Welfare and United States Essay

Words: 1969
Pages: 8

VELFERTH There seems to be some argument with who exactly coined the phrase or first used the quotation, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. No matter who actually said it first, they were right. In the year 2013 it is projected that “16,335,000,000” (http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us) worth of fish, along with other necessities and financial aid will be going out to Americans, American hopefuls, and illegal aliens all across our country. The numbers of individuals and families that receive support without putting anything back into the very system that is their livelihood can boggle the mind. It is my intention to provide historical and current facts, statistics, and opinions of some of the best scholars to make a compelling argument against the social welfare system in the United States as it stands right now. “In 1884, Germany introduced the first system of compulsory national insurance against sickness. Shortly after, Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia followed with non-contributory old-age pensions. Between 1906 and 1914, Britain’s liberal government enacted a series of similar reforms for their citizens in need” (Kuper 910-912). It was not until the Great Depression that the United States came up with the New Deal; “the 1930’s to 1940’s also saw The People’s Home in Sweden and post war reforms in Britain, France, and Germany. The ultimate goal of these programs was for full male employment supported by family allowances and insurance benefits for sickness, unemployment, and old age. It was during this period that Keynesianism became the popular economic model, underpinning the meaning of welfare state” (Kuper, 910-912). Who has the best ideas on how to take care of the less fortunate while ensuring that one day, the population dependent on government will become self-reliant? Examining three principles utilized by different nations may shed some light on this subject and why it is so different around the globe. First, “the insurance principle, where the employers and employees are the main contributors” (Turner, 667) is what happens in countries like ours where the tax dollars go into effect. In Great Britain with the residual principle, the government only provides benefits to the needy. And in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, the principle of universal rights is used where the state, or government is the main provider for all citizens”. (Turner, 667) The Norse of the fourteenth century called it “velferth”; the Germans took the words “well” and “fare” to refer to their system as “Wohlfahrt” (Collins). Either way, the process was simple; to find a way to make sure your people had enough to survive through the tough times. Today’s glorification of something that started long ago makes it insanely easy for anyone with the desire to have no desire to thrive off of the hard work and sweat of the working class of America. Tangible items such as a debit card for the purchase of food and drink and even cellular phones are now furnished to those with no intention of ever becoming a part of the work force. The numbers could go down dramatically through better monitoring procedures, however that would require the time and money not available. In terms of customer satisfaction, the United States should rank very highly with its welfare programs. Unlike Canada, who reforms their system with cutbacks constantly, Americans already in the system know that more food credit or nutritional supplements are available to them with every child they have. “By the mid 1990’s, Canada had reformed its welfare system by cutting benefits by almost a quarter as an incentive to go find work. Also, they added more fraud investigators to combat abuse of the system”. Ontario Works, much like the Kansas Works program that we have here in our state, provided services and resources with their own version of a Work Force Center. “For