Work requirements help the poor | IN 60 SECONDS

Work requirements help the poor | IN 60 SECONDS

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87% of Americans think it’s appropriate
to require physically able people to seek work in order to receive public
benefits, and generally most government aid recipients do. Yet, critics call work
requirements for safety net programs “cruel”, believing they punish people for
being poor. The truth is, work requirements are not punishment. They
ensure that people who are capable of work stay connected to the labor market.
Most states do this with people receiving unemployment compensation, and
they should be doing it with safety net programs, too. Requiring work sends a
clear message that if you can work, you should be working, while government
assistance is there to support you. It also fulfills a kind of social contract
that most poor people agree with. In a poll conducted in 2016,
eight of ten Americans in poverty agreed with work requirements. Most of all, work
requirements improve the integrity of our safety net programs. Anti-poverty
programs do much better when they are perceived as a way to help people move
out of poverty through work rather than simply a means to make unemployment more
tolerable. What do you think about requiring people to work in exchange for
public benefits? Let us know in your comments. Also, let us know what other
topics you’d like our scholars to cover in 60 seconds, and be sure to like and
subscribe for more research and videos from AEI.


  1. US government could save a lot of money like stopplng safety net programs we give to other countries called foreign aid

  2. Could you somehow put together a bit which outlines how "entrepreneurship failure rates" are misleading? Or perhaps, a cost-opportunity analysis of putting a business together against college degrees or wasteful expenditures (like buying a new car).

    A huge component in data regarding failed startups is simply naivete-driven. They typically include data derived from "hobbyist startups". These are startups which only fail because some hobbyists don't research the business side of things, or don't understand how to start charging for what they may have previously done pro-bono (for friends, family, etc). Additionally, many failures are in the restaurant industry.

    Understanding cost pricing models and applying them to revenue channels is arguably more important than being an expert in whichever field your startup happens to be in.

    If more young people were energized about starting a business, this whole creative movement among currently-unmotivated, demoralized, and naive millennials would be solved. Their creativity could fuel an engine in a vastly more broad startup market than what currently exists. The economy's quarterly growth rate could easily be boosted by an additional percentage point.

    Trump should empower entry-level startups to merge, to take on larger companies. He should also empower employers to focus more on entrepreneurial experience, rather than just/mostly college degrees (this could also serve as an idea for a video).

    A push for entrepreneurship would fit very well into President Trump's deregulation movement. It is becoming easier and easier to start a business, but millennials continue to purge their financial capability on student loans in useless degree areas, frivolous purchases, and/or constant nickel-and-diming. A $100K student loan on an art degree would be much more cost-effective in starting a services company, especially if multiple people split the loan OR combined their capital to fund a larger loan. It'd provide immediate experience and a higher likelihood of revenue during the payment period.

  3. When will the US stop giving welfare to foreign countries. It's called foreign aid but it really is welfare. US tax payers dollars given away with little if any accountability.

  4. You also have problems like the rise of automation, massive class inequality, and the notion that some work is better than no work. All these factors are why 'work requirements' ARE harmful to those in these kinds of circumstances. It's also lazy to overlook the other factors that come with living in these circumstances (ie depression, vulnerability, etc) and until you do away with these insane conservative ideals (which I will just sum up as "all social policies are bad because Communism"), your 'first world' country, that doesn't have universal healthcare or even a decent universal education system that is fair to all, will continue to go more and more to shit…I mean I can see the arguments for and against Trump, but seriously YOU HAVE A BILLIONAIRE REALITY TV CELEBRITY AS THE LEADER OF YOUR COUNTRY!!

  5. I think you have a misunderstanding of benefits and who uses them. Talking about work requirements for the poorest of poor to keep them off streets while 29 trillion is given away is what I call crazy. So Either you guys are ignorant and honesty stupid or really evil trying to pass this thing. Which one is it? We are not buying these lies anymore

  6. You know this bothers me so much!!! When I was an adult student with 18 credit hours of classwork they still wanted me to appear for 20 hours of work per week. I explained that made it harder for me to keep up my grades and I was told that because I was pursuing a BA and not an Associates Degree or Technical Degree that my college hours did not count. That work program nearly cost me my middle class present. And no I did not continue the 20 hours a week work requirement. My family scraped together the $300 per month I was getting (80 hours per month of work for $300) and gave me the cash so I could continue to study. Then when welfare found out they cut my food stamps allotment for the month even though my income, the $300 had not changed. (Ohio). So yeah I have a real problem with this video because it does not explain how people who are trying to really improve their lives substantially are discouraged from getting an education and outright told "If you leave Kent State University and go to hair school, I can give you this money, this voucher, and this other thing." DISGUSTING!!!!

