Maybe some poorer people could use a life coach

posted at 4:01 pm on July 28, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

As usual, every time Paul Ryan comes up with a plan to try to reduce the deficit it provides fodder for liberal hysterics, generally claiming that he either wants to push retired people off cliffs or raise revenue by issuing hunting permits to bag the poor. It’s turned into something of a parlor game amongst the Left side punditry and generally gives everyone something to do until the next election. But the latest round of heads of hair being set ablaze has to do with an interesting new wrinkle in the story. Ryan had the temerity to suggest that some people who find themselves perpetually in dire financial straits might benefit from some strategic advice on the best way to advance their positions.

According to Slate’s Jamelle Bouie, the idea of “life coaches for the poor” is simply an outrage.

In his response to Ryan’s anti-poverty plan, Jared Bernstein—former chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden—writes, “The main problem faced by the American poor is not that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the safety net. It’s that they lack the employment and earnings opportunities necessary to work their way out of poverty.”

Bingo. At some point in their lives, millions of Americans will experience a short spell of poverty. Not because they don’t have a plan to fix their lives or lack the skills to move forward, but because our economy isn’t run to create demand for labor, isn’t equipped to deliver stable work to everyone who wants it, and wasn’t built to address the distributive needs of everyone who works.

The best way to confront this problem for most people is to just address those needs. Yes, on the margins, there will be Americans who need an intensive approach, and I endorse government support for voluntary life coaching. (For example, look at the Center for Urban Families in Baltimore.) But by and large, the easiest solution is to mail larger checks to more people. In other words, we need more solutions like Ryan’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit—the best part of his plan—and fewer life coaches for the poor.

On some level, you can understand what Bouie is talking about, specifically in terms of the statistics he cites. Not everyone in need of assistance would qualify as being in situations of long term, generational poverty. (Arguably the ones most in need of intensive counseling as to how to make a significant lifestyle change.) But that’s not to say that those who are in other situations – such as children, students, the chronically unemployed and the elderly – couldn’t benefit from a better plan. I’ve sought career and financial management guidance myself (because it’s not always that easy to find the best plan… if you have any tips, leave them in the comments).

The author’s chief objection seems to be that the counseling in question would be mandatory or a condition of receiving benefits in some circumstances. This, apparently, is somehow “insulting” to the recipient. Why some advice on how to better manage your finances and career options is insulting is not explained. But even if we were to implement such a plan, couldn’t a competent counselor quickly weed out those in the above categories who were clearly only in need of short term assistance for reasons beyond their control and sign them out of the system for a period of time?

In the end, it seems that there will be objections raised any time there is any sort of condition applied to the receipt of benefits. Bouie writes disparagingly of any other attempts to tie “accountability” (in quotes) to aid, such as welfare caps and mandatory work requirements. In this case, we’re talking about nothing more than evaluations and offering advice on how to do better for yourself. Yet this is somehow lumped in with every other reform effort and described as something which ” all but punishes” the poor. The author’s solution, as quoted above, is to simply mail more and larger checks and don’t ask questions. Starting from such a perspective, it’s hard to see how any meaningful improvement to the system could ever be implemented.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Maybe some poorer people could use a life coach

Years ago, that role was fulfilled by their clergy member…

Why should it be government’s role and not the clergy or a private charity to provide ‘life lessons’ that their parents / family refused or declined to provide?

Government’s role and primary interest is just to perpetuate and expand the cycle of dependency – not solve it.

Athos on July 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

If you don’t know anyone, never met anyone, who ever succeeded, you’re probably not going to succeed. Likewise, if you only know guys who ended up in prison, you’re probably going to end up in prison.

RBMN on July 28, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I could go along with a coach after a long hard day working at less than minimum wage for the benefits received from the government.

wifarmboy on July 28, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Maybe some poorer people could use a life coach

In the olden days those were called parents.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 4:14 PM

But by and large, the easiest solution is to mail larger checks to more people.

The ranks of lottery winners are dominated by people who went broke a few years later because they continued to make bad life decisions. It’s like progressives watched that scene in Batman (1989) where the Joker just dumps money on the crowd and thought, “What a great idea — and look at all those smiling faces!”

JeremiahJohnson on July 28, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Tip, only use cash or cash equivalents instead of credit cards. If you can’t afford it or won’t save for it, don’t buy it.

