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Modest Proposal From Real Live Taxpayer
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Open letter, source unknown...

> Like most folks in this country, I have a job. I
> work,
> they pay me. I pay my taxes and the
> government distributes my taxes as
> it sees fit. In
> order to get that paycheck in my case, I am
> required to
> pass a random urine test (with which I
> have no problem). What I do have a
> problem with is
> the distribution of my taxes to people who don't
> have to
> pass a urine test.
> So, here is my Question: Shouldn't one have
> to
> pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I
> have to pass one to
> earn it for them?
> Please understand, I have no problem with
> helping
> people get back on their feet. I do, on the other
> hand, have a
> problem with helping someone sitting
> on their ass - doing drugs, while I
> work. . . . Can
> you imagine how much money each state would save if
> people
> had to pass a urine test to get a public
> assistance check?
> I guess we
> could title that program, 'Urine or
> You're Out'.

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Y'know I got this email from a few people and I'm not too hyped about it. First and foremost, I do have a problem with the wiz-quiz. If you can be a productive employee at work, who cares about what you do on your own time, as long as it doesn't interfere with work. Beyond that, the wiz-quiz detects marijuana almost exclusively. Marijuana is pretty much the only illegal drug you can actually take on your own time and come out of the high long enough to be a productive member of society.

Now another argument is that if you're living off the public dough, you shouldn't be wasting money on such ventures. And there's definitely a point to be heard there. But if we're wanting to regulate the money that much and cut out excess expenditures, you'd probably get better results grilling them for McDonald's runs. A single joint or a burger from McDonald's. About the same price, but one will get you thrown off of public assistance.

The system's not perfect, but if we're going to start trying to cut drug users off of public assistance I'd be happier if we started by singling out users of drugs that are 99% assured to turn the users into threats to the general public.

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You make some valid points, Prae.

I think there's really one big elephant in the room here. Average folks tend to somewhat behave themselves the majority of the time in terms of intoxicants. There's one simple reason for it. If you have to get up in the morning and go to work, most folks won't stay up all night getting high on their drug of choice. The two just aren't compatible. When people have NOTHING to get up for in the morning, whether it be occupational training or an actual job, it really doesn't matter how you live or dissipate. Getting people into some semblance of a normal schedule by requiring that they do something positive for themselves would probably be the biggest favor you could do for them in terms of getting their lives on track. I'm not too hyped about the drug issue either, but there is something to be said for the idea that if you want people to behave normally, expect normal things from them.

I'll always remember when General Motors made a big push to diversify their workforce by hiring the unemployed and inner city residents many years ago. The experiment was a massive failure until they figured out one basic thing. Someone got the bright idea to buy the new employees alarm clocks. It dawned on management that their new employees had never had to get up in the morning for anything in their whole lives. Attendance improved vastly after they recognized and dealt with that one simple, stunning fact.

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I don't agree with drug testing for emplyment, especially when the person is not operating heavy equipment etc.

But as long as people working have to take drug tests, I guess it's 100% ok with me to have people not working - especially those who've made a career out of it - get drug tested.

I've had a number of jobs that required a drug test (not for any especially good reason, I never operated any heavy equipment etc). It was only at the beginning and didn't turn out to be a problem at the time I took the test. Fortunately they never tested me after business trips to Amsterdam.


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