Welfare Flaws

     When it was originally conceived during a time of economic distress, the welfare
program supplied aid to those in need. Welfare aid was received primarily by
widowed and divorced mothers, and it served as a cushion to break their fall
into a different lifestyle, so that they could get back up on their feet and
walk. However today it has come to serve as a paycheck for irresponsible and
slothful Americans. Welfare is like patching a water main with duct tape; you
have to constantly tend to the problem to keep it in check. Welfare programs
should show the poor they must learn to fish for themselves if recipients are to
eventually work for their sustenance. Thus, we must change our welfare system.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said: "I can now see the end of
public assistance in America." FDRís declaration did not come true despite
the expenditure of what were then unparalleled amounts of Federal funds for a
variety of programs to help the poor. The sums were intended to give the needy a
boost that would theoretically enable them to pursue economic success. That
would not work. Since then, and over the past 25 years, welfare spending
designed to achieve FDRís goal has totaled hundreds of billions of dollars.

Since then, income support to welfare recipients multiplied more than five times
in constant dollars. (That is, relative to inflation and cost of living
adjustments.) Since then, the idea of ending public assistance in America has
become more and more absurd. Since the early days when welfare (aid for
dependent children) helped widows or divorced women make the difficult change to
a new socio-economic stratum, itís major function has changed. In a Los

Angeles Times poll from 1985, 70 percent of poor women said it is "almost
always" or "often" true that "poor young women have babies so they can
collect welfare." Two thirds said that welfare "almost always" or"often" encourages fathers to avoid family responsibilities. Thus, we can be
certain that not only does welfare back wrongful births, but recipients agree it
seems to promote them. This is impractical when we consider that the public
assistance in large part is meant to be a last resort for remedying the problems
of out-of-wedlock-births, not creating new ones. We cannot enter the new
millennium without plans to rid our nation of welfare as it exists today, and
hereís why: researchers conclude that welfare handouts reduce the
recipientsí willingness to work: "significant net negative impacts on labor
supply" they say. Without welfare, often the poorís negative attitudes,
rather than a lack of work opportunities is to blame for keeping them from being
employed. Some studies have shown these to be not being able to get to work on
time, not paying attention on the job, or working a full schedule. Little then
is left of their already lacking work ethic and enthusiasm after most enter
welfare. Without shorter time limits on aid, the chance is little that
recipients will commit to the same obligations that are assumed by other
citizens--to try to become self-sufficient through work, education, and by
practicing good family behavior. Welfare does not help abolish any problems,
rather, it just tidies them up a bit for the problematic - at a price too
expensive for our country. During sad economic times, welfare aid was received
primarily by widowed and divorced mothers, and it served just as a cushion to
break their fall into a different lifestyle, so that they could get back up on
their feet and walk. Sadly, today it has come to serve as a paycheck for
irresponsible and slothful Americans. Welfare programs should show the poor they
must learn to fish for themselves if recipients are to eventually work for their
sustenance. Thus, we must change our welfare system.