So Escher — You are receiving some public assistance. Are you physically and mentally able to work? (That is rhetorical as it really is none of my business) You obviously are intelligent and well enough educated to write a very cogent and logical statement. So that really does beg the question why are you only able to earn $400 per week.
If you are ill or disabled, then our government is doing you a grave disservice in not better providing for you. If you are neither ill not disabled, why are you eligible for government assistance at all, beyond temporary unemployment insurance.
Our Government(s) at all levels spends so much in resources, yes much of it is overhead because governments are inherently inefficient, that it is unable to provide a level of support that is human and enables a reasonably dignified lifestyle. The resources at all levels of government are spread too thinly.
What I am suggesting is that governments need to do a far better job of defining and determining who is really in need, supporting those in need adequately, and finding other means to move others not in need in the same way from poverty to full, fair, functional, and contributory lives.
Sine the start of the Lyndon Johnson Great Society programs, our Federal Government has spent trillions of dollars on poverty programs, yet there are more people living in poverty today than in 1964. The height of insanity is to repeatedly do the same thing while expecting different results. The manner in which poverty programs have been created and run has done nothing to improve the lives of most living in poverty and has led to generational poverty. Good “behavior” must be incentivized and bad “behavior” disincentivized.
I do not want to throw people onto the streets and see them starve. I want to fix the issues that lead people to that edge of catastrophe. Some of the problems are self-inflicted, some are inflicted by environments, and some by the very same programs that were intended to help. Success will require us to solve the problems in all of these categories and many of the solutions will be difficult and unpopular, especially by those trapped in poverty.
As I see it, the biggest problem today is that no one in the political class, or at least very few of those, really want to solve the problems because those same politicians reap benefits from the status quo ante.