MB: I don't mind helping those who are willing to help themselves. What I was referring to were the ones pissed off because they can no longer ride the gravytrain that has been begrudgingly provided by the taxpayer all these years.
SDF: It's interesting what David Simon and Edward Burns say about welfare in The Corner, an ethnography of drug addicts, drug dealers, welfare recipients, cops, gangs, schools etc. in a Baltimore neighborhood:
Welfare is a bribe -- and a fairly good one at that. For more than two decades it's been a bribe and only a bribe, stripped of the higher ideals that once accompanied the payoff. Those ideals called for a process by which poor and damaged citizens could be rescued and made whole, but such a process has proven more costly and problematic than anyone initially imagined. So the nation has retreated from that commitment, using check day as a rear guard. (The authors are just finishing up an extensive "thick description" of what happens on check day.) The pretense of salvaging human beings has been gradually reduced to a string of elemental transactions. Take this. Shut up. Stay put until next month when there will be more of the same. (from p. 374)
SDF: Of course, if we're to consider the cost of welfare, we should also consider the cost of other programs being funded with tax dollars, such as military spending and prisons. Maybe "cost" is a matter of the priorities of politicians.
MB: Word on the street locally regarding customer service has included those previously-contented welfare recipients who take it out on the customers, and show all sorts of other poor work ethic traits. This both vocally from people I've had conversations with and from the liberal-slanted news media, which is not supportive of business.
SDF: If welfare is a bribe to get the poor to shut up about their poverty, as Simon and Burns argue above, maybe the pissed-off McD's workers you're seeing are pissed off because, due to the Welfare Bill etc., they have to work for that bribe, and they're still being asked to shut up about their poverty. Consider this, Mike. If good service at McD's is really important to you, is it that much to have the government bribe the destitute to shut up about their poverty, so that they're out of your way when you go into McDonald's, or should we force them to work, so they can give you lousy service?
A cautionary note: the "word on the street" in Nazi Germany was that all Jews were scum. I'm not saying that Texas is Naziland: just get the whole story. And "liberal-slanted media" probably have no commitment behind their "liberalism" beside a need to "look hip." It's been my experience that when push comes to shove, "liberals" stick up for their social class, racial designation, gender, age group, and demographic consumer segment, regardless of how "liberal" and "egalitarian" they may pretend to be when they're feeling chummy. Our "individualist" consumer society socializes people into collectives, though we disguise it well with walls.