January 5 2018
Welfare was established in 1935 under Franklin D. Roosevelt and amended in 1939 to encompass programs designed for various segments of our society. Since its development, welfare in the USA has been a continuous and ever-growing beast. Nearly every president since its creation has had to deal with the allocation of funds and the various programs. Currently, there are 13 large categories into which a person seeking welfare assistance can turn. While these programs have been made with the best intentions, let us look at the problems within some of these sectors.
Paying for luxuries
The first government cell phone was introduced in 2008 during the Barack Obama administration. While one could argue that today it is necessary for a person to have a cellphone in order to contact emergency services and for communication with the elderly and disabled. However, this is a superfluous argument as most areas are over saturated with a means of communication. Studies have shown that there are more smartphones and devices than there are people in the world. Anyone can conclude that should a person have an actual emergency, that there will be a cell phone near. Distributing funds into the distribution of cellphones is both a poor allocation of funds as well as an incentive for those on welfare to remain on welfare. Should the communications, housing, and food be paid for by the government, what motivation does a person have to go out and seek work?
Per the federalsefetynet.com website, 1.6 billion was spent in 2015 on this section of welfare. It can be concluded that this number has rose in the past 2 years. And while Lifeline may state that funding is limited to $9.25 per household per month, the numbers just don’t add up on this statement - Dominic Bowkett.
Welfare has seen a substantial abuse of the funds in the sector of SSI. The program was originally designed for individuals over the age of 65 or for those under the age of 65 who are blind or disabled. Analysists have predicted that due to the number of applicants who are approved for SSI benefits who are under the age of retirement, that the funds will become depleted rather soon. There are some resources, such as consumer reports, which state that the depletion could occur as early as late this year. And with the average person receiving 1.2 thousand dollars a month with over 76 million being paid to individuals a month, it is quite possible.
To combat this problem, SSI should set itself up more in line with the TANF program or with WIC which has an age limit, strenuous limitations (such as you cannot get wic after the age of 5 and that you have to undergo nutritional classes), and vouchers instead of cash. Should the SSI start to work directly with landlords and utility companies, not providing cash to the applicants but rather non-monetary vouchers to such areas, the amount of individuals seeking SSI would decrease substantially - Dominic Bowkett.
Perhaps one of the most abused programs under the title of Welfare would be SNAP. Formally known as food stamps, the category has been updated to the modern era by providing a person with a debit like card. The problem with this is that the funds given to each family are more than what the average person needs to purchase and eat for the month. I have personally seen a family of 3 get $700+ dollars and turn around and sell $300 of this balance to another individual. It is a common practice. People who receive snap are being allotted too much money and so they get cash through SNAP by selling off what they do not use. Additionally, the stores which take SNAP are abusing the funding by offering selections which are technically not supposed to be covered by the program. Fried Food chains, for example, are offering the raw chicken for sale under SNAP and then as a curtesy, they are frying the chicken, adding fries and delivering it in a carryout tray to the customer. It does not take much to see that this is scamming the system.
As with SSI, the only way in which welfare could fix this problem would be in the form of signature based vouchers (such as wic) which have no-monetary value if not signed and fulfilled by the person they were administered to Dominic Bowkett.
Does welfare even have a place in modern society?
The answer to this question is a bit more complex than a yes or no answer. Where there should be assistance for veterans who are disabled, the elderly who cannot work, for the mentally (and by this I mean severely mentally) ill, and for those who are permanently disabled to the point that they cannot work even if they wanted to, there should not be funding for the person who is just to lazy to seek employment.
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