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Photo of the Week

Super-Sponger.jpg

Check out this beauty. The UK’s The Sun newspaper reports that:

Bone idle Susan Moore has finally had her benefits stopped after an astonishing 16 YEARS on the dole.

Super-sponger Susan, 34, has not done a day?s work since dropping out of college in 1988.

But amazingly, she insists she isn?t lazy ? and is appealing against the decision to stop her claiming ?65-a-week Jobseeker?s Allowance.

Susan, who says she needs to RELAX at weekends, has never even been for a job interview ? and turned down work at a supermarket because it was five miles away.

But yesterday she said: ?I don?t see why I shouldn?t get Jobseeker?s Allowance. I?m not a scrounger, I want to work but nothing suitable?s come up.?

Her local Jobcentre currently has 260 vacancies on its books, and the local paper is packed with 230 job ads. But skiver Susan reckons none are right for her.

Since abandoning college she has pocketed ?30,000 in benefits. But the handouts were finally stopped when she quit a New Deal course designed to help her find a job.

To ensure waster Susan would attend the course ? held 20 miles away ? Jobcentre staff paid for a taxi to take her to the train station each morning, and also paid her rail fare.

But when the taxi didn?t turn up one day, she simply packed the course in.

Susan, of Burythorpe, North Yorks, moaned: ?I find it hard to travel. I can?t drive, there are no buses to speak of and taxis are expensive.

The best part is The Sun’s “Shop a Sponger” ad:

THE Sun wants your help to track down Britain?s worst scroungers. If you know a waster like Susan, give our SHOP A SPONGER HOTLINE a call between 9am and 6pm today on: 020 7782 4105 (London) or 0161 935 5316 (Manchester).

Have you shopped a sponger today?

(Thanks to John “Dahbeeshah” Derbyshire at The Corner for the pointer.)

6 comments to Photo of the Week

  • Ray

    I am forced to admit that I do have a certain amount of empathy for Susan. People like her are not born that way. Most of us want to do some kind of work that gives our lives value and self respect. Maybe Susan at one time felt that way. The problem is that most people tend to live up to or down to expectations and if the expectations are low, then there should be no surprise that the person on the dole is a slothful underachiever. The British government acted as an enabler for Susan, making it easy for her to simply not work. What was the point. There was no ideal job among the hundreds available and her Majesty’s welfare services were more than willing to provide her with 30,000 pounds sterling and cab fare to job classes. I blame that welfare state culture as much as I do Susan. That welfare culture has wrecked the lives of untold millions and will wreck countless others in this country and in Britain.

    I know someone who is very much like our friend Susan. She has reached the age of 40 and never held a job. All her adult life her family and friends have told her that she is too sickly, too tired and just too weak to work, and she has lived up to those expectations and now spends most of her life in bed or living in her fantasies. The U.S. government has been an enabler, providing her with Social Security checks month after month, year after year. No one has ever told her to get off her duff and go out into the world to make a life. It is doubtful if she ever will at this point, but the enablers, paving the road to hell with good intentions, are far more to blame than the woman in question. The best thing that could ever happen to that person and to Susan in Britain is for the social services and the government welfare bureaucrats to get out of their lives forever and for the rest of us to expect them to fend for themselves. It is the least that we can do.

  • Joshua

    It is vital to point out that these sort of cases are extremely rare. The average duration on “the dole” is a few months. The vast majority who resort to welfare move in and out of the work force and spend more time working than they do on welfare. It is clear that most people want to work. It is also clear that most people do not spend their lives on welfare. It is possible to abuse the system, and clearly people have abused the system. But this is very rare in any Western democracy.

  • I think that was the purpose of the article: to point out an egregious abuse of the system.

    Socialism, however, tends to make it a lot easier to live on government assistance. I know you’ve done a lot of research on this subject, Josh: do you know if there’s a significant difference between time spent on the dole in places like the UK and Scandinavia versus time spent on welfare in the U.S.?

