Welfare: Creating Couch Potatoes Or Employable Cit Essay, Research Paper
Welfare: Creating Couch Potatoes or Employable Citizenry? Every human being has essential needs that not always can be met in difficult and demanding situations. These needs can be categorized as food, clothing, and shelter. These people are usually the elderly, disabled, unemployed, single parents, and the unskilled. The government has set up programs, such as welfare, to assist these people in need, but the programs have a negative side. Some people, who are perfectly capable of supporting themselves, take advantage of this system. The government then cuts the welfare system so it is no longer capable of helping those who are truly destitute. Instead of providing a decent standard of living so that the individual can concentrate their efforts on getting back into the workplace, the person will find himself or herself still unable to make ends meet. Another problem that arises is that those who go on social assistance, who are unskilled, usually never find employment above minimum wage. This goes along with the proverb “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry.” Instead of giving handouts, the government needs to provide those in need with skills that will give them the ability to support themselves. By creating welfare less desirable to those who are taking advantage of it because of laziness, a great burden is lifted off the system. Introducing job search programs that require recipients to attend seminars on how to find employment followed with monitored job searching is an activity already being enforced in the system. Another action is including education and training to remedy those who have no skills. When teaching an individual and placing them in the workplace both the government and person benefit. Community work service is another program that has proved to be effective. It entails welfare recipients to work for a government agency in return for their aid. This not only contributes to the community, but also provides the individual with more employable skills. These programs not only are effective ways of weeding out any abusers of the system, but it also places poor in the workplace. These requirements to work while receiving social assistance should stay permanent to keep the beneficiaries active in their communities. Often inactivity can result in drug abuse, crime, child abuse, and other problems. A guaranteed income often encourages idleness unless some attachment of work is involved. It is important to intervene early in order to instill the right values in the children and break the dependence cycle. There are those, however, that cannot work and require help without any requirements such as elderly, disabled, and mothers with young children. These individuals should be properly cared until the need is no longer needed. Currently, the welfare provided is not enough to maintain a decent standard of living. This needs to be changed. We do have a responsibility to those less fortunate in our country. This not only pertains to providing them with a means of sustaining themselves, but it also requires us to enforce a pay back system.
As the United Nations stated in their universal declaration of human rights, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and to the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” Yet since the colonial times, there have been needy people. Many programs have tried to remedy the problem such as FDR’s New Deal in which the government created jobs that required little skill, and made them available to the poor. However, most of these programs have proved to be ineffective and only have short-term results. Social Security is one of the few programs that has been proved successful where workers pay into an account that can be drawn on in case you are unable to work for some period of time. By putting in time and research required, our government can come up with effective ways to restructure our welfare system, instead of making unnecessary cuts. In closing, welfare should be viewed a last resource for our citizens, instead of a means of supporting oneself. Excluding the sick and old, it should be a privilege that requires a responsibility to the government and community. By educating and preparing people, we not only place them in the job market, but we also give them a sense of self worth. Giving handouts and telling our citizens to find employment just is not cutting it anymore. We need to provide some way of guaranteeing jobs, not income. By creating a more efficient system of welfare, we not only help the poor; we improve our communities and country.