May 3, 2011

When I first heard the phrase workfare...

.



When I first heard the phrase ‘workfare’ (a kind of welfare where the recipient is forced to work) my knee jerk reaction was that it was a proposal for some kind of contemporary slavery. But I’ve been thinking a lot about left-wing populism lately. And it got me wondering if there was some ethical way to positively connect the welfare state with voluntary community service. So that when one was unemployed one became more connected with ones community instead of less. And how one could be unemployed and still be of service to others, since being useful generates self-worth. There is often a kind of paradox in our culture that when people have more free time they have less resources to make use of it. What kind of model might make a welfare-community service connection possible? How to prevent such an idea from devolving into something ugly?



.

No comments: