Chapter17-SocialWelfare

Chapter17-SocialWelfare - A.P Civics Notes Chapter...

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A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 17 “Social Welfare” I. Social Welfare in the United States 1. There are two types of welfare programs in the United States: i. Programs of majoritarian politics benefit a large group of people and have no means test (income doesn’t matter; everyone gets them). ii. Programs of client politics are given to a special group of people (i.e. the poor or some minority group) and are means tested (one must fall below a certain income to get them). iii. In the first, everyone pays and everyone gets, but in the second, everyone pays and a few people actually get the benefits. 2. Some of these programs are so accepted that reducing any of them (i.e. Social Security & Medicare ) is nearly unheard of, and when they’re in danger, politicians scramble for ways to save them. 3. Others, especially client-based welfare programs, can be changed or even eliminated easily. i. The Aid to Families with Dependent Children program started out as a way to help mothers whose husbands had been killed in World War II or in mining accidents support their children, but eventually, mothers who had no intention of marrying began to milk it for benefits, and when people began thinking that the AFDC was taken advantage of, it became in danger. ii. Whenever a client program loses legitimacy, it’s in deep trouble (i.e. tobacco farmers). 4. Social welfare policy is generally shaped by three views: Americans have generally taken a restrictive view of who gets gov’t aid; the U.S. has been slower than most nations to embrace the welfare state; Americans insist that states play a large role in running welfare programs. i. Who benefits usually means who “deserves to benefit;” and that is usually people who are unemployed or have fallen on hard times and cannot work (i.e. disability, etc…). ii. There’s also a question of a “fair share” in which those w/ a lot of money give some to those who have a little, but in America, that is usually not the case.
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5. Americans believe that people should be self-reliant and that people who work hard get what they deserve; they are also uneasy about giving money to people, preferring to offer services instead. 6. When Congress passed the Social Security Act in 1935, at least 22 other European nations had already done so, as did Australia and Japan i. The British were one clear contrast: during the early 1900s, the in-power group was focused on making welfare a top issue, and people were beginning to encourage such gov’t actions.
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