The Complete Moderate’s Guide to Welfare

Monopoly is a classic board game where families
sit around to argue and play out their own little simulation of free market capitalism. There is no better system to teach kids about
the joys of paying taxes and rent, really. But in Monopoly, unless you bend the rules
to keep the game going, when someone loses and goes bankrupt they just… vanish. It doesn’t work like that in real life. If enough people go bankrupt and aren’t
allowed back into the game, eventually, they get out their torches and pitchforks. So let’s examine how America has bent the
rules in order to keep as many people as possible playing the game. This video is brought to you by Skillshare. The problem with wanting to discuss welfare
in America is defining welfare. There is no official government definition
of welfare and in fact, there is no program with the word welfare in its name. If you were to get seven different people
into a room, you would have seven different interpretations of what counts as welfare. I know this… because I tried on Twitter. So for the purposes of this video, we’re
going to go with the programs that most everyone agrees are welfare… Where the government is giving you monetary
assistance based on your income or inability to work. This can either be direct, or through a subsidy,
or through free or discounted services. So does using public roads and relying on
the police for protection count? Not really, while it is a “free” government
service, you’re not getting monetary assistance for that and you get it regardless of your
income. Does having a federally-backed mortgage or
student loan count? Well, that’s a little foggy, the government
is financially insuring your loan, but not to you directly, it’s mostly just insurance
for the banks. But when we start talking about tax credits,
the fog starts to lift. A tax credit reduces the amount of taxes you
owe after taking your deductions and brackets into account. Taxes in the United States are incredibly
complex, and someone should definitely make a video explaining them. Would you like to know more? And there are two refundable tax credits you
can claim based solely on your income level and family situation. Meaning that if you owe a negative amount
of federal income tax at the end of the year, the government will give you extra money on
top of getting back everything that was withheld. The Earned Income Tax Credit, or just EIC,
was designed to encourage working because you can only get it by… earning income. Many analysts in both political parties believe
that it helps lift people out of poverty. The credit increases with the more you make
and eventually decreases with the even more you make, you only get it up to a certain
income level. I wish I could tell you what that level is
or what the average person gets, but it changes for literally everyone. What I can tell you is that this credit is
claimed on 27 million tax returns and cost the government 65 billion dollars in 2017. Both in lost tax revenue and in having to
pay out extra. The Earned Income Credit also increases with
your family size, which likewise entitles you to claim the Child Tax Credit. One thousand dollars for every child you have,
I guess the government thinks that’s enough to pay for childcare for a year. The Child Tax Credit is claimed by 35 million
families and cost the government 52 billion dollars in lost revenue and payouts. These two tax credits combined are why almost
half of Americans pay no federal income tax… Romney was actually right when he said that. But almost nobody who claims these credits
would classify it as welfare – even though it fits our definition of direct monetary
assistance based on income. Probably because there’s a weird stigma
about having received welfare and nobody wants to admit that they might have. Take education for example, up through high
school it’s free for everyone, regardless of income, so that’s not welfare. But higher education is a different story. We’ve already ruled out student loans, but
if you filled out a FAFSA, you very likely received a Pell Grant. This is monetary assistance based on income. It’s not direct since it goes to the school
rather than to you, but it is free education assistance that you never have to pay back. You can receive up to $5920 per academic year
for up to six years. Seven million Americans received the Pell
Grant last academic year, costing the federal government 28.2 billion dollars. But these are still gray forms of welfare
that not everyone would agree counts as welfare. So let’s switch gears and talk about the
more black and white forms of welfare… like the Obamaphone from the 2012 election, do
you remember that? You got Obamaphone? Yes, everybody in Cleveland if you a minority
got an Obamaphone, keep Obama in president, you know? He gave us a phone, he gonna do more. The program is actually called Lifeline, it’s
administered by the FCC and provides discounted telephone service to low-income households. And it was actually started in 1985 by Ronald
Reagan. It used to only provide landline phones but
has since moved on to cell phones and recently started to offer internet service. Because c’mon, it’s 2019 and nobody uses
a landline anymore – not even your grandma. It’s not a free phone though, it’s a discounted
service where the FCC only pays $9.25 a month on your bill, you cover the rest. You actually help pay for it with that Universal
Service Fund tax on your bill. 10.7 million households are part of the program
and it costs the government 1.3 billion dollars a year… this is by far the smallest program
I’m going to talk about today. She actually explains how you qualify in that
clip… How’d he give you a phone? You sign up, if you on food stamps, you on
social security, you got low income, you disability. Your income must be at or below 135% of the
Federal Poverty Line or you have to participate in another federal financial assistance program. And most of those other federal financial
assistance programs are what we would call “welfare.” Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or
TANF, is a cash assistance program that fits almost everyone’s definition of welfare. It’s also sometimes referred to as state-sponsored
child support. Its main purpose is to serve as a financial
