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County considers transferring funds to heating-assistance program

More than $16,000 available

November 25, 2013

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will consider transferring more than $16,617 to the Salvation Army Northern Division on Tuesday for a heating-assistance program....

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Nov-29-13 9:23 AM

I totally agree with your statement, Integrity. The challenge is how do you cut off the slugs without hurting their children? Crime goes up when people get desperate.

We have created a nation of greedy consumers. The newness of your purchase quickly wears off and then you need something new again. Many parents don't know how to say "no."

Many of those good people that lost their jobs in their 50s and 60s are working minimum wage jobs, because that is all that will hire them. These people deserve better than poverty wages.

If companies paid a living wage, they could be more selective on who they hire. One of my customers pays minimum wage. Half their crew has drug and alcohol issues. Their foreman has asked upper management to pay more so that he can attract better employees, but they won't consider it. (They also make 6 figures for running this relatively small company).

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Nov-28-13 9:46 AM

My challenge to all: look at the generation of workers that are nearing retirement-50-60 y/o. Analyze their lives. Here's what you're going to find: they worked, many times for 1 place, spend modestly, moved up properties (didn't start with a huge house, nice car(s), tvs, etc at the age of 28). They provided for their children, many even saved for their children's college years. If you look at these folks, you can continue, but that is not how the world works. Go to college, expect a well-paying, cushy job with huge benefits because you went to college. I'm NOT in this age group, I just analyze where we're going. Get in the door (with or without a degree), work hard (be underpaid), commit, dedicate to the company, and you know what, most times, after a while, it will take care of itself. Otherwise, there will be better organizations EAGER to hire you.

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Nov-28-13 9:39 AM

MCW: I agree with you, that would be a lost venture because even with a degree, that 60 year-old isn't very "hirable" due to his age. If that same person has worked their whole life and was let go, can't find another job, etc, those ARE the situations that assistance was designed for!! I think you and I both know that this example is NOT the norm in the assistance programs. I don't want to eliminate ALL assistance, I just want to eliminate the constant allowance of individuals to utilize the assistance programs to enhance a lifestyle that isn't far off from the one your 60 year-old worker maintained themselves for most of their life.

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Nov-28-13 9:35 AM

I think you misunderstood my comment. I paid my way through school, too without any grants or financial aid. I worked while my friends partied.

I didn't get financial aid because my parents made too much. They had their own financial commitments including raising the rest of the family.

With as many people with college degrees working for Ronald McDonald making $7 an hour, it is a bit risky, too. Sure, dome if them have degrees in undesirable fields, but many of them have degrees that are otherwise formidable careers.

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Nov-27-13 1:39 PM


My parents couldn't afford to send me to school either. But I did it anyway. It took an extra year and I worked all the way through it 25-30 hours a week. It wasn't easy but it was worth it.

In the end it all boils down to the individual. Some believe in taking care of themselves while others believe in being taken care of.

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Nov-27-13 10:17 AM

Try sending a 60 year old person that lost their manufacturing job back to school. I struggle with the 50-year-old apprentices that I occasionally get.

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Nov-27-13 8:24 AM

There are MULTIPLE options for schooling assistance available for someone (any age) if they want to go to school to improve their life situation. The word many of them are looking for is "easy" and that is and never was guaranteed as a way to improve their life situation. The point that needs to be repeated from JR is that these assistance programs never were (except disability) developed as a long-term solution. They are stop-gap coverage/assistance programs until the individual works out of the program. The system is constantly being skewed to support longer dependability on these programs which then become part of an individual's lifestyle.

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Nov-26-13 11:59 PM

I agree with you JR, it does need to be mandated from the state level. That is tge only way to keep things uniform. I'm not for mandatory drug tests, only because it has been proven to cost more than it saves. I totally support random drug tests, just like my employer can subject me to.

I know a few people working low wage jobs that may be receiving state aid. Not all of them made poor choices. Some just never could really afford to go to school. Their parents made too much to qualify for grants, but their parents wouldn't pay for their schooling.

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Nov-26-13 3:36 PM

Most people on welfare made some bad choices at some point in their lives. Whether they never finished school, had children they really couldn't afford, or got mixed up in drugs or alcohol. Our system of welfare was never intended to be a career choice.

I agreed with MCW when he said that we should at them a little closer. The looking closer has to be done at the state level, however. The local people involved with welfare benefits are only following the state mandates.

It doesn't matter who anyone votes for as long as we hold them accountable - no matter what party they may belong to.

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Nov-26-13 1:36 PM

Most people on welfare qualify because their jobs just don't pay enough to afford rent, utilities, groceries, health care, etc. They certainly don't provide enough to ever retire on, so these 'cheap' employees will always be relying on taxpayers to support them.

Fortunately the drunks, as previously listed, only make up a relatively small amount. It would be nice if we could weed them out and off of the system.

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Nov-26-13 11:13 AM

A person that I know recently inherited a lump sum of money. They were frantically looking for something to spend it on so that they wouldn't lose their welfare. Their income should be more closely looked at, including people who are paid cash under the table.

Don't worry JReader, I believe that they still vote Republican.

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Nov-26-13 9:50 AM

What do you have in mind ? Do they need to pass a breathalyzer test ?

People only need to pass an income test in order to qualify as it stands. They can own farm land, bank CD's, and expensive wines in their cellar and still get their heating bill paid.

The rules are set by the state so if you don't like them you should talk to those "progressives" in St. Paul that believe this system is fair.

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Nov-25-13 9:09 AM

If my neighbor wasn't drunk half the time, she could afford to pay her own utility bills.

I do believe that there are needy people out there, but how about looking at them a little closer?

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