BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY
Can Welfare Programs Combat Poverty?
Dr. Lewis US NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
By David Chijioke
Can Welfare Programs Combat Poverty?
The welfare system was intended to help aid families in need, that is, families who have no food, clothing or shelter. However, after decades of welfare recipients being passed through the system, it can only be concluded that welfare has only hurt the economy and nation. Welfare programs can not completely fight against poverty.
Poverty has not decreased since welfare began in the 1930's. To be considered eligible for welfare a person must show up and fill out paper work. If considered eligible and meets the states requirements for welfare, than that person is now on welfare and will be receiving benefits shortly. Many times, women with young children are not even expected to work. These women can stay home and spend time with their children as they grow up and evolve into young adults. However, millions of blue and white collar workers are forced to send their children to daycare or other facilities to take care of their children; so they can go to work to support their families. Welfare has hurt the United States throughout the past century. Welfare programs, currently forcing the United States into debt, ruin and poverty, are used by millions of people everyday. Though millions of people need government assistance to survive, these people have misused the system and created a long term dependency on welfare. Therefore, to eliminate poverty, ruin, and debit, government programs such as welfare should be abolished.
Since the Welfare Reform Act, the act that created welfare and eventually evolved into the present day welfare system, government officials and millions of Americas have said that Welfare and government assistance programs will stop poverty. However, history has proven that within two years after Lyndon B. Johnson launched the Unconditional War on Poverty, there was an escalation in public assistance payments (Armey 2). Many organizations that support government aid to the poor claimed that the poor simply needed an "opportunity" and that once given the same chances as everyone else the poor would succeed and better their own lives (Payne 118). One of the biggest ideas, some would say misconceptions, about welfare is that welfare recipients are "lazy". However no study has been able to prove that welfare recipients are lazy (Bender 76). However, many critics believe that "the best possible social program is a job". People often believe a job is the best way to get people off of welfare because studies have proven that it is better for the poor to work than to receive handouts, because working will motivate them to better themselves (Payne 115). Republican Congressman Dick Armey said; "An increase in welfare leads to a decrease in the earned income of the recipients" (Bender 35). In addition, there have also been numerous studies that show the higher the welfare benefits, the more likelihood there will be a decrease in work effort as well as an increase in welfare dependency (Armey 2). Other studies have shown that eighteen percent of people on welfare moved out of poverty, however, forty-five percent of people not on welfare, but in poverty, got themselves out of poverty without government help (Bender 37). "Many people regard handouts as self-esteem defeating. Handouts condition welfare recipients to become more dependent on others and encourage irresponsible behaving such as starting a family without adequate finance" (Payne115). Welfare is not stopping poverty because welfare does not teach the poor the necessary skills needed to be successful. If the poor were capable of motivating themselves, sacrificing and disciplining themselves than they would not have turned to welfare (Payne 118). If welfare is not abolished than, welfare system abusers are not going to get off welfare and work if no one forces them too...
Bibliography: Armey, D. (n.d.). ontheissues.org. Retrieved from http://www.ontheissues.org/Tx/Dick_Armey_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm
Bender, J. (n.d.). On The Issues. Retrieved from http://www.ontheissues.org/Economic/Jim_Bender_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm
Bennett, R. (n.d.). ontheissues. Retrieved from http://www.ontheissues.org/Economic/Robert_Bennett_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm
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Payne, J. L. (1998). Overcoming Welfare: Expecting More from the Poor and from Ourselves. New York: Baisc Books.
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