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Welfare And Society. Essay

1473 words - 6 pages

Welfare in SocietyWhile some families in the United Sates enjoy large incomes and can live very comfortably, others experience severe economic strain on a daily basis and rely on the welfare system to survive. Although family poverty is witnessed throughout the country, there is one population that suffers the highest percentage of poverty: single-mother households. In 2001, 6.81 million or 9.2% of U.S. families were identified as living below the poverty level, and of these families, 3.47 million, or 51% were headed by a single mother (U.S. Census Bureau). The statistics did not stay constant but worsened by 2002, with 200,000 more single mothers falling below the poverty level. With the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program implemented in 1997 by the Clinton Administration, there has been increasing controversy as to whether this new program has improved or worsened the poverty situation in the country. It is important to analyze the statistics of both the proponents and opponents of this new policy to determine who has been affected negatively or positively and the implications that has for our society. In examining the current welfare system, statistics have shown that while a welfare system is needed for society, the current system is ineffective in aiding those in need.A common negative aspect of welfare is that people who are not motivated tend to take the easy way out while other citizens that struggle to make a living, end up paying out of their tax money to support the welfare system. While food stamps are widely acknowledged, most cases are equivalent to cash in their impact on poor spending habits; they are administered quite differently than cash transfers. The Food Stamp Program (FSP) is the largest public assistance program that has uniform national standards. Opponents of the program believe that the welfare system has benefited the users and made what should be a struggle seem too easy. Many people turn to welfare if they are in a dire need and should only use it for a short period of time. Also, people who are disabled, single mothers who have maybe lost a spouse and have no one else to turn to or other extenuating circumstances, are the people who should be on welfare. Those types of circumstances may cause great emotional stress in their lives, and might take desperate measure to survive. Many citizens, unlike those mentioned above, currently take advantage of the system and ultimately allow less to be provided to those who really need it.As expected, non-citizens are less likely to participate in either program than citizens and find a decline in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation probabilities (Economica, vol 63, pp. S141-S162). In society teenagers who are the head of the household are more likely to participate in cash transfers rather than adults over 30 years of age to participate in the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Studies have shown that "teen birth rates have declined nationwide by...

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