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Oxygen

I would like your moral evaluation of my three choices

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I followed an advice some months ago on OOF about a clip I posted on youtube, and removed it.

I would very much appreciate your advice on an issue that is strongly nagging me.

An interaction with a therapist in March made the spark for college disappear and I took a break from it.

I asked a welfare program for help in getting an no brainer job. I started a 13 week training program today. It is expensive for the tax payers.

On Friday, after some interactions with a lively, passionate and good person, I got back the spark for continuing on college.

Before I resume college in March I could fit in the welfare program, which could get me some summer work.

While applying for the program I told them what was then the truth, that I wanted to work full-time with the kind of work the program would educate me to do. Now I do not have the ambition to work full-time with that, well, if college studies does not land me a job after graduation I may use the program in that case.

If I tell them about my new ambition, they may kick me out of the welfare program.

If I do not tell them then I attend the welfare program under false premises, but they will not kick me out.

About using tax payer money: My grand parents were successful and payed large sums of money for decades in a perverted Swedish socialist system. My parents has payed taxes to. None has used as much as they ever paid in taxes. I consider, in my mind, that the government owes my family a lot of buck, much more than the cost of the welfare program. This premise may be correct or corrupt, please feel free to argue about it.

The alternatives are:

1. tell the people that finances the welfare program about my change of ambition and continue the welfare program if they let me.

2. do not tell them and continue the program.

3. drop out of the program regardless.

Is the premise about a government virtual debt to my family correct? Which alternatives are morally good and which are evil and why? Which alternative is most good and why?

Honestly, I am confused about the right answers. Once again, I would appreciate much your help in answering the questions.

Late additional information: I do not prevent any other person from attending the program by staying on it.

The person on the welfare institution that decided that approved my application may take a hit if they follow up on me and find out a went to college right after the costly program ended instead of using it for full time work

Edited by Oxygen

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Before I resume college in March I could fit in the welfare program, which could get me some summer work.

I'm not sure I understand. Why not just go find employment. Why the welfare program first?

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Just to get the facts straight, is this an appropriate summary:

  • You entered a govt.-funded work-training program
  • Now, you think you want to do college instead
  • You want to continue this training program to get some work, not full-time work like the government intends
  • You're wondering if you should lie and say you intend to pursue this full-time

Is that correct?

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I asked a welfare program for help in getting an no brainer job. I started a 13 week training program today. It is expensive for the tax payers.

<snip>

While applying for the program I told them what was then the truth, that I wanted to work full-time with the kind of work the program would educate me to do. Now I do not have the ambition to work full-time with that, well, if college studies does not land me a job after graduation I may use the program in that case.

If I tell them about my new ambition, they may kick me out of the welfare program.

If I do not tell them then I attend the welfare program under false premises, but they will not kick me out.

<snip>

The person on the welfare institution that decided that approved my application may take a hit if they follow up on me and find out a went to college right after the costly program ended instead of using it for full time work

Your concern for appropriate use of taxpayer money and the person at the welfare institution is commendable. However, a more self-focused analysis may help clarify this.

1. The purpose of the program is to help you be a productive member of society. If you reach that goal, they should be happy, whether you're employed in the specific field of the training or not.

2. You've already changed your mind about college twice. It is possible you will change it again; many people to decide college is not for them after a few years. The training will give you a useful fallback in this case.

3. You mention the training can help you get summer work while you complete college. Great!

4. You have already started the training program. Accounting details may differ, but the taxpayers have probably already paid for the program since you've started. Leaving now would waste taxpayer money and probably have consequences for the person who signed you up.

It seems clear to me that your best option is to finish the training, then see what you want to do after it's through. You entered the program honestly and were approved. I don't see a moral obligation to take specific employment after you complete it, especially when it can be also be useful to you in the future.

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I suggest thinking about the matter not in terms of rationalizing or arriving at a choice in terms of least use of state support or calculating in terms of a family balance sheet, but instead, determine what is the proper course, given your central goal in life. Compare what you were studying in college, and what this job-training program is about -- how do either relate to what you really want to do in life? For example: majoring in Forestry in college, versus taking a training course in welding. If you really want to manage lumber, then obviously you should go back to college. When living in the most profoundly socialist country in the world, you cannot touch anything without it having a serious stench of "other people's money". Equally, you can't do produce or consume anything without having to pay a really hefty bite to the state. Don't waste time balancing VAT, Systembolaget, and income tax versus subsidized training or schooling; figure out what you want to do.

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I'm not sure I understand. Why not just go find employment. Why the welfare program first?

