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Entitlement attitude in society





watersoul
Had to do a job for a local landlord the other day, nothing much, just fitting some piston type locks to upstairs windows so they cannot be opened wider than a childs head without a key. The upvc doubleglazed windows already had key locks but new (ish) UK laws require landlords to install this extra safety guard for their tenants.

Now this guy is a good landlord and has many tenants who are weeks behind with their rent but tries to help them in their situations quite sympathetically. He keeps all the buildings in good condition, no damp, leaks or whatever, and I'd be happy to rent from him.

Some months ago a girl rented this flat from him and he was happy to wait for the administration of her housing benefit to come through (5 weeks) as she is a single parent who does not work. 5 weeks later she was paid the benefit arrears and then spent it, telling the landlord that X or Y expenses for her child were necessary, basically flipping him the bird.
She then started complaining about damp and reported him to the local authority. I was sent to investigate, found no damp, just taped up air-vents, but was impressed with the huge flat screen TV and other items way more up to date than I've got, whatever.
Environmental health visited and agreed the property was only suffering condensation due to the taped up vents and closed windows. They did however insist that the upstairs windows needed restrictors to prevent anyone falling out, hence my return visit.

When I arrived, the trashy tenant got all foulmouthed asking am I insulating the attic again (New govt rules 100mm not the 50mm of insulation as present), I replied yes and "I'm also doing those dangerous windows upstairs so no-one will die", to which she shrieked "I've got a six year old!" and I calmly said "I can only thank some imaginary higher power for my son being lucky enough to make it to 15 because I've never had these locks myself" - There was an awkward pause and I got on with my work.

I know this girls game though, in the UK we have social housing (Council housing provided at dirt cheap rents) but there is a huge waiting list for it. She knows that if the council declares her privately rented property to be unsafe they will house her at expensive "Bed & Breakfast" accommodation and she will go top of the housing list and be allocated a council home much much quicker.

Unlucky, didn't work this time.
Never paid a bean in taxes (told unofficially by benefits guy), spent 5 weeks of the housing benefit and still owes it to the landlord, then tries to get the house condemned by making stuff up just to jump the line for social housing.

...I bet she wouldn't fork out the £300 for all those window opener restrictors if she owned her own house...and I bet she wouldn't have had 3 kids if she had to pay for them through working...skank entitlement types, sick of them.

For the record, I know all the scams from personal experience of people who are matter of fact about such things and also professionally while working for various arms of the welfare state in the UK for over a decade.
standready
I hear you, watersoul. Here in the US, there are three and four generations of families that have never worked a day in their lives. They live off the government and pop out more kids to get more benefits. One can only hope that they will be handsomely rewarded for their actions when they step up to the pearly gates.
deanhills
Irony is if you started to talk to her, she'd be totally convinced of her own innocence. There is a certain mindset that goes with all of that. Wonder what happened to her previous tenancy, and whether she had to be evicted before?
BigGeek
The folks living on welfare getting free housing are some of the worst for having that "sense of entitlement" and Watersoul's story is no different from the US and the generations of people living on welfare and popping out more kids to get more money. Sad and sick!

Next on the "sense of entitlement" list are the wealthy, in the US the number of trust fund kids that have a sense of entitlement is mind boggling and their treatment of regular people is horrifying. My own nephew falls in this category. 29 years old never worked a job in his life, lives at home pays no bills, and his trust affords him over 10K a month income to which he feel entitled and spend almost all of it on entertainment (partying and travel). If you ask him about contributing to society by working his response is "that's for regular people". He is not the only wealth trust funder I've run into that has this sick ass attitude!!

My wife has a friend that reminds me of Watersoul's story, she lives off disability, lives in subsidized housing, and takes all her money and spends it on personal things, and blows off her rent. Keeps playing head games with her landlord and strings out getting evicted while she spends her money and child support on personal expenses. When you talk to her about she has an attitude that the money is hers she can do what she wants with it, and the the world owes her for her disability. Of course like Deanhills said, when you talk to her she is so innocent and is a victim.

Between the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor the sense of entitlement is sickening. I was raised and still believe that each of us has the duty to contribute to our society, to use our skills and abilities to help the world be a better place for all of us.