safety net, provide job opportunities, promote family stability, and prevent out of wedlock
pregnancies… that’s a weird one. It falls under the Department of Health and
Human Services and distributes 17.3 billion dollars to 3.4 million families. Though, like many of these programs, it’s
actually run by the individual states and each state sets their own requirements and
payout levels. Under the program, you are supposed to accept
a job within 24 months and be working or training for 30 hours a week, and you can only be on
the program for a maximum of 60 months… the heck is that? That’s uh, that’s an asterisk. Yes, I know what an asterisk is thank you,
I mean why is it there? Well, like you said, a lot of these programs
are run by the several states, so eligibility, time limit, and benefit amounts are all over
the place, you know, not to mention all of the exceptions. Ah, so every time that shows up it’s because
there’s some fine print that I’m skipping over in order to keep this video from being
an hour long? Yeah. Like how Georgia limits TANF to only 48 months. Georgia actually has some of the strictest
TANF requirements. You must have a child under 18 years old – which
makes sense, it’s called assistance for needy families, not individual people. You must be in a single parent home. Which doesn’t make sense since the program
is supposed to promote two-parent family stability. And, again, you must be part of or applying
for another federal financial assistance program. Perhaps the fact that many of these programs
require you to be on other programs is why they call it a safety net… You can’t just be on one, you have to be
on several. For a family of three, that is a single parent
with two children, they must have an income under $784 a month and have less than $1000
in total assets. Once you’re on the program for ten months,
your payout cannot be increased because of having more children. So the myth that some people intentionally
have more kids in order to increase their welfare payments is… just that a myth…
at least for TANF in Georgia. If you meet all of these requirements, the
maximum payout regardless of how many children you have is $280 a month. Georgia hasn’t increased their TANF payout
in 22 years, so taking inflation into account its value has dropped by 37%. New Hampshire is the highest at $1039, California
is at $714, and Texas is at $290. You get these payments on an Electronic Benefit
Transfer, or EBT card. EBT itself is not a welfare program, it’s
just how welfare is received instead of on paper checks because it’s 2019. But TANF isn’t the only program that uses
EBT, by far the most popular is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known
as SNAP or more commonly, Food Stamps. It’s federally run by the USDA, serves 44.2
million people at a cost of 70.9 billion dollars. You can only use SNAP for fruits and vegetables,
bread and cereals, dairy, meats, and consumable plants and seeds. Basically the food pyramid, but, without the
top, no candy. Yes, I know they don’t use the food pyramid
anymore, I’m old. But you literally can’t use food stamps
for booze and cigarettes, that’s another myth that needs to end. In fact, alcohol and tobacco are at the top
of the list of things you can’t buy with SNAP, along with hygiene products, pet food,
or hot and prepared food. Which means, no fast food either. A good rule of thumb is that if there is no
sales tax on an item, you can probably buy it with SNAP. In order to receive SNAP, you must be at or
below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line. For a family of three that’s $2252 a month,
and for a single person it’s $1245 a month. If you work full-time for federal minimum
wage, you qualify for SNAP, just let that sink in for a second. The maximum benefit for a family of three
is $505 a month, while a single person will get $192 a month. Just for reference, I spend way more than
that on groceries and you probably do too… that’s why it’s just called an assistance
program. But I’m a single guy, I basically eat a
trash-tier diet and I don’t have any special nutritional needs. It’s not like I’m pregnant… or an infant. Which is why we have the Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, more commonly known as WIC, specifically
for pregnant, post-partem, and breastfeeding women, infants under one, and children under
five. It’s also run by the USDA and serves 7.3
million people, at a cost of $6.58 billion dollars. The financial requirement for WIC is quite
a bit looser than SNAP at 185% of the Poverty Line, so 53% of all newborns in the country
are part of the program. Which is good, because one of its primary
goals is to increase the vaccination rate. Much like TANF, WIC exists to provide assistance
to the country’s poor, while promoting some other background goal like family stability
or preventing epidemics. In many states, over half of all newborns
are also born under Medicaid. We don’t have universal healthcare here
in the United States, for reasons that are not in the scope of this video, but we do
provide varying degrees of socialized healthcare for certain groups. The first group is Medicaid, which is the
single largest source of healthcare in the United States, for people living at or below
133% of the Federal Poverty Line. It’s administered by the Department of Health
and Human Services along with a similar program known as the Children’s Health Insurance
Program, or CHIP, for children of people who make slightly more than the Medicaid limit. For the purposes of this video, we’re going
to combine them together since they’re basically the same program just for different age groups. Together, they cover 73.9 million Americans
at a cost of 576.6 billion dollars (2017), though slightly under half of that comes from
the states rather than the federal government. Because like many of these programs, it’s
run through the individual states. You might even be on Medicaid and not realize
it because your state calls it something else, like MediCal or BadgerCare or PeachCare. In fact, you might even be under ObamaCare
and not realize it for the exact same reason. Although it’s actually called the Affordable
Care Act and it didn’t really provide socialized healthcare for anyone. What it did do, among other things, was require
health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, increase the time you can be on
