GOVERNMENT WELFARE By Nick Cozzolino WHEN THE THEORY WAS DEVISED AND BY WHOM • Government welfare came to be in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. By 1935, a national welfare system had been established for the first time in American history. • John Kenneth Galbraith worked for the government during the New Deal. He was Roosevelt’s price-czar. He introduced the implementation of government welfare in the United States. • President Franklin D. Roosevelt backed the idea of federal aid for poor children and other dependent persons. • In his State of the Union Address before Congress on January 4, 1935, President Roosevelt declared, "the time has come for action by the national government" to provide "security against the major hazards and vicissitudes [uncertainties] of life." He went on to propose the creation of federal unemployment and old-age insurance programs. He also called for guaranteed benefits for poor single mothers and their children along with other dependent persons. HISTORICAL CONDITIONS LEAD TO THE CREATION OF THE THEORY • Great Depression • “Grace Abbott, head of the federal Children's Bureau, reported that in the spring of 1933, 20 percent of the nation's school children showed evidence of poor nutrition, housing, and medical care. School budgets were cut and in some cases schools were shut down for lack of money to pay teachers. An estimated 200,000 boys left home to wander the streets and beg because of the poor economic condition of their families.” • The US government responded to the overwhelming number of families and individuals in need of aid by creating a welfare program that would give assistance to those who had little or no income. • The emphasis during the first two years of President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" was to provide work relief for the millions of unemployed Americans. Federal money flowed to the states to pay for public works projects, which employed the jobless. Some federal aid also directly assisted needy victims of the Depression. KEY POINTS OF THE THEORY • Money was provided to families to help them reach a minimum standard of living. • Welfare became a federal responsibility under the Social Security Act on August 18, 1935. • States had to contribute one-third that the federal government gave to needy, dependent children, as well as old people, crippled children and the needy blind. HOW THE THEORY IS SUPPOSED TO WORK • In theory, government welfare is supposed to act as a “safety net.” • The intent is that work lapses are temporary and the government could step in at those times. • The states were mainly responsible for taking care of the so-called "unemployables" (widows, poor children, the elderly poor, and the disabled). • Money was provided to help those families made up of “unemployables” reach minimum standard of living. ECONOMIC BASICS INVOLVED IN THE THEORY • Scarcity-unlimited needs/wants and limited resources • There were not enough jobs available during the Great Depression to keep a low unemployment rate, therefore causing a lot of people to be out of jobs. • Resources-an available supply that can be retrieved when needed • Money is an example of a resource related to government welfare. • Needs-a good/service necessary to live • Food, clothing, and shelter are examples of needs to survive. They were scarce during the Great Depression. • Supply-an amount available or sufficient for a given use • The supply was low for jobs during the Great Depression FLAWS IN THE THEORY • States and private charities were unable to keep up the support at a time when tax collections and personal giving were declining steeply. • Roosevelt argued that the continuation of government relief programs was a bad thing for the country: • “The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. . . . ” • There are people that will not work, despite their ability to work, causing assets of the government to be wasted. CURRENT LEADERS IN THE THEORY • The President of the United States • Barack Obama is focusing on government welfare through federally mandatory health insurance policies. This makes him a current leader in the field. • John Maynard Keynes (famed economist) • His ideas are thought to form the welfare state ideologies. • Former President of the United States • Bill Clinton is a current leader on the role of government welfare. • Other elected officials at the federal level HOW THE THEORY HAS EVOLVED SINCE ITS INCEPTION • Welfare started as a safety net for temporary assistance for those affected by health or economic conditions. • Unemployment compensation and AFDC (originally Aid to Dependent Children) are two of the programs that still exist today. • Development of government agencies to oversee the welfare programs: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Education. • 1996-President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. • Under the act, the federal government gives annual lump sums to the states to use to assist the poor. • Every American must purchase health insurance whether they want to or not because the government feels this helps the social good (everyone is affected by government welfare). THE VALUE THE THEORY HAS TODAY Today’s terrible economy forced many to become unemployed which is a social welfare problem. CONNECTIONS WITH OTHER THEORIES This theory connects to the Supply Side Economics because it has to do with paying money to the less fortunate. In supply side economics, President Regan gave money to the big businesses who would then have their wealth “trickle down” to the poorer people. In Government Welfare, the states had to contribute their wealth to the needy, dependent children, as well as old people, crippled children and the needy blind. WORKS CITED "The History of Welfare." Welfare Info.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.welfareinfo.org/history/>. "Welfare." Think Quest.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/ 342/Welfare.html>. "Impact of New Deal Programs on Welfare." Analysis Online.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 <http://www.analysisonline.org/site/ aoarticle_display.asp?issue_id=8&sec_id=140002434&news_id=140003198>. Mar. 2013. "How Welfare Began in the United States." CRF-USA.org. Constitutional Rights Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/ bria-14-3-a-how-welfare-began-in-the-unitedstates.html#.UUd5nxfvtIp>. "Welfare System." Welfare Info.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.welfareinfo.org/>. "Social Policy and the American Welfare State." Pearson Highered.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.pearsonhighered.com/samplechapter/0205627080.pdf>.