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Welfare Pays Better Than Work, Study Finds

I came across this study done back in 1996 and now if we add the inflation prices that Welfare has now increased to this study might well have answered what many have been saying for a long time.
With this past election and the amount of money that the Democratic party wants to help the lower incomes are we further feeding the frenzy.

What's your opinion. If we lower the welfare rate wouldn't that push people to try a little harder to get off their sofa's and get a job and then in that job they can work for improvement? In essence we are treating people like we do farmers...we pay them not to grow crops, so are we paying people not to work?

Give me your thoughts....no bashing...just thoughts.

Welfare Pays Better Than Work, Study Finds
$36,000 a Year in Hawaii

Welfare benefits are far more generous than commonly thought and substantially exceed the amount a recipient could earn in an entry-level job. As a result, recipients are likely to choose welfare over work, increasing long-term dependence. Those are the principal findings in "The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off" (Policy Analysis no. 240) by Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies; Stephen Moore, director of fiscal policy studies; and David Hartman, CEO of Hartland Bank in Austin, Texas. The paper was released at the height of the welfare debate in Congress.

The study examines the combined value of benefits--including Aid to Families with Dependent Children, food stamps, Medicaid, and others--for a typical welfare recipient in each of the 50 states. The value of those tax-free benefits is then compared with the amount of take-home income a worker would have left after paying taxes on an equivalent pretax income. The following are among the study's findings.

* To match the value of welfare benefits, a mother with two children would have to earn as much as $36,400 in Hawaii or as little as $11,500 in Mississippi.

* In New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Alaska, and Rhode Island, welfare pays more than a $12.00-an-hour job--or more than two and a half times the minimum wage.

* In 40 states welfare pays more than an $8.00-an-hour job. In 17 states the welfare package is more generous than a $10.00-an-hour job.

* Welfare benefits are especially generous in large cities. Welfare provides the equivalent of an hourly pretax wage of $14.75 in New York City, $12.45 in Philadelphia, $11.35 in Baltimore, and $10.90 in Detroit.

* In 9 states welfare pays more than the average first-year salary for a teacher. In 29 states it pays more than the average starting salary for a secretary. In 47 states welfare pays more than a janitor earns. Indeed, in the 6 most generous states, benefits exceed the entry-level salary for a computer programmer.

The authors conclude that if Congress or state governments are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, the most promising reform is to cut benefit levels substantially.

The study has been the subject of major news coverage. In a September 28 Wall Street Journal guest column, Tanner and Moore wrote, "The welfare reform proposals just passed by the Senate, and the earlier House version, are designed to reduce 'hard-core' welfare dependency and reward work. But we believe the most critical public policy implication of our findings is that ultimately these goals can be accomplished only by cutting benefit levels substantially. Unless and until this is done, Congress will have failed to end welfare as we know it."

Hourly Wage Equivalent of Welfare
Hawaii $17.50
Alaska 15.48
Massachusetts 14.66
Connecticut 14.23
Washington, D.C. 13.99
New York 13.13
New Jersey 12.74
Rhode Island 12.55
California 11.59
Virginia 11.11
Maryland 10.96
New Hampshire 10.96
Maine 10.38
Delaware 10.34
Colorado 10.05
Vermont 10.05
Minnesota 10.00
Washington 9.95
Nevada 9.71
Utah 9.57
Michigan 9.47
Pennsylvania 9.47
Illinois 9.33
Wisconsin 9.33
Oregon 9.23
Wyoming 9.18
Indiana 9.13
Iowa 9.13
New Mexico 8.94
Florida 8.75
Idaho 8.65
Oklahoma 8.51
Kansas 8.46
North Dakota 8.46
Georgia 8.37
Ohio 8.37
South Dakata 8.32
Louisana 8.17
Kentucky 8.08
North Carolina 8.08
Montana 7.84
South Carolina 7.79
Nebraska 7.64
Texas 7.31
West Virginia 7.31
Missouri 7.16
Arizona 6.78
Tennessee 6.59
Arkansas 6.35
Alabama 6.25
Mississippi 5.53

