The Welfare System Makes People Dependent

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  • Topic: Welfare, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, Workfare
  • Pages : 4 (1127 words )
  • Download(s) : 1111
  • Published : December 7, 2010
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The Welfare System Makes People Dependent

One of the many reasons why America is called “The Land of Opportunity” is because its citizens can move up in socio-economic status through hard work and dedication. However, when U.S. citizens fall on hard times, government-established programs offer financial assistance. The history of welfare reform reveals that the question of personal responsibility versus assistance to those in need has been a constant in the debate over welfare. In the 1950s and 1960s, welfare reform was limited to various states' attempts to impose residency requirements on welfare applicants and remove illegitimate children from the welfare rolls. During the 1970s advocates of welfare reform promoted the theory of "workfare." The idea initially referred to working off welfare payments through public service jobs, but it developed into the concept of using training and education to help recipients gain independence. By the 1980s workfare had emerged as the future of welfare reform. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, popularly known as the Welfare Reform Act, made personal responsibility and work central to the welfare agenda. (Welfare – A Brief History, n.d.) Due to the current economic state of our country, more families are falling below the government-defined poverty line, often through no fault of their own. People whose income falls beneath this level have access to welfare, which includes several forms of public assistance. The issue of government assistance has always sparked controversy, with proponents arguing that the welfare system does not create dependency and opponents disputing that people on welfare often become dependent. After conducting a poll at the South Texas College main campus regarding people’s perceptions about welfare dependency, the results revealed that all 10 people polled believe that welfare creates dependency.

The pie chart below shows that people believe that...
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