"Society's Restraint To Social Reform" In Canada

1454 words - 6 pages

Of the many chatted words in the social reform vocabulary of Canadians today,the term workfare seems to stimulate much debate and emotion. Along with thenotions of self-sufficiency, employability enhancement, and workdisincentives, it is the concept of workfare that causes the most tensionbetween it's government and business supporters and it's anti-poverty andsocial justice critics. In actuality, workfare is a contraction of theconcept of 'working for welfare' which basically refers to the requirementthat recipients perform unpaid work as a condition of receiving socialassistance.Recent debates on the subject of welfare are far from unique. They are allsimply contemporary attempts to decide if we live in a just society or not.This debate has been a major concern throughout history. Similarly, theprovision of financial assistance to the able-bodied working-age poor hasalways been controversial.On one side are those who articulate the feelings and views of the poor,namely, the Permissive Position, who see them as victims of our society anddeserving of community support. The problems of the poor range from personal(abandonment or death of the family income earner) to the social (racialprejudice in the job market) and economic (collapse in the market demand fortheir often limited skills due to an economic recession or shift intechnology). The Permissive View reveals that all participants in society aredeserving of the unconditional legal right to social security without anyrelation to the individual's behaviour. It is believed that any society whichcan afford to supply the basic needs of life to every individual of thatsociety but does not, can be accused of imposing life-long deprivation ordeath to those needy individuals. The reason for the needy individual beingin that situation, whether they are willing to work, or their actions whilereceiving support have almost no weight in their ability to acquire thiswelfare support. This view is presently not withheld in society, for if itwas, the stereotype of the 'Typical Welfare Recipient' would be unheard of.On the other side, the Individualists believe that generous aid to the pooris a poisoned chalice that encourages the poor to pursue a life of povertyopposing their own long-term interests as well of those of society in general.Here, high values are placed on personal choice. Each participant in societyis a responsible individual who is able to make his own decisions in order tomanipulate the progression of his own life. In conjunction with this opinion,if you are given the freedom to make these decisions, then surely you mustaccept the consequences of those decisions. An individual must also work partof his time for others (by means of government taxing on earned income).Those in society who support potential welfare recipients do not give out ofcharity, but contrastingly are forced to do it when told by the Government.Each person in society contains ownership of their own body and labour.Therefore...

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