Community Service Chapter One Introduction to Social WelfareI. The Reaction of OthersA. Whether based on personal experiences or value orientation, people often possess strong opinions concerning expenditures for social welfare programs II. Aspiring for an enlightened viewA. Place yourself in the "role of the other"—someone experiencing difficulties or having limited resources and in need of help or assistanceB. As an aspiring social worker, or someone just interested in human services, the ability to entertain social conditions and life circumstances from multiple vantage points is critical.1. Approach the topic of social welfare with a sense of inquiry, skepticism toward commonly held beliefs, and respect for the social realities of others2. Push yourself to question the obvious, what people call "common sense," and seek a broaer understanding of what constitutes human need and social welfare. III. Conceptualization of social welfare programsA. Social Welfare programs usually refer to systematic efforts aimed at addressing human needs and providing opportunities (social, economic, education, health, and otherwise) thorugh the provision of some form of aid, assistance, and/ or service1. Mistakenly, "Social welfare programs are often seen as programs for the poor, but there are many social services that people may need regardless of their income and social status." B. While many people continue to think of social welfare in terms of services addressing basic family support (e.g., monetary assistance to needy families, food stamps, unemployment insurance, subsidized housing, and medical needs), other types of social welfare exist to serve the middle and upper classes. 1. These programs include a federal fiscal welfare system (e.g. tax deductions for dependents, medical expenses, childcare, and college expenses) and occupational welfare programs (e.g., company-based bonus systems, employer provided health care benefits, reimbursement for moving costs, and tuition reimbursement).2. Interestingly, it appears that "social welfare programs serving the middle and upper classes receive more government funding and face fewer budget cuts than programs serving only poor people IV. Corporate WelfareA. It is also important to note that the United States is heavily engaged in corporate welfare programs—government subsidies, benefits and/or tax breaks for companies and corporate officials1. Large companies are formidable lobbying entities2. They invest heavily in efforts (e.g., through political support and contributions) to secure and sustain governmental backing for their specific interests.
3. Corporate welfare comes in many different forms, including tax abatements, various forms of tax write-offs, subsidized loans, the creation of tax free zones, and special subsidies4. When companies and corporations struggle to make-ends-meet, for whatever reasons, they often turn to the government for help.