Required Drug Testing for Welfare in Florida

But if kids are involved Lobster, they cannot deny aid. So what recourse is there? As already asked, will these people be offered treatment?

It's a tough call, and I'm glad it's not up to me to make it. Is it even right of the state to leave kids in the care of someone so addicted they're denied aid? Does the state have the right to take a child from a parent who does a drug that's calming, like marijuana?

This gets uncomfortably close to the abortion debate, whether a child should be punished for the actions of their parent. That's another debate that I settle by saying, "I have no idea and am lucky enough that I don't need to make that decision, so it's really not my place to say."

MacBrave wrote:

I'll be the devil's advocate here:

So what's wrong about attaching conditions to accepting free money?

Because then we make the jump from helping people who need it to only helping people who deserve it. 

Heck, I've had people tell me not to give the homeless any money. And why not? Because they'll spend it on booze, of course. So this man, who obviously needs this money, does not deserve it because there is a chance that he may use it in a way that doesn't immediately fix his situation (he should be saving up for an expensive suit and a shower... honestly!). My question is this: how does denying this man assistance improve his situation? 

Denying addicts welfare will not cure them of their addiction. I'd imagine that would only make them more desperate. It's not like they're being offered rehab instead.

Mystic Violet wrote:

Because then we make the jump from helping people who need it to only helping people who deserve it. 

Heck, I've had people tell me not to give the homeless any money. And why not? Because they'll spend it on booze, of course. So this man, who obviously needs this money, does not deserve it because there is a chance that he may use it in a way that doesn't immediately fix his situation (he should be saving up for an expensive suit and a shower... honestly!). My question is this: how does denying this man assistance improve his situation? 

Denying addicts welfare will not cure them of their addiction. I'd imagine that would only make them more desperate. It's not like they're being offered rehab instead.

This post makes me wish GWJ had a 'Like' function.

Mystic Violet wrote:
MacBrave wrote:

I'll be the devil's advocate here:

So what's wrong about attaching conditions to accepting free money?

Because then we make the jump from helping people who need it to only helping people who deserve it. 

Heck, I've had people tell me not to give the homeless any money. And why not? Because they'll spend it on booze, of course. So this man, who obviously needs this money, does not deserve it because there is a chance that he may use it in a way that doesn't immediately fix his situation (he should be saving up for an expensive suit and a shower... honestly!). My question is this: how does denying this man assistance improve his situation? 

Denying addicts welfare will not cure them of their addiction. I'd imagine that would only make them more desperate. It's not like they're being offered rehab instead.

Generally the statement "don't give money to the homeless man" has "give it to a homeless shelter" included with it.

KingGorilla wrote:

But if kids are involved Lobster, they cannot deny aid. So what recourse is there? As already asked, will these people be offered treatment?

From the original link:

Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, and do not receive a refund for the test.

The kids won't lose out on aid because the parent fails the test. Of course, who knows how the benefits will actually be used, even with this in place.

As for treatment, aren't there already programs available to people for drug addiction?

Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, and do not receive a refund for the test.

That sounds ripe for exploitation and abuse. I can just imagine the glee of pimps everywhere.

Drug testing doesn't measure addiction, only use. A little smoking of weed isn't a big deal, is it? If they wanted to test for heroin or oxycontin or drugs that were highly addictive there would be a closer nexus between the law and the issue of treatment, but this is just the usual republican irritation with having to give money to the poor.

The republicans are more than happy to vote billions of dollars to subsidize the unnecessary parts of the military and defense contractors, so my advice is that we just designate all the welfare family aid recipients as a "national strategic breeding reserve force" that will allow us to "address the strategic threat posed by an asymmetric imbalance with Chinese population growth."

Dr.Ghastly wrote:

Generally the statement "don't give money to the homeless man" has "give it to a homeless shelter" included with it.

In my experiences, "don't give money to the homeless man" ended with "he's homeless because he wants to be homeless. Why should he better himself when people like you are supporting him?" or "he's not really homeless. I can tell! That guy is a scam artist and you're a sucker for giving him anything."

Mystic Violet wrote:
Dr.Ghastly wrote:

Generally the statement "don't give money to the homeless man" has "give it to a homeless shelter" included with it.

In my experiences, "don't give money to the homeless man" ended with "he's homeless because he wants to be homeless. Why should he better himself when people like you are supporting him?" or "he's not really homeless. I can tell! That guy is a scam artist and you're a sucker for giving him anything."