Just my 2 cents on this topic!!
nickfyoung
The same situation exists here in Australia with the professional welfare cheats doing it pretty well while generally enjoying life at the governments expense. It does seem to be a human trait across all cultures where you will always find some who are prepared to live off some one else. Even in third world countries like the Philippines you will find this same mentality. Many many people have left the Philippines to work overseas so they can send money home to support their family. Some of these supported families develop that mindset where they can just sit and be supported and enjoy life at the expense of their spouse or family overseas. Many overseas workers return after years of sending money home to find their investment has been spent and they don't have a house or business to return to. They are usually forced to go back overseas to work again disillusioned because they can't even trust their own family who are now so dependent on the overseas money they have to keep sending it. The family has become incapable of fending for itself.
Afaceinthematrix
What I don't understand is why we cannot require work for welfare. If we did this, we'd be able to have some of the things (such as subways and trains) in the U.S. that we complain are too expensive to build. If you want your welfare check, come dig the subway trench for five hours a day (only five hours so that you have time to then go out and look for a regular job). To keep from this beginning a regular job (which means that we'd end up still having to spend more money for welfare recipients), put the same restrictions on it (time restrictions and social circumstances) that welfare has. Then, if people don't want to show up to earn their welfare checks starve, I won't feel bad (although something should, at least, still be done for their children; I guess that is the hard part).

I hate professional welfare careers. I work hard every day (well not every day; I do get days off like other people) and so every bite of food is earned. Yes, we should help people in need to some extent. But they definitely should have to earn it!

That is the end of my rant. My rant is essentially the same rant that every other hard worker in the world has...
truespeed
^^ If you are going to force people into work,you have to pay them a working wage even if the work was only for a short time,in the long term it wouldn't be a bad idea as they would get used to the routine of working,having extra money and hopefully once the "forced" work has ended they will be more likely to actively seek employment.


There are some people though that have been in the system for so long that they are not capable of work,physically they could,but they lack the social skills and are perhaps too life damaged to be able to function in a work environment,I don't think there is a lot you can do about people like that,but as they are small in number I don't think it matters,just give them their welfare.
nickfyoung
There is a system in place here where one has to be available for voluntary work at least two days a week to be illegible for welfare. There are plenty of organizations that use volunteers so it helps them out to and gives the welfare recipient a little work experience.
watersoul
I was chatting to a guy the other day at my local pub and he hasn't worked for years, instead claiming 'Job seekers' allowance and other benefits. I asked him how he has managed to get away with it for so long when the Dept for work & pensions have rules about looking for work.
He explained that he does send job applications to employers but always with a large coffee cup circle stain to add effect to the spelling mistakes. He then said if that fails and he gets a job interview then refusing to shake the interviewers hand usually does the trick.

I obviously said I thought he was lazy living off other taxpayers but then he said 'why should I work? I won't be much better off on minimum wage' - the following is an explanation...

Minimum wage for person over 21 in the UK = £6.31 per hour.
37 hour week after taxes works out at £212 weekly take home pay.

Job-seekers allowance for single over 25 year old = £71.70 per week
Rent/Housing benefits for single person = £95.00 per week
Local taxes subsidy for average one bed home = £16.00 per week
Total for cheating the system and avoiding work = £182.70 per week (£30 less per week than working)

I asked if he feels any shame about choosing this option and he replied that anyone working for minimum wage is a mug and should do as he does.
I replied that I was glad most people have pride in earning their pint at the end of the day, then walked away before I allowed anger to influence my discussion.
SonLight
watersoul wrote:
I was chatting to a guy the other day at my local pub and he hasn't worked for years, instead claiming 'Job seekers' allowance and other benefits.
... [details snipped] ...
I asked if he feels any shame about choosing this option and he replied that anyone working for minimum wage is a mug and should do as he does.
I replied that I was glad most people have pride in earning their pint at the end of the day, then walked away before I allowed anger to influence my discussion.


I share your dislike of this very anti-society and anti-country attitude. It is not so clear who we should feel angry with, though. The guy you talked to seems quite pragmatic, and might even be said to be a good capitalist, since he evaluated the situation and chose the option which benefited him. I would likely admire the person who chose to work instead, even though he or she would likely feel cheated by society for being stuck in a dead-end position and knowing they could have done as well financially without working. But that person could be considered to be acting irrationally.

I don't claim to know all the rules for government support in the US today. I do know that anyone without a family is likely to receive very little help, and I think that having two parents in the home still makes it a lot harder to get benefits. Some years ago I was aware of how family support rules worked, and it was very hard for a family to work their way out of needing support, even if they had the potential to work up to a good job.

