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Sweet Home, Oregon
December 12, 2012     The New Era Paper
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December 12, 2012

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' ra - December 12, 2012 COMMUNITV OPINION Page 5 from the welfare of the Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com. By Sylvain Charat Welfare has become a char- acteristic of President Obama's domestic policies. There has been a surge in American citizens on welfare over the last four years, including a 50-percent increase in people on food stamps (from 32 to 47 million). It is a form of "welfareship." As a citizen of France, I know such a society very well. France has 60 years of experience with entrenched welfare policies, beholden to a kind of welfareship. It is a democratic society based heavily on welfare, and distrust- ing the values of free markets. In 2009, 11.2 million French persons received welfare pay- ments, out a total population of 65.3 million. This amounted to $78 billion in payments. Moreover, these 11 million beneficiaries have families (par- ents, spouses, children); thus, more than 35 million p4ople are actually benefiting directly or in- directly from welfare payments, which is more than 50 percent of the French population. If this rate were applied to America, 'about 157 million Americans would be relying on welfare. Owing to the amount of mon- ey poured into welfare, should it be expected that there is a "social return on investment" and that the living conditions of French citizens are improving? In other words, does this welfareship work? Let's consider three indica- tors: the poverty rate; the "Ac- tive Solidarity Income," which is France's most important welfare payment; and a private nation- wide charity ~alled "Restos du Coeur," i.e., "Restaurants of the He art." First, the poverty rate: In 1990, 13.8 percent of the French • population was poor; in 2009, the percentage was almost unchanged at 13.5 percent. In 20 years, pov- erty did not significantly decrease, despite all the welfare payments. Second, the "Active Soli- darity Income," which symbol- izes France's welfare system: It has replaced a previous payment called the "Minimum Income for Insertion." These two are the same thing; only the name has changed. The latter was implemented in 1989, when 370,000 people benefited. In 2009, this "income" was giv- en to 1,697,357 people. That is a huge increase. Failure must be acknowledged. LETTERS TO TIlE blTOR Editor's ndte: Generally, we avoid running letters from a single author in successive issues, but because the following corrects a statement the writer made in the previous edition that was incorrect, we're including it today. Students need tougher standard Editor: In my letter last week con- cerning school days, the correct number was 56. not 36 days. Kids are not required to attend school. The problem "with schools is a lack of standards. They are so low they ericourage lackadaisical com- placency. The person responsible for this is the commanding officer. You might say of our little slice of school heaven that this is Superin- tendent Donald Schrader. As the head honcho, receiving $80.000- plus per year. he is required to step up and make a difference. In the school district Of Sweet Home children are only required to pass any test with 70 percent correct answers. That needs to be raised to 88 percent to pass a test. To complete and receive a diploma from our district, the fol- lowing needs to be implemented: (1) Walk or run a mile in eight minutes or less; (2) 20 sit-ups; (3) 20 push-ups; (4) 10 pull-ups; (5) A 50-question quiz about the Bill of Rights and the Constitu- tion to pass. Kids must get 48 of the 50 questions right. Students should be required to read the following books, fol- lowed by a 1.000-word paper on each book: (1) To Kill a Mockingbird: (2) Hamlet; (3) The Odyssey; (4) Genesis: The third indicator is a na- tionwide philanthropic organiza- tion called the "Restos du Coeur." It was created in 1985 to fight poverty. It provides meals during the winter to the very-low-income population. During the winter of 1985- 86, 8.5 million meals were given. Since then, it has never stopped increasing. During the winter of 2010- 11-, about 109 million meals were given--a 1,282-percent jump in 25 years. (5) Origin of the Species; (6) The Grapes of Wrath; (7) 1984; (8) The Art of War; (9) Kidnapped; and (10) Our Town. In conclusion, Mr. Don Schrader, do you, Sir, Mr. Com- manding Officer, have what it takes to set proper standards for our local kids to succeed in school and life? Royce Cantrell Sweet Home Local newspaper never a dull read Editor: I love The New Era and think everyone who lives here should subscribe! We get all the local news and this week a great edito- rial about the fun we missed at the Christmas tree auction! By far. my favorite is your Public Safety information. It is In practice, France's wel- fare system is a failure, and there is an economic explanation for this. Welfareship does not create wealth; the're are no incentives to create wealth. Despite its good in~ tentions, welfareship has created a "poverty trap." Consider: Let's take an un- employed mother living alone with two children between six and 10 years old. In 2010, there were 284,445 