"If he wants money, he can get a job."

Perhaps I'm behind in Florida politics, but didn't governor Scott kill a bill that was aimed to stop pill mills? I.e. prescription drug abuse?

Come to Florida! Get hooked on hillbilly heroin! Just don't expect to get food stamps once you do.

You guys never disappoint!

I'm not sure where I fall on this one yet. While I am sure there are a good deal of people that abuse the welfare system, I'm not sure I'd want to hurt the truly vulnerable and helpless to keep that abuse from taking place.

Nomad wrote:

While I am sure there are a good deal of people that abuse the welfare system, I'm not sure I'd want to hurt the truly vulnerable and helpless to keep that abuse from taking place.

*snip*

Well, it starts with treating substance abuse as a medical condition requiring treatment. Provide treatment to those that want it or need it and then go from there. I've met plenty of people caught in cycles of addiction that truly want to get clean but can't. Working with many juvenile offenders, their logic is pretty straightforward, "I can either work like a slave at Mickey D's or sell some dope and get some real money."

The money is there because the dope is illegal, unregulated, and controlled by criminals.

Am I really the only liberal who doesn't think this is such a terrible thing?

Nomad wrote:

I'm not sure where I fall on this one yet. While I am sure there are a good deal of people that abuse the welfare system, I'm not sure I'd want to hurt the truly vulnerable and helpless to keep that abuse from taking place.

I would say this is a matter of legislating morality, and thinking about where you stand on that may help your conscience with this.

Shakespeare wrote:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

SallyNasty wrote:

Am I really the only liberal who doesn't think this is such a terrible thing?

I'm a liberal, and this that this wouldn't be a terrible thing provided the drug testing is provided free of charge (currently it's refunded only if you pass) and those that fail the drug test are given free treatment in place of the welfare.

Amoebic wrote:

In the private sector, it been my experience that a large portion of the jobs that do random drug testing are blue collar, low wage, high turnover, entry-level positions. I've never had to take one at any of my higher-paying white-collar jobs requiring more experience. Anectdotes are worthless, but I'm curious if anyone knows if other types of private-sector jobs are also subject to random testing outside of the criteria I mentioned.

The two US aerospace companies I've worked for, both big companies with tens of thousands of employees, did and do drug testing on all new employees, with the potential for further drug testing at any point. This applies to both blue and white collar positions equally.

I've always assumed it was either (a) an insurance/liability thing, or (b) mandated by the feds (i.e. the FAA).

Amoebic wrote:

In the private sector, it been my experience that a large portion of the jobs that do random drug testing are blue collar, low wage, high turnover, entry-level positions. I've never had to take one at any of my higher-paying white-collar jobs requiring more experience. Anectdotes are worthless, but I'm curious if anyone knows if other types of private-sector jobs are also subject to random testing outside of the criteria I mentioned.

Same experience here.

I don't think it's a bad idea in theory. But I'm jaded enough with the system, the politics involved, and the people saying it (And drug tests in general), to know this will go badly. Mystic summed it up far, far better than I could, however.

The policy would cut aid to a person who fails a drug test while allowing the state to hand a check to a person who showed up dead drunk at nine in the morning. Hard to see that worries about addictions or bad parenting are behind this.

It's part of the War on Unauthorized Pleasure.

(seriously; this is kind of a thing.)

Just so we're all clear, this is an idea that came from a governor who's previous work experience was being CEO of a healthcare company that was charged with 14 felonies and had to pay a $600 million fine for defrauding Medicare out of billions. And, as someone else already mentioned, he owns a drug testing business that would suddenly see a massive increase in business.

I guess I really don't understand the level of moral judgement some people have. Because someone gets a couple hundred bucks a month in government aid we should be all up in their asses and yet strangely that didn't apply to when we handed over a trillion dollars to bail out Wall Street. Where was the same moral outrage? Oh, yeah. Those bankers and investment guys are rich, therefore America's strange Puritanical code says they're morally good. Only poor people can be bad, that's why we have to watch them like a hawk because of a few of our tax dollars while businesses are busy stealing those same tax dollars by the billions.

Remember Katrina? There was more coverage of reports of the one instance that one of those Red Cross debit cards being used to buy a flat screen TV than there was of the rampant waste of taxpayer dollars going on at FEMA. They freakin' chartered a cruise ship for a month...and it sat empty. But who do we focus our rage on? The TV guy of course (or their person buying steak with foodstamps).

