of number, & section> submitted> This