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Workfare transcends Welfare in Econ debate

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Workfare transcends Welfare in Econ debate

Photo taken by Tony Petro

Photo taken by Tony Petro

Photo taken by Tony Petro

Tony Petro, Club News Editor

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Two teams faced off Tuesday, debating whether Welfare recipients should be actively seeking work or not as a requirement for benefits, and the team arguing for recipients working took home the victory by a final audience vote of 17-6.

AACC’s Economics Club hosted this heated debate in the Careers building. Seven student volunteers split into two teams, the Yes team and the No team. 

The Yes team argued that welfare recipients should be either working or actively seeking a job in order to continue receiving welfare in compliance with the Workfare act passed in 1996, while the No team argued welfare recipients should not be required to work, and welfare should primarily be used for healthcare. 

The Yes team consisted of Alex Bazurto, Jadd Hamel, Molly Krueger and G. Marshall Wilkinson. The No team members included Claire Haas, Michael Peart and John Pinckney.

Piper Lewis was the moderator, and professor Uzma Qureshi, the Econ Club faculty advisor, was in attendance along with many of her students and other members of the club. 

Professor Qureshi teaches Macro and Micro Economics as well as a course called Inside the Global Economy. 

The Econ Club has a debate each semester about different current economic topics each time.

In the debate, The Yes team called welfare, “a social safety net.” They also said workfare encourages people to actively look for a job and it “promotes self-reliance rather than government-reliance.”

To this, No team member Claire Haas said, “There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding a job.” Though they did agree that welfare is a “broken system.” They also argued that welfare adversely affects health insurance coverage.

“Welfare recipients aren’t single dudes chilling,” Haas said. “There are more single mothers on welfare. They are not receiving welfare because they are lazy, they are getting it because they need it. A lot of welfare recipients are also on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to education.”

“Welfare is a band-aid for a deep wound,” Yes team member, Alex Bazurto said. “It is allowing recipients to maintain a certain lifestyle, but barely. It is not allowing people to get an education.”

After almost two hours of debating, moderator, Piper Lewis, counted an audience vote and announced the Yes team as the winner of this semesters Economics Club debate.

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Workfare transcends Welfare in Econ debate