This article originally appeared in the November/December 1995 edition of Cato Policy Report.
http://www.cato.org/research/pr-nd-st.html
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  • Bella 2009/01/24 05:29:49
    Bella
    Assistance is relative for each state. One study isn't research. Life isn't so simple that everyone can work things successfully without some kind of assistance. I pay taxes and if my children, grandchildren or any other American needs assistance I want a safety net in place.
  • ann_chanted 2009/01/20 15:44:07
    ann_chanted
    +1
    Hula girl comes across to me as having been born with a silver spoon in her mouth and I don't believe she has any real world experience. Life can be a cruel mistress sometimes. Things happen that shouldn't or that are unexpected, such as a pregnancy, divorce, job loss, etc. Nobody has any room to judge welfare recipients until you walk a mile in that person's shoes. I used to be judgmental of such people as well and, in fact, even wrote a dissertation on the subject of welfare abuse and how to stop it. Then, life picked me up and slammed me down on the ground a few times. I have never been on welfare, but I have come very, very close, even with a college education. So, just because I am educated and have a good job doesn't mean it won't have to tap those resources in the future if things get really hairy, and that goes for the lot of you as well, including Hula Girl. Life is just that way. Never say never. The reality of life is....and this is where God's sense of humor comes in....that karma is real and anyone who judges another will absolutely find themselves in that person's shoes later down the road. So be careful what you wish for. That is all. Have a great day!
  • Hula gi... ann_cha... 2009/01/20 18:50:56
    Hula girl - Friends not Followers
    +2
    Never once a silver spoon...You don't have a clue of my background. I have a real life back ground but of parents even in the tightest times never took a dime of welfare. I can judge welfare and those that take social security for "drug" and "alcohol" abuse when they are just as sane and you and I an able body.
    Your statements are rude and it also shows you haven't experiance those that abuse the system.
    I come from a family of 7 kids on a carpenters salary where when the economy was thin didn't have work but he would do what he could to provide for his family. A mother that didn't work outside the home until her last child was in Jr. High and then was home for him when he came home so all of us got hands on training not latch key kids of today.

    My parents and through myself have worked with the homeless and the elderly who were shut in. My parents dedicated there "whole" retirement years never on fancy vacation but their trips involved going as a team of 8 to build homes and churches for those that could not afford to do so in a christian organization similar to Habitat for Humanity....but this wasn't an occasional trip this was the majority of the time. The choose to live in their travel trailer to better move around instead of just sitting in their homes and wasting their lives doing ...


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    Never once a silver spoon...You don't have a clue of my background. I have a real life back ground but of parents even in the tightest times never took a dime of welfare. I can judge welfare and those that take social security for "drug" and "alcohol" abuse when they are just as sane and you and I an able body.
    Your statements are rude and it also shows you haven't experiance those that abuse the system.
    I come from a family of 7 kids on a carpenters salary where when the economy was thin didn't have work but he would do what he could to provide for his family. A mother that didn't work outside the home until her last child was in Jr. High and then was home for him when he came home so all of us got hands on training not latch key kids of today.

    My parents and through myself have worked with the homeless and the elderly who were shut in. My parents dedicated there "whole" retirement years never on fancy vacation but their trips involved going as a team of 8 to build homes and churches for those that could not afford to do so in a christian organization similar to Habitat for Humanity....but this wasn't an occasional trip this was the majority of the time. The choose to live in their travel trailer to better move around instead of just sitting in their homes and wasting their lives doing nothing.
    I continued that heritage and have been working with the homeless all my child and adult life. Serving thousands of hours in the soup kitchens and actually taking people off the street, working at getting them jobs and training and even setting up an apartment for them to live in furnished with all the furniture, accessories, even food until their paychecks came in. Yet...they were the ones that were handed everything and yet they were the ones that were lazy and preferred to stay home and not go to work...at a job that paid very well by the way and was not physically or mentally challenging.

    There is a huge difference of tapping a resource and those that live off that resource. There are far too many that this is their only resource and they milk it for all it's worth. This becomes their job...of staying home and not doing anything. When you see women directly telling their children that they will be getting welfare just the same and their own children turn around and have many children out of wedlock just for the fact they can get more money.

