Some Thoughts on Government Welfare

Growing up in a conservative household as well as in a conservative part of the country.  I never heard too many good things about government welfare.  Modern day conservatives are still using the same argument against government welfare from when I was young.  They use phrases like, “Welfare teaches people to be dependent when it should teach them to be responsible.”  Or a phrase similar to this, “I think the government should just stay out of welfare and let the private sector handle it.”  I agree with the first statement quite a lot, but there are certain circumstances where I disagree.  And now that I am older, I almost entirely disagree with the second argument.  

I agree with the first statement because it is true.  If someone is given a necessity to them for many years, the recipient will no longer believe that he or she has to work for the necessity, but believes that the necessity should be given to them.  However, I disagree with this statement because in certain circumstances for many people throughout the country.  Necessities must be given to them, there are no other options.  Many people who are on government welfare receive aid for medical purposes.  They may not be able to adequately create enough income to supply their needs.  In this case, I believe it is not only fair but good that the government step in and supply these people with needs they otherwise could not afford.  I believe that as long as people work for much of what they need and possess, then they will not grow dependent on government welfare.  Why? Because the government is not supplying for all their needs.  

Another time when I disagree with the first argument is when homeless people are in need.  There is usually no other way to help a homeless person at first without not giving them something such as food, shelter, and clothing.  A renter that is about to become homeless is in a different situation than someone who is homeless.  The renter still might have possessions that they could sell for immediate needs.  The person who is already homeless generally has no such possessions to sell.  Of course, neither person is in a good situation.

In general, I will argue that the government should have work stipulations connected to welfare programs.  And above all, the government should have sponsor organizations that educate people about different jobs available in local areas as well as jobs available outside of recipients local areas.  Perhaps, instead of the government providing for welfare for several years, they could help recipients relocate to another area where work is available.  There are several different ways in which I am sure that government welfare could be improved.  But it is important to remember that government welfare does provide for a rather large population.  Which is why I also argue that most welfare responsibilities be taken care of at the state and local level rather than at the federal level.    

The second argument frustrates me.  First of all, many of these so-called “private” institutions that help to combat poverty are partly funded by government grants.  So how private are they?  Second, many people live in areas where severe poverty is not a problem.  And third, the worst problem of all.  Many people might live in areas of poverty but are unknown to it because of lack of community.  In rural areas, for example, there are high amounts of severe poverty, but poverty stricken people in rural areas generally go unnoticed compared to poverty stricken people in larger urban areas.  Despite what many people may say, local government organizations or local government sponsored organizations are great ways to bring a community together and help make poverty aware to the public and create solutions to combat poverty.

Perhaps a dry topic.  But welfare, whether government funded or not, is an important topic that should often be discussed.  Many human beings throughout the country suffer from poverty, and they need help from all of us who can afford to give it.  In conclusion, I would like to say that I am not sure if people in need of welfare could ever not grow slightly dependent.  After all, many of us who may have never been on “welfare” have grown dependent on many other things such as funds from family members, friends, and churches.  All are dependent for needs in some way or another.            


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