Welfare Essay, Research Paper
Welfare has been a social issue since 1936, which was when Welfare was introduced to the United States. Welfare soon expanded through out the 1960?s and 70?s. Welfare does not only exist in the United Sates, it also exists in many other nations as well. Our welfare program may not even be as good as other nations. The reason for this is the United States practices individualistic capitalism which is where the government emphasizes the importance of an individual rather than a group or community. While other countries such as Germany are known to have a communitarian capitalism. Germany is known to have a very good welfare system due to this. This is necessarily not a bad thing, because the average person benefits from this type of system, even though it does hurt the lower class at times. Welfare is such an important issue because for some people it is their only means for survival.
There are many different views on welfare. Some people believe that welfare should be abolished as a whole, because it is only for lazy people who are not willing to work for their money, while others believe that is the only hope for people who are not capable of finding a steady job to raise their families. There are many misconceptions on welfare, and about the people who are on it. Yes, in some cases the rumors might be true, but for the most part they are overly exaggerated. Welfare is one of those sensitive topics that is difficult to take a certain stand on. The reason for this is because like many other thing it depends on the situation. For instance last week I heard about some guy who was on welfare, and he was living in a luxuries townhouse driving a Mercedes. At times like this people may think welfare is just there for people to take their tax money and abuse it. While on the other hand if were to know of a single mother working two jobs and trying to raise three kids on her own, you would wonder why she is not getting helped. In this case you would be willing to spare those few extra dollars you have to help the needy.
The main concern about welfare is not that we should have it, but who gets it, how much do they get, and when do we cut them off government aid. Every thing about Welfare changed in August of 1996 when President Clinton had his own vision of what welfare should be. The new program is called (TANF) Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, which replaced (AFDC) Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Under this new law each state is now responsible for implementing their own welfare programs. From then on Welfare and government aided money has become more difficult to receive. Families under the poverty levels have felt the hit after the changing of these policies. The Clinton administration claims to have cut down on welfare due to the economies growth. It is true that many people are better off now than they were before due to the booming economy, but at the same time people who desperately need money to eat and put clothes on their families back are not getting it.
How much money do we want to spend on helping others is what it comes down to. Welfare is basically about giving the poor a little boost till they can get on their own feet again. It is not to be abused or used as a means for primary salary. The countries main concern obviously is the amount of money that is being poured out into welfare. The Total Federal spending on Welfare and other government aids such as Food Stamps are about 13.8 Billion dollars, which comes out to be about one hundred and fifty six dollars for each American Taxpayer. So it is understandable why it plays such a big role in our economy.
There are many myths about who?s on welfare. Most people would think that the majority of recipients of welfare are either black or Hispanic. This is false, actually white people make up 38.9% of welfare recipients, while 37.2% black, and17.8 are Hispanics. The reason for this misconception is because many blacks and Hispanics live in the city, therefore it seems as though they are they only ones who are poor, while white people are spread out all over the place. Many people live in the middle of nowhere and live in trailer homes.
The Clinton Administration keeps on going on about how since he has come into office and proposed this new welfare program in 1996, welfare has gone down, and the economy is greater than ever. True, the economy is doing great but what they forget to mention is that it is even harder to get welfare so of course lees people are receiving it. The welfare numbers going down has nothing to do with the economy being so good. As the famous saying goes the rich become richer and poor become poorer. That?s what they forgot to mention.
Another misconception about the people on welfare is that they have huge families and that they keep on having kids. In some cases it may be true, but for the most part it is false. The Average Family size is 2.9 people. The average monthly benefit for a family of three is $373. As you can see that is not an income, it is just there to put food on the table. I?m not saying it should be increased, because it shouldn?t. I just believe that there is a misconception that people believe that you can live off welfare with out working. The only thing you can do on $373 is eat to survive, which is why we have welfare. This leads me to another point. Three fourths of the people on welfare live in the city, while 2 out of 3 available jobs is in the city. This makes it much harder for the poor to find jobs, since they do not have the luxury of moving to where the jobs are located. A study was done by, The Nation where they went to Harlem, and found out that 67 percent of families include at least one full-time worker.
I can honestly say that after all this research I have not changed my view on welfare. I have learned much more about our welfare system and how it works. I also may have altered my opinion, but basically it has stayed the same. My position is that welfare is definitely a necessity in today?s society, due to many reasons. There are more single parents now than ever; there are many teenage mothers that cannot afford to have babies. I?m not to fond with idea of teenage mothers, but to face reality it?s out there. Even though they made a mistake, we cannot allow these children to be brought up on the streets. It?s not there fault that there mother made a mistake. The main focus here is on the kids. Some people say that if a mother has over a certain amount of kids after she?s on welfare it should be cut off. Once again we are not punishing the mother we are punishing the child for something he had nothing to do with. If we are going to support the teenage mothers or single mothers, what we need is more social workers to go around. The reason for this is, we need to make sure that the money that us taxpayers are giving out is going to right people for the right purpose.
I am in agreement with the current welfare policy we have right now where there is a time limit to where you can stay on welfare. Two years should be enough to get you back on your feet again and working. You can receive welfare for 3 additional years if you are currently employed. If you have to work 80 hrs a week to support your family, then that is what is going to happen. I do understand that it is not possible to for a single mother to be able to work that many hours and raise their kids. If they did work all their money would go to babysitting. That?s why the government needs to include ways for daycare, while the mothers at work. Yes, this is very expensive, but in the long run it is much cheaper for all of use. The reason for this is, the sooner we get them on their own the more we save.
From the research I done, I have come to the conclusion that not many people are against welfare. Their biggest concern is that they feel much of the money is getting in the wrong hands. There are cases where the money is not going to the right place but overall the people who are need it are getting it. Most Welfare recipients don?t want welfare, but they need it. They are going to work as hard as they can to get off it to survive.
It may seem as though I have been favoring welfare, which would be true. At the same time I think it should be controlled, because I want to make sure that my hard earned money is going to the people who need it the most. I can tell you who deserve welfare; it should only be given to the people who need it for food, or putting clothes on their back. What I don?t know is how much they should receive and for how long. It all depends on each individual situation. I mentioned earlier that I also believe that there should be a time limit for the amount of time spent on welfare. I am not an expert to decide how long that period is, but our current welfare program enforced by Clinton seems to be moving in the right direction. Most of the misconceptions that people have about welfare are false, but of course there are exceptions to everything.