It's due to the growth of the Welfare State combined with the failed War on Drugs that we are even having this discussion.

Amoebic wrote:

In the private sector, it been my experience that a large portion of the jobs that do random drug testing are blue collar, low wage, high turnover, entry-level positions. I've never had to take one at any of my higher-paying white-collar jobs requiring more experience. Anectdotes are worthless, but I'm curious if anyone knows if other types of private-sector jobs are also subject to random testing outside of the criteria I mentioned.

I'm a white collar worker in the manufacturing sector that gets random drug tested. Once a year on average. I also had to past a drug test to get hired.

And while we are talking about employers I'll take a little time to navel gaze about where I've been employed for the last 13 years: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...

OG_slinger wrote:

Just so we're all clear, this is an idea that came from a governor who's previous work experience was being CEO of a healthcare company that was charged with 14 felonies and had to pay a $600 million fine for defrauding Medicare out of billions. And, as someone else already mentioned, he owns a drug testing business that would suddenly see a massive increase in business.

And, just so we're all clear, as I already mentioned (and quoted from the original link), his business would not see any gain from this. Really. You can read all about it in the original link.

MattDaddy wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Just so we're all clear, this is an idea that came from a governor who's previous work experience was being CEO of a healthcare company that was charged with 14 felonies and had to pay a $600 million fine for defrauding Medicare out of billions. And, as someone else already mentioned, he owns a drug testing business that would suddenly see a massive increase in business.

And, just so we're all clear, as I already mentioned (and quoted from the original link), his business would not see any gain from this. Really. You can read all about it in the original link.

True. He's given control of his family's share to his wife, and they're in the process of selling it completely. He also said that his business wouldn't contract with the state for this. However, given his history, I'd like to see exactly how they're handling the drug test before I let him off the hook.
[pure conjecture] The cost of the drug test is paid by the applicant, so there may not be anyone contracting with the state for this. The state could just require a passed drug test from a reputable place, and give any applicants a list of places they consider reputable. His former business gets their money from the applicants, and the state refunds the cost of passed tests directly to the applicant. So if no money is exchanged between the state and the business, no contract would be required, would it? If no contract is required, his former business could still see increased revenue from the drug tests, and while he wouldn't see any money from it, I'm sure his former business partners could be quite generous with campaign contributions. [/pure conjecture]

Alternatively, without his family involved, the conflict of interest is removed and the business is free to pursue this lucrative new revenue stream.

This lucrative revenue stream is likely to greatly enhance the asking price of the company, benefiting those currently selling.

Damn I'm getting cynical in my middle age.

LilCodger wrote:

Alternatively, without his family involved, the conflict of interest is removed and the business is free to pursue this lucrative new revenue stream.

This lucrative revenue stream is likely to greatly enhance the asking price of the company, benefiting those currently selling.

Damn I'm getting cynical in my middle age.

That's exactly what I thought; this would be the perfect time to sell, right when he's trying to guarantee an increase in revenue.

MattDaddy wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Just so we're all clear, this is an idea that came from a governor who's previous work experience was being CEO of a healthcare company that was charged with 14 felonies and had to pay a $600 million fine for defrauding Medicare out of billions. And, as someone else already mentioned, he owns a drug testing business that would suddenly see a massive increase in business.

And, just so we're all clear, as I already mentioned (and quoted from the original link), his business would not see any gain from this. Really. You can read all about it in the original link.

No offense, but he only did that after he caught political backlash from the policy. He's already been operating under a conflict of interest for the past year because the two agencies that regulate Solanitc are headed by people he appointed.

Sure, as required by law, he placed this majority ownership share of Solantic in his wife's name to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, but he never did anything to actually remove that conflict. It was only after media pressure about the policy that he said that Florida wouldn't do business with Solantic. Let that sink in. Had no one connected the dots and said something Scott would most definitely personally gained financially from the law. And when that wouldn't cut it anymore he moved to sell his stake. Again, had no one noticed the governor's little retirement fund would have been bursting by the time he got out of office.

And I haven't seen it in this thread, but where is the cost analysis for this policy. Something tells me that the cost of testing and the cost for someone to review and administer the results might just cost the State more than just simply having people who test positive get benefits. If that's the case, we really are talking about legislated Puritanical morality.

OG, all of that backstory is fine, but it doesn't change my original response. The fact is he's no longer going to be an owner (or even part owner), and the company is not going to see a massive increase in business because of this. How he got there doesn't change that.