Because I have a handicap which makes things more complicated for me. Plus, unemployment is rather high.

Just to get the facts straight, is this an appropriate summary:

  • You entered a govt.-funded work-training program
  • Now, you think you want to do college instead
  • You want to continue this training program to get some work, not full-time work like the government intends
  • You're wondering if you should lie and say you intend to pursue this full-time

Is that correct?

It mostly correct. But I don´t have to lie, but I have to NOT take a copletely voluntary initiative to contact them to tell them about my changed ambition.

Edited by Oxygen

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I suggest thinking about the matter not in terms of rationalizing or arriving at a choice in terms of least use of state support or calculating in terms of a family balance sheet, but instead, determine what is the proper course, given your central goal in life. Compare what you were studying in college, and what this job-training program is about -- how do either relate to what you really want to do in life? For example: majoring in Forestry in college, versus taking a training course in welding. If you really want to manage lumber, then obviously you should go back to college. When living in the most profoundly socialist country in the world, you cannot touch anything without it having a serious stench of "other people's money". Equally, you can't do produce or consume anything without having to pay a really hefty bite to the state. Don't waste time balancing VAT, Systembolaget, and income tax versus subsidized training or schooling; figure out what you want to do.

Ok, thanks man. The focus you present here is valuable, I´m gonna use it.

"Systembolaget", you knew about that. Systembolaget is a strange phenomena.

A completely unrelated true story. My my father told me his father told him that "I work for free 10 months of the year and get paid for two months". What he meant is that what he took out from his business for his own salary he only got to keep 2/12 = 1/6 of the money. That is ... little.

Your concern for appropriate use of taxpayer money and the person at the welfare institution is commendable. However, a more self-focused analysis may help clarify this.

1. The purpose of the program is to help you be a productive member of society. If you reach that goal, they should be happy, whether you're employed in the specific field of the training or not.

2. You've already changed your mind about college twice. It is possible you will change it again; many people to decide college is not for them after a few years. The training will give you a useful fallback in this case.

3. You mention the training can help you get summer work while you complete college. Great!

4. You have already started the training program. Accounting details may differ, but the taxpayers have probably already paid for the program since you've started. Leaving now would waste taxpayer money and probably have consequences for the person who signed you up.

It seems clear to me that your best option is to finish the training, then see what you want to do after it's through. You entered the program honestly and were approved. I don't see a moral obligation to take specific employment after you complete it, especially when it can be also be useful to you in the future.

All right, thanks for your advices MichaelH.

Edited by Oxygen

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About using tax payer money: My grand parents were successful and payed large sums of money for decades in a perverted Swedish socialist system. My parents has payed taxes to. None has used as much as they ever paid in taxes. I consider, in my mind, that the government owes my family a lot of buck, much more than the cost of the welfare program. This premise may be correct or corrupt, please feel free to argue about it.

You live in Sweden? Dear God! Do you need help? A plane ticket? A care package? I might be able to wire some US dollars.

Oh, and your justification doesn't completely work. It may be your parents and grand parent's money taken that you're using, but it's still other people's money. When it's your money, then maybe. But you've been through public schools right? Or are you forced to spend all 12 years there? I don't know, I'm just mentioning that it might affect your government spending account.

Plus, regardless of how the government gets the money, it still isn't right for it to do those things. Of course, you are in Sweden. That might be a lifeboat situation.

Just my point - like you said, feel free to argue about it.

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There's nothing wrong with asking for advice, but I think you're playing a dangerous game: Objectivism, in my view, requires you to have a well defined hierarchy of values, and think for yourself both while deciding your values and while making your choices. Sure, it's OK to ask for advice, but the ultimate choice has to be yours, and you have to have a very good reason for making that choice.

And with the asking for advice thing, the person advising you should know you a little better than we do. It sounds like you have a lot of good people in your family for instance, I assume they are advising you to finish what you've started. (first the welfare program, then the college) They don't have to be Objectivists to know what's right for you (better even than any Objectivist who doesn't know you), and as long as their advice doesn't violently conflict with your Objectivist values (they're not asking you to become a missionary or an IRS agent:), you should take it.

In this case, you seem to have made your choice: you want to finish the 13 week thing and get back to college. You are asking for advice because you want this confirmed, it seems to me, so I'm happy to confirm it for you: there's nothing wrong with accepting this type of welfare in Sweden, because the system is designed to force young people into these programs: there is no way someone would hire you for anything, unless you have some gov. accredited qualification. (from what I've heard, this is how things work in most of Europe)

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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