Welfare Reform in the United States

Topics: United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Unemployment Pages: 6 (2573 words) Published: July 12, 2013
Welfare REFORM in the United States
Introduction
Throughout recent years the economy of the United States of America has been going through a major recession. There have been and continue to be irresponsible fiscal policies that have led to these major problems that are at the forefront of the minds and lives of the American people. Picking just one cause or problem to our nations’ economic decay is virtually impossible, yet one of the aspects of government that is considered for reform quite often can be refined to help stimulate the economy now and in the future. History in the United States

The United States welfare program is full of a rich history that began well before the actual system of welfare was developed by President Roosevelt. The welfare ideas stemmed from a very human trait of caring for the needy. Many small programs were developed to try to help the lower class. These programs focused on “teaching a man to fish” or giving him a short term solution and education to help him have a better opportunity in his future. The programs were never designed to be a long term solution for the needs of those people who were suffering through financial difficulties. In fact few private and government retirement pensions existed in the United States before the Great Depression. The prevailing view was that individuals should save for their old age or be supported by their children. About 30 states provided some welfare aid to poor elderly persons without any source of income. Local officials generally decided who deserved old-age assistance in their community ("welfare reform." 123HelpMe.com.) ( transplant-speakers.olhblogspace.com) “”The New Deal”

The emphasis during the first two years of President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" was to provide work relief for the millions of unemployed Americans. President Roosevelt’s focus on helping people become working and financially responsible was an important part to the economic relief during the great depression. The “New Deal” provided a short term solution and plan for the unemployed to become financial independent. Most federal money was given to the states pay for public works projects, which employed the jobless. Some federal aid also directly assisted needy victims of the Depression. The states, however, remained mainly responsible for taking care of the unemployables (widows, poor children, the elderly poor, and the disabled). But states and private charities, too, were unable to keep up the support of these people at a time when tax collections and personal giving were declining steeply. In his State of the Union Address before Congress on January 4, 1935, President Roosevelt said “the time has come for action by the national government" to provide "security against the major hazards and vicissitudes [uncertainties] of life." He went on to propose the creation of federal unemployment and old-age insurance programs. He also called for guaranteed benefits for poor single mothers and their children along with other dependent persons. By permanently expanding federal responsibility for the security of all Americans, Roosevelt believed that the necessity for government make-work employment (make-work employment refers to the government stepping in and creating work/jobs) and other forms of Depression relief would disappear. In his address before Congress, Roosevelt argued that the continuation of government relief programs was a bad thing for the country: “lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit . . ..” (F D R: the words that reshaped America By Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Stamford Parker) As we reflect on these words we can see that America and her leaders have lost sight of the true...
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