your parents’ insurance, and require everyone to have insurance… at least for now. You’re still buying private insurance, there
is no ObamaCare card. But the ACA did provide subsidies to help
people get insurance that might not otherwise be able to afford it, which cost the taxpayers
42.6 billion dollars. It also expanded the eligibility for Medicaid. Remember when I said Medicaid covers people
at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Line? For people living at or below 133% of the
Federal Poverty Line. That’s because of the ACA Medicaid Expansion…
which was optional. So if you live in any of these states, which
did not accept federal funding to expand medical coverage to poor people, the requirement is
likely lower than 133%. Meaning you have to be in super-poverty to
be eligible for Medicaid. Or super old if you want to be eligible for
Medicare. Medicare is the second largest source of healthcare
in the United States, serving 58 million people who are at least 65 years old at a cost of
591 billion dollars. And it’s also not a form of welfare. Medicare is not a free healthcare from the
government like Medicaid, most people on Medicare pay premiums, copays, and out of pocket expenses
just like everyone on private insurance. The only difference is that this run not-for-profit
by the government. It’s partially funded through those premiums
and partially from that 1.45% that comes out of every paycheck… and the matching payroll
tax from your employer. Medicare is only free if you are dual-eligible
for Medicare and Medicaid at the same time. 9 million people fall into this category,
costing 200 billion dollars, meaning that this small fraction of people on Medicare
account for almost a third of Medicare’s entire budget (2017). The VA, or Veteran’s Affairs, is also not
a form of welfare. If we go by the definition we established
earlier, you don’t get VA healthcare or disability benefits based on your income,
it’s more akin to Worker’s Compensation… but for the military. Not every veteran gets VA benefits, you have
to have a service-connected disability. That’s a physical or mental health injury
that was directly caused by your military service. Depending on the level of injury, you might
only receive care for that specific injury. Like a hearing aid if you have service-connected
hearing loss. You might also receive disability payments,
which is compensation for your decreased ability to find a job elsewhere as a result of your
injury. It isn’t free money or welfare, it’s military
worker’s compensation. Worker’s Compensation, or Workman’s Comp
depending on your state, is an insurance program paid for by employers and run through the
state. You only qualify for it if you have a workplace
injury and even then… The idea is to pay for any healthcare costs
related to that injury and maybe help cover the bills while you recover. So that you can get back to work. Unemployment, on the other hand, does fit
our definition since it’s monetary assistance based on your inability to work. Or at least inability to find work, hopefully
only temporarily. Unemployment Insurance is paid for by employers
and again administered by the individual states, with some help from the federal government. It cost the government 31.5 billion dollars
in 2016, which is the lowest it’s been in decades. You have to be unemployed through no fault
of your own, so laid off or your employer goes out of business or something. Not if you quit or were fired for misconduct. Currently, you’re allowed to claim unemployment
for 26 weeks – in most states – which is just over six months. During the Recession it was extended to 99
weeks, which is just shy of two years. The roughly 7 million people who relied on
that extension are referred to as the 99ers. It’s nearly impossible to track how many
people rely on unemployment, because some people are only on it for a few weeks, some
people are on it for months, and some people can be on it multiple times per year. The payout amount depends on your previous
income. It varies widely by state, with the highest
maximum payout being $783 a week in Minnesota and the lowest being $235 a week in Mississippi. Meaning regardless of your prior income, that’s
the most you can get. Some states require that you prove you’re
looking for a job while claiming unemployment and a few require you to take any job that
is offered to you. Even if it’s part-time, minimum wage, or
way outside of your skillset. Studies have shown that in general, people
who are on unemployment don’t spend any more time unemployed than people who live
off of their savings. It’s just a way to help you pay the bills
and keep a roof over your head while you look for a job. Speaking of keeping a roof over your head,
I’m actually kind of surprised we haven’t talked about housing assistance yet. It’s actually kind of complicated and I’m
going to need some visuals… actually, hold on, I have something for this. It’s a good thing I brought up Monopoly… F*** Alright so, this is a rich person’s
house and this is a … wait. Okay, alright so, this is a rich person’s
house and this is a… Hold on a second I got this one. So housing assistance today comes in a couple
forms. We’ll start with traditional public housing
projects. So a “project” was usually a certain number
of towers or low-rise housing blocks clustered in an area, all built at once. The most important thing to remember is the
vast majority of public housing “projects” were built under the 1937 Wagner-Steagall
Housing Act and its 1949 amendments. The legislation was drafted to “improve” the
housing supply, rather than to add to it — New public housing had to replace private housing
“one-for-one.” This was so as to not “distort the housing
market” with an excess of affordable public housing units. So whole neighborhoods were levelled to build
public housing. Now, the low-rise blocks usually did quite
well as they were cheap and easy to maintain, but the towers usually didn’t fare as well. Once occupancy dropped below 100% there wasn’t
enough rent to keep all the complicated systems that make a housing tower work in a state
of good repair, and stuff started to fall apart. Now, “HOPE VI” in the early 1990s was a program
originally designed to demolish and replace the most “blighted” public housing towers
