What if expanding the safety net is LESS expensive than cutting it?


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Reed Young
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Message 1320545 - Posted: 27 Dec 2012, 21:18:44 UTC

This is not about Dickensian moralizing, just efficient, intelligent use of public funds. This is to remind the "small government" folks that short-term cost cutting often increases long term costs.

It's pretty well known among social scientists that providing adequate public assistance and public services is often less expensive to the public than the alternative, a fact of which I was recently reminded by Cory Booker on The Daily Show. Basically, addressing need directly can be more effective, therefore less expensive in the long run than dealing with the aftermath of neglecting people's needs. But in the spirit of the recent holiday and its continuing season, let's not argue the details or when this holds and when it doesn't, until at least the New Year begins.

Instead, I ask you to just consider that in many cases, the less expensive alternative is to ensure that essential needs are met rather than pay for what results when they are not. In principle, in cases that it's demonstrably less expensive to do so than not, do you support public services and public assistance (up to the point of diminishing marginal returns)? If not, why not?

If you disagree with the premise of this hypothetical question, please answer it anyway on my terms or not at all, and save statistics and studies about which is really more expensive until at least 1 January 2013. Thanks for your cooperation.
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Message 1320575 - Posted: 27 Dec 2012, 23:24:22 UTC - in response to Message 1320545.

This is not about Dickensian moralizing, just efficient, intelligent use of public funds. This is to remind the "small government" folks that short-term cost cutting often increases long term costs.

It's pretty well known among social scientists that providing adequate public assistance and public services is often less expensive to the public than the alternative, a fact of which I was recently reminded by Cory Booker on The Daily Show. Basically, addressing need directly can be more effective, therefore less expensive in the long run than dealing with the aftermath of neglecting people's needs. But in the spirit of the recent holiday and its continuing season, let's not argue the details or when this holds and when it doesn't, until at least the New Year begins.

Instead, I ask you to just consider that in many cases, the less expensive alternative is to ensure that essential needs are met rather than pay for what results when they are not. In principle, in cases that it's demonstrably less expensive to do so than not, do you support public services and public assistance (up to the point of diminishing marginal returns)? If not, why not?

If you disagree with the premise of this hypothetical question, please answer it anyway on my terms or not at all, and save statistics and studies about which is really more expensive until at least 1 January 2013. Thanks for your cooperation.


===================================================================
case in point I am disabled I collect social sucrity disability.

earlier this this year the streamlining of medicare cost me 4 hours of help

a week at a cost of say 200 dollars a month,this allowed a masive increase

in funding for section 8 that I can now get which provides 262 dollars of

help but required me to fill out a 28 page document that involves 17 additional

agency's and has raised my reported income just enough to cost me my 72 dollars

a month in food stamps net gain -10 dollars my time and the pay checks for

those 17 agency's.

so to answer your question lets just keep the government out of the help

equation as much as possible.

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Message 1320597 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 0:54:55 UTC - in response to Message 1320575.
Last modified: 28 Dec 2012, 1:10:42 UTC

===================================================================
case in point I am disabled I collect social sucrity disability.

earlier this this year the streamlining of medicare cost me 4 hours of help

a week at a cost of say 200 dollars a month,this allowed a masive increase

in funding for section 8 that I can now get which provides 262 dollars of

help but required me to fill out a 28 page document that involves 17 additional

agency's and has raised my reported income just enough to cost me my 72 dollars

a month in food stamps net gain -10 dollars my time and the pay checks for

those 17 agency's.

so to answer your question lets just keep the government out of the help

equation as much as possible.

I'm not surprised that you're frustrated, but if we were to get "the government out of the help equation as much as possible," you'd be getting nothing at all from the government instead of $10 less. And then where would you turn?

I think the complex rules you're struggling to deal with have been imposed because of dishonest propaganda such as Reagan's made up "Welfare queens in Cadillacs" and similar scapegoating of those in need, while recommending tax increases for billionaires result in one being compared to history's most prolific mass murderers in our nations' current political climate.

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Message 1320602 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 1:11:21 UTC
Last modified: 28 Dec 2012, 1:13:30 UTC

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

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Message 1320607 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 1:25:04 UTC - in response to Message 1320602.

Thanks for your thoughts, but you haven't mentioned what you would do in the cases that it's more expensive to society not to have government assistance than to have it. I'm not asking you to agree that this is always the case, just to comment on what's the right thing to do in those cases.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

It certainly seems sensible on its face. I think there is empirical evidence to the contrary, but I'll get to that in the New Year.

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Message 1320618 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 2:17:33 UTC - in response to Message 1320602.

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

From what I understand you as a democrat state are subsidising the Republican states as they tend to get more money back than they pay in taxes.

You should probably be annoyed about that and ask that the Republican states start to pull their weight and stop free-loading off the Democrat states.
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Message 1320621 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 2:21:09 UTC - in response to Message 1320607.

