Social Welfare

Topics: Unemployment, United States, Welfare Pages: 6 (1368 words) Published: April 13, 2015
Callye Cobb
Branch
Sociology
Apr 13, y
Social Welfare in America

Social welfare is the well being of a society. It is concerned with the quality of life. Several factors contribute to social welfare, such as the quality of the environment, level of crime, extent of drug abuse, availability of essential social services and religious and spiritual aspects of life. Today there are many different types of social welfare programs that reach out to those who are in need of help. Many of those in who are in need of help are the unemployed , disabled, and poor. Social welfare programs have been around in America for many years and have helped many people, although many people also view social welfare as a disadvantage to many Americans, mainly those who are employed and working hard. (“The History of Welfare”, US Welfare System) Over 100 years ago, John Stuart Mill wrote an essay “On Liberty” and his essay he stated “Energy and self-dependence are as likely to be impaired by the absence of help as by its excess.” (Mill) Many people disagreed with this statement, due to their belief that many of the people receiving help from social welfare will eventually become dependent upon the programs rather than achieve independence from the help they are receiving. “They will point to the fact that today in America there are almost 5-1/2 million individuals dependent upon the government for public assistance to meet their daily needs.” (Altmeyer, page 3) Many people will only see the negative sides to social welfare programs, rather than view the big picture. Many people also compare the programs and spendings used today to the past. When people do these comparisons they are failing to realize that also today the population in the United States has increased greatly than it had been. (“Some Issues Facing Social Welfare Today”, Altmeyer) Welfare began in America way before the government created the welfare programs we know of today. The United States first used the laws from Britain known as the British Poor Laws, which benefited and to identify the differences between people who were not employed but were also not able to work due to their age or disabilities such as their physical health and those who were able to were but were still unemployed. In 1862 the Civil War Pension Program was created and passed which aided to Civil War Veterans and their families. President Roosevelt brought forth the Social Security Act in 1935 and was established in 1939, this act created a number of programs which provided aid to multiple variations of people in need of help. The Social Security Act provided America with unemployment compensation and AFDC, which are two programs that are still used throughout the United States today. President Clinton appointed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996, this act dispenses annual amounts of money from the government to the states to aid the poor. Many agencies have been created to watch over the welfare programs, a few of those agencies in the United States are the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture, and The Department of Education. (“The History of Welfare”, US Welfare System) Poverty continues to grow and increase each day in the United States. There are many programs throughout social welfare that have been established to help attend to many of the people in need of help. A few of those are Food Stamps, Head Start, and Medicaid. Each of these provides aid to the basic needs such as health care, food, education, and money. Food Stamps is a program that was developed to help low-income families to acquire food for themselves and their family. This program helps to prevent families from not being able to put food on the table. To apply for this program, anyone can pick up an application at a local food stamp office or Social...
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