Trump wants 6 million people off welfare. What do you think is the best way to get people off welfare and help them become independent?
Let’s take two cases. Every individual is different, but these two cases make a thought experiment to showcase the most interesting types of behaviours in this discussion. Jack wants to work, and Jack has tons of training in construction work. But Jack was injured in a workplace accident and now is disabled. Jack was the breadwinner for his family prior to the accident, so he needs community assistance in order for his family, including himself, to survive. Whether the economy is strong or weak, either way, Jack needs to choose a new career and receive the appropriate training, before he can rejoin the workforce, if that’s even possible. Now consider Jill. Jill is able-bodied, but simply doesn’t want to work. Jill doesn’t care what the economic situation of the nation is like; she only cares that she gets a welfare check. How do you get Jack off of welfare? First you would need to find something Jack has significant aptitude to do, that also has economic demand for workers. Maybe Jack has a serious brain injury and all Jack can do is be hooked up to a machine. It looks like Jack is likely going to be on welfare until he dies, in that case. Maybe Jack’s brain injury gets better little by little, though, and someday he can manage to pick berries or greet people at the front door of a superstore. But, at any rate, I’m not sure how Trump could help Jack off welfare. In Jill’s case, if she stops receiving welfare checks, she would be faced with a choice – work or die. If Jill can work, but didn’t want to do so, she now has the motivation necessary to actually get things into gear. But now, the meta-issue of who decides who needs welfare and who doesn’t, on a case-by-case basis. Who pays that person’s salary? What if that person makes the wrong call? What kind of person wants to do that job?
Et cetera. Maybe the job pays for itself in savings, and a person like Jill gets the responsibility, but then, how likely would Jill be to make the right judgement calls for cases like her own? The overall problem of welfare abuse is not solved, or even really improved, by bolstering the economy. In a bad economy, there are no jobs. In a good economy, there is plenty of money flowing everywhere. In neither case, will people go off of welfare. So, how to fix the problem? In any solution, there will be negative harsh consequences for some people, while others will take advantage. Even if you could start a government program to train unemployed people to fit some immediate job need within the workforce, they still have to be able to output something of value equal to or greater than what they will be compensated, and there is simply no job on Earth that can guarantee that anyone can do it and make money doing it indefinitely.