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Does Welfare Encourage Dependency?

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Does Welfare Encourage Dependency?

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  • August 2012
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Jar’ee Rhodes
Professor Davis
ENC 1102
16 July 2012
Does Welfare Encourage Dependency?
Created by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression, the idea of welfare was to help those who are living in poverty and need help to feed their families. Since then, welfare has helped people in many ways, such as unemployment insurance and food stamps. However, with over 4.4 million people, Welfare has evolved from a program that is designed to help people who have fallen on hard times, into a large scale program that often keeps more people down than it helps lift up. It has become a program where people are encouraged to be dependent on the government. With the amount of people who are currently on welfare many critics feel that this assistance hinders the ability to be independent. They say that welfare benefits provide a more attractive way of life than working does. Most of them feel that the only way to get welfare dependents to obtain a job is to end welfare all together. Bruce Fein, a conservative columnist and lawyer, believes, "The vast majority of recipients would discover the resolve and initiative needed for employment if the alternative were stark subsistence or less" (qtd in Cozic). However, other critics feel that getting rid of the welfare system is not the best thing to do. They feel that welfare has helped many get out of poverty thanks to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Signed by former President Bill Clinton many believe that the 1996 Welfare Reform Act has altered the way our country deals with welfare dependence and poverty. This law gave new limits on the length of time a person could receive welfare benefits. It also required that all healthy and able-bodied recipients work in public service jobs. Aimee Howd a writer for Insight on the News a conservative weekly magazine states that the welfare reform act has been successful in reducing the number of people who receive government assistance. She claims that it is successful because it...