The Abolition of Government Welfare Program
The major function of the federal government is making legislations and enforcing them, and protecting all citizens from crime. The role of the government should be restricted to these core functions. Charity through welfare programs should not be entrenched in the functions of the government since it is not a core government role. The inclusion of welfare programs in the government roles has raised significant debates; proponents of the debate argue that welfare systems are in the interest of the people. However, despite the significance of the welfare programs, they have created more problems than benefits. Welfare has led to an increase in the number of single parent families, discouraged women to marry, and encouraged more births. Additionally, social problems such as criminal gangs, drugs, and crime can be traced to welfare benefits. Studying the social welfare programs would be an effective way of understanding the issue and undertaking the appropriate action.
Welfare refers to the actions or measures that are implemented by the government or institutions to promote the welfare of individuals or the community. The efforts are mainly aimed at improving the financial situation of the people. However, the efforts may strive to improve the employability of a community among other aspects such as mental health. Welfare adopts various forms such as monetary payments, housing, health services, and subsidies. The government, an institution, or a combination of both funds welfare programs. There are two main methods of funding welfare programs. Welfare programs may be funded directly by the government or through social insurance programs that are funded by the members of the welfare schemes. Welfare programs differ from country to country; however, they are commonly provided to the unemployed, persons with disabilities, the aged, parents of reliant children, and veterans. An individual’s eligibility to welfare program may be subject to means testing or other means.
The United States has provided welfare programs for years. However, the Congress and the president commenced the welfare debates in 1996. A key issue in the debate was whether government aid should be maintained as an entitlement, a grant that was provided to the poor solely by virtue that they were poor (Olasky, 2000). Ultimately, the legislation that was enacted changed the welfare program from an entitlement to a grant-block program that was offered by respective states. Presently, different states are free to set their own qualification criteria and various states have varying means of limiting access to welfare (Olasky, 2000). The limitation includes the eligibility period that a family may be entitled to welfare.
Welfare is economically inefficient and unfair; thus, it should be abolished. Murray (1994) best recaps the argument against welfare; he argues that welfare should be structured to increase the net value of the wellbeing in the condition it seeks to eliminate. This can be achieved through two means, by raising the rewards or by reducing the punishment. However, in a majority of countries and in the United States in particular, welfare programs have rendered poverty a more attractive venture (Olasky, 2008). Gingrinch (1995) argues that the welfare program has sapped the spirit of the poor and made it more difficult to climb up the economic ladder. Welfare programs in the United States have led to welfare recipients becoming contented with their subsidized lives. Additionally, welfare programs place unfair pressure on the working population who must be taxed to finance the program.
The responsibility of supporting people with hardships should not be placed on the government and taxpayers. Individuals should be responsible for their actions and the resulting consequences. If an individual’s actions result in a decline of their wellbeing, they should be responsible for restoring their life back to normalcy. If the society were responsible for financing the wellbeing of individuals, no individual in the society would be responsible for anything ((Danziger, Haveman & Plotnick, 1981) (Danziger, Haveman & Plotnick, 1981). The lack of personal responsibility would impair the freedom in the society. Individuals have a right of freedom. Thus, requiring that individuals finance the laziness of their fellows is taking this freedom away and rendering them responsible for the wellbeing of others.
Bill Clinton had clearly stated during the presidential campaigns that he would not defend the social welfare system; he would act to change the system. As president, he speedily initiated welfare reforms that aimed at tightening child support legislations and demanding that welfare recipients prepare for self-sufficiency (Zuckerman, 2000). In the welfare reform, the United States government placed five-year limits on welfare benefits. The majority of the citizens feared that an entire generation of children and single mothers would be rendered poor and hopeless. However, this has not been the case. Though there are a significant number of women who have not found and maintained their jobs, millions have made a transformation from reliance on welfare to employment (Spence, 2006). Thus, the abolition of welfare in the United States through the five-year limit has not produced the anticipated adverse effects.
Welfare exemplifies the principles that were established during the Declaration of Independence. Additionally, welfare represents the principles that are established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These two documents are based on the notion that all individuals have an equal worth. The business sector receives substantial aid compared to the poor. Thus, the abolition of welfare benefits while continuing to subsidize the business sector would be an inappropriate policy measure. The abolition of welfare would lead to a state with exemplarily rich few and extremely poor majority. Thus, the government would be promoting inequality among its citizens; the wealthy few would appear to be more valuable compared to the majority poor. Therefore, abolishing welfare programs would be in contravention of the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
In conclusion, there are various arguments that have been advanced to support welfare programs by governments. The proponents of the welfare debates have based their arguments on equality and other socialist ideologies. However, the implementation of welfare in many countries has led to more harmful outcomes than benefits. Welfare has led to such adverse effects as an increase in the number of single mothers and an increase in the number of destitute children who rely on welfare. Additionally, welfare has led to social decay in the society which can be blamed on such evils as the high prevalence rates of illegal gangs and drug abuse. On the contrary, the abolition of welfare in such countries as the United States has not produced the anticipated adverse effects. Thus, the example of the United States calls for other countries to follow suit. The abolition of welfare would not only relieve the working population financial burden from increases in taxation but will encourage the welfare-dependent populations to seek meaningful alternative sources of income.