  7. Without work requirements people are going to take advantage of to them what is free money. Of course you still run into the problem that if you work too much you lose welfare which may be worth more than working. People assume that if you put a stipulation on money you just hate poor people which is a total misrepresentation of what they believe. Blows my mind that anyone is complaining about being given “free” money instead of just being grateful that someone else got a job & their part of their paycheck was taken from them to be given to you & you’re mad there are strings attached.

  8. Of course it depends on the system, but from Germany, I can say this: Work programs cost money. A lot of money.
    And they are also a very tempting way for politicians to hide the problem.

    Creating some sort of work that is not really needed is a pretty bad idea. You pay to create the job, you pay for the person to do it and possibly, the actual net gain is almost non existent.

    What you instead want to do is make work attractive for people who receive benefits.
    Make a system with a smooth progression form slowly diminishing benefits to a fully benefit free self supporting wage.
    Trying to force people into work programs you might to have to set up and man with bureaucrats who REALLY cost money is a solution where you often work against the people, who very likely would rather not work at all, or work off the books or such.
    You want a system where people have incentives to take up even a little bit of work so that instead of pushing them into it, they will do it themselves.

    You CANNOT do work requirements without a heavy bureaucracy, and bureaucracy is the one thing you want as little as possible of.

    Look at Germany. We have had lots of these things and they end up creating a ballooning cadre of administrators while not really making the system more affordable.

    If we want to get money to people in need, for whatever reason, we want efficiency. Germany's social system wastes more than 50% on things other than the money we pay welfare recipients. And that is because it is tied to all sorts of programs to get people jobs.

    Let the free market do this and do away with perverse incentives for people to stay in welfare even if they could find a job!
    You are PAYING them to act that way, so do not be surprised that they do it.

  9. Exactly how do you square the circle of work requirements, (hopefully) looking for a better job, and day care costs (or will that be subsidized as well on top of welfare costs)?

    What is the overhead costs of managing such a system (and the percentage of people who find work during) vs. no work requirement?

    As it is, you have the problem of people avoiding getting a job unless it pays more than their welfare. Work requirements just exacerbates this problem until you fix the other problems with welfare first.

  10. They only benefit the poor if there are jobs to do. When available work is rare, employers get swamped.It is highly counterproductive

  11. It should be required to have an active profile seeking work to be able to benefit from welfare. It provides work market a pool to select employees and offers people a safety net. If you are able to work and there is work, boeing a beggar is an insult to honest workforce

  12. yeah this is definitely the best way to force qualified people to accept shitty job offers or menial minimum wage jobs, congrats on your version of the american dream, it sure is fucking hilarious!

  13. also props to the useful idiots and 15 year old edge lord libertarians cheering this on in the comments, you're the real MVPs of neo-liberalism, congrats!

  14. If they want to be paid, they should work. Of course, if the can. But almost everybody can do something, even if it means keeping company to someone.

  15. "work requirements help the poor", horseshit, work requirements help create/reinforce the stereotype that all welfare recipients are really just too lazy to go get a real job. Considering the billions of dollars we give away to "friends" like the EU, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and Turkey, and the billions more we give in tax breaks to supposedly American corporations and executives who offshore their accounts, and through their lobbying efforts have blessed us with a fourteen thousand page tax code filled with exemptions you have to be a millionaire to qualify for, I'm okay with the occasional "freeloader" sitting on welfare for a bit longer than you think they ought to.

  16. Personal, as someone who's been out of work for years, I think that work requirements are a good idea in principle, but there's a problem in execution: I don't know how to begin looking for work, given that I have no education, experience, or references – all of which seem to be prerequisites for all jobs, as far as I can tell. It's like requiring state issued ID to vote: the infrastructure has to be there first. If you need me to look for a job, I need you to make looking for a job a viable option for me.

  17. in principle i like the idea. but how it is implemented dose not work. you're supposed to take any job. well minimum wage dosent pay the rent, food,and gas to get to work. an the second you take that minimum wage job all benefits are taken away. deincentivising any reasoned person from wanting to get off the system. some middle ground is needed.

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