My analysis is that the poor faced a very high marginal tax rate, because their benefits were taken away almost (sometimes maybe even exactly) dollar-for-dollar as they earned more. Specifically, at a certain set income they would lose their medical benefits, which made their marginal tax rate way over 100%. I believe any rational government assistance program needs to consider how to phase out benefits gradually so that no one ever pays more than around a 60% marginal tax rate at any income level.
watersoul
SonLight wrote:
I share your dislike of this very anti-society and anti-country attitude. It is not so clear who we should feel angry with, though. The guy you talked to seems quite pragmatic, and might even be said to be a good capitalist, since he evaluated the situation and chose the option which benefited him.
Understand what you're saying, that's the mad thing, this guys attitude/explanation (and many like him) is completely rational and a clever tactical move to live without actually doing much to pay for it. It is almost work in itself by the effort involved with playing the system.

The UK is also the number one in Europe for teen pregnancy but I wonder would that remain the case if having a child aged under school age did not automatically place you higher in the social housing waiting lists or remove the requirement to look for 'some' work for your benefits.
When I worked for what was then the UK Dept of Health & Social Security it was common knowledge that many women pushed out more babies when their youngest child became 16 when they would be required to look for work to get their money.
It is the reason why the government changed the age related exception of the youngest child to 'state provided school age' (5 years old) while still allowing parents of kids younger than 13 to be more 'choosy' about the hours of an available job.
All that really happened though is the same kind of people pop out the extra kids every 5 years now instead of every 16 - Species/society evolution questions/issues perhaps? Shocked - I have no idea how to fix this scummy leach mentality without hurting genuine hard luck cases...I suspect the UK government or civil service also still struggles with this question.
nickfyoung
And of course where I live has some great surf beaches and climate so many young surfers migrate here and pool their resources, rent a communal house together, and have a great life surfing while living on welfare benefits.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
And of course where I live has some great surf beaches and climate so many young surfers migrate here and pool their resources, rent a communal house together, and have a great life surfing while living on welfare benefits.
Same here, why get the same money up North when the warmer South coast pays the same?
I ran South myself, 23 years ago, but I've claimed benefits for a total of 8/10 months in that time.

I hear UK nationals bitching about Eastern Europeans 'stealing their jobs' but I've done temp agency work in a few factories over the years and it was always the British blokes who didn't turn up. I'd have employed the EU nationals over the Brits if my job was ensuring continuous and reliable productivity.
Of course there are a multitude of potential issues there but it is a true story which influences my perception of things.
Vanilla
Lemme tell you about this Brazilian welfare program called "Bolsa Família" ("Family Allowance")...

I guess you are tired of hearing about Brazil being poor and corrupt and so on. So the way our politicians found to solve years and years of social inequality (mostly race based because we had slavery here) was to transfer cash according to the number of children in a family. More children = more money. Add this to poor family planning and you'll see families with lots of children who know exactly what to do to receive their monthly allowance but don't know how to use a condom. Or feel that is too much work to go to the public health station to get (FREE) condoms.

Now I'm not saying that this is 100% bad because poverty was reduced in our country and some point the Family Allowance as a mean to improve some families' situation. But on the other hand, some people live happily with the allowance, not wanting to look for a job. Also remember all the corruption stuff here in Brazil? With Family Allowance is no different: a research revealed that more than 300.000 allowances are illegal. People are actually receiving a benefit that they don't need, stealing money from who really need it. Yep, that's my beautiful beautiful country. Evil or Very Mad
Josh255
I am not against welfare but I am against people abusing the systems in place. Nobody should be able to go years without working claiming "Job Seeker" status. I know there are times when people need help and I believe in helping others out, however there has to be limits that prevent people from abusing these programs. If someone is honestly trying to find work or trying to educate themselves I believe that they should be helped.
deanhills
Josh255 wrote:
I am not against welfare but I am against people abusing the systems in place. Nobody should be able to go years without working claiming "Job Seeker" status. I know there are times when people need help and I believe in helping others out, however there has to be limits that prevent people from abusing these programs. If someone is honestly trying to find work or trying to educate themselves I believe that they should be helped.
I hear where you are coming from, but some Governments, like Germany for example, work along the principle of cost of employing people. For example, they'd retire people deliberately early, so as to be able to offer these jobs to others. So there are a large number of people who are carried by tax payers in order to spread employment around. Can't help but feel that Governments like the UK see the system as collateral damage. There is a section of the population who are not employable, and will remain so, in spite of ongoing efforts to help them. Whether it's right or wrong, maybe there just isn't a solution for the problem.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
There is a section of the population who are not employable, and will remain so, in spite of ongoing efforts to help them. Whether it's right or wrong, maybe there just isn't a solution for the problem.
That is pretty much the way I see it. There actually aren't enough paid employed jobs for everyone so the percentage without will always exist.
While that percentage exists there will always be a smaller percentage who resourcefully find ways to exploit the systems vulnerabilities.
I have never seen a tightening of rules which does not cause hardship to genuine cases, and I've always struggled to think of specific changes which could prevent free-loading altogether, while not costing more to administer/enforce.

