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We are always hearing from certain quarters about how welfare is charity for drug addicts and therefore extensive welfare systems are immoral and should be discontinued. "We shouldn't enable a bad habit." But we seldom have hard data to test this moralizing universal equation that does so much to damage the lives of those who are struggling. Ironically, New Zealand, currently with a right wing government, has recently instituted this policy, and the first results are in. An astonishing, mind-blowingly hefty 0.28% of job-seeking welfare recipients has tested positive for drug use to date, and this includes testing for marijuana and those who refused to take the test. That's around about a quarter of a percent.

Note, this figure has to be tempered with the realization that the testing was not entirely comprehensive. The minister for social welfare, herself once a recipient, is a little vague on the details. But the result is encouraging, and perhaps ought to be quoted here on the odd talk-back and tv show.

Link is here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/...

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