Monthly Archives: October 2008

Welfare Misconceptions…

Ran across this link on YouTube and obviously it correlates to our ongoing discussion in class. Listen in to what Hannity says, specifically the part where he states “there are even people under the Obama tax plan that don’t work or pay taxes that will get money back”. Hannity makes it seem, as most conservatives do, that not only is it “easy” to receive the welfare check (we all know there are strings attached), but that these people are living high on the hog. Not paying taxes? Not working? Getting money from the government so they can live?? Preposterous! I feel like the people out of touch with the realities of welfare make themselves out to be these welfare geniuses (Like Hannity). If every other industrial nation in the world sees the value of welfare, why is the most powerful country in the world penny pinching and scrutinizing people who don’t have the means to subsist?

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Take me to the ball game

In my public policy class we are doing a project on Sport stadiums and how they are being built by tax money. I just wanted to throw out a few numbers.

These are all from the book “A Field of Schemes” by  Joanna Cagan and Neil DeMause

The construction of a new stadium can cost close to a billon dollars, most of this coming out of taxpayers pockets. The money is usually taken out of things that needed funding,  for example when the Baltimore built it’s new stadium, they had a failing public school system and one of the highest homeless rates in the country. Yet they rerouted tax money into building a $400 million dollar stadium.

The Idea that they try and sell you on is that the city will be making money off the revenue from these stadiums, yet the deals they make with sports franchise includes having the team play rent free, and the team usually get 75% of ticket prices and franchise rights.

When companies are given tax abatments in return for the new jobs they will bring to that city, the cost per job can run as high as $250,000 per job and considering that most of these jobs are low-wage job, it will be years before the city can see a return on the money they spent on aquiring these jobs.

I’m also attaching a couple of links from newspaper articles that I’ve found interesting (for some reason I can’t embed the link)

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The Other Side Of Things

As I was doing research for my topic, The Social Welfare and Economic Imbalance In The Balkans, i came across this article that really blew my mind. As this is a class about social welfare and it encourages our questioning of these institutions, I remembered that it also provides for the analysis of these functions through different angles. The one angle I took is to see how these factors might correlate or reciprocate on the other side of the world. I was — at the same time — shocked and not, when I read this: 

“One out of five Europeans — 93 million people — lives under the poverty line. The poor include rural people in Central and Eastern Europe and ethnic minorities such as the Roma, who are among the poorest people in Europe. The Roma comprise almost 40 per cent of poor people in Romania and Bulgaria. More than eight out of ten in the Republic of Moldova live below the poverty line, many of them in rural areas. In the southern and eastern zones of Europe, agriculture earns 30 per cent or more of GDP and a large proportion of the population is rural. More than half of the people in Albania, Armenia and the Republic of Moldova live in rural areas. In the heavily industrialized northern and western zones of Europe, agriculture contributes one tenth of the gross domestic product (GDP). The rural population varies from 25 to 40 per cent of total population. The EU earmarks a significant part of its common budget for development of the least advantaged rural areas within the Union. Development funds that are an integral component of the EU’s agricultural policy will benefit the Eastern European countries that have recently become members of the EU. An additional part of the EU’s common development budget is allocated for poverty reduction in developing countries throughout the world.”

Perhaps this might not strike you as anything crazy, but this — in conjunction with another article that I read regarding a mere 58,000,000 children living under the harsh conditions of poverty — might brew something in you. Is there anything to be learned here? You read things like these, and for the most of us that are immigrants here at Baruch, what do you feel? Would you rather sacrifice (if you could) the situation here to make things better in Europe where many of you have younger relatives and old grandparents if you could? This might not apply to everyone, but if not Europe, consider those living among extreme poverty in Latin and South America; Some Guatemalan workers make a whopping $2 a day!

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Now that’s welfare!

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“The Candidates Debate Tax Cuts and Welfare”


So this is a recent article on NYTimes in which both McCain and Obama criticize the other’s tax policies, while making references to welfare. Basically McCain has been calling Obama’s Tax proposal a “welfare giveaway to working class voters”. He even accuses Obama of wanting to turn the IRS “into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington”. Obama responded to this by claiming that McCain is completely out of touch with the middle class and attacks his plan to give $200 billion in tax cuts to wealthy corporations. He also claims that McCain might be “the first politician in history to call a tax cut for the working people, welfare”

When it comes to the economy im with Obama. I just hate this trickle down economy that McCain supports where he thinks that if we give more money to big wealthy corporations it will all trickle down to everyone else. I also find it interesting that both candidates use “welfare” as a way to describe the tax breaks that certain individuals would get under the other’s tax policy. I dont know, what do you guys think?

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“Boom Baby Boom” The reality of our social securtiy benefits…

Social security benefits are the conversations I hear my parents “the baby boomers” and their friends having these days with the current state of our economy. “Should we work for a couple more years so that we would be able to get our full benefits?” “what will happen to these benefits for the next generation when they are ready to retire?” “How many more years should we work?” The link below are three videos that bring to light the issues we face concerning social security. Take a look, leave a comment….



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A Twist to the General Perception of Welfare Recipients

I know that we have all heard of what people think of people who receive welfare. The media plays a huge role in  what people come to understand about welfare. Well this article that I found provides evidence that there are many other ways to cheat the government for money. The link I included shares a personal testimony of a rich woman who tells her story of how she cheats the government. She doesn’t even seem apologetic about it. This is one of the things that she said in her article. “So if the ocean ate what I built, I could rebuild and rebuild again and again — there was no limit to the number of claims on the same property in the same location — up to a maximum of $250,000 per house per flood. And you taxpayers would pay for it.Thanks.” This is her life as a Welfare Queen. Enjoy !!

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More about Workfare

I found this study about the WEP (Work Experience Program) in NYC.  It localizes what we were talking about in class yesterday.  The PDF is a little long, but it is very informative.

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4 Are Charged With Child Welfare Fraud

This article shows four people trying to cheat the system by stealing money from people that needed welfare. They would steal government adoption subsidy payments that were supposed to be given to parents of adoptive children, some of whom had mental and physical disabilities. The second scheme was to steal money from the ACS by claiming to givng services while they never happened.

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I found this charts and they really caught my attention because i was never really familiar with the whole food stamps system untill now… It’s interesting to see how according to chart 1, some 85 percent of the benefits go to single parent homes or homes with no parents and only 15 percent go to children in married couple homes.
Chart 2 shows the percentage of marrieg, single, able and non-able people with children that have earned an income. It’s interesting to see how 63 percent of married couples with children had earned an income….
What shocked me the most about chart 3, is that over 90 percent of Food Stamp aid went to households which received aid for more than two years. this explaing the way in which people abuse the system…

Chart 4
Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC)
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

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