drug tests
Several states (i.e. Maine, Ohio and Massachusetts and Florida) are proposing to give drug test for to welfare clients in order to solve budget problems.
Many people feel this is unfair and unconstitutional. Is it unconstitutional or will it help the countries economy problems? 1 source:

so should they or shouldn't they are there other things they should test for like alcohol aids ? or is it and any of the above violating human rights?
(08-30-2011, 12:10 PM)billy Wrote:  Several states (i.e. Maine, Ohio and Massachusetts and Florida) are proposing to give drug test for to welfare clients in order to solve budget problems.

... that in itself is an issue. To solve budget problems? So basically they want to justify cutting down the welfare budget.

I wouldn't want the state to subsidize people's drug addictions, that shouldn't happen in an ideal world. But on the other side of the scale, will disenfranchising people who are already disenfranchised really solve the problem? Probably not, but as this piece of legislation says the real point of this is to save the state money, to the point where they are gonna ask poor people on welfare to pay for their own drug test (WTF?)

I'm just concerned that a mindset like this might lead to other legislation cutting off aid to "undesirables", as you pointed out... will they cut aid to people with criminal records, for instance? That's a way to save money Sad
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
I find it difficult to comment, because I know very little about either the US constitution or its application of welfare other than it's not a particularly socially-minded nation. I do take issue with certain people here in Australia who are receiving sickness benefits because they're unfit to work due to drug or alcohol addiction. Not that I'd employ them either... but really, that's not helping anyone is it? If they have kids they need to support and they're too off their face to work, then they're not fit to be parents either and the kids should be removed from the environment, then the addicts are on their own. We have state funded rehabilitation available, and if they want to be functional members of society they should take advantage of it -- if they don't, then they don't exactly deserve to be propped up by the rest of us. But drug testing as a blanket budget measure? That's discriminatory. Plenty of people can still function with drugs in their system -- hell, most writers can't function WITHOUT drugs in their system. An arbitrary "in the presence of this you can't collect your cheque" is lame.
It could be worse
I think the two things should be kept apart. If person is sick, or unemployed, they should not be left to starve. If either of those burdens has its origins in substance abuse, that should be tackled, and robustly. A great deal of crime comes from these things, and it is in the interests of society that people should undergo effective rehab, as Leanne says, followed by work, if it is available. It might be legitimate to tax them at some higher rate to recoup money spent, but not in some way that makes work pointless.

I sometimes do wonder about the merits of the very bad old days, when, if you wanted charitable relief, you had to throw yourself on the Parish, and a committee of rate-payers (rates were a land-tax) would consider the merits of your case. They would know you; they would know that you had always been an idler and layabout, or given to drink; or they would know that you had been an upstanding member of the community, who had suffered a misfortune. But mainly they knew that every penny paid out, came from the rate-payers' pockets --including their own! It is pretty obvious that the sums paid out would drop like a stone if that were re-introduced -- and it does show that much is lost when things are handed over to the state, and its officials, who have very little interest in anything other than getting through the day. Just a thought.....and the words 'You'll end up in the work-house' still resonate with me and my siblings!
Looks like Florida is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union over the drug tests.


Here's the kicker: for the one month that the drug tests have been going on in Florida, the state is actually losing money (apparently the way it works is even though the person applying for welfare is asked to pay for the test, the state reimburses them if their tests come back clean). Only 2% of the welfare applicants in Florida failed the test; the savings from the withheld payments are certainly not enough to cover the $28,800 in reimbursements for the 960 welfare recipients who tested clean. Oh, irony. Tongue
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
I am very closely affected by this new policy. Alabama has always been known as the last state to follow 'progress,' so if this works in FL and other parts of the country, we are doomed to follow. I don't think it will work for a couple of reasons.
First, if you DEPEND on government assistance to live, AND have been given a 'heads-up' about the test, you would have to be a huge idiot to show up for a DT knowing you won't pass. Secondly, drug tests are easy to fool (I should know.)
This law seems to be passed on the assumption that if a person has money to buy drugs then they don't need goverment assistance. What about people who smoke for free? This might sound ridiculous, but so is placing so much importance on the chemical consistency of one's urine. The state of Florida, and really the US, is just looking for ways to balance the incredibly skewed budget. To me, this is just an extension of our country's already overbearing money-hungriness. Every year the fines for trivial traffic offenses go up and our police stage roadblocks and traps toward the end of the month to help garner fines and balance the budgets of their respective cities. It's sad, but has become an accepted fact in my little corner of the world.
When will it end? Never. This is America and though I love her, I wince at the powerful nation that has worsened it's reputation with the world over and over . . .
Agree, this is at its core just a money scheme... though if the numbers in Florida are to be taken as a sign, it's a disastrously ill-conceived one. Hopefully that'll stop it in its tracks.

I guess what really gets my goat is the tendency to specifically target the disenfranchised. It's disrespectful (to say the least) to assume you can deny basic human rights to a group of people, in the name of money, just because they happen to be poor / disenfranchised.

There's a new money-making scheme in Arizona, courtesy of the Dept of Corrections--- each adult who wants to visit an inmate in prison will have to pay a $25 fee (valid for a year). This is bad news for low-income families who on top of that have to pay travel costs to visit the often far-flung prisons... in fact the fear is it might discourage family visits that many inmates desperately look forward to and rely on. But hey, who cares about a bunch of convicts, right? Angry
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
Just a small note. If my government wouldn't waste so much money, they wouldn't have to look for ways to fuck the poor to get balanced. Spending in Washington has been out of control for years, but instead of belt-tightening at home, they'd rather gang-rape struggling citizens.
yes, there are spongers and alcoholics and drug users on welfare. testing them for drugs may be a good thing if it's done voluntarily and after proving positive they get help from the right area. stopping their welfare certainly wouldn't solve any problems. all that would happen, is that it would drive them to commit more criminal acts than the ones they already allegedly commit now, just to feed and cloth themselves. it would put people on the streets instead of getting them off the streets. i think it verges on human rights issue. what happens if i've been working for twenty years and taking drugs without committing criminal acts, are they saying i'm not entitled to welfare should i lose my job through the workplace closing down? in truth it's a lot of hogwash.

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