The Dark Side of Welfare


On other threads I have discussed Saint Paul’s admonitiions against giving charity to those who can work, or who have families to care for them – and the negative impact on those who receive such charity. This has spawned several otehr threads. This thread looks at how welfare has become an economic strategy, a way of life, perpetuating itself generation after generation.

To begin the discussion, I offer this from Cornell Science News

Most teens get pregnant on purpose because other life goals
seem out of reach, says Cornell researcher
Expert Andrea Parrot calls for new multi-dimensional approach

FOR RELEASE: June 4, 1997
Contact: Susan Lang
Office: (607) 255-3613

ITHACA, N.Y. – “Many teenage pregnancies aren’t accidental but intentional because of girls who see no life goals other than being a mother as realistically within their reach,” says Andrea Parrot, Ph.D., a Cornell University women’s health and human sexuality expert.

That’s a major reason why most current sex and pregnancy prevention education efforts “are ineffective at preventing teenage pregnancy and the U.S. has an outrageous teen pregnancy rate – the highest in the industrialized world,” said Parrot, associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.

In the recent Cornell Cooperative Extension teleconference Women’s Health Across the Generations, which was downlinked to 15 sites across New York state in February, Parrot advocated wider use of long-term, multi-dimensional, community-based programs that have proven successful because they offer hope for a brighter future and the means to achieve life goals other than motherhood.

“Such programs are undoubtedly expensive. However, providing the program for a girl for several years will cost less than the social welfare, medical and lost income costs for a teen mother in the first year she has the baby,” Parrot pointed out.

Effectively preventing teen pregnancies would save the billions of dollars society pays to support a teen mother, her children and even her grandchildren, often for a lifetime. It also would break the cycle related to psychopathologies in our culture, including drug and alcohol abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, drug-induced birth defects, dropping out of school, crime, domestic violence and poverty.

“As a society, we keep on paying and paying when our teens become mothers,” said Parrot, who has been working in the area of teen sexuality for 20 years and is the co-author of the 1979 manual Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention: A Team Approach.

Too many teenage girls see themselves as having nothing to strive for – they can’t see graduating from high school because they have few role models to follow, their teachers give them little encouragement about their abilities, their families are chaotic and their friends are on drugs. Parenting looks like the best thing going, many girls think, because babies provide an immediate source of unconditional love,” Parrot said.

(My emphasis)


This is what I tried to explain in the other thread but I guess I came off hard and mean. The fact remains welfare as we know it doesn’t work. We will have to be hard and mean if we want to change it. The welfare of the child should be the priority and that is why adoption should be the prefer option over welfare payments that we have no control over. Food stamps are sold for cigarettes and beer. Somehow they have expensive sneakers. name brand clothes and gold and every electronic device.:shrug: yet the can’t “aquire” diapers for the baby or food?:rolleyes:


Not hard and mean–just pragmatic. People who can work–should. If they need welfare, it should be there for them…but with a limit. That is not mean–it’s actually charitable to teach someone to fish, than just feed them fish for a lifetime.:o


Indeed it is – it is no charity to create a system that traps people for generation after generation. Saint Paul was right – we should have listended to him.


Some girls will have a baby and starve with the baby if they think that there is no other way to matter to anyone or be loved.


There have been a couple of articles in our local paper about things that have worked.

An entrepreneur who made it out of a bad neighborhood in the inner city went back to give a talk at his old middle school. Looking out at the bored kids, he impulsively promised, “If you graduate and are accepted to a college, I’ll pay for it!” Suddenly, he had their attention. They had a reason to actually work at school, because there was something waiting for them. The school’s graduation rate went from something like 5% to 75% or more. And yes, the entrepreneur paid for college and got business associates to give to a fund to keep the program going for future classes of kids.

There was another article talking about what students think it takes to be successful. Their parents didn’t know how to be successful, so they couldn’t pass that on to their kids. The ideas that education is the ticket to a better life, self-discipline, etc. just weren’t being taught to these kids. The successful people they saw were the drug dealers, the gangsters, etc. If welfare programs can’t communicate some of these ideas to parents so they can pass them on to their kids, then the welfare program really isn’t going to get anywhere. I think the editorial was advocating for increased mentorship programs.

