• Mississippi Cuts Off the Welfare Spigot — and People Respond by Getting Jobs

    Surge Summary: A few years ago, Mississippi toughened up its work requirements for those who are recipients of state welfare. A study has revealed the consequences of that change are stunning — and favorable: more people working, expenditures on welfare programs plunging and fewer individuals dependent on tax-payers.

    Mississippi has just confirmed a scrap of penetrating, age-old wisdom: Stop paying people to sit around unemployed … and they’ll start going to work!

    OneNewsNow’s Chris Woodward explains:

    A new report shows a state often recognized as one of the nation’s poorest has shuttled thousands of citizens off welfare rolls and back into the job market.

    Citing an extensive study of welfare-to-work Mississippians, researchers at the Foundation for Government Accountability are reporting on a dramatic shift in the state after its Republican governor tightened up work requirements for able-bodied workers, which forced them out of the house and onto a job site.

    Well … how about that!

    “We looked at the results of what happened when Governor Phil Bryant instituted work requirements for able-bodied adults, without dependents, on food stamps,” says FGA research director Nicholas Horton. “What we found is that after requirements were put into place in Mississippi, Mississippians left the program and very quickly, in fact just over a year after leaving welfare, their incomes more than doubled.”

    Follow the pattern here: when individuals who were not employed and who, therefore, had little to no income, are pressured to get a job and start earning money … voila! There personal financial situation improves dramatically.

    What set the stage for change was a work requirement waiver, which Mississippi was permitting during the “Great Recession,” only to witness two percent of able-bodied welfare recipients holding a full-time job.

    Gov. Bryant officially ended the waiver effective January 2016, and when workers began to cycle off the welfare rolls and into a job, their progress was tracked by state agencies over the next 18 months with FGA researchers helping document the results.

    These are real-life, on-the-ground results …

    *Wages grew an average of 64 percent three months after finding employment and nearly doubled a year after finding employment.

    *Able-bodied workers found jobs in 716 industries in the state, including jobs in nursing, the steel industry, and manufacturing.

    *Approximately three-quarters of workers moved out of low-paying jobs such as retail, using those entry-level jobs as a stepping stone.

    *Mississippi’s expenditure on food stamps dropped from $10.7 million monthly to $3 million a month [That’s over a 2/3 drop! Taxpayers, feel free to cheer.]

    The good news continues: Horton informs that other states which, like the Magnolia State, loosened their work requirements during the recent “Great Recession”, are also now reversing course, tightening their requirements since the economy is surging and jobs are available.

    “Welfare reform is effective,” Horton insists. “It’s good for the local economy, but I think more importantly than that, it’s good for folks that truly need help because it’s freeing up resources for them.”

    The researcher surprisingly forgot one other benefit, perhaps one of the most meaningful: it’s good for men and women who had been stranded on Government-Dependence Island and who have now discovered they can hold a job, can produce an income, can be productive. Human beings, created in “the image of God”, are designed to live purposeful lives, to make a difference, to leave their mark on planet Earth. They were not created be perennially cared for — helpless wards of society who cannot contribute anything to society and have to be sustained by the productivity of others.

    When government stops making it easy for individuals to live idle, undirected lives? Good things happen all around! Everyone is better off.

    H/T: OneNewsNow/Chris Woodward

    Image: CCO Public Domain; Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan; https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=239703&picture=hiring

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