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Welfare Essay, Research Paper

Is Welfare a necessity for poor women and children, or is the government wasting its money on this program? In the article Poor Women and Children Need Welfare, Betty Mandell tries to prove her point that it is a necessity. Michael Tanner, who wrote the article Welfare Should be Eliminated, believes welfare is a waste of government spending. Both of the articles make vale judgments and factual points to prove their argument.

In the article by Mandell, she says the idea of the Republicans then and now is to destroy the idea that the government owed anything to people. Mandell believes that ?taking away the economic life-line of poor women and children will only make their lives vastly more miserable than they already are. Tanner believes that the welfare system waste money and is unfair to all Americans. Tanner?s proof that welfare has a link to crime, Out of wedlock births, and job training being ineffective, makes him and others believe that government policies cannot improve the behavior of welfare recipients.

One reform both Mandell and Tanner believe is a ridiculous one is the Personal Responsibility Act of 1994. The PRA is a two-year time limit for welfare eligibility, during which recipients would receive job training. At the end of the two years, those individuals removed from welfare would be required to obtain work in the private sector or perform public service jobs. The Republicans want to convert AFDC into the PRA. It would turn the program into a federal block grant and would have fixed funding for the next five years. Mandell believes the PRA is ridiculous for many reasons. One reason is because no children would be assured of receiving help in times of need, regardless of severity of the poverty or parents willingness to work. Tanner also thinks that this is a ridiculous Act. Tanner says that 80% of teen mothers are high school dropouts, and doesn?t believe that two years of job training is very likely to prepare them to obtain work in a competitive private sector. Mandell makes another argument about the PRA, and doesn?t believe it is fair. She says that the PRA suggest ?a broader effort to pressure all women on welfare into a repressive sexuality, limited reproductive choices and conventional family arrangements.? She also believes that it pressures women to depend economically on men with in a traditional marriage whether or not the women wants to.

Even though Mandell doesn?t like the Personal Responsibility Act, she does believe in welfare. She feels like welfare is necessary for women in poverty to survive. She also suggest that welfare is not about being lazy, and not wanting to work, it is about needing the help, and she believes that the public and government are and should be responsible for supplying this help. She believes the general public is ignorant about welfare because the media helps to stereotype ?welfare moms.? She proves that contrary to the belief that women have babies for the extra money is a myth. She says that studies have found no link between the two. The births are no more frequent in high benefit states with rising grant levels than in states with flat or falling AFDC payments. Tanner agrees that maybe women do not get pregnant to receive welfare, but when a young unwed teen sees that her neighbors and relatives that are also young and unwed with children, are receiving help, then that doesn?t exactly help stop her from becoming pregnant.

Even though Mandell doesn?t believe that welfare would look more appealing than having a real job with higher paying wages and benefits, Tanner disagrees. He says, ?the choice of welfare over work often is a rational decision based on the economic incentives presented.? Here is talking about the combined tax free value of welfare benefits is roughly equal to the income that can be earned at many entry level or low paying jobs. An individual earning welfare may have to forfeit medical and childcare benefits if they were to give up welfare. Mandell feels like there should be no tax credits for people on welfare, they should just get paid more and have to pay the same amount of taxes as everyone else. While it would be nice to increase the wages of entry level employees to where the wages would be higher than welfare, the government has no way of doing so. Mandell also believes that Welfare recipients should be given cash and not food stamps. She thinks that by giving food stamps it stigmatizes welfare recipients by embarrassing them when its time to use the stamps. This is why Tanner says that AFDC, Food Stamps, subsidized housing, and other assistance programs cannot be reformed and should be eliminated.

Since 1965, the US has spent more than 3.5 trillion dollars trying to ease the plight on the poor and it still hasn?t worked. This is why I have to go with Tanners argument. Even though Mandell makes an opinionated statement that we are entitled to a guarantee that are basic needs will be met and we are entitled to have a voice in how our welfare state will be run, Tanner has the most reasonable argument. He says it should go back to how it used to be. Individuals unable to support themselves should be forced to fall back on resources of family, church and community, or private charity. When it comes to charitable giving, Americans are the most generous people on earth. Every year they contribute 120,000,000,000 to charity.

Either way, believing some of the reforms are ridiculous intertwines these two articles. Mandell just feels like welfare should stay, it just needs a little help, while Tanner believes it is a total waste of the governments spending.


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