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  • Arne Mortensen

A caring view into welfare policy


I have been a County Commissioner now for about 19 months, and I have spent most of that time trying to figure out how things move along … notice that I did not say “how things work,” because that would suggest a better assessment than I see. Someday, certainly before I leave office, I hope I will have the will to write a paper about my observations.

But for now, I want to bring attention to a specific theme that currently is driving my votes on those administrative issues that come up nearly every week. While I am fully in support of wanting the best for people, and I am a willing and active helper of people, the current approach to welfare is broken. While we may pretend these are perfunctory votes that come before the Board of County Commissioners and that commissioners have no choice but to rubber stamp the money, rationally we can accept that these votes reflect a policy issue, a proper and most important function of your commissioners.

Policy issues require a guess into the future, a guess which could be as shallow as simply based on opinion or it could be based on data and principles of human behavior. We have lost the battle on many fronts (e.g. drugs, welfare, homelessness); how do we know this? Just look at the availability of drugs, and the growing expenditures on welfare and homelessness. If we truly care about the needy and the future, then this article is a must read.


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