We Need To Expand The Social Safety Net

We Need To Expand The Social Safety Net

Or at least make it more efficient.

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One thing that has surprised me the most as I have been studying social work has been what a patchwork system we have to help people. When I had heard "the Welfare system" before my classes I had always imagined, well, a system. A complete end-to-end program which was in itself equipped to help whomever with any problem, from food insecurity to unstable housing, to mental health concerns, etc. Perhaps most importantly, I thought that the "Welfare system" was equipped to handle a person with multiple needs. As you can imagine, if you are struggling to pay rent, buying groceries can't be going to well either. People often have more than one problem. What has become quite the realization is the fact that we do not have such a system.

Instead, it is a mess of some government aid, non-governmental social services, the government "contracting" out to other non-government agencies, plus churches, and people acting neighborly. And as much as I would love to embrace the mess, the sad truth is, many people fall through the cracks because of this patchwork system. But the system is how it is for a reason, and I think that comes from some misconceptions about welfare, some misconceptions I had myself until studying it.

So for one thing, what most people refer to as "welfare" is actually only the TANF program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. As in, TANF is the program which provides families with direct cash assistance. But it isn't quite so simple. TANF became what it is in 1996 when President Clinton signed a bill reforming welfare, leading to a variety of changes, '"Most of the money went directly to cash benefit for families," says Liz Schott, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Now states can spend in all kinds of ways," including job programmes and childcare, but also transfers to other state programmes, like foster care payments and child protection services.' Also, as the name implies, TANF is temporary, and "there are now also stricter requirements about what percent of aid recipients needed to be involved in some sort of work activity" which does not include getting a college degree, although some short-term training count.

When it comes to, SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (you might know it as food stamps). Its use during recessions shows that "a $1 increase in SNAP benefits ... is estimated to produce an additional $1.70 in economic activity." Although the list of restricted items is too much in my opinion, restricted items being "Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco Any nonfood items, such as: pet foods ,soaps, paper products, household supplies, vitamins and medicines, food that will be eaten in the store, Hot foods." Hot foods even including a rotisserie chicken you can buy at Jewel, a meal I know my family always found convenient on days both my parents worked, and they needed to feed their 3 kids something for dinner. And notice how it said medication isn't covered? Well for that you need Medicaid, specifically plan D, which hopefully you enrolled in when you first eligible, otherwise, you have to pay a late fee - keep in mind this is a program for people in poverty, and it's charging people a late fee.

All of that isn't including going to a township for rent help, and trying to find affordable childcare. Every new problem involves going to a new agency to fill out another form and needing to jump through whatever hoop they have as an eligibility requirement. It makes you wonder if it would be better just to take all the money spent on this and give it to families below a certain income directly. But whatever the solution, no one can look at this and think it's a system which is working as effectively as it can to provide the best support to families. Something must change.

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.

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Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.


About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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The Crimes And Misdemeanors Of A Sitting President

Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is: Can this nation survive any more division?

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Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is; can this nation survive any more division? Is Nancy correct in her comment, "He's just not worth it?" Impeachment should not be used as a political tool to remove an unwanted government official out of office. Its purpose is to bring charges against a government official and once the official is impeached then the legislative body can impose judgment which could ultimately remove the official from office.

Moreover, in the past, this country has impeached two sitting presidents and neither ended with his removal. According to www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of impeaching is "(a) to charge with a crime or misdemeanor, specifically: to charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office. (b) to remove from office especially for misconduct, and (c) to bring an accusation against."

So how many cases of impeachment has the United States experienced with sitting presidents? According to www.History.com, eight U.S. presidents have faced impeachment, but with very different results. John Tyler was the first president to face impeachment proceedings in 1843. Representative John Botts of Virginia filed claimed Tyler conduct of the U.S. Treasury although the House of Representatives voted Botts' claim down.

Andrew Johnson was the second sitting president to have impeachment proceedings filed against him. In 1868 President Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and according to Congress, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. Even though Johnson was impeached the Senate would not confirm his removal from office and he finished his term.

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, the twentieth century gave way for many calls for impeachment beginning with Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and ending with George H.W. Bush. None of these presidents were subjected to the process as the claims never had the votes to call for a hearing on the committees.

There were three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, however, he resigned in 1974 before any of the proceedings could take place. In 1998 Bill Clinton was impeached over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the Monica Lewinsky case. In Clinton's case, the Senate acquitted, and he finished his term in office just like Andrew Johnson.

President Trump is under scrutiny for some of the very reason's other presidents have had impeachment proceedings. He has proven to most American's that he is a danger to our democracy. Trump has snubbed his nose at the foreign emolument clause, creating an open way for foreign powers to pressure our president to stray from his constitutional obligation to the United States. The firing of the FBI Director James Comey and fulling admitting on national television to Lester Holt that he did because of "this Russia thing." This is "obstruction of justice," and other presidents have been charged with this article of impeachment. However, Nixon resigned, and Clinton was acquitted.

So why is he not worth it? First the truth, he won the election. Unless there is proven evidence that he colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 presidential election reversing this fact will drive this new faction of voters back to the polls to elect another under-qualified candidate. In addition, the Republican Party will use the impeachment as a platform in the upcoming election. Citing the Democrats stole the White House from them.

Second, is the nation ready for even one year of Mike Pence as president? His record as Governor of Indiana is the only evidence needed. He banned Syrian refugees, he reinstated mandatory minimum sentences and authored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. He doesn't take to Twitter, has the political knowledge, and is waiting his turn to strike like an incurable virus.

Third and even more disturbing is the Republican Party and their efforts to gloss over his crimes and misdemeanors and cite the economy, and jobs. Many won't vote against Trump because of his base; cannot afford to have to explain their decisions to his base voters in 2020. Most fear they will have to go through a primary. Even though if they removed Trump and put Pence in his place they could have during their two-year reign and most American's civil liberties would be a thing of the past.

The voters gave their voice in 2018 and Congress is working, unlike the previous Congress. They have a lot of work to do and spinning their wheels debating the crimes and misdemeanors of the sitting president is counter-productive. History will repeat itself and he will be acquitted.

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