  • Ray

    Josh, I am sure you are right about most people on the dole collecting welfare for a short time and moving back into the work force. I know what the statistics say and my knowledge of the subject is purely anecdotal, but I have personally seen and known quite a number of people who are permanently dependent on a government welfare or SSI check. They may move off welfare for a few months, maybe even a year, but they always come back to it. There is a whole culture out there that feeds off the government teat and has no inclination to get any real world job training or to work at a job that will pay them what they consider chump change. The 1995 welfare reform bill has eliminated a lot of abuses, but there are still a huge number of low lifes out there who know how to play the system for all it is worth. I am not proposing any solution, merely making an observation.

  • Joshua

    Ray and David, you make good points; it’s not about most of welfare recipients, but about the few who abuse the system. It seems nothing makes the Western world madder than a few folks who willfully and almost gleefully abuse the welfare system.

    I bristle at these stories, however, because I fear that far too few people understand the facts about welfare in America. This is where I blame the media; the media presents stories of “welfare queens” more often than those who legitimately fight to stay off of welfare. I see the media do such a poor job of presenting the stories of the poor and when I see one more article about this, I get a little steamed.

    Interesting to note: I searched, but there are not many articles which clearly state the duration of welfare stays in Europe. I haven’t done much research in the area, but most of it tries to explain who goes on welfare and for how long. Obviously, some social groups are more prone than others. Racial minority single mothers are more likely to have longer welfare spells than others, if only because they have dependent children, weak social supports to care for the children and, because they got pregnant right after high school, did not have time to invest in labor market skills. I know, the question is “why did they have children…?” etc., which is another, albeit related, topic. My guess is that European minorities stay on welfare about as much as American ones. The British system is fairly permissive about how long people can be on welfare without having to search for a job (this is not a value judgment). Nonetheless, if the American case is instructive, I assume British minorities are as desperate for work as any other Western world minority living in a country of relative affluence.

  • While you are quite correct in according some blame to the state in permitting people to sponge long term, the blame really does lies with individuals. There is actually a lot of research done onto the relationships between spells on welfare and job types by the British DWP – http://www.dwp.gov.uk (I think). There is a particular problem with those with poor experience and few skills repeatedly swinging between the dole and temporary jobs. But I think that this is also the result of allowing so much of a laissez-faire job market that many “employers” simply create agenices to hire endless streams of temp workers who can never become permanent. This enables the employer to avoid the responsibilities of proper pay and conditions. Its also allowed massive exploitation of vulnerable workers (immigrants, those on welfare and low paid) and at its worst has undermined proper systems to protect people – for example security and background checks often simply don’t happen – which is dangerous in public sector work.

    For your information, the UK system is actually fairly robust – the “job seekers allowance” is conditional on you actually actively seeking employment, and within 13 weeks the opportunities to ignore this requirement become increasingly difficult to ignore. Also the onus is on the claimant to prove that they are entitled to it in the first place – being sacked or just leaving a job disqualifies you totally. The problem with welfre however is that the minimum wage is low enough to leave only a small differential between some people on a minimum wage of about 160 a week if you count the real value of housing benefit and dependent allowances. This undermines work and creates a poverty trap.

    The situation is much worse in Ireland where we have a huge army of professional spongers. Incapacity benefit seems to be given to people who are “depressed” or have curable illnesses that can be rectified enough to allow them to work (for example if they could get a hip or knee replacement – for free on a medical card). Yet these people are given a generous allowance, rent allowance, free medical treatment (there is no NHS equiv in Ireland and non-hospital care is expensive) and even free travel! Yet everybody I know who is on “disability” uses their free travel to go on shopping trips to the capital and weekends away. Unemployment is running at less than 5% yet there seems a huge army of “disabled” and single parents ready to dip into the public purse. A single parent with 2 children living in council accomodation receives benefits with a cash value that they would need to earn more than the median wage to achieve. In the meantime there is an ever increasing army of low paid workers who are actually at best only marginally better off than those on welfare, and who are entitled to nothing, but subsidise those who are. This is not just the governments fault. Its extremely difficult in Ireland to aprehend a welfare cheat. Perhaps this where spending should go, like it has in the UK.