Chapter 16 - Study Guide

Chapter 16 - Study Guide - POLS 101I American National...

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POLS 101I – American National Government Hagan Chapter Sixteen Welfare and Education Policy: Providing for Personal Security and Need Learning Objectives Having read the chapter, the students should be able to do each of the following: . Discuss the issue of poverty in the United States and its concentration within certain social groups. . Examine social welfare as a partisan issue, discussing the vastly different approaches advocated by each major party. . Define the term entitlement and differentiate between social insurance and public assistance programs. . Explain how the American belief in equality of opportunity affects social welfare policy. . Discuss the attitude of the American public toward social welfare within a cultural context. . Discuss which welfare reforms may possibly occur in the future. Focus and Main Points The author focuses on U.S. social welfare policies in this chapter. He examines the role of the federal government in providing social welfare benefits, and argues that the welfare system is inevitably problematic, since it is in the arena in which nearly all the contending forces of American politics collide. The main points of this chapter are as follows: Poverty is a large and persistent problem in America, affecting deeply about one in seven Americans, including many of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens—children, female-headed families, and minority group members. Social welfare programs have reduced the extent of poverty in the United States. Welfare policy has been a partisan issue, with Democrats taking the lead on government programs to alleviate economic insecurity and Republicans acting to slow down or reverse these initiatives. Major changes in social welfare have usually occurred in the context of majority support for the change. Social welfare programs are designed to reward and foster self-reliance or, when this is not possible, to provide benefits only to those individuals who are truly in need. U.S. welfare policy is not based on the assumption that every citizen has a right to material security. Americans favor social insurance programs (such as Social Security) over public assistance programs (such as food stamps). As a result, most social welfare expenditures are not targeted toward the nation’s neediest citizens. A prevailing principle in the United States is equality of opportunity, which in terms of policy is most evident in the area of public education. American policymakers invest heavily in their public schools and colleges. Chapter Summary The United States has a complex social welfare system of multiple programs addressing specific welfare needs. Each program applies only to those individuals who qualify for benefits by meeting the specific eligibility criteria. In general, these criteria are designed to reward and promote self-reliance or, when assistance is necessary, to ensure that laziness is not rewarded or fostered. Benefits are limited to those individuals who truly cannot help themselves. This approach to social welfare reflects Americans’ traditional
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2011 for the course POLS 101 taught by Professor Hamilton,t during the Summer '08 term at College of Southern Idaho.

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Chapter 16 - Study Guide - POLS 101I American National...

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