I've left already…

Interesting point of view from Alan Graham in his blog Trial and Error. I moved from the UK to the US for the opposite reason. I saw too much entitlements in the UK that I think people sometimes need to be left to fight for themselves.

Plenty of my friends have no ambitious to better themselves because there is no need. Their jobs pay for their basic needs and if they lose the job, the government is going to pay for their living cost. In fact some people decide that living on social security (or the ‘dole’ as we call it in the UK) is the preferred choice. They lack the education or skills to get jobs that pay more than what the government pays them.

It disgusts me when my father-in-law’s live in girlfriend lost her job months ago and only recently try to seek a job seriously. Oh she looked right after she lost her job but apparently none pay as much or as close as she wanted. She could have gotten a lesser pay job in a further away town within a month or so. But no, she waited and searched for more. Only now that her financial situation is such a dire strait that she has to take a job, any job in fact, that she is willing to work for less and travels further.

I believe Alan and I want the same thing, which is some middle ground between his experience and mine. I believe that people should have basic to good medical care and emergency help from the government. But yet, help should not be so substantial or everlasting (or almost everlasting) that one can live comfortable on it without the need to get a job.

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One comment

  1. Crystal

    I see both points. What Alan says is true, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t feel like I identify with my fellow Americans anymore. I see your side because that very thing also happens in the U.S. I know people who’ve been on SSI or welfare for years without bothering to look for a job — and all the while, my brother, who is actually legally disabled, gets his SSI payments cut down to nothing because he chooses to work what the government considers too many hours per week — but those other people, perfectly healthy, but just extremely lazy, are living off my brother’s tax dollars and using the money to buy drugs, lottery tickets, and so on — I can guarantee that if the government would take that same money and give it to my brother instead so he could afford to do more than just go to work and sleep, he wouldn’t be using the funds to buy things like that.

    It’s a never-ending viscious circle, I think. You’d assume that being the technologically advanced ,civilized society that we are, and I’m speaking about all countries not just the U.S. and U.K., that we’d be smart enough to implement some sort of happy medium. But the problem is that the rich lawmakers outnumber the poor lawmakers, at least in the U.S., and the last thing they want is to make things better for those who are below them while decreasing their own material wealth in the process.

    Ok, that’s enough ranting for one day. But I’m sure you get the point, right. I’m not sure we’ll ever find the solution — a middle ground between what you describe about the U.K. and what Alan describes about the U.S. No one seems to be willing to think logically enough to do that. It’s too bad, isn’t it?

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