Plus, by handing out money through welfare, fathers seem to become irrelevant. If his job is to be a breadwinner, then why get married or stay married if the government is going to provide money or housing? Again, many people see this repeated around them; welfare families with no fathers is “normal.” They don’t understand how important all of these factors are because they haven’t seen them work in their communities.


and some girls will think twice about laying down with a man she barely knows. Yes, I agree with first chance help, but when help is rejected-----example–“just give me the money, I don’t care about no baby classes or job training” This is what really needs changing.
I love alll children and because I am prolife, I believe all children should have a chance, but when the mother fails to provide the minium (Government aide) use the money for drugs or other non-essential items needed for a child then by all means remove that child.


great post!:thumbsup:


I have known at least one woman who was a heroin user and her child was removed. She promptly got pregnant by sleeping with three men and saying she was using birth control when she wasn’t. She raised the second child. I don’t know what became of him. But if a girl or woman wants the sweet pure love of a newborn badly enough to go through pregnancy and birth for it, she often wants it enough to do anything it takes to get it, whether she will take good care of her infant or not. Certainly some babies should get taken away, but also we need to give the lonesome and insecure girls another way to be important, loved and secure – or they will just have more. If they’re sterilized, some may react by stealing children. People will do what it takes to get what they need. Someone ought to give them a substitute first. And I don’t mean a doll. I don’t know what would help.


I just remembered I read somewhere that girls whose families eat together are a lot less likely to get pregnant. Perhaps what these kids need is a family to do family things with, if their own doesn’t do those things.
I have to ask, do boys go through anything like that? The realization of how ugly and full of hate the world is and the desire to escape to a sweeter, simpler place? The wish for pure love and innocence? You don’t hear many young men and boys talk like that. Is it a sex difference or not? Just curious.


I agree with you, but when welfare becomes a way of life we must stand up and stop this now FOR THE CHILDREN! A girl who sadly has a baby to find love needs help (mental as well as physical) and she usually accepts real help when offered, such as job training, childcare and so on, this type of girl usually never has another baby until she is married and older. The type of girls I am talking about see babies as money a way to keep in the system as they age out and will raise sons who disreguard laws and make babies left and right, and girls who will themselves become pregnant before they reach 16.
In no way shape or form do I promote sterization. Through a farming accident 16 years ago my husband has been sterile, I would NEVER want anyone to have this done accidently or by surgery. Believe me although I had 5 children my arms ached for more but it was God’s Will.


Boys are just following in their father’s foot steps disappearing in the abyss.


The children are the hostages in this mess. We have heard over and over, “We must do it for the CHILDREN!” Now go and look at the children in question – many of them are grandparents now, with children and grandchildren on welfare.

We are not doing it for the children, we are doing it to the children.


I’m interested in what a proposed solution to this would be? Sure, you can take children from a mother or family that are at or below the poverty level, but where exactly do you put them all?

The child services of this country are already well above capacity, with children falling through the cracks on an hourly basis. I see it firsthand, almost every single solitary day.

It’s kind of sad sometimes to have to put an Intra-Osseous in a young toddler or infant because of malnutrition or dehydration. It’s even more sad to try and hold some young kid’s brains in their head after they blow them out, after having been bounced around from foster care to foster care to government facility.

I think I am at the point where I just don’t care anymore. Nothing surprises me in the least. But what I do see is the lack of education in these situations is so astounding, that I wonder of some parts of the US qualify for 3rd World Status.

In my humble opinion, education is the key. Neglectful, or even just poor, down-on-their-luck mothers/parents should be required to take education classes, finish high school, attend a trade school ect in order to keep their children, or even have temporary visitation until they regain a foothold.

The money poured into welfare should be re-directed into a training/educational program that 1) teaches and educates, and 2) provides a service to the community so the money spent actually accomplishes something. The mother/guardian does a job, gets taught and educated, learns a skill, performs actual works for the betterment of the community, and breaks the cycle.

You can also put a huge dent in the illegal immigrant workforce too. You make it a class A/1 Felony to hire undocumented immigrants, but give some tax/income breaks to companies that hire these people to do jobs that illegal immigrants do. Probably 1500-2000 jobs per local region would open up over time.


and what of the kids who don’t have wealthy benefactors to fund them through college?


Absolutely. We should regard people on welfare as our employees – and their “job” should be to learn the skills they need to get a real job.


My closest town was once the poorest town in the U.S… People used to live in buses here and had newspapers for insulation. Things have improved greatly. This is the greatest country in the world and I thank you for it. Tim


Oh my, Vern! We are in 100% agreement here!! :thumbsup:


Of course. This is called “moral pragmatism.” If we are morally impelled to do something, we are morally impelled to chose a course of action likely to yield success. And if we are not getting success, we are morally impelled to change our course of action.

Education is the answer. And if we pay people, we have a right to require they take training.


No disagreement with me on that one!

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