Welfare should be abolished
Date of Submission
Welfare Should Be Abolished
In the past, up until the 1800s, the family, the church, individuals themselves and various non-governmental humanitarian organizations were the main agents of providing welfare. These locals ensured that the vulnerable and the less fortunate in the society, which constituted of the elderly, the unemployed, the disabled and the destitute had access to the basic needs; food, shelter and clothing. It was until the 1940s after the Second World War that most developed countries of our current world took up welfare as their responsible and hence the central governments of these countries made welfare their business (Daly & Mary, 96). That it is the right of every citizen of a country to have access to the basic human needs and thus the concerned government should ensure that this is achieved.
For this matter to be much clearer, the definition of welfare is essentially of importance. Basically, any program as to which the government is providing money or services to its needy citizens is a welfare program. The program may take place through social welfare provisions, social security or financial aid. Corporate welfare is in a case where the government involves itself into the business world and assists the businesses rather than allowing the free market to take its course.
The government’s intentions while starting this particular program were very good and remains good; to promote equality such that no one is discriminated against as far as basic needs are concerned. That every citizen gets to access these basic needs regardless of their financial and social status in the society. However, the excessive provision of the basic needs has proved to have a detrimental value to the government, the society and the welfare class as well, (Rank & Mark, 83).
No matter how much a country is developed, it can never lack a good number of the vulnerable groups mentioned above and therefore a welfare state must feel a pinch in providing these individuals the required welfare benefits. Between the year 1948 and 2002, social welfare programs in the U.S. accounted for between 49 and 60 percent of the total federal government spending. This social welfare included social security and the medical care cover. This analysis was done years ago when the cost of living was relatively affordable. With the current high cost of living worldwide, it is clearly visible that governments are not in the position to sustain the cost of providing financial aid to the many vulnerable individuals in the society.
Individuals normally go to work because there is an incentive of earning income, income that they can spend in satisfying both their basic and financial needs. In a case where the required needs are provided for and guaranteed by the government, individuals are likely to lose the incentive for working and view it as having no value as all their needs are catered for after all. The unemployed are not doomed to be unemployed or underemployed forever, but since the government is regularly catering for their needs, they will lack the motivation of searching for gainful employment and in a case where they get one, they might opt to remain in their state of unemployment as more gained from the benefits and Tax Credits. Therefore, social welfare removes the incentive through providence of income to an individual who is not working or is unwilling to work, meaning that the need to produce is abolished.
A country’s standard of living is determined by the country’s ability to produce goods efficiently (Pigou, 126). If more citizens contribute in the national production of output, then the output will be very high and subsequently lead to high economic income. This raises the country’s standard of living. Since social welfare reduces the incentives of working and contributing the national output, fewer citizens participate in the national production hence the nation’s productivity reduces, reducing the nation’s income. This subjects the government straining as far as the social welfare provision is concerned resulting in ever higher costs. Higher costs are brought about by the rise in inflation rates in cases where a strained government decided to print more money. This increases the prices of both goods and services in the country.
In many instances, the government pushes the burden of welfare expense to the tax payers by increasing the rate of taxes. This is clearly unfair considering that some of the individuals in the welfare class have the capacity of being tax payers too but assume their responsibility to do so. In a bid to bring about equality in the nation, inequality is instead created! The government deducts more from the working class through the high rate of taxes in order to satisfy the needs of the welfare class.
Additionally, the government is in a perfect position to control the choices of welfare recipients by the mere fact that it is the government providing the said goods and services. Many opponents of the social welfare programs argue that the government dictates the day to day choices of these social welfare recipients and that even if they are not already doing so, they have the potential of having such a control in the future. This puts a society at a risk of a bureaucratic society where democracy is less considered and the central government has much control of dictating the whole state’s affairs without regarding the views of its people.
While the physical needs of the welfare class individuals are being satisfied, their mental orientation and their mental health are slowly being destroyed (Nathalie et.al, 54). The perception of this population toward life has strongly been negatively affected by the simple act of being provided for in almost every area of their lives. They tend to be much more comfortable in their needy state and even see the state as a privilege as one gets the benefit of having all without a single drop of sweat. This type of mentality is not only risky to the individuals themselves but it also poses a risk to both the social and economic development of the nation. It leads to regressive dependency both at the personal and the national level.
In our today’s society, the barrier created between the recipient and the society due to the existence of the social welfare programs is perhaps the worst consequence ever. The physical infrastructure, roads and highways, educational facilities, healthcare facilities, garbage collection, water reserves, the police and the fire stations are nowadays viewed as the government property and responsibilities. The notion of public facilities and public goods has almost lost its meaning as everything now is left in the government’s hand including vital areas such as the environmental conservation of the country. A good example is the recent vandalism, in the U.S, of public property such as attack at the fire stations and police officers being attacked by the citizens they are appointed or employed to protect (Pigou, 175). If this continues, loss of millions of public property will be lost due to the irresponsibility of individuals and the rogue mentality instilled into the minds of individuality due to excessively being subjected to unnecessary social welfare programs.
Social welfare programs rob the welfare class individuals of experience of work and the benefits that come with it. A lot of good things that are beneficial both to the individual’s mental health and their social ties accompany work; there exists some pride in earning one’s wage or income and spending it, work mating fellowship, waking up early in the morning, arriving to work on time and doing one’s job give individuals the self-discipline necessary for the survival and the ability to thrive in the society. This creates a sense of purpose to all working individuals.
The current benefits associated with welfare programs gives little or no consideration to the behavior they generate (Andrea et.al, 105). From the above explanations on the demerits of welfare programs in a nation, it is clear enough that if these welfare programs are not controlled or put in order, they will result to a problematic nation with its problematic people. The welfare states are at a much higher risk compared to other nations that have initiated the welfare programs recently. This is because these welfare states channel a large proportion of their national income to the welfare program leaving out major and more profitable sector of the economy.
It is not that am not after the social interest and wellbeing of my fellow citizens, I am, but if these welfare programs are risking a whole society’s well-being, then they might as well be abolished. Alternative measures should be sought in ensuring the satisfaction of the needy groups.
Daly, Mary. Welfare. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2011. Print.
Morel, Nathalie, Bruno Palier, and Joakim Palme. Towards a Social Investment Welfare State: Ideas, Policies and Challenges. Bristol: Policy, 2012. Print.
Rank, Mark R. Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1994. Print.
Pigou, A C. The Economics of Welfare. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Internet resource.
Hetling-Wernyj, Andrea, Catherine E. Born, and Kirk Tracy. Time’s Up: Relative Disadvantages of Long-Term and Short-Term Urban Welfare Recipients. Baltimore, Md: Family Welfare Research and Training Group, University of Maryland School of Social Work, 2004. Print.