I don't know what welfare in the US is like, but in Ontario you recieve $700 and something dollars a month from welfare. That money is split into housing (which is $370 or so a month) and utilities/groceries which is something like $350 per month. I don't know if these numbers are 100% accurate but it is in that ballpark. In Toronto renting a 6'x9' room in someone's basement, where you share a kitchen and bathroom with 1 or 2 other people, is about $1000-1200 per month.@Louis Toadvine makes valid points..
I still remember sitting in a sociology 101 class as a sophomore.. where one of the very few points a professor has ever made that I found lifelong value in was made..
He was discussing the US welfare system (as it existed in 1988).. and asked the class about how they felt when they saw 18 year old, able bodied men sitting on the porch in the projects drinking a 40 oz at noon, drawing welfare checks to live on rather than pursuing work (that they were clearly capable of doing)..
The class was more than a little vocal about how it pissed them off.. (Im sure the class would respond very differently today when filled with Gen Z'ers as opposed to all the Gen X'ers that were in the class with me at that time)..
He then went on to explain that the welfare system was created in 1935.. and that at the time of his lecture we were at the onset of the 4th generation of families in this country that had never worked.. that while it doesnt apply in ALL situations... it was far more common than any of us understood... that the 18 year old kid was the product of the parenting and of the system he was raised in.. and that his 36 year old daddy had essentially trained him to be who and what he is... and that oh, by the way.. the 36 year old daddy was trained by society and by his 54 year old parents (the grand parents).. and oh, by the way.. those grandparents were trained and raised by their 72 year old parents (the great grand parents).. and that society had been telling 4 generations that it was perfectly ok not to work even when able to do so... you'll be taken care of...
Its easy to get pissed off at the 18 year old sitting on the porch drinking the 40 at noon, collecting a check, refusing to work...
but who we should all be getting pissed at is the 72 year olds that were absolutely capable of working, but instead gamed the system, trained others to game the system, and all of society that sat around in 1935 and thought "this is all going to work itself out at some point".. and for decades did nothing to correct the system or society itself..
Its easy to get pissed at millennials.. they give a lot of reasons for older generations to be pissed at them..
but we shouldnt forget.. millennials didnt create helicopter parenting.. Gen X did.. millennials are simply the product of it... millennials didnt create the concept of participation trophies.. Gen X did... millennials are simply the product of it.. etc..etc..
And guess who created the Gen X'ers... that was the boomers...
so.. hate the guys that decided helicopter parenting and participation trophies were going to be the solution for setting society straight? well.. ownership of that probably falls upon the generation that created them (the boomers)..
and it goes on, and on, and on..
We can all claim "well... Im not like that!"... (I am not like many in my generation (Gen X)).... so what?.... the truth is most of the boomer generation is a particular way.. as most of Gen X is a particular way.. as most of Gen Y / millennials are a particular way, etc.. and if youre not part of the solution, you are indeed part of the problem...
In Toronto you cannot even rent a condemned shack for $400 per month. So if a person is actually unable to work due to mental or physical issues, their lives would genuinely be miserable trying to survive off welfare. These are people who are actually unable to work and generate additional income. I feel horrible for these people.
However when it comes to most able bodied people who are on welfare, I would wager that very few of them are only living off the money they get from the government. Most of them have alternative sources of income to go along with the social assistance they receive. These sources of income are:
1) Doing legal jobs such as being a general labourer and getting paid under the table in cash.
2)Doing illegal things to generate additional income- such as dealing drugs, shoplifting, break and enters, car theft etc... The people who do this are mostly drug addicts and/or drug dealers.
Or a combination of the 2.
If you even mention that this category of able bodied people who game the welfare system exist you would probably get labelled as a bigot, especially if you said this in a sociology class at a Toronto area university.