    You are the one that doesn't have a clue. When you are the one that goes and works in third word countries to better their lives to help build homes, schools, hospitals, churches and orphanages and you see how hard these people work for just the crumbs they get. Or in places like Egypt where the average pay is $100 dollars per month and they work hard for that money and can't understand how American can be so wasteful and how others can just sit around gathering money. I have no answer for them because unlike lazy Americans they of all people know what it's like to be poor.
    When the rock crushers in Nepal and actually hand crushing the rocks for the gravel on the roads or the brick makers hand making each of the brinks so we can build them a place in which to hold their church and teach their students in school.

    American's have never known poor like most of the world knows poor. Even in the darkest days of the depression they were still rich in comparrison.

    No my dear I understand poor far more than you'll ever understand poor until you give back to those around the world. I have come from nothing. I've lost my home to a fire and that's after the contractor had gone bankrupt and hand stolen one hundred thousand dollars from our new home account and their was nothing left and left a newly married couple with a unfinished home and two house payments one for the new home we were building and one for the rental where we lived. We moved into that unfinished home with the only sink was a small bathroom sink, with no flooring, many rooms with no drywall, no kitchen, only one small hot plate and a microwave. Where I had to do the dishes in the shower for three years because I had no other place.
    Where we didn't have the money for anything except a few more boards or a piece or two of drywall as the paycheck came through. I personally laid every piece of tile in the whole house...every shower stall every bathroom floor, the kitchen floor. The two of us came home every night to hand lay our intricate patterned hardwood floor where we curved the wood in wedges to meet around the rounded staircase. Where every can of paint was put on my us.
    Where the whole 1/2 acre of land was barren dirt and much of it a gully into a swampy area and day after day we had trucks haul in their loads of dirt over 230 semi trucks full in exchange they wanted soda and beer for the guys on Friday. We were the ones that planted the palm trees and the beautiful landscaping that we would buy on auction for whatever we could spare.
    We through our hard tireless work took a $150,000 to a million dollar home in just 7 year.
    I know far more about living in tough times than most will ever know. No my friend I never had a silver spoon that I didn't polish and put there myself. That silver was earned and worked hard for but never once off the back of others or off the back of sitting back and letting others take care of us.

    You are the one that doesn't have a clue!
    (more)
  • ann_chanted 2009/01/20 15:34:56
    ann_chanted
    +1
    The very important point being circumvented by this article is how much it costs to live in certain states. Hawaii is an especially expensive place to live, so $36,000 per year is equivalent to approximately right at the poverty line, which is pretty much impossible to live on. The information in this article has been written in such a way that makes it look as though we are giving the poor an exhorborent amount of money to live on for nothing, and that simply isn't true. There are many factors involved that are not even addressed iI this article. This information is skewed to make you believe as the writer does, which is a complete falsehood.
  • Joe 2009/01/18 06:44:27 (edited)
    Joe
    Lest we all forgot welfare persons can vote. Politicans changing the law--don't think so!!!! HMMMMMM
  • mark 1 2009/01/12 11:32:32
    mark 1
    +3
    And on top of all that we now have a business welfare system that pays billions.
  • houstoncarl 2009/01/12 07:14:21 (edited)
  • Hula gi... houston... 2009/01/12 08:38:03
    Hula girl - Friends not Followers
    +4
    By joe I think you've got it!

    Here's a little story. Several years ago Hawaii was working hard to get the homeless off the street so they were building houses or low income homes for them. Well, that message got passed around at radio stations around the country.

    We were coming home from Europe one Christmas and had to stop for New Years in Boston and it was absolutely freezing. The radio stations were actually raising money to send the homeless to Hawaii. We were walking around the freezing streets and there were homeless with signs that said they needed a ticket to Hawaii. They honestly were trying to raise money for the homeless to ship them off so we would have to support these people and they all thought they were going to get a place to live.
    How's that for milking the systems. Send your cast offs to Hawaii.
    I came home and told our Mayors office and they called Boston and put a fast stop to the advertizing and said the homeless would not be getting homes especially any new comer.

