Hello, first of all I would like to say thank you for your time.
Now if you would please imagine you have just lost your job
(more probable today than ever). Imagine a situation where
you are unemployed, at the end of your rope, and are faced
with the possibility of loosing all you have worked for. Now
let’s look at the poverty in America the people that have
nothing and have just receive their last welfare payment.
Some in our society would say well too bad. They should
have gone to school they shouldn’t have had children, its not
my responsibility! (Some would say this is ethical) l!
Is it our responsibility to help the needy? Should we use our
taxes to pay for a safely net that help’s the needy? If we due
do should we have a voice in the specific circumstances in
which the money is distributed? What if we feel someone is
lazy, or just wants to get over on the system? Should we
have a welfare system at all, or should we believe in social,
economic Darwinism? Meaning, only the economically
strong survive. The weak well that’s not my problem… What
do you think? Is that ethical?
Benefits of This presentation:
My goal of this presentation is to leave all of you with a better
understanding of America’s welfare system and the ethical
and moral implementations it has on us, and our society as a
History of the US Welfare System:
To understand today’s modern welfare system we first need
to look at the Great Depression and The New Deal. By
march 4, 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of
office as president of the United States (three and a half
years) had painfully passed since the stock market crash
that lead to the Great Depression. The number of
unemployed had reached 13 million and the American nation
was experiencing the worse social and economical challenge
in the history of our modern nation. At least 13 million
people were unemployed, their families added up to about
50 million people, many of them on the verge of starvation.
The question at that time was not should the government
intervene but how should our government act? The first New
Deal assistance to the unemployed was the Civilian
Conservation Corps. This government program employed
young men eighteen to twenty five year olds. They were
recruited and sent to post war camps where they would be
dispatch all over the country to rebuild roads, build dams and
churches and much more. They were given 30 dollars a
month twenty of that went directly to their families back
home. By the end of 1941 almost 3 hundred thousand were
employed by the C.C.C. The act of May 1933 was the first
time the US government gave money directly to the states.
The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was given a
half a billion dollars for this act. The money was given to
those who qualified as living in poverty.
Politicians apposed to the FERA complained that the new
deal relief agencies, made no effort in distinguishing people
that would work if times were better and those who wouldn’t
work if they could. This would be the beginning of the
modern welfare debate that that continues to this day.
How will historians judge our nation? I would hope they
would tell a story of a great powerful country that left no one
Some say that easy welfare creates perverse incentives,
divorcing people from the consequences of their actions.
After all, why do we get up in the morning and go to work?
Answer: Promise of gain, and fear of loss. Many advocates
of our welfare policy seem to think that people on general
assistance need to take responsibility for their current
condition. I some what agree but! Telling a single mother of
three that our great nation America that can spend billions of
dollars frivolously on foreign programs abroad can no longer
assist them because a career politician has convinced his or
hers continuance that its not are problem! is simply wrong
and unethical. No other civilization in the history of our
planet has had the wealth and power as the US has today.
How do we as a nation define ourselves?
Is it how large are homes are? Or how many trips we take to
the Bahamas in a lifetime, or our 401K’s. Or should it be our
social concessions. We jump at the chance of sending aid
to a foreign nation thousand miles away, and yet turn our
backs on our own citizens in time of need.
Is a part of being successful mean we need to become cauls
We all pay taxes and we all have a say in where the money
should go. When we think of people on welfare we seem to
paint a picture of someone sitting on the couch watching
soaps and eating Doritos. (This may be true but)! The
overwhelming fact is that people on welfare have children
and the well being of children is everyone’s responsibility.
Welfare is not just tax money, its health insurance. Children
in poverty rarely see doctors. These children have a higher
provability of developing long-term health problems. The
utilitarian approach would say “fix the problem know before it
manifests and gets worse”.
The welfare reform of the 1990’s has stated the welfare
reforms are working because there are less people on
welfare than prior to the reforms. Statistics show welfare has
already dropped 21 percent since early 1994, mainly the
result of a strong economy. The question should be asked
are the people that have been denied welfare working?
Have they been given the tools to develop the skills to take
care of themselves? Who is following up on these studies?
One-reform states, that a single mother cannot work out of
her home while being granted federal assistance. A case
appeared where a single mother of three started a hair
styling business to supplement and eventually get off of
FDIC for good. When she claimed she was working from her
home she was terminated immediately from the program
What ever happen to the entrepreneur spirit of America? I
believe stopping the checks for a tough love approach to
reform is not the answer and doe’s not produce the most
good for the most people. A quote during the New Deal,
people do not eat for the long run they need to eat now!
An African proverd states “we can
Today the national discussion concerning welfare reform
sees little if any, analysis of underlying fundamental issues.
The entire ethical dimension to social-assistance programs
and state-sponsored charity is often glossed over in political
rhetoric. So much of the welfare reform rhetoric is
appealing. Of course the current welfare system has failed.
Yes, welfare should be designed as a way of moving people
from dependency to work. States and localities should be
encouraged to find solutions that best fit their own
circumstances. Voluntary institutions, especially the
churches, are better placed than government to give helpful
guidance, personal and moral, to people in trouble.
I would encourage our government to keep experimenting
with better ways of helping the poor without leaving them
strapped for resources. The dilemma is to maintain an
adequate safety net without being so generous as to create
more dependency. Lets start treating the needy as people
and not animals.
As a country, we are not nearly as generous as we like to
think. We give a fair amount to charity, but many of our
"charities" are for us: the colleges and universities we went
to, the theaters and museums we visit, the public television
and radio stations we enjoy, the churches we go to, the
hospitals that have served us. Our own government gives
more aid to foreign countries than it does to its own citizens.
If we believe human beings are categorically different from
all other life and are more advanced, smarter and more self-
aware than other creatures than why for a second would we
punish are own by denying them assistance?
The highest result of education is tolerance (Helen Keller, 1880-
After bread, education is the first need of people (Georges Danton,
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish,
and you feed him for a lifetime (chines proverb)
The importance thing is not so much that every child should be
taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn (John
It takes a whole village to raise a child (African proverb)
To know how to read and write is to have four eyes (Albanian
As long as you liver, keep learning how to live (Seneca, 4 c. BC)
By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn (Latin
Learning acquired in youth is an inscription on stone (Indian
Children are the wealth of the world (Arab proverb)
[UNESCO 1999 Calendar]