French families in this situation that were on welfare. This mother will be given the "Active Solidarity Income." Since she has two children, the amount will be $1,100. If she is renting an apart- ment for $650, she will be given FOR ii!iiiΈΈΈ FeEE Έ I LAMESTaE.ER TIO.. hilarious. Do the world's dumbest lawbreakers live here? This week someone actually called the police because a cone was in the middle of the street! If you are criminally inclined, you should stay away from Circle K. Another called police because her car was egged! So go get a hose and wash it! Also •PLEASE tell me what kind of paper box is worth $790. And here. I've been recycling mine. Being banned from Chewy's is pretty serious too. There is a certain mobile home area which is really a drain on our police resources. Is not the man- ager or property owner responsible for cleaning out the undesirables? I love that EVERY name is named no matter who it is. I'll bet you get calls on that. Keep up the great work! Sharon Toth Foster the "'Housing Customized Aid," amounting to $620. Then she will receive "Family Allowances," which amounts to another $160. Finally, let's add the payment known as "Allowance for the start of the school year," which is $750 once a year, or $62.50 per month. (She might even benefit from other aids, but these are the most common.) She will be given a to- tal of $1,942.50 per month. Now imagine that this moth- er has found work and will be paid the "legal minimum wage,'.' which amounts to $1,820 gross-- or$1,430 after taxes. Since she would be earning $1,430, she will no longer receive the "Active Solidarity income." Her "Housing Customized Aid" will be lowered to $460, but she will still be given "Family Allow- ances" and the "Allowance for the start of the school year." Therefore, her total income will amount to $2,112.50. She will then belong to the 50 percent of French workers earning $1,960 per month. For this mother of two, work- ing again will bring her family an additional income of only $170. Moreover, this $170 is likely to be lost in the cost of transporta- tion to work, since the cost of gas in France is $7 per gallon. In any case, such a small amount of money is not an incen- tive to go back to work. Between staying home and working, the choice is simple: welfare is a bet- ter deal. This mother, like manY in France, has fallen into the "pov- erty trap." Since work cannot sig- nificantly bring a real improve- ment in daily life, it is better to stay "poor" and do nothing, which is not rewarding. Assistanceship becomes more important than en- trepreneurship. Americans need to under- stand these lessons from across the Atlantic. They must know that welfareship is not optimal. The more welfare, the less well- being. Dr. Sylvain Charat ts a graduate from the University of the Sorbonne, Paris. was chief of staff for a former French Min- ister of Finance in the French National Assembly, and is now a public affairs consultant, special izing in the welfare system. He is also a contributing scholar with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, and his daily analysis can be found at his "Welfareship Explained" blog. " ...... -Contact- ' ;ffrLo-ca/ ...................... ....... " Government Representatives I II City of Sweet Home I • Craig Martin, City Manager, (541) 367-8969 I - Cmartin @ci.sweet-home.or.us City Council I • Craig Fentiman, Mayor, (541) 367-6826 I e-mail: cfentiman@cLsweet-home.or.us I • Jim Gourley, President Pro Tern (541) 367-5517 I • Marybeth Angulo, Councilor (541) 367-7798 I • Michael Hall, Councilor, (541) 570-2044 I • Greg Mahler, Councilor, (541) 401-0110 • Scott McKee Jr., Councilor, (541) 405-6191 I • Ron Rodgers, Councilor, (541) 401-2590 I I School District No. 55 I • Don Schrader, Superintendent, (541) 367-7126 Don_Schrader@Sweethome.kl 2.or.us School District No. 55 Board of Directors • Jason Redick, Chairman, (541) 401-8601 • Dale Keene, Vice Chair, (541) 409-1034 • Michael E. Adams, Foster, (541)367-1003 • Kevin Burger, Cascadia, (541) 367-3773 • Jenny Daniels, Liberty, (541) 367-4080 • Chanz Keeney, Holley, (541) 367-7999 • Mike Reynolds, Sweet Home, (541) 367-5601 • Janice Sharp, Member at Large, (541) 367-7242 • David VanDerli p, Crawfordsville, (541) 367-3856 Linn County Commissioners • Roger Nyquist, rnyquist@co.linn.or.us • .John K. Lindsey jlindsey@co.linn.or.us • Will Tucker wtucker@co.linn.or.us Federal Government I I • Sen. Ron Wyden (D) (202) 224-5244 I e-mail: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/ II • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) (202) 224-3753 e-mail: http://merkley.senate.gov/contact/contact/cfm I • Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D) (800) 944-9603 I e-maih http://defazio.house.gov/emailme.shtml I State Government II • Sen. Fred Girod (R, Dist. 9) (503) 986-1709 I e-mail: sen.fredgirod@state.or, us • Sen. William Morrisette (D, Dist. 6) I (503) 986-1706 e-maih sen.billmorrisette@state.or.us I • Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R, Dist. 17) I (503) 986-1417 e-mail: rep.sherriesprenger@state.or.us I • Rep. Phil Barnhart (D,Dist.11) (503) 986-1411 e-mail: rep.philbarnhart@state,or, us I I mm m mm mm m m m m m m m l m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m mm m m m m m m m m m mm m m m m m m m m m m m m ml