    Amazing isn't it!
  • houston... Hula gi... 2009/01/12 08:47:42 (edited)
  • Diane Hula gi... 2009/01/12 12:49:13
    Diane
    +2
    All states are desperate to rid themselves of parasitic citizens. I remember Hurricane Katrina and the welfare refugees that were left homeless. Everyone blamed Pres Bush for not stepping up to the plate, but actually his problem was that he had difficulty finding states that would take in more welfare recipients. If I am correct, welfare was designed to help those during the depression who were between jobs. How did this grow into the monster that it has become. 80 million people have their hands out each month. I don't know about anyone else, but I am taxed out. I have a great solution to this problem, but I doubt it would be well received by the non contributors.
  • Hula gi... Diane 2009/01/12 19:22:07
    Hula girl - Friends not Followers
    +2
    My idea if I were President which I have said since I was young was to have anyone that is on perpetual welfare go on a peace corp type of missions to third world countries for a few weeks and even if they have to work in the kitchen and help cook and clean up they can do something. Have them see what real third world poverty is all about. Our nation has never seen poor like they have it even during the depression.
    Have them experience the real opportunities they have in this country and that those they are helping world give their lives to have even a fraction of what they have and many do give their lives trying to come here to have it.
    depression experience real opportunities country helping world lives fraction lives
  • Diane Hula gi... 2009/01/12 20:19:18 (edited)
    Diane
    +2
    Great idea,,,,,but my thoughts were of a similar nature, but I would like them to service the American public in some way,,,,,,,show some gratitude. The cities need their streets swept, farmers need help picking crops, the beaches need cleaning up, parks need litter patrols. There are plenty of jobs that tax recipients could perform.
  • Hula gi... Diane 2009/01/12 20:40:15
    Hula girl - Friends not Followers
    +1
    But not for extra pay and not taking other people to pay for them. If you get the benefits in exchange for work.

    The problem is Oman wants to do this same thing and force young people to serve like a draft.

    What's unfair about that is that it's forced and they aren't the ones going for welfare they are the ones trying to get a good job and education. Forcing is slavery and that's against our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.
  • ann_cha... Hula gi... 2009/03/03 19:19:51
    ann_chanted
    My father grew up during the depression. He told me this story. Back then meat was scarce. Hardly nobody had meat back then. It was considered a luxury. One day this starving family was visited by a representative from a nearby church who was rationing out meat to starving people. When the church rep came up this to particular house, the people were outside barbecuing. He almost just turned right around and walked off, assuming they had found a way to get meat and no longer needed his assistance, but instead he decided to question them first. He was a bit judgmental in his questioning asking, "Why did you call the church? You have meat! Do you know how many people in this neighborhood don't have meat! You should be ashamed of yourselves!" The lady of the house turned around and was in tears. She said, "You don't understand, this was our dog," and then burst into tears again. Can you even begin to imagine? There were people who had lost everything in the stock market crash who threw themselves our of several story windows. It was a very bad time for many people. My father was something of a victim of the great depression as well. His mother told him at the tender age of 14 that she could no longer afford to feed him and he needed to leave. He left and began riding the rails. He didn't...'

    '""''''

    My father grew up during the depression. He told me this story. Back then meat was scarce. Hardly nobody had meat back then. It was considered a luxury. One day this starving family was visited by a representative from a nearby church who was rationing out meat to starving people. When the church rep came up this to particular house, the people were outside barbecuing. He almost just turned right around and walked off, assuming they had found a way to get meat and no longer needed his assistance, but instead he decided to question them first. He was a bit judgmental in his questioning asking, "Why did you call the church? You have meat! Do you know how many people in this neighborhood don't have meat! You should be ashamed of yourselves!" The lady of the house turned around and was in tears. She said, "You don't understand, this was our dog," and then burst into tears again. Can you even begin to imagine? There were people who had lost everything in the stock market crash who threw themselves our of several story windows. It was a very bad time for many people. My father was something of a victim of the great depression as well. His mother told him at the tender age of 14 that she could no longer afford to feed him and he needed to leave. He left and began riding the rails. He didn't eat for days at a time and would work little oddz jobs here and there for food, nothing more. He would pick up cigarette butts off the ground, open them up, roll more cigarettes and sell those cigarettes on the street for a penny each for money. THAT'S how bad it was during the great depression.

