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Politics And Poverty Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

Politics and Poverty

Today there is a split in American politics on how to combat poverty. Throughout history, how America combats poverty has changed depending on what party is running the government. There has been a number of different parties however, Republican, Democrat, The Bull Moose Party, and other various ones. However, these views can be put into two main categories: The Liberal ideology and the Conservative ideology.

There are three areas, which have broad and differing views on how to combat poverty. Those three being, Welfare, Social Security, and Taxes. The following arguments present how those different perspectives affect the poverty issue in America today.

Conservative Ideology

Conservatives generally go with the perspective that less is more. Most would side with the argument that less government action is a better approach for society as a whole. Rather than promoting the idea of social equality, like the Liberal perspective, they promote social inequality. Most would like little government regulation and intervention of economy. Conservatives have the "big business" and "trickle down" theory, that even though the rich stay rich, their wealth will eventually reach the poor and poverty-stricken.

Liberal Ideology

Liberals usually have the perspective that the government should help the people much more than they do presently, with more programs such as welfare (etc.). Liberals generally agree that the government should intervene, regulate, and promote the economy and ensure fairness in society always. Government policies are indeed needed and necessary for citizens to fulfill their daily needs. Most also do agree with a "free-market" society, however, they stress the need for government policies.


Definition of Welfare

Welfare is the "set of all means-tested aid programs in the country. [These] [m]eans-tested programs provide aid to individuals whose income falls below certain specified levels." (Rector, Implementing Welfare Reform and Restoring Marriage). In other words, welfare was created to provide help to those who were poverty-stricken and to those who did not have a way to provide for themselves.

Welfare History

Liberals and conservatives have always had differing views on welfare. Welfare has been a controversial issue that has gone way back in history. From Reagan's administration in providing major cutbacks in welfare, to Clinton's Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act signed in 1996, which mandated a "work-first" approach to assistance, established lifetime time limits on aid, and many other events that show us how welfare has been and still is a major issue in America today.

Conservative v Liberal Perspectives

Conservatives generally believe that the welfare system is broken. Generally, they do not want government intervention or regulation of the economy. They most generally believe reducing social welfare expenditures is the best way to go.

Charles Murray, a...

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