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Old December 24th, 2017, 11:32 AM   #1

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Drug tests for welfare recipients


How do you feel about drug testing for people on benefits? Australia will give it a trial run, while a few states in the USA are already doing it.

Some people believe it deters the unemployed from frittering away their benefits on drugs & promotes discipline & good behaviour to improve employability. Detractors believe it further marginalises the unemployed & stigmatise the poor.

I don't know how degrading or humiliating it is (some people find being on benefits humiliating enough as is) but I think it's unnecessary. For starters there are plenty of ways people fritter their time away, time which could be spent looking for a job (alcohol, social media, posting on Internet forums e.t.c.). If it's a case of cracking down on illegal drug use there's plenty of employed people on drugs.

If someone knows they've got a test coming up they'll revise hard & make sure they pass it. Randomised testing can guard against that, but I highly doubt welfare recipients will have to fill out a form saying where they'll be every day of the year.

While there isn't a huge amount of data available, I'd imagine the amount of people getting caught wouldn't be enough to justify the cost of drug testing thousands of people.

I know the welfare system is flawed & there'll always be people taking advantage of it, I also know there are vulnerable people out there struggling with substance abuse. I just don't think drug testing people on benefits will kill either of those two birds.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #2

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I think this is why a universal income is a good idea.

Everybody gets X amount of money per month, drug user or not, rich or poor, black or white.

But that's it. No additional benefits should be paid for by the government. If you wanna spend your stipend on drugs, that's your choice.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 12:15 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
I think this is why a universal income is a good idea.

Everybody gets X amount of money per month, drug user or not, rich or poor, black or white.

But that's it. No additional benefits should be paid for by the government. If you wanna spend your stipend on drugs, that's your choice.
Yes I agree.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 12:25 PM   #4
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it doesn't worth it (expensive) plus you may screw up with the dependents of the drug users too who live in the same household if you take away the support. Would have more sense to give the support in special cards to controll more the movement of the money, and you can spend it only on specific things from it (food, cloth, bills, rent, medicine, school, transportation related expenses etc). Yes there will be always abusers of the system who can find their way, but well, you can never have 100% efficiency.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 12:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye of Woland View Post
How do you feel about drug testing for people on benefits? Australia will give it a trial run, while a few states in the USA are already doing it.

Some people believe it deters the unemployed from frittering away their benefits on drugs & promotes discipline & good behaviour to improve employability. Detractors believe it further marginalises the unemployed & stigmatise the poor.

I don't know how degrading or humiliating it is (some people find being on benefits humiliating enough as is) but I think it's unnecessary. For starters there are plenty of ways people fritter their time away, time which could be spent looking for a job (alcohol, social media, posting on Internet forums e.t.c.). If it's a case of cracking down on illegal drug use there's plenty of employed people on drugs.

If someone knows they've got a test coming up they'll revise hard & make sure they pass it. Randomised testing can guard against that, but I highly doubt welfare recipients will have to fill out a form saying where they'll be every day of the year.

While there isn't a huge amount of data available, I'd imagine the amount of people getting caught wouldn't be enough to justify the cost of drug testing thousands of people.

I know the welfare system is flawed & there'll always be people taking advantage of it, I also know there are vulnerable people out there struggling with substance abuse. I just don't think drug testing people on benefits will kill either of those two birds.

The Australian program is purely vote getting "tough on welfare" stuff. Drugs are a health problem. This will not help., the program will cut benefits of those that fail, at this stage (unless something been added) there is no plan to actually put any services in place to help the person.

Purely punitive program designed to curry favour with those people who thing Andrew Bolt is a journalist and read the herald sun.

Last edited by pugsville; December 24th, 2017 at 02:15 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 02:01 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
I think this is why a universal income is a good idea.

Everybody gets X amount of money per month, drug user or not, rich or poor, black or white.

But that's it. No additional benefits should be paid for by the government. If you wanna spend your stipend on drugs, that's your choice.
The difficulty lies in what to do with the dependents of those who abuse their benefits. I know some will say that these children should be removed, but that it is usually not an optimal scenario. For one, it causes great distress to the children. One may argue that these children are being mistreated already, which is probably true, but think back to your childhood. No matter how bad things may be, most children would rather be with family then strangers. And speaking of strangers, fewer and fewer are willing to take in displaced children. Then there is the cost of placing children outside the home. It is not cheap. I don't have an answer to the problem, but I am always concerned about innocent children being affected. Addiction needs treatment. Forcing treatment is an option, although any treatment which is coerced is not very effective. then again, it may be better than nothing.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 02:51 PM   #7

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There is one big advantage of doing something like that, which is that it can make it harder for drug dealers to live in subsidised housing, which is something many of them aim to do. They want that, not because they can't afford a place to live, but because it offers them a good market. I recall cases when I lived in Toronto, of drug lords moving into such complexes and showing off their cars, clothes, money and girls. It would make a lot of youth growing up there admire them, and that was a lure for getting the guys hooked. Then, the guys would end up being the vendors on the corners, creating a buffer between the drug lords and the police. The girls in the areas, too, would end up working for the drug lords in different ways.

I don't know if this program is a complete solution for the problem, but I'm glad the're trying it and I think other countries should watch what happens.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 03:18 PM   #8
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this is typical fascist propaganda.

An attempt to get folks to blame poverty on the poor... so that they will imagine the super rich must DESERVE to be rich.



The ONLY sector of society that needs routine drug testing today is the POLICE DEPARTMENT.

Policemen across the US have both the appearance and demeanor of Steroid Abusers.

The poor get assistance that is ONLY exchangeable for food or for rent.
If the only escape they can afford is an occasional blunt, then they should not be begrudged that minor diversion...

Its NOT like they have been entrusted with lethal arms and the power to abuse their authority.

Drug Test the people who fly planes, who drive buses, and especially those who wear pistols and body armor.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 05:20 PM   #9
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I disagree with the whole concept entirely... In Australia it is an excuse for social-paternalism, first you start with drunks, and drug addicts, then you go for the unemployed. Next thing you know you have the type of social paternalism we gave to Indigenous people and child migrants in Australia (being British this later one covers you especially).

However, this thread is going to turn into nothing but a bun fight so I advocate that it gets locked before it does on the grounds of partisan views post 1991. People can't stomach views that are different from their own.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 05:56 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger View Post
The difficulty lies in what to do with the dependents of those who abuse their benefits. I know some will say that these children should be removed, but that it is usually not an optimal scenario. For one, it causes great distress to the children. One may argue that these children are being mistreated already, which is probably true, but think back to your childhood. No matter how bad things may be, most children would rather be with family then strangers. And speaking of strangers, fewer and fewer are willing to take in displaced children. Then there is the cost of placing children outside the home. It is not cheap. I don't have an answer to the problem, but I am always concerned about innocent children being affected. Addiction needs treatment. Forcing treatment is an option, although any treatment which is coerced is not very effective. then again, it may be better than nothing.
Yes, but, isn't this a separate argument, the dilemma of what to do with the children who come from broken homes?
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