with new, “mixed income” housing to reduce “concentrated poverty.” The idea being that if poor people live next
to rich people they’ll stop being poor, because, I dunno, money travels through walls by osmosis
or something. Right. Originally this program worked as designed
but in the late 1990s under the leadership of some guy named “Andrew Cuomo” the definition
of “blighted” expanded to include “any project on valuable land we can make a buck off of
by selling or leasing it to private developers.” There is also a thing called “scattered sites.” where a public housing authority buys ordinary
houses and rents them out to those who qualify for public housing. You might live next to one and not even know
it. So you qualify for public housing if you are
“low-income”, defined by the department of housing and urban development as making 80%
of median area income. Your rent is capped at 30% of your income,
with a lower boundary of $25 a month. Now if you think this sounds appealing, you’ll
find that a lot of other folks also think so! My local housing authority, the Philadelphia
Housing Authority, has a waitlist for its public housing projects which is 104,000 names
long. The average wait time for a unit is ten years. This is of course compounded by the fact that
demolition of housing projects are still underway under HOPE VI even as the waitlist expands. Now, luckily there’s an alternative to government
run public housing called Section 8. So a Section 8, or “housing choice voucher”
works like this: You can rent a private residential unit in any building with a Section 8-friendly
landlord. You are expected to pay 30% of your income
in rent, with the remainder made up by the local housing authority. Section 8 landlords are required to charge
no more than what the government calls “fair market rent” — usually well below actual
market rent. Since there are a lot of section 8 tenants
to choose from and HUD is fairly prompt with the checks, it’s easy and steady money for
landlords. We spent about $32 billion on the Section
8 program in 2017 — as compared to $6.3 billion on public housing in the same year. However, much like public housing units, the
demand for Section 8 vouchers far outstrips the supply. In 2011, for instance, the Oakland California
PHA received 100,000 Section 8 applications in its 5-day application period. Through a lottery, 10,000 of them actually
made it on the waiting list, which was 6 years long at that point. Most Section 8 waiting lists are outright
closed. And there are a dozen or so smaller programs
like the low-income heating assistance program or LIHEAP, which helps folks pay for gas and
electric in the winter, and some programs that subsidize private low-income housing
developments, often in the form of tax credits. A lot of these are administered by municipalities
so it’s hard to track how much they cost us on a national level. So there is housing assistance for the poor,
but it’s not easy to get. Do you get anything if you’re middle-class
or rich? Yes it’s called a 30-year mortgage and is
one of the most durable facets of the New Deal which has had the largest impact on American
life. But you’ll have to go to my channel to learn
more. I’m donoteat, but my channel is called “donoteat01”
because someone already took “donoteat.” I have an hour on this subject of public housing
over there, soon to be 2 hours, and that second hour is where you’ll learn about mortgages,
so go over there and watch that if you wanna know more about public housing and housing
assistance in America. Ok, the commercial’s over, back to the studio. Wait, sorry, hold on! Alright, so there’s one last program that
we need to talk about here – Social Security – and before you freak out and say it’s
a benefit you’ve earned. You’re right, Social Security itself isn’t
welfare by our definition. But there are three parts to Social Security
and two of them definitely are. Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI,
is a cash assistance program for people who have a physical or mental condition that prevents
them from engaging in a “substantial gainful activity.” It’s not Worker’s Comp, you don’t get
it because of a workplace accident. It has to be a disability that prevents you
from getting a job for at least twelve months, or less than twelve months but will eventually
result in death, and be under 65 years old. You also have to have contributed to Social
Security for at least half of your working life. 10.7 million people are on the program, costing
the government 142.9 billion dollars, with the average person receiving 1166 dollars
a month. SSDI comes from the Social Security Trust
Fund, which is separate from general taxes. Supplemental Security Income, on the other
hand, does come from general taxes and the regular federal budget. SSI is a supplement to Social Security or
SSDI for people with low incomes. You have to be drawing from Social Security
or SSDI already, but that amount is low enough that you’re still not able to make ends
meet. The maximum payout is 733 dollars for a single
person and 1100 for a couple. It’s still run by the Social Security Administration,
8.3 million people are part of this program and it costs the government 63.4 billion dollars. So alright, the elephant in the room. Social Security is a mandatory socialized
retirement program in the United States, and like Medicare, is subsidized through that
6.2% FICA Tax on your paycheck and is not run for profit. Unlike the retirement program that you may
or may not have through your employer. It’s not a Ponzi scheme, it’s not going
to run out, that’s just something politicians used to say because they wanted to lower taxes
and privatize it. Isn’t weird that they stopped talking about
that when the Baby Boomers started retiring? That fear came from the idea that each generation
would be bigger than the last, which isn’t the case, Social Security isn’t going anywhere. It probably won’t be enough for you to retire
on, but it will be there. You can retire early at 62 for a reduced amount,
but for most of the people watching this video, the full benefit doesn’t start until you’re
67. You also have to contribute to it for at least
10 years. This is why undocumented immigrants aren’t
