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According to the Social Problems book, social welfare programs are “organized efforts by government, private organizations, or individuals to assist needy people considered worthy of assistance. ” Social welfare can come in different forms, this includes government benefits for those out of a job, red cross benefits for natural disaster victims, or it could be neighbors helping neighbors. Some things to note about welfare programs are the following: these programs help people who are deemed as worthy, they help most of the U. S. population, and they help to lessen economic inequality but only to an extent. The truth about welfare is this: People in the U. S. would like to think they are understanding and considerate, however they place a great deal of value on personal responsibility and this makes people uncomfortable giving help to the poor. This idea of personal responsibility can be problematic at times. So, what exactly is personal responsibility?
Personal responsibility is the concept that people are in control of their actions and held accountable. In addition to this, people are also held responsible for things that are out of their control. For example, if someone loses their job for a reason that is not necessarily their fault, they are still to be held accountable. Personal responsibility in the U. S. is problematic because when people fail to meet the standards that society has set for them they According to the Washington Post, White people benefit the most from welfare programs even though it is minorities who are more in need of assistance. The percentage of white people who are taken out of poverty is 44% while only 35% of minorities are taken out of poverty. In 2014, government aid and tax credits brought 6. 2 million working-class whites out of poverty. Half of the working-age adults who do not have college degrees and are brought out of poverty by safety-net programs are white; almost a quarter of them are black and a fifth of them are Hispanic.
There are many common misconceptions about welfare. These misconceptions include things like: Once you are on welfare, you are on it for the rest of your life, most welfare is given to minorities, and lastly the poor benefit the most from welfare. Firstly, before 1996 the statement that once you are on welfare, you are on it for the rest of your life was partly true. Back in the 1990s ½ of the families who applied for Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) got public aid for four or more years. But now there are limits to the amount of years you can be on welfare. Secondly, the statement that most of the welfare benefits go to minorities is somewhat true but just hardly. White people get 49% of food stamps; African Americans get 31%, Hispanics get 13%, and Asian Americans and other races get 7%. This adds up to 51% for minorities. However, minorities are at a greater risk for being poor and in need of assistance.
Lastly, the statement that the poor benefit the most from welfare is inaccurate. There is a great deal of government assistance programs that help people of different income brackets. Altogether, only about half of the government benefits g to people below the poverty line. In addition, big companies can pay low wages because employees with earning that are below the poverty line are able to get government aid. So, it could be said that big companies like McDonald’s gain the most from welfare programs.
While there are many misconceptions about welfare there are also many truths. Some examples could be, welfare programs help people deemed as worthy, they help most of the U. S. population, and they help to lessen economic inequality but only to a certain point. The population and political figures are able to pick which people are the most worthy of their help. Welfare programs do not only help poor people in need “but also price supports for farmers, the oil depletion allowance to petroleum companies, the homeowner’s tax deduction for home mortgage interest, pensions paid to the elderly, benefits for veterans, and low-interest loans for students. ” Lastly, in order to finance welfare programs, the government used taxes from the rich to give aid to the poor, which helps to reduce economic disparity. However, many of the social welfare programs help the richer people and families. “The home mortgage deduction is worth several times more than what the government spends to provide food assistance to low-income people”
In conclusion, there are many different truths about social welfare. However, there is one that stands out among the others. Which is: people want to act like they care for those who are less fortunate than themselves, but they place such high importance on personal responsibility that it makes them unwilling and uncomfortable to give aid to the poor.
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