?  Partially; but it's also the fault of the welfare system for making life too cushy for the unemployed.

What to do?  Graham Poole, John's would-be employer, hit the nail on the head:

I believe that someone who refuses a job should have their benefits stopped automatically and they should be made to take whatever jobs are available irrespective of what the wages are.

In other words: Get rid of welfare, and both the unemployment and illegal-immigration problems get rid of themselves.  If you have to work, you'll find work, and with real Americans truly seeking out the jobs, the illegals won't have a monopoly on them anymore and will have to go home or starve.