SW 2020: Chapter 2 Abbreviated
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SW 2020: Chapter 2 Abbreviated

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Video lecture for Ch 2

Video lecture for Ch 2

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SW 2020: Chapter 2 Abbreviated SW 2020: Chapter 2 Abbreviated Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 2: Making the American Welfare State More Humane The Reluctant Welfare State by Jansson
  • Approaches to Ethical Reasoning to Decide What Is Wrong and What Is Right Utilitarianism (An outcomes approach): determines if a specific policy (or the lack of a policy) improves well-being at a reasonable cost  Deontology (A first-ethical principles approach): determines if a specific policy (or the lack of a policy) violated an ethical principle that most of us hold in common, like “not killing,” “honesty,” “confidentiality,” and “preserving self- determination”  Relativism: determines if a specific policy (or the lack of a policy) is consonant with norms and culture of the country 
  • Utilitarianism Does the policy improve the well-being of beneficiaries?  Does this improvement in well-being come at a reasonable cost to society?  What is the cost-benefit (i.e. helping people avoid having to join welfare rolls, making them more likely to join the labor force)?  View slide
  • Deontology Ethical Principles:  Honesty  Freedom  Self-determination  Confidentiality  Not killing (the right to stay alive)  Due process  Fairness  Social justice Which ethical principles are relevant?  Which solution best satisfies them?  View slide
  • Relativism   What cultural factors shape the ethical choices of people in specific historical periods, as well as other factors, such as institutional and fiscal realities? How do the interests of people— including ourselves—shape policy choices?
  • Ethical Analysis: An Example  Drug testing for public assistance programs ◦ Wide spread belief that beneficiaries of public assistance programs experience high rates of drug abuse ◦ Belief that welfare benefits are spent on illegal drugs ◦ 8 states (AZ, FL, GA, KS, MO, OK, TN &UT) have enacted drug testing for public assistance ◦ 29 state legislatures (including NC) considered drug testing this year.  Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Drug Testing Outcomes • UT: August, 2012-July, 2013 only 12 tested positive. • Test cost state $25,000.  FL: Only 2.6% were found positive (below the 6% average for FL). ◦ Applicants had to pay $30-$35, but were reimbursed if negative. ◦ State had to reimburse $118,140. ◦ Judge ordered law unconstitutional after 4 months. ◦ Sources: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/20130326-editorial-no-drug-tests-for-welfare-texas-should-heedfloridas-lesson.ece; http://www.ksl.com/?sid=26559995&nid=148&title=only-12-test-positive-in-utah-welfare-drugscreening&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-11