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Originally Posted by Patriotic Eagle View Post
You're ignoring what happens if those people stop getting assistance. Do they just disappear or reform themselves? Probably not. They just get more desperate. They commit crimes, prostitute themselves, whatever it takes. If they have anyone who's dependent on them, even in their poorly functioning state, that person is probably fucked too now, whether it's a elderly person or a kid. They also have a good chance of ending up in jail or the ER room which would probably cost more than their foodstamps would for a long time. It's not clear cut at all whether simply cutting people off from foodstamps does anything to improve societys lot, there's no utilitarian metric that's decisive either way.
It's certainly up for debate whether or not it would actually help society or not, but I think it's fairly clear that you can have the discussion without using a morality based framework.

Personally I think you have to pull the rug out from under an addict to force them to seek help. If that ends up temporarily hurting people who are dependent on them, well, those people are going to be suffering basically indefinably while their "provider" (read: welfare source) is still using.

It's also quite subjective as to what drug addiction consists of. Is it drinking 4 nights a week? Smoking weed every other day? Buying food that's drowned in sugar?
I think we could reasonably restrict it to hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. Marijuana usage isn't prone to wrecking lives, you can't really test for alcohol usage unless they show up drunk and it's legal anyway. You can suck down sugar by the truckload and still be a functioning member of society, so that doesn't really fit.

How much are the drug tests going to cost vs just paying for the food stamps?
I don't know. Brought that question up myself earlier.
Old 02-20-2010, 04:33 PM Gibonius is offline  
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