    You are right that America hasn't seen poverty like they do in third world countries, but to use their suffering to point and say, "See, you have it better than they do. At least you have a dog you can cook and eat if things get tough," is nothing short of exploitation. You sound as if you want people in this country to suffer like that just so you don't have to pay your precious taxes to help prevent it. I'm all for welfare reform to prevent abuse, but there are many single parent households and others down on their luck that need our welfare system in place. Either that, or we need to go back to the time when people could walk out into the woods and scratch out an existence by hunting small game and growing their own food. Sadly, nobody can do that anymore because all land is now owned by someone or some entity. If a person finds themselves suddenly homeless, there's nowhere to go except a homeless shelter, which is, CHECK IT OUT, a form of welfare. If we reverted back to self sustaining times, do you think there would be homeless people? Not nearly as many. Do you think there would be people starving? Not nearly as many and, if there were, neighbors would get together and help them out because that was the welfare system of yesteryear; neighbors helping neighbors. Until people get off their high and mightiness and start humbling themselves and helping others non-monetarily through volunteer work or food donations etc, I'm afraid the welfare system is needed.

    Hula girl, I will say this again. You have been on trips to Europe. You have a house and you live in Hawaii. Do you really think you have the real world experience to comment on such things? Do you work? Do you have a job or does your husband support you, which by the way is another luxury in this world; to only need one person to support a household. Your comments on the welfare system are about as well-founded as a person of European descent talking about how the Native Americans were done a favor by being run off this land. You need to check yourself, girl!
    (more)
  • Hula gi... ann_cha... 2012/08/24 20:07:39
    Hula girl - Friends not Followers
    Since you are ignorant of me then you speak from no knowledge of me or accusations you present.

    I grew up in Washington State not Hawaii. I grew up in a contractors family with 7 children where money was tight where we lived sometimes in a house that rent was $35.00 per month. I lived with parents that lived through the depression and lived their lives where we saved even the aluminum foil to reuse them again. I didn't have store bought clothes until I at 13 earned money picking strawberries and babysitting and bought them. I wore the hand me downs from my sisters or what I got from relatives from Christmas presents.

    We didn't live in a day an age of welfare nor would never consider such. There were many times where we had a bowl of rice with milk and sugar and cinnamon for dinner as there was nothing else we could afford. We as kids all worked. I started my first business at age 5 and then started businesses all through school. I would earn money babysitting to then go and buy more craft items to make and sell at school. I have a whole kit that kids would come after school and buy my items or even make special orders. My candles were in stores by age 16 where I needed to pay for labor to help me produce them the orders were so large.

    The difference is government isn't suppos...
































    Since you are ignorant of me then you speak from no knowledge of me or accusations you present.

    I grew up in Washington State not Hawaii. I grew up in a contractors family with 7 children where money was tight where we lived sometimes in a house that rent was $35.00 per month. I lived with parents that lived through the depression and lived their lives where we saved even the aluminum foil to reuse them again. I didn't have store bought clothes until I at 13 earned money picking strawberries and babysitting and bought them. I wore the hand me downs from my sisters or what I got from relatives from Christmas presents.

    We didn't live in a day an age of welfare nor would never consider such. There were many times where we had a bowl of rice with milk and sugar and cinnamon for dinner as there was nothing else we could afford. We as kids all worked. I started my first business at age 5 and then started businesses all through school. I would earn money babysitting to then go and buy more craft items to make and sell at school. I have a whole kit that kids would come after school and buy my items or even make special orders. My candles were in stores by age 16 where I needed to pay for labor to help me produce them the orders were so large.

    The difference is government isn't suppose to be the one bailing people out. Helping each other is.

    There are 205 verses in the Bible for churches (and those in them) to take care of the poor yet not one verse that the government is suppose to care for them.

    Your example even mentions the people caring...and that's the way it is suppose to be as they are then blessed in return.

    There are very few in comparison that are truly poor in this country. There are many that take benefits that are not poor at all but feel entitled.

    Even the homeless in many cases are not poor. I have worked for many years with the homeless. I have taken now 5 people in the last four years off the street, gotten them jobs, housing, set up their household goods and even food in the cupboard until their paycheck came through. It was a houseless family that bought one of my not so old BMW's. They owned a house but choose to rent it out and live on the beach. To you they would have looked so poor and homeless yet they were enjoying not working, living off their rent on a lovely beach in Hawaii. That was their carefree life style. I'm sure you would have been there handing out welfare checks to help them out but did you get to know them first?