a drain on Social Security, because they probably didn’t contribute to it at all. Can we stop with that stupid myth please? Once you’ve contributed enough, you’ll
start getting a statement in the mail detailing how many credits you’ve earned and how much
you would get if you retired or were injured today. Or, you can also check it online. 49.5 million people are part of the general
Social Security program, which costs the Social Security Trust Fund 762.1 billion dollars. The average person receives 1345 a month,
but it varies widely depending on how much you contributed. Social Security is not welfare under the definition
that we established, it’s a general retirement fund that you contribute to during your working
life and draw from later in life. You’re not getting it because of your income
or inability to work, aside from SSI and SSDI. I only bring it up because it was one of the
most mentioned programs when I asked on Twitter – but also because it could serve as a decent
scaffold for what we could turn welfare into. Many people in both major parties want to
reform our welfare system. Our system is extremely complicated, we only
talked about fifteen programs in this video and that barely scratches the surface. And many of them overlap and require you to
be in multiple programs. We could simplify this system by introducing
a Universal Basic Income, that is a flat check to everyone in the country, regardless of
income, age, disability, or anything else. It’s also known by other names like “Mincome”
and the Negative Income Tax, which was first proposed by Nixon of all people. You’ve probably already heard about UBI
from politicians or… a certain German Youtube channel whose name I would butcher if I even
tried… For this video, we’ll talk mostly about
the Minimum Basic Income, enough money to be above the poverty line. In the US, this means about 1000 dollars a
month, or 12,000 dollars a year. Before you go thinking that that is an excessively
large amount, if we were to combine every program we talked about in this video and
disperse it evenly among every man, woman, and child in the United States, each person
would get 635 dollars a month. So without making any other changes whatsoever,
we’re already about two-thirds of the way there. We could combine all of these programs and
eliminate all of the bureaucracy that we already have in the budget and shift it to one program
that covers everyone. And we already have an agency that collects
from and tracks everyone – Social Security. One of the common arguments against a universal
basic income is that people would get lazy, stop working, and just live off of the government. As if $12,000 a year is enough to live on,
there’s a reason they call it the Poverty Line. But while studies are currently starting in
the United States and wrapping up in Finland, they were done 40 years ago in Canada. And almost nobody quit working. Really, the only people to work less were
women who took a longer maternity leaves and teenage boys who chose not to drop out of
school because the family wasn’t desperate for another source of income. Oh man, what a socialist dystopia. Imagine that, not having to drop out of school
to go slave away in the mines so your family has enough to eat. But there are other benefits to a Universal
Basic Income. Since automation is likely going to reduce
the amount of jobs available, people will be laid off through no fault of their own. UBI could keep them afloat, rather than unemployment. Likewise, if work becomes optional, employers
will have to improve conditions or offer extra incentives in order to keep people working
there. We could also accomplish that Libertarian
dream of abolishing the minimum wage. If all of your basic needs are already met
and you don’t need your job in order to keep your apartment or go to the doctor, you
wouldn’t need to be paid a livable wage. Because you already have a “livable” wage. Work just becomes extra money, they could
pay you whatever the market decides is fair, because no one needs it to survive. And what would you do with all of that extra
time on your hands? Learn a new hobby from Skillshare by going
to Skillshare is an online learning community
where you can learn new life skills from experts in their field. If all of your basic needs are met, you can
finally learn how to basket weave, it’s not underwater but you have to start somewhere
right? Or, like me, you can try to up your video
editing skills by taking this course in Adobe Premiere. You may have noticed a few style changes here
and there on my channel recently and learning Premiere is part of that transition. I would be completely lost without this series. So head on over to and
get 2 months of unlimited access to all of Skillshare’s courses for free, you’ll
also be supporting the channel when you do. A Universal Basic Income would require us
to fundamentally change the way we think about money. Which is actually a lot harder than you might
think, people get very set in their ways, especially when it comes to money. If we introduced UBI and got rid of minimum
wage, many people would have a hard time adjusting taking a job that only pays 2 dollars an hour. We’d also probably have to restructure the
way we do taxes. But not changing because – ugh, it’s just
too hard – isn’t a good enough reason. This is America, I thought we took pride in
accomplishing difficult things. It would also stop people from complaining
about how certain people are takers and should work just as hard as them. If everyone is getting the same amount, everything
is fair. As the world changes, technology gets better,
and jobs disappear we’re going to have to adapt with the times, just like we have in
the past. Remember when we got off the Gold Standard
in the US or when Europe adopted the Euro? So now that you have a better understanding
of the systems we already have in place, you can start thinking about how we can change
them in the future, because now you… know better. I’ll be streaming the State of the Union
much like I did last year, so be on the lookout for that announcement. Big thanks to DoNotEat for helping me with
the housing segment, be sure to check out his channel in the links below. If you’d like to help support the channel,
head on over to, don’t forget to subsidize that subscribe
button, follow me on twitter and facebook, and join us on the subreddit.

