The mayor of the city of Lewiston, Maine, the second largest city in the state, wants to try something innovative and gutsy when it comes to Welfare reform--he wants to use public shaming as a deterrent for those on Welfare.

Mayor Robert Macdonald is proposing a new state-wide bill that would make public the names and some other personal information of all of the State of Maine's Welfare recipients, a group he calls "individual[s] on the dole."

Macdonald published his controversial idea in an op-ed recently and said that his goal is to bring more transparency to the Welfare process and its recipients. "Our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them a victimized, protected class," said Macdonald.

His argument rests on the idea that, by listing the names of those individuals in a community who are receiving Welfare funds and assistance, those recipients may feel guilty and work to get themselves off of the public list. Macdonald also argued that members of a community deserve to know the names of their neighbors who they are supporting through the Welfare program.

According to the Fox News clip, Lewiston has around 500 families who are on Welfare and using Welfare funds, and though Macdonald's push for public access to those names might make some liberals uncomfortable, why should it?

Because the Welfare funds come from taxpayers, shouldn't the taxpayers be able to see who are using them? The counter-argument is for privacy and anonymity, but, as Macdonald has identified, that anonymity makes it all too easy to accept Welfare funds and fall into a long habit of accepting them with no thought for those who are paying the bills.

Privacy is important, but so is accountability in a community. By holding the threat of shame over Welfare recipients, perhaps some would think twice about putting their name on the list.

h/t: Fox News

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