Lots of poor people need coaching because the poor are the least able to behave irresponsibly with their money but the most likely to. Yes, it’s hard to meet ends meet if you’re poor but how many times have you seen allegedly poor people with some not cheap clothes and accessories like an iPhone?

This is especially true among the generational poor who seem to have quite nice things yet are on multiple forms of welfare.

Charlemagne on July 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM

But even if we were to implement such a plan, couldn’t a competent counselor quickly weed out those in the above categories who were clearly only in need of short term assistance for reasons beyond their control and sign them out of the system for a period of time?

The “competent counselor” part of that statement is the problem. These counselors would be government employees and that immediately calls into question their competence.

natasha333 on July 28, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I think we should go back to handing out blocks of cheese. Take back the EBT cards.

faraway on July 28, 2014 at 4:25 PM

It makes it difficult to say I support any new addition to any program these days when I consider how many illegal aliens will be taking advantage of, or included in, the new service.

Tax payers are already hard pressed to provide services for American citizens on the 84 separate means tested federal welfare programs. Household wealth in this nation has declined by a third over the last decade. Over 100 million Americans are on food stamps.

The addition of millions of illegal aliens drawing benefits on already strained systems is overwhelming the welfare system. Fraudulent identification and forged documents allow foreign nationals present in this nation illegally to draw on all benefit systems in this country, including Medicare and Social Security.

Meanwhile, veterans and the homeless do without vital services like medical care and housing. This is a national disgrace.

Discussing adding financial planning to existing benefits, while doubtless a good idea for some beneficiaries, while our veterans do without timely and effective medical care, many of whom are actually homeless, doesn’t seem too important to me.

thatsafactjack on July 28, 2014 at 4:27 PM

At some point in their lives, millions of Americans will experience a short spell of poverty. Not because they don’t have a plan to fix their lives or lack the skills to move forward, but because our economy isn’t run to create demand for labor, isn’t equipped to deliver stable work to everyone who wants it, and wasn’t built to address the distributive needs of everyone who works.

Bullshit.

The reality is, our bloated bureaucracy doesn’t let our economy efficiently create demand for labor, gets in the way of the economy delivering stable work to everyone who wants it and addressing the distributive needs of everyone who works.

Get the f*cking government out of the f*cking way, and the economy can and will handle all of this quite nicely, thank you.

Midas on July 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Ryan had the temerity to suggest that some people who find themselves perpetually in dire financial straits might benefit from some strategic advice on the best way to advance their positions.

You’d think that the left would jump on this as a way to expand government. Immediate jobs for a bunch of ghetto-dwellers who but for the federal workforce would be on the other side of the table. And let’s not kid ourselves that the “strategic advice” would be about making and keeping a budget, saving, or other fiscally responsible actions. It would be all about ensuring the parasites get all the benefits that are coming to them.

Ryan is an idiot. A RINO who looted the military pensions at the same time that he supported tax credits for the illegal vermin among us.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

The “competent counselor” part of that statement is the problem. These counselors would be government employees and that immediately calls into question their competence.

natasha333 on July 28, 2014 at 4:23 PM

They’d be every bit as competent as our fine unionized bureaucrats and educators, citizen!

Midas on July 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I suggest a session with Counselor Gunny Ermey to help you over your sadness at the color yellow – you pathetic jackwagon….

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM

our economy isn’t run to create demand for labor, isn’t equipped to deliver stable work to everyone who wants it, and wasn’t built to address the distributive needs of everyone who works.

Bull. Our economy does create demand for labor, is equipped to deliver stable work to everyone who wants it, and is built to pay Americans a decent wage for the work being done. Jamelle Bouie is a commie who wants government to signal labor demands, wants government to deliver those stable jobs, and wants government to force absurd wages for unskilled labor in the name of meeting distributive needs. I’m guessing Jamelle is a champion of the parasites who have yet to make an honest day in their life. Vermin whose only role in society is breeding the next generation of Democrat.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Why should it be government’s role and not the clergy or a private charity to provide ‘life lessons’ that their parents / family refused or declined to provide? Athos on July 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Are you saying that there is something wrong with totalitarianism, comrade…?

Akzed on July 28, 2014 at 4:35 PM

They don’t seem to need a coach to access gov. freebees.

jmtham156 on July 28, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Now that I think of it, we need to send our congressmen and the administration in for financial counseling. They’re as bad as those people using EBT cards in pot shops, casinos, and strip clubs.

thatsafactjack on July 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Are you saying that there is something wrong with totalitarianism, comrade…?

Akzed on July 28, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Da, tovarisch.

Now I am off to count trees.

Athos on July 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Vermin whose only role in society is breeding the next generation of Democrat.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:34 PM

On the bright side, even though they seem to only want to breed the next generation of leeches – they keep aborting most of that next generation…..

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Now that I consider it, we need to insist that our congressmen and the administration undergo financial counseling. They’re every bit as irresponsible with money as those people who use their EBT card in pot shops and strip clubs.

thatsafactjack on July 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

In the Helping Professions (TM), “Coaching” is a way to de-patholgize people’s problems.

So if you are 22, single with 3 kids (never married), jobless, drug-addled and living in public housing, getting “Coaching” is a way for you to know while you may have irrevocably messed up the next 25 years of your life, you can at least feel good about it.

Otherwise, folk like that might need, you know, chemical abuse treatment, mental illness therapy and and job skills training.

And that would be, well, kinda mean and , um, judgmental.

Bruno Strozek on July 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

our economy isn’t run to create demand for labor, isn’t equipped to deliver stable work to everyone who wants it, and wasn’t built to address the distributive needs of everyone who works.

but is that reality?

The reality is, our bloated bureaucracy doesn’t let our economy efficiently create demand for labor, gets in the way of the economy delivering stable work to everyone who wants it and addressing the distributive needs of everyone who works.

Get the f*cking government out of the f*cking way, and the economy can and will handle all of this quite nicely, thank you.

Midas on July 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

yes. that’s the problem here.

But by and large, the easiest solution is to mail larger checks to more people.

wtf?? how would that create more demand for labor?? that makes no sense.

how to create more demand for labor: there needs to be more small businesses that become successful and grow larger. those businesses will need more employees. but bureaucracy slows this process down!

Sachiko on July 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Why should it be government’s role and not the clergy or a private charity to provide ‘life lessons’ that their parents / family refused or declined to provide?
Athos on July 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Are you saying that there is something wrong with totalitarianism, comrade…?

Akzed on July 28, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Da Komrade – how dare the infidel suggest anything is NOT the role of grand peoples’ government.

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

go to images.google.com and search on “Jamelle Bouie”.

chuckh on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I visited my old neighbors this weekend – husband hasn’t worked in five years and I’d be surprised if he has applied for more than two jobs in that entire time while the wife lost her disability when they got married and has refused to get a job because she thinks it will hamper her attempts to get disability again. They’ve got their section 8 housing, medicaid, food stamps and some sort of cash benefit. The only life coaching they need is to quit drinking, get off the couch and look for a job.

rw on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

This is especially true among the generational poor who seem to have quite nice things yet are on multiple forms of welfare.

Charlemagne on July 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM

You say that as if you expect them to use their money to pay for food, rent, utilities, etc.

The Detroit water bills are an excellent point. It isn’t as if those who refuse to pay their bills didn’t get assistance to pay for such things. They just opted for the bigger TV, car they couldn’t afford, or whatever. Paying for the water was clearly low on the priority list.

I used to have a tenant like this. She would e-mail me a couple days after the rent was due and tell me that she’d pay the next week because money was a little tight. As if my mortgage wasn’t due on a regular schedule. She finally moved out when she lost half of her child support and I wasn’t willing to rent to her at a loss.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

They’ve got their section 8 housing, medicaid, food stamps and some sort of cash benefit. The only life coaching they need is to quit drinking, get off the couch and look for a job.

rw on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

You know what they call people who work and contribute to society? Suckers.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

go to images.google.com and search on “Jamelle Bouie”.

chuckh on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Or look up angry black man. Bouie calls black-on-black crime a myth.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:51 PM

On the bright side, even though they seem to only want to breed the next generation of leeches – they keep aborting most of that next generation…..

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

The genocide rate is only about 50%. That will go down if we just send the parasites larger checks.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Why some advice on how to better manage your finances and career options is insulting is not explained.

Because ignorant thugs take a certain pride in being ignorant thugs.

Why, just look at Jamelle Bouie…

JohnGalt23 on July 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I visited my old neighbors this weekend – husband hasn’t worked in five years and I’d be surprised if he has applied for more than two jobs in that entire time while the wife lost her disability when they got married and has refused to get a job because she thinks it will hamper her attempts to get disability again. They’ve got their section 8 housing, medicaid, food stamps and some sort of cash benefit. The only life coaching they need is to quit drinking, get off the couch and look for a job.

rw on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Hate to say it, but that sounds a lot like my younger brother – some details slightly different…..

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

You know what they call people who work and contribute to society? Suckers.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Worse still, I got hit with the visit cover charge – borrow $10 til he gets his check next week and then have to drive his fat ass to the store and watch him come out with a couple sixes of cheap beer..

Between cat food for their ferels and beer, it cost me $25 to pick up the tools I was nice enough to let them borrow…

rw on July 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Hmmmm, think there’s any fascism inherent in this person’s worldview?

our economy isn’t run to create demand for labor, isn’t equipped to deliver stable work to everyone who wants it, and wasn’t built to address the distributive needs of everyone who works.

Either that, or they seriously misunderstand the free market. But I’m betting the former.

I endorse government support for voluntary life coaching.

Yeah, that fascism bet is looking more likely.

And, yes, a total lack of economic literacy, too:

But by and large, the easiest solution is to mail larger checks to more people.

Because money – like an economy – just exists because people say it does. “Just write bigger checks! The rich will pay for it!”

GWB on July 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

GWB on July 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I endorse government funded coaching for the chronically poor as well – 6 to 8 weeks of group therapy led by a guy who prefers to be called “Drill Sergeant”.

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

But by and large, the easiest solution is to mail larger checks to more people.

I admire his honesty. He just defined liberalism in one sentence and embraced it whole-heartedly.

Just mail larger checks. It’s so easy!

Professor Blather on July 28, 2014 at 5:08 PM

“Life coach?!? Can’t you find a real job?”

- parents of a life coach

Ward Cleaver on July 28, 2014 at 5:11 PM

The only life coaching they need is to quit drinking, get off the couch and look for a job.

rw on July 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

To a great extent, the “life coaching” they (and many others) need is “No more money for you unless you get up and go earn it.” Wasn’t there a Democratic President that actually took this approach? And, didn’t he actually get credit for lowering the welfare numbers and for a good economy?

GWB on July 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM

“Life coach?!? Can’t you find a real job?”

- parents of a life coach

Ward Cleaver on July 28, 2014 at 5:11 PM

further – “how about you start by coaching yourself into moving your @ss out of our basement…”

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 5:14 PM

I endorse government funded coaching for the chronically poor as well – 6 to 8 weeks of group therapy led by a guy who prefers to be called “Drill Sergeant”.

dentarthurdent on July 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Hah! Might sweat their “precious snowflake” attitude right out of them!

GWB on July 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Next they will be put in re-education camps for a little shot of Common Core to set them up for life. Something like those concentration camps growing on our southern border.

Viator on July 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

‘Life Coach’?
Is that like what I like to call ‘Dad’? Because it’s worked rather well, for me.

Perhaps that explains one portion of the ‘cycle of poverty’: single parent households, without the old man telling his kids (whether 16 or 30) “What you need to do is to get yer’ lazy a** outta the house and find a job!”
Not to mention the role model of a father, and/or mother who go to work. Every day. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. Aching joints or not. No ‘I need a personal day off’, or ‘I need disability because of anxiety issues’, or whatever nonsense is fashionable this week—and, having seen more than a few people try to hop onto the disability bandwagon, I’ve seen more than a couple of the above.

Life is hard. Many people don’t deserve to be poor, and/or unemployed. Some. Do. A normal, unfettered economy tends to sort both groups out rather promptly.

orangemtl on July 28, 2014 at 6:28 PM

The “competent counselor” part of that statement is the problem. These counselors would be government employees and that immediately calls into question their competence.

natasha333 on July 28, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Bingo. In fact for about 80% of government employees at all levels of government, that job IS their safety net.

Government is a jobs program for the otherwise unemployable.

slickwillie2001 on July 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Typical for deranged, deceitful Dems Bouie really couldn’t care less about the poor, no matter his mendacity pretending otherwise. What he really cares about is maintaining Dem power which has long (centuries) been done at the expense of the poor, keeping them voting Dem no matter how much they suffer for it, not the least of which is them monstrously aborting their own babies at the command of brute Dem beasts, including sex selection to eliminate inferior girl infants. So much for the vile Dem “war on women” mendacity. See http://www.blackgenocide.org. Truly only God can save us from this!

russedav on July 28, 2014 at 7:28 PM