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100 thoughts on “The Complete Moderate’s Guide to Welfare

  1. Be sure to check out donoteat01's video(s) on Public Housing –

    Slight correction: The $591B Medicare cost is what taxpayers pay, not what those on Medicare paying premiums pay.

  2. To be fair: any non-prepared food can be bought. Candy and the like is absolutely included. Alcohol and tobacco are the only exclusions aside from hot/prepared foods.

    Maybe you’ll find fact check the next video a little better hmm? 🤔

  3. You know how lots of people have art talent, but can't do art as a job because they don't have enough money to cover the transition period? UBI solves that.

  4. It's really important to remember that the subsidized phone is also a flip phone that's often got very limited talk and text. It's a utility; a digital mailbox.

  5. Ha, now I know where Andrew Yang got the 12,000 figure from. Knowing Better might like Andrew Yang's plans for America then!

  6. I think UBI is discussed with only paying out to working age adults. No children which would cut out a few tens of millions of people that wouldn't have to be paid.
    Also, I don't know how I think about cutting out medicare and medicaid to fund a UBI. 1000 a month sounds nice, but it's no where near enough to pay the medical bills if something were to happen to you. Perhaps jobs would be more health insurance friendly with the changes that come with UBI, but maybe not.

  7. one thing I've noticed more than anything it's really hard to be moderate these days. it's a bit like being middle management in a company… get shit no matter what tack you take.

  8. Sorry, but why should people who have children pay less taxes than me? I'm not childless by choice. It's bullshit no matter how you look at it. You are correct that doesn't pay the costs for having a child. But why is it the government's responsibility to pay for your child?

  9. hey there, just found your channel. please keep making these, I really appreciate the writing, presentation, and jokes 🙂

  10. Any estimate on the military's black budget? Considering we bought 72 stealth bombers costing $2.2 billion each I figure thats just the tip of the iceberg

  11. I make a low enough wage to qualify for snap, but I was denied because I had too much money in my bank account.

  12. Of course if you consider tax returns as welfare then a person having more dependants would infact increase ones welfare.

  13. To be fair with the mixed income housing thing. The idea isn't really that poor people will become less poor by being around richer people. The idea is that poverty density generally contributes to unhealthy environments for the residents both physically and mentally. Psychology often doesn't really make logical sense, it just happens to be true.

  14. Okay, woah, that UBI thing at then got me hooked.
    No, I'm not supporting that, I am very against it. UBI will not help us in years to come; people won't appreciate what they have if they did not toil for it. I took my first car forgranted because it was a gift; now, I pay half my biweekly wages to have the damned thing (I wash and wax it weekly, on payday). I built my own computer over six months with my hard earned cash, and I dust it every six months. Soon, I'll have my own house all to myself; and why do I say this?

    Because if we have a universal base income (UBI), there is no worth to anything you have! You didn't work for that car or house, the government dole gave to you. Who cares, Uncle Sam'll buy me another. And what if we had the government FORCE people to work in order to get their UBI, we'd be like the Soviet Union; we'd turn into the very slaves we saw in Russia not thirty years ago.
    Also, how depressing would it be if we all lived in the same ramshackled COMBLOC-style apartments and condominiums? Grey towers upon gridsquares of a city. Going home becomes your job. Your job becomes your home, and not in the good way.

