Social Policy

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Social Policy

  1. 1. Social Policy: Income Maintenance <ul><li>How is economic ideology reflected in social policy? </li></ul><ul><li>What role does government have in assisting the population in maintaining a minimum standard of living? </li></ul><ul><li>What roles do individuals have in their own economic and social condition? </li></ul>
  2. 2. International Ranking <ul><li>The US is by far the world’s leading economic power. US GDP totaled $10.4trn in 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>The US is the wealthiest country in the world with a per capita GDP of over $37,800. </li></ul><ul><li>(International purchasing power parity). US output was three times the size of Japan’s output, almost five times the size of Germany’s and more than six times the size of the UK’s. </li></ul>
  3. 3. International Rank <ul><li>37.0 million people in the US were living below the official poverty thresholds in 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Nationally, there are 1.1 to 3.5 million homeless people </li></ul><ul><li>Compared to similar developed democracies, the US ranks 17 of 21 in the HDI. (a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living) </li></ul>
  4. 4. US Attitude Toward Government Assistance: Ideas <ul><li>Americans not comfortable with the idea of a “welfare state” </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, there is an emphasis on individual responsibility, equality of opportunity and risk-taking (protestant ethics of rugged individualism) </li></ul>
  5. 5. US Attitude Toward Government Assistance: Ideas <ul><li>Public Opinion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>45% of Americans believe that the poor in the US are “mainly to blame for their own poverty” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority believe people who are unemployed could find paid work without much difficulty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But 75% believe government could do more to help poor </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Who is considered poor? <ul><li>Government classification of “poverty” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Threshold income level (poverty line) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Designed by the Dept of Agriculture in 1963 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Official poverty level in 2005 for family of 4 was about $19,806 (pre-tax). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The New economy created he working poor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low medium wages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive Housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave civil liberties at home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dictatorship in companies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Workers don’t fight back </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Endure deprivation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Constraints in Fighting Poverty <ul><li>Controversial Issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies based more on ideology, not actual statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambiguity on programs that fight poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grants to foster parents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarships to low income students </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Types of Income Maintenance <ul><li>Means-tested programs (1935) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Changed to TANF in 1996 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to benefit few, but became the largest of the mean-tested programmes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National program implemented by state/local governments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food stamps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplemental Security Income </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Types of Income Maintenance <ul><li>Social Insurance (Entitlement Programs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-means tested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Security </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Security </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Largest item in the federal budget </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides pensions to retired people and disability protection </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Worker’s Compensation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unemployment Insurance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social insurance programs have been resistant to change </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Social Security Funding: Pay as you go system Seniors New entrees to work force Middle Aged Workers Seniors Middle Age Workers New entrees to the work force
  11. 11. Welfare Reform Resistant to Change <ul><ul><li>constrained because unpopularity among voters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutionalisation of the programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Agenda Setting) Welfare reform was brought about more by ideology rather than by any economic implications or competitive pressures. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Clinton’s Welfare Reform <ul><li>Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From AFDC to TANF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal was to change the behaviour of the poor more than reduce the cost of welfare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Welfare to workfare </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Clinton’s Welfare Reform <ul><li>(1996) PRWORA Passed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Means Test: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ cash support for low income families with dependent children who have been deprived of parental support due to death, disability, continued absence of a parent, or unemployment” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program Administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Block grants are allocated to states </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>States carry the burden of needed increases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2004 TANF payments averaged $400 per family </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Evaluate the Policy <ul><li>In 2004, the number of families receiving assistance was reduced in half. </li></ul><ul><li>Has the welfare reform worked in truly reducing poverty? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Quiz <ul><li>After watching the case study, evaluate the success of the 1996 welfare reforms? </li></ul><ul><li>First, define success. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, evaluate the success of the reform based on your definition. </li></ul>

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