One of the objectives in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States is to promote the general welfare of the people. Self-reliance and personal responsibility are key principles for a prosperous nation, although in many instances citizens of the United States fall upon hard times and are in need of temporary assistance for their sustenance. This government assistance should be accessed only after family, church and community assistance is exhausted. It is intended as temporary assistance and should be discontinued as soon as possible to restore the individual’s personal dignity and self-worth.
In order to return the Unites States Welfare System back to its original intent, people must be encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and their families. People should be given the opportunity to earn their temporary sustenance while seeking self-support as soon as possible. They should have an incentive to discontinue government assistance by being required to work a number of hours for their financial assistance that is equivalent to less than minimum wage.
A small percentage of the citizens of the United States are truly needy and are genuinely in need of government assistance for a temporary or permanent period of time. If the percentage of truly needy people is managed wisely it will not be a significant burden on the American taxpayer.
The government can utilize these working resources receiving assistance. All would be required to participate to the extent of their abilities. These would be temporary assignments managed by full-time government employees. These working resources could be used to reduce the expenses for work being performed by government employees and could also be used to work on unfunded projects. These resources could also be sold to companies that might be able to utilize the temporary workers at a discounted price effectively costing the Government nothing.
Another group of individuals that could be converted from a liability to an asset are the incarcerated. They would require more management, but if managed correctly could provide value back to the community.
This would accomplish two important objectives. First, fiscal responsibility of the government financial resources, and secondly, and most importantly, help restore the American people to a sense of dignity and self-worth.
This would be a major undertaking and would probably be met with much resistance. There are many related issues that need to be addressed, but with the right attitude of “how can we make it work” by those in positions of authority and responsibility, the principle of Workfare can become a reality.
Expected results of workfare include; significant reduction in distributed welfare and unemployment funds, reduction in government expenses, and increase in the completion of government projects.