    Or how about the homeless guy that use to be by our old condo downtown a lot. He was a very handsome guy, had spent some time in prison for using/dealing drugs. Since your type didn't get to know him and instead just claimed he was homeless you handed him several hundred dollars more a month. You forgot to ask about his family that happened to be wanting to help him and were very wealthy people but since he still had a couple of bucks the public gave him he refused their ticket home and a lovely home to come to. Oh, but I guess you didn't see him passed out flat on the sidewalk more times that you wanted to know and see while others walked right over him and never called 911 (until I did) to see if he might be still alive. That money you handed him just bought him more drugs and was killing him.
    Thanks for that.


    Or I guess you didn't bother to ask the lady who was now 35 and pregnant with her 2nd street child if she wanted a job. Instead she would pull out her fake false teeth and people like you would feel so sorry for her and just give her money. Oh, with the teeth out and stringy hair she looked like a good one to help and throw money at her. Of course people like you did that to her since she was a teenager so you taught her how to live off the streets and make a good living.
    Then someone with compassion came along and had a long chat about her dreams and what she would like to have in her life. Did you go out and help find her a job she would enjoy? Did you help her set up a budget with her new job so she could understand how much money paid for rent, food and other expenses? None of those agencies did either. I did though and she's now working and productive and has a whole new outlook on life.

    I have traveled all over the world. I have helped build homes, churches, hospitals, schools in third world countries. Not because I'm comfortable but because I care and I take my own money to do it with.



    My other half was living on the streets from the age 13. He had to leave home because he couldn't take the beatings from his alcoholic mom and step dad any more. He couldn't take being locked in a closet. He just had enough.
    He live his first night out on the road in the covered wagon at Knox Berry Farm near his home. He would collect bottles and cans and turn them into food at McDonalds and other places. He continued to go to school and became the class President and no one other than his best friend knew he was homeless.

    He went on to become special forces, worked at the highest office in the land. Went on to set up Fortune 500 companies in 56 countries around the world.....all from a little boy that had to protect himself and live on the streets.


    Don't preach to me that I don't know what poor is. I've seen poor first hand.

    I've seen poor so poor that babies were being washed in the mud after they were born and have pictures to prove it.

    Americans need to stop this take from those hard working and give to those that don't want to get off their duff and try.

    Sure there is help for the really poor and disabled but that's where churches and organizations come in not government.
    (more)
  • ShadowH... houston... 2009/01/14 22:05:00
  • super1samuel 2009/01/12 05:30:36
    super1samuel
    +4
    The Government does not work for people who actually work. It works for people (clients) who are capable of working and does not work. No client is truely encouraged to leave any of the government programs because the politicians work for only the clients who chose not to work up their potential.
    Here's the thing people make sad choices and sometimes those choices that effect one person effect us all of course, the most you will get out of state officials on this are letters of denial and each regional administrative will deny this of course at each DSHS.
    For at each DSHS - WITHOUT CLIENTS the people at DSHS NATIONWIDE would not have jobs. Parents aren't always to blame. Though it would help if all parents actually cared enough for their own offspring in making sure their offspring knew the value of work and the value of a dollar.
  • Loreli 2009/01/12 02:33:16
    Loreli
    +4
    In my line of work I see so many young adults choosing to remain on welfare and stay home instead of finding work.. they learned this from their parents and the cycle continues. Most of the girls are having multiple babies with different men and the state ends up taking care of these kids (aka our tax dollars)..in the end, the children suffer by not being given a better example of what life can be. I find the entire situation very frustrating.
  • Hula gi... Loreli 2009/01/12 05:07:08
    Hula girl - Friends not Followers
    +3
    That's exactly what I see too. Why is that allowed?
  • super1s... Hula gi... 2009/01/12 05:34:56
    super1samuel
    +4
    Its allowed because politicians are greedy sick idiots. They care more about their own pay checks and getting something extra. Also the government is to used to fixing things it cannot fix.
    At one time in our nations history welfare actually was that and did its part really good however according the DSHS I work for. " Without clients - we would have no jobs."

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Hula girl - Friends not Followers

Hula girl - Friends not Followers

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2008/06/04 21:22:02

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