There is literally nothing easier, organizationally, than paying each citizen (who is below some level of income) x amount each month. And even if you are worried they won't spend it in what they need, cards could be issued for special (eg medicinal) use, with the amount going only there.
The thing is, who should decide what people should
spend government-distributed benefits on?
Way back when, there was a premier of Alberta called Ralph Klein, who loved portraying himself as an "aw, shucks" guy who was colloquially known as "Uncle Ralph".
"Uncle Ralph" is dead now, and his attitude toward the disabled and homeless was disgusting
. His love of government revenue from gambling is partly responsible for so many problems connected to gambling addiction when he insisted that putting VLTs into every bar was a great idea and reneged on his promise to the owners to let them be removed if they didn't want them. Then he and his government professed bewilderment at the upward number of individuals and families whose lives were wrecked because of gambling addiction helped along by putting video lottery terminals in places where people are drinking.
"Ralph Bucks" was a one-time payment of $400 to every adult who had filed income tax the previous year. You had to have an address to get this, so whoops, most homeless people were shut out.
A bunch of Ralph's supporters wrote in to the newspapers and said in interviews that this money wasn't necessary, because THEY didn't need it. Well, fine - they could have donated it to charity or given it to someone who did need it. But they went on to say that whatever ended up happening, "Don't give it to the poor or anyone on welfare, they'll only spend it on beer and popcorn."
I spent my $400 on 3 months' worth of utility bills. I had $10 left over and bought the first new paperback book I'd been able to in years
. No beer, no popcorn, not even a bag of chips or can of pop.
Fast-forward it to now, and the current premier decided to hand out $100 for 6 months to people with children, provided they make under $180,000/year, and seniors making less than that, and people on welfare/disability. Nobody else is eligible, which has raised many eyebrows. Working poor without children are not eligible. Post-secondary students are mostly not eligible (so much for helping them with tuition or even food; campus food banks have been around for decades).
I didn't have to apply; because I'm already on record as part of the disability program, I received it automatically. Many others had to apply, and of course the government website crashed (as often does when a few hundred thousand people all try to access it at the same time). The NDP asked why they didn't just use the tax records, and the premier said it would "take too long."
Her version of "take too long" can be translated as "I might lose the next election that's coming in less
than 6 months, and I don't want anyone getting money unless I get votes out of it."
Naturally there are people who keep saying they don't need it, and OMG, what will the poor spend it on? Well, do excuse me if part of mine went on pizza in the first month. Part of the second month's payment is going on cat food for Maddy. But still no beer, no popcorn, no drugs (the new assumption of what all poor people spend their money on).
There are people on one of my FB groups with this negative beer-and-popcorn attitude, so I told them off, and said, "Remember that the demographic you're insulting includes people who are part of this group."
Unfortunately those who lose their eyes cannot play. But let's act like they deserve to be blind and the state can't do anything about it.
Some people really do have this notion of those in need of health services "deserving" what happens to them. There's an ableist on my MLA's FB page who has made a point to tell me I deserve my disabilities. I asked her if her two autistic children "deserved" to be autistic. No reply so far.
Now if the voters themselves don't think it is good to provide a safety net at least for saving people's eyes/similar, that is pretty stupid but if so then I doubt enough politicians will feel the urge to do it voluntarily either. The critical nature and high cost of such needed operations is the main reason why national healthcare exists.
Politicians do whatever they think will win votes. How many blind people vote? They're allowed to and there's a procedure for it. It means a tiny bit of extra paperwork for the Deputy Returning Officer (the actual Returning Officer in my case), but you'd think from the attitude of some of them that they had been asked to move Mt. Everest. The POS at the polling station for the provincial election in 2019 did NOT want to allow me to vote early, even when I pointed out to him and his secretary that I'd spoken to both of them on the phone the previous day and had been told, "If you can get here, you can vote."
They wanted to know if I'd be out of town on voting day. I said no, but I couldn't guarantee I'd feel well enough to go anywhere that day, so I wanted to vote now. They tried to claim nothing was ready, so I pointed to the voting station in the corner and asked, "What's that for, then?"
Then they realized they had to do the paperwork. That AWFUL paperwork that meant filling out ONE PAGE to indicate that they'd had a disabled voter come along.
This was around the time that I was inbetween eye surgeries and I still couldn't read printed material very well. One eye was post-op and could see well enough to navigate, and the other still saw everything as blurry, colored shapes. The secretary asked if I needed help, but grudgingly. I had a magnifying glass with me, and said I'd try that first, and if I needed help, I'd ask (she would have had to fill out another paper if she'd had to read or mark the ballot for me, which would have meant another round of "I'm so hard done by with this woman who won't shut up and go away" attitude). Fortunately I was able to do it myself.
And all this when I'm someone who knows the procedures and my rights as a voter. So many others either don't bother or get lied to by lazy elections workers and they don't know their rights.