WHAT EXACTLY IS WELFARE AND WHO GETS IT?
One of things that has happened during COVID has been massive spending by State and Federal Governments to get money into the hands of different people and to get some money into the economy.
For most of the past 20 years, and possibly longer, people receiving Government were described as “leaners” and “bludgers” by many. This really judgemental language was used without any knowledge or understanding as to how or why people had come to need that financial support from the Government.
Right now, and over the past 4 years, we have seen an explosion in Government support payments right across the board and nobody is using the terrible language that has been used in the past.
Farmers and farming communities have needed the support during times of drought. This isn’t anything new because it always happens, but it was a reminder that in many cases people don’t get to choose whether or not they will need Government support.
Following the bushfires, money was tipped into communities, at every level, to assist in repair and recovery. The bushfires burnt into random pockets of the country with great intensity and caused significant destruction. Again the Government opened up the money supply to assist and there were many that needed that help.
Along came this thing called COVID and the Government were again writing cheques as fast as they could. Businesses, workers, people new to unemployment and those longer term unemployed, all got extra funding to help them survive and in some cases thrive.
One of the really interesting things that happened was that the money that was quickly put out into the hands of those that needed it most was just as quickly spent. This had a really positive outcome that allowed many businesses to survive the early stages of the COVID pandemic and indeed, once the 1st wave of COVID had passed (by mid-late 2020), many businesses actually thrived.
What would be no secret to anyone that thinks about these things is that if you put money into the hands of people that have few or no savings, then you can guarantee that it will be immediately spent and be good for the economy. You want to think of this as the “trickle up” effect.
These different forms of funding, where taxes are collected from taxpayers and then handed out to those in need, is a form of welfare support. Many people in recent years have unexpectedly found themselves in need of this assistance. And I hope, I sincerely hope, that this will bring a more compassionate view to others who need, or have needed welfare support in the past. Every story is different and worth hearing and understanding.
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