It does seem that this small percentage will always find a way.
BigGeek
The disability system in the US pretty much prevents people from getting off of it once they are on it. My older sister is a case in point - She has a PhD in Biology specifically genetic research. She was in a car accident that cracked vertebrae in her neck and pinched her spinal cord, she was slowly becoming a quadriplegic when they did the surgery to fuse the vertebrae and relieve the pressure from her spinal cord. The healing process took years before she regained full control of her hands and feet. She still experiences strange numbness in her hands and feet if she stands working for more than about 4 hours. She ended up on disability which is about 2K per month.

Thing is if she earns more than $500 per month 1/4 of the disability income they cut her off. She works part time teaching, and doing research and would love to go back to work, not full time, but at least part time until she can build up her stamina to work full time. But she can't afford to earn $700 to $800 a month and have her disability cut off she is in the position of get a job that earns more than her disability right off and then drop it.

She is not the only one I know that has this problem, the system forces them to stay on disability unless they can completely recover and get a decent paid job for much more than the disability income.

The way I see it is that the system could save tax payers money if the invoked a sliding payout. In other words if some one is capable of earning $1,000 per month cut their disability to $1,000 per month so they still have the same income with less coming from the government. This way people like my sister could work part time, keep her income and take less from the tax payers. Plus, if they are ever capable of earning more than the disability they can eventually get off of it!

Alas, that makes Too Much Sense!!!
SonLight
BigGeek wrote:


The way I see it is that the system could save tax payers money if the invoked a sliding payout. In other words if some one is capable of earning $1,000 per month cut their disability to $1,000 per month so they still have the same income with less coming from the government. This way people like my sister could work part time, keep her income and take less from the tax payers. Plus, if they are ever capable of earning more than the disability they can eventually get off of it!

Alas, that makes Too Much Sense!!!


I'm sure your sister is highly motivated, and would indeed be willing to work even though it would not increase here spendable income any. For most people to make the effort to eventually get off government subsidies, they will require to get at least some immediate benefit from what they earn. In your example, your sister's effective income tax rate would be 100% -- probably actually a little higher, since it would cost her something to work more and she might have to give up some non-monetary benefits. If she lost two thirds of her earnings in reduced benefits, then she would be actively encouraged to work as much as her health permitted. With a policy like that in place, the majority of people receiving benefits of what ever kind should be willing and able to try to improve their situation by earning what they can, although many of them have doubtless been demoralized for many years and would need a lot of support and training.
ratanegra
In Venezuela, nowadays the government promotes these kinds of stuff. As municipalities are going into mayor elections, the government wants to grab as many seats as they can, so they recently started a "auditing" process in which they declare that certain shops are selling their products at prices that are too high. Thus, they regulate the prices to ridiculously low ones, they intervene with the military all the shops where they say this, and they allow everyone who has the guts to go and steal to enter protected by the national army. Now all these businesses are going into bankruptcy or moving away from the country and thousands of authoritative pricks are all happy in their houses with their flat screens, with a couple of refrigerators and all the electronic devices they can hold in their sub-standard houses with zinc roofs. And even those with high resources who can afford to buy a mansion wherever they want are doing this just because they agree with the government's ways.

Now, they promote equality, good ways, tradition and they call themselves the working class. But they don't work. They go and ****** over those who work to take their goods and get them off the country. Who's going to work for the country's economy when there's no one left with the initiative to do so? I don't know if they have thought of that, but let's see. I don't think I'll be here long enough to see the rock fall.
deanhills
ratanegra wrote:
I don't think I'll be here long enough to see the rock fall.
Has to be quite demoralizing. Any ideas about where you may be headed?
chasbeen
It's not worth being a landlord. I rented to people and occasionally I would get a problem tenant.
The other type of person that ruined being a landlord was the beaureacrats.
I had to laugh when I started hearing about "a lack of available rental accommodation in the area"

F*** being a landlord in Ontaro, Canada. Maybe it's just as bad in some other places but really I am not going to try and find out.

PS: I used to give people a chance but then they just took advantage.
Also I was renting down market and really if you want to rent to people then rent to the upper end of the social scale?
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