Thanks for your thoughts, but you haven't mentioned what you would do in the cases that it's more expensive to society not to have government assistance than to have it. I'm not asking you to agree that this is always the case, just to comment on what's the right thing to do in those cases.
It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

It certainly seems sensible on its face. I think there is empirical evidence to the contrary, but I'll get to that in the New Year.


The right thing to do is for D.C. to get out of our way.

LOL, there is no empirical evidence to the contrary.

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Message 1320623 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 2:23:24 UTC - in response to Message 1320618.

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

From what I understand you as a democrat state are subsidising the Republican states as they tend to get more money back than they pay in taxes.

You should probably be annoyed about that and ask that the Republican states start to pull their weight and stop free-loading off the Democrat states.

I am not Left or right. I am a Constitutionalist. Both need to stop begging off the people.

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Message 1320633 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 3:27:11 UTC - in response to Message 1320623.

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

From what I understand you as a democrat state are subsidising the Republican states as they tend to get more money back than they pay in taxes.

You should probably be annoyed about that and ask that the Republican states start to pull their weight and stop free-loading off the Democrat states.

I am not Left or right. I am a Constitutionalist. Both need to stop begging off the people.


Since when is Left or Right restricted to the two major parties? It's not. You are most definitely on the right. Your response to Reed just provides further evidence of this.

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Message 1320636 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 3:37:27 UTC - in response to Message 1320597.

I'm not surprised that you're frustrated, but if we were to get "the government out of the help equation as much as possible," you'd be getting nothing at all from the government instead of $10 less. And then where would you turn?

I think the complex rules you're struggling to deal with have been imposed because of dishonest propaganda such as Reagan's made up "Welfare queens in Cadillacs" and similar scapegoating of those in need, while recommending tax increases for billionaires result in one being compared to history's most prolific mass murderers in our nations' current political climate.[/quote]

===============================================================================
My point was not that I needed help, my point was the system is broken.

Several years ago my room mates sister got a part time job while on full

assistance she made about 250 dollars a month, but lost 450 dollars in help.

this is how the current system works,I can sight case after case of this.

people do not need hand outs they need a hand up!


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Message 1320639 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 4:12:28 UTC - in response to Message 1320636.
Last modified: 28 Dec 2012, 4:16:01 UTC

I'm not surprised that you're frustrated, but if we were to get "the government out of the help equation as much as possible," you'd be getting nothing at all from the government instead of $10 less. And then where would you turn?

I think the complex rules you're struggling to deal with have been imposed because of dishonest propaganda such as Reagan's made up "Welfare queens in Cadillacs" and similar scapegoating of those in need, while recommending tax increases for billionaires result in one being compared to history's most prolific mass murderers in our nations' current political climate.


My point was not that I needed help, my point was the system is broken.

Several years ago my room mates sister got a part time job while on full

assistance she made about 250 dollars a month, but lost 450 dollars in help.

this is how the current system works,I can sight case after case of this.

people do not need hand outs they need a hand up!


And my point is that even if government assistance is currently so meager that it usually works only as a handout, not a hand up, then it needs to be more, not less, it needs to be enough for people to get on their feet, not cut off just as people get close to getting on their feet. Then they might not need government assistance as long, and they might eventually earn more and then contribute more. We should be helping people thrive, not just survive.
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Message 1320642 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 4:23:27 UTC - in response to Message 1320633.

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

From what I understand you as a democrat state are subsidising the Republican states as they tend to get more money back than they pay in taxes.

You should probably be annoyed about that and ask that the Republican states start to pull their weight and stop free-loading off the Democrat states.

I am not Left or right. I am a Constitutionalist. Both need to stop begging off the people.


Since when is Left or Right restricted to the two major parties? It's not. You are most definitely on the right. Your response to Reed just provides further evidence of this.


My response was right from the Constitutionalist point of view. It was not from the right. The federal Constitution does not allow this type of spending. Nor does it allow the bureaucracy that develops around it. Spending is enumerated for a reason. Such spending falls under the tenth amendment and as such is left to the state and it's people. This is not what you will hear from the right or the left. Proof is the 16 trillion dollars we are in debt for. We didn't get that far in debt by just the socialist/left like yourself or the fascist'right.

I am neither, Constitutionalist point of view would be me.

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Message 1320664 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 5:56:42 UTC

Keeping things local probably will not work, because a lot of times the local community is either mainly employed or mainly unemployed.

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Message 1320677 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 6:29:01 UTC - in response to Message 1320545.

You are presupposing that society will eventually get involved in some sort of rescue. It doesn't have to. In which case the comparison is the cost of rescue with say the cost of cremation. I realize this is very harsh and unacceptable today. However, this hasn't always been the case and of necessity we could return to it, hopefully not in my lifetime.

I'll agree if society must rescue there are situations where it costs less to start the rescue earlier. Actuaries can tell you which situations these are. Form policy from that.

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Message 1320678 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 6:30:29 UTC - in response to Message 1320642.

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

From what I understand you as a democrat state are subsidising the Republican states as they tend to get more money back than they pay in taxes.

You should probably be annoyed about that and ask that the Republican states start to pull their weight and stop free-loading off the Democrat states.

I am not Left or right. I am a Constitutionalist. Both need to stop begging off the people.


Since when is Left or Right restricted to the two major parties? It's not. You are most definitely on the right. Your response to Reed just provides further evidence of this.


My response was right from the Constitutionalist point of view. It was not from the right. The federal Constitution does not allow this type of spending. Nor does it allow the bureaucracy that develops around it. Spending is enumerated for a reason. Such spending falls under the tenth amendment and as such is left to the state and it's people. This is not what you will hear from the right or the left. Proof is the 16 trillion dollars we are in debt for. We didn't get that far in debt by just the socialist/left like yourself or the fascist'right.

I am neither, Constitutionalist point of view would be me.


I am not a Democrat, not a socialist and not a leftist. I am independent.

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Message 1320680 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 6:41:29 UTC - in response to Message 1320678.

How does looping my cash through D.C. back to Springfield Il. then down to the person cost cutting. If I loop my cash into these cities they, by bureaucracy apply checks {to themselves} cut my dollar into 23 cents {or less} before it gets back here.

It would be better for people who are in need to ask for help local, very local, as a matter of fact the more local they more the person will get and with less paper work.

Example, schools would be funded by property tax {LOL, ya right} that was sent to the county treasurer. That would make the election of the county treasurer of more importance then elected state officials, even federal officials. And if a problem arose you wouldn't have to go to D.C. or Springfield to fix the problem.

Also, who knows best who is in need of help where I live? D.C.? Springfield? Or us in our own county? If you have answered anything other then county level you are a shill for party not a realist who cares for neighbor.

If my taxes weren't going for the pay checks of a HUGE bureaucracy...

...many more would be cared for correctly.

From what I understand you as a democrat state are subsidising the Republican states as they tend to get more money back than they pay in taxes.

You should probably be annoyed about that and ask that the Republican states start to pull their weight and stop free-loading off the Democrat states.

I am not Left or right. I am a Constitutionalist. Both need to stop begging off the people.


Since when is Left or Right restricted to the two major parties? It's not. You are most definitely on the right. Your response to Reed just provides further evidence of this.


My response was right from the Constitutionalist point of view. It was not from the right. The federal Constitution does not allow this type of spending. Nor does it allow the bureaucracy that develops around it. Spending is enumerated for a reason. Such spending falls under the tenth amendment and as such is left to the state and it's people. This is not what you will hear from the right or the left. Proof is the 16 trillion dollars we are in debt for. We didn't get that far in debt by just the socialist/left like yourself or the fascist'right.

I am neither, Constitutionalist point of view would be me.


I am not a Democrat, not a socialist and not a leftist. I am independent.


P.S.-Blurf would disagree with you, and he's observed my posts for far longer. (About 5 years.) (Not that I agree with his assessment, either, but he did not mean it as an insult, the way you seem to.)

You perceive inconsistencies where none exist.
I have stated all along that I am independent.


You're not inconsistent to me at all...you say you're an independent but you have a very clear conservative slant (not that that is a bad thing).


http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=70041&postid=1309085

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Message 1320682 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 7:06:29 UTC - in response to Message 1320678.

...

I am neither, Constitutionalist point of view would be me.


I am not a Democrat, not a socialist and not a leftist. I am independent.

Oh..oh! Are we labeling ourselves now?

I'm an independent too.

With pragmatist socialistic capitalistic libertarian anarchic tendencies.

I follow Cthulhu and all his teachings.
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Message 1320684 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 7:20:43 UTC - in response to Message 1320682.

...

I am neither, Constitutionalist point of view would be me.


I am not a Democrat, not a socialist and not a leftist. I am independent.

Oh..oh! Are we labeling ourselves now?

I'm an independent too.

With pragmatist socialistic capitalistic libertarian anarchic tendencies.

I follow Cthulhu and all his teachings.


Cthulhu?

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Message 1320713 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 8:56:45 UTC

Oh..oh! Are we labeling ourselves now?

I'm quite happy to be labelled as centre right with liberal tendencies, and an occasional dash of nimbyism :-)

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Message 1320801 - Posted: 28 Dec 2012, 14:30:16 UTC - in response to Message 1320682.
Last modified: 28 Dec 2012, 14:31:15 UTC

...

I am neither, Constitutionalist point of view would be me.


I am not a Democrat, not a socialist and not a leftist. I am independent.

Oh..oh! Are we labeling ourselves now?

I'm an independent too.

With pragmatist socialistic capitalistic libertarian anarchic tendencies.

I follow Cthulhu and all his teachings.




(I'm somewhere around there too)
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