Section3-Social Policy

Section3-Social Policy - WethePeople,Sixthedition...

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    We the People,  Sixth edition   by Benjamin Ginsberg, Theodore J. Lowi, and Margaret Weir Chapter 17. Social Policy
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    The Aims of Social Policies Part of the aim of government is to  devise and implement policies that  improve society. Social policies aim to : 1) Protect people against the risks and  uncertainties of life 2) Promote equality of opportunity 3) Alleviate poverty
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      Policies to Protect against Risk and uncertainty Many government programs, like  Social  Security  and  Medicare , for example, provide  social insurance against illness, disability,  unemployment, and old age.
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      More controversial are  government efforts to  promote  equality of  opportunity . Controversial questions include : Should groups that have  suffered past inequality be  supported by affirmative action  programs? What responsibility does the  government have to provide  equal educational opportunities?
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      Even more controversial are  government efforts to  alleviate poverty  by providing  direct assistance to the poor.   Does the government owe  every citizen a subsistence  wage? Would a failure to provide  welfare support to poor  families deny children equal  opportunities in our  society?
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    The Welfare State Traditionally, the American welfare  system consisted of voluntary  organizations, church and religious  groups, and local communities. The Great Depression exposed the  limits of this traditional system and  impressed upon many that the  government had a role in providing  relief to the poor and infirm.
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      Through his New Deal programs,  President Franklin Roosevelt  offered a program of increased  government intervention in the  economy and society that  established a federal welfare  system.
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      Two New Deal programs,  welfare (AFDC) and Social  Security, exemplify the  politics of social policies.
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      Welfare programs, like AFDC, engender conflict: They are noncontributory programs (beneficiaries do  not, and in most instances cannot, contribute to the  support they get from this program). The program is funded by redistributing resources  from others in society to the needy. Resentment from contributors who perceive few  personal benefits make welfare programs widely  unpopular and because recipients tend to have less  political power than contributors.
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      Social Security, by contrast, is  a remarkably popular social  policy.
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      Social Security, a system of forced savings, is a 
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Section3-Social Policy - WethePeople,Sixthedition...

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