In the UK, a Mori survey conducted for thinktank Policy Exchange reports that 77% of voters think long-term benefit claimants should have to do community work in return for the dole, with 69% believing that claimants should lose their benefits if they turn down the offer of a job, even if it pays the same or less than welfare payouts.
In addition, around half 51% said people should not be able to get welfare at all unless they have previously paid into the system through national insurance and tax.
One cannot for one moment imagine that the survey pool included long-term benefit claimants, or even short-term claimants for that matter, that would be like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas.
This idea has been around for a long, long time but has always been rejected. Not because it is a bad idea – think of all the things that could be done with an extra one or two million workers; clean streets, potholes fixed etc etc – but because it would be political suicide for the party proposing it. After all, the party comes first, the politician second and the ordinary folk are way down the food chain.
And you never know, such a scheme, if well thought out (so keep it out of the hands of politicians), could even have beneficial side effects on other aspects of society as a whole, such as crime, violence, drunkenness and a host of other areas. It is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
In reality, being employed and paid by the government is really no different than being employed and paid by X Ltd or Y inc. I’m sure we would all love X Ltd and Y inc to pay us for doing absolutely nothing, but it’s not going to happen.