    Equality in income becomes equality in outcome. This will become slavery worse than the current wage slavery we have, which still isn't good. Our money we recieve already isn't more than an article of faith, a symbol of a system forged on arbitrary ideas of value.

    It saddens me to use euphamisms of the fascists to fight socialism, but it is the one thing they understand and are correct about. Communism, socialism, it doesn't matter. The money should be worth gold, a stable commodity like steel or something we always need and can maintain supply of without external influences, or hours worked by a laborer. If 100 laborers work for an hour, that makes 100 dollars. We could also base the economy on human life; not slavery, but for every able-bodied human being, that is the value of 2000 dollars. Arbitration, I know, but those numbers are just conjecture. Anything but FIAT sounds better to me; "my dollar is worth its weight in gold!", just as physical a value as a pistol or car.

    Socialism is not good; we fought for fourty-five years against it, and here we are with it again. How many times do we have to keep telling you, Old Man?

  15. UBI really seems like the only way to deal with the march of automation, but that being said it'd be a fine way to encourage artisan and artistic endeavors once people don't have to fear for their income and I support both. I feel that a UBI would inspire more creative ventures and risk taking (as in new ideas) that could only benefit us overall and bring us back to parity with other developed nations.

  16. Quick asterisk here; there are 2 states that allow for SNAP to be used at approved restaurants and grocery store deli products.

  17. Do you know if the social security they take out of your paycheck goes into an interest bearing account? And wouldn't that mean compounded interest over your entire working life if it is/were?

  18. Sorry buddy, but I see MANY people , including my ex sister in law getting junk food with snap assistance! It's a disgusting waste of tax payer's dollars!

  19. Sad to see that almost every program here gives people more than my family gets in 3 months, but happy to see that things are so affordable where I live that I won't starve with 2 grand in my pocket

  20. I work at a gas station pt in mn and people buy pop with ebt how does that work? I'm not on "welfare" cause I got a full time EMT job. Idk how that makes sense. Pop an't food and is taxed in this state

  21. Unfortunately that study in Finland has finished and concluded UBI does not encourage people to look for job. So basically lazy people will still be lazy and hardworking people are still working.

  22. SSI is also for people with disabilities that do not have enough work credits for SSDI. I have bipolar NOS and complex-PTSD from childhood trauma and have tried working for many years but just can't anymore. I only have 1/2 of the credits I need for SSDI. So I applied for SSI. It should also be noted that it could take over 3 years to recieve your SSI. You apply, the government denies you, then you have to set a court date and they are so backed up, it's about 2 years out. And this is even with your doctor saying you can't work with years of documented proof. And people always talk about food stamp recipients just rolling in food. That's not true. I get $600 in welfare (tanf) and $500 in foodstamps for me and my two kids. When I make more cash, my benefit amount goes down. When I made $1000 a month, my benefit was down to like $55 a month in foodstamps

  23. That's not true they allow people to buy energy drinks, sodas and candy. I don't receive it but I know people that do.

  24. I would think it would be:
    if rich people lived next to poor people, the rich people would pay for the upkeep to keep everything looking nice

    Like someone paying for cleaning the front of a house, and doing the house next door, because it would still look bad if they didn't. This would make more sense when living in a small appartment building. You can pay to clean the front, or you can keep living dirty.

  25. I find it interesting how people don’t see childcare as a full time job and think mothers are greedy/lazy for needing welfare money to take care of children.

    Bitch have you ever taken care of a child full time? I’d rather stock shelves at a grocery store full time than do that shit. It’s hard, it’s a necessary job in society, why shouldn’t they be paid? They’re doing the job so you don’t have to, and they sure as fuck aren’t lazy.

  26. Maybe it doesn't matter but, I'm surprised you didn't mention how a significant number of military service members rely on S.N.A.P. benefits. One of my more conservative leaning co-workers who was also in the reserves, said that one of the training sessions she got after she completed her basic training was how to apply for S.N.A.P. She stopped complaining about the program after that.

  27. What! No personal care products!!! That's crazy, like what happens if you are poor and need pads or razors for a job interview?!

  28. Unfortunately people working in those programs would prefer the programs to be complicated, so that fewer people access it, leaving more money behind, and they can live off of bureaucracy jobs that have little education requirement.

  29. Welfare is spending money that the government does not have therefore creating debt for future generations.

  30. laughs in free healthcare
    cries in bad welfare
    laughs because it is still better than that of the United States

  31. 17:35 You're wrong in your sarcasm. Sure, wealth doesn't travel through walls. But if rich kids are going to public school, the school won't be so blighted. If well to do families are suffering crime, police won't take it easy. There is a concept I think sometimes termed a poverty tax where stuff in stores costs more for poor people, housing itself can be really bad and not be all that much cheaper. Do you think the well to do will tolerate blighted parks and so on? Maybe even someone well to do will make friends with someone poor and aid them with money and connections. Mixed income housing does help various issues.

  32. I have a complicated situation being in wyoming and disabled but I don't have any healthcare. (which has caused several issues.) A lot of these programs don't apply if you are a a single adult male, even if you are in deep poverty.

  33. Well, at least those who receive housing assistance, and food assistance, and medical assistance on the public dime don't have any money to waste on illegal drugs.

  34. I work at a grocery store, people with foodstamps buy redbull, sodas and potato chips all the time.

    WIC they can't.

  35. I've been on SNAP both in IL and AZ, and you absolutely can buy candy with it. Also all kinds of sodas and junk food, and even prepared foods (like deli sandwiches or roasted chicken), as long as they aren't warm.

    WIC is a really weird program, which allows you to buy only very specific things, so for instance you can buy 6 8Oz bottles of juice, but not one 48Oz. Also, yes, juice is one of the things you can buy quite a lot of, because they count it as a serving of fruit. Never mind that it's sugary garbage that is generally not great for people. They also have all kinds of weird rules about what kind of milk you can buy, generally only allowing 2% or 0% fat milk (depending on the age of the child, as it can actually be dangerous to feed 0% milk to babies, if I am not misremembering).

    The good thing about WIC is that you get a certain amount of food, regardless of price. Unfortunately, with SNAP, a lot of people end up paying premium prices because they are limited in transportation options and have to do groceries at their local convenience store, meaning that they pay far more, relatively, for their food, and thus can't stretch their SNAP dollars as far. (I could pay for almost all of my groceries with SNAP when I had a deep-discount grocery store like Aldi only 6 blocks from my house, so I could walk there. Currently, I am in a state where there is no Aldi, and my foodstamps only last me about 2-3 weeks).

  36. The problem with the UBI is not that people stop working, but it will inflate prices. Also people who need don't get enough money, yet people who don't need will get money. What would happen to those bureaucrats who currently working in the system? They will be fired, therefore reducing tax income…
    Great idea in theory…

  37. How about CORPORATE WELFARE?, the bias about poor folks who get crumbs for welfare, verses the multi billion dollars corporations get

  38. I remember when Republicans were piss about the increase of age regarding young adults being in their parents insurance up to 26, and I personally like the idea. Many of them thinks it’s entitle, but most parents want to help their kids until they are self sufficient. I’m 19, but when I have my kids I want to help them, and of course I want them to be under my insurance plan especially if they are going into a career that’s long like medicine.

  39. You can't buy alcohol or smokes but you can stand outside the grocery store and trade your food stamps for money to buy crack.

  40. 23:56 wow that's not what anyone thought ever. The problem is that as people are having fewer children and living longer not enough people will pay in to cover the costs. We started with something like seven people paying for one person taking out and now we are down to two workers for every retiree.

    Your first source talks about how the program is running out of money. "The Trustees estimate that the combined OASI and DI trust fund reserves will be depleted by 2034. At that point, payroll taxes and other income will flow into the fund but will be sufficient to pay only about 79% of program costs". They stopped talking about once the baby boomers retired because those boomers won't vote for people that drop their social security payouts by 20%

    3:00 Just throw in some Republican propaganda right in there. There are 120 million filings a year so one program is used by 27 million and the other by 35 million, even if no one uses both which is crazy, that's not enough fillings. The reason Romney's statement is technically correct is because around 15% of our population is retired and 25% are under 18. It sounds better to say welfare is letting people not pay taxes instead of calling grandpa and babies leeches on the government, which is what that actually means.

  41. Ooh! You were SO close to making a moderates video…then you ended with an unironic "current year", supported the euro and the end of the gold standard with the wave of a hand and then ranted about UBI without mentioning economics. SO close! I still love your videos tho <3

  42. I’ve already seen this comment a couple of times but just Ed to make sure it is well understood: you can buy candy and other crap on food stamps. I work at a gas station in Oklahoma and promise you I have 250 pound females and 300 pound males buying candy, soda, chips, and the most frustrating one of all energy drinks on food stamps. And to go ahead and get rid of one more myth while I’m at, a large percentage of them also pull out a $20 afterwards and get lottery and/or cigarettes so if you hear anyone tell you “most people on food stamps need help and don’t buy that kind of stuff” which I’ve heard so many times it’s a lie I experience it firsthand daily

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