Welfare War Essay Research Paper The United

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Welfare War Essay, Research Paper The United States of America… the land of the free and the home of the tax-stricken. The country that is known as ?the last superpower in the world? that developed the deadliest weapon on earth, sent the first person to the moon, and was the birthplace of the most powerful man in the world, Bill Gates, has forty million people (which include ten million children) without basic healthcare coverage. (Packet, pg.58) Although this ?supernation? boasts of the ?American dream,? where the poor become rich overnight, the typical American citizen does not have a ?super? lifestyle. Based on the average income of Americans, ?one in every five U.S. nonelderly households are poor, one in four young households are poor, and over half of all households

headed be a lone parent are poor.? (Packet, pg.1) Though the United States has tried to mimic the welfare systems of that of Europe, the bureaucratic ?red tape? and the conflicts that reside between the legislature and executive branches of the government have hindered the progress towards an effective welfare reform policy. In order to understand the progressions towards refining the wounded welfare system of the United States, one must first know what welfare means. The welfare state is ?a state which takes the prime role in ensuring the provision of a minimum standard of living for citizens.? (Professor VonDoepp) The two goals of the welfare state is that of 1. security against socio-economic deprivation (especially with the current Capitalistic system which families base

their entire lifestyle on the outcome of the economy) Broye 2 2. equality against the still present racial tension and economical barriers that reside in society. Many critics of welfare programs across the world have argued whether the U.S. is really a welfare state because of the limited role played by the government to maintain a minimum standard of living. In Europe?s case, just the opposite can be said for their welfare programs. European states such as Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom ?provide higher minimum standards of income support than are available in the U.S.? (Packet, pg.1) Only seven percent of households in Western Europe have incomes that are below the national median, compared to the United States where the poverty percentile is double. The only

positive aspect that the U.S. has to show for their efforts in the current welfare system is the provision of free public education, which is higher than in Europe. (Packet, pg.16) In the U.S. the welfare system before the 1996 bipartisan revision, had far more gaping holes in the ?social safety net? than that of the European states. Many skeptics believe that the 1996 Welfare Reform Bill will cause even more harm to the citizens of the U.S. Peter Edelmaun, the former assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, resigned after having worked over 30 years after he read the reformation that was to take place from the Welfare Reform Bill. ?The bill will move 20 million people, including 1.1 million children, into poverty, and

forcing 11 million families (10 percent of all American family households) under the poverty line which was last estimated at $13,793 for a family of three. (Atlantic Monthly & Packet, pg. 46) While many European states including Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands provide healthcare Broye 3 centers, suitable housing, health/recreational spas, and regulate wage differentials and offering generous social assistance to the jobless, the United States recently passed a bill to narrow the eligibility for disabled children which will result in the removal of 100,000 to 200,000 of the children who currently receive SSI. Senator Edward Kennedy, who voted against the bill, described it best by saying it was ?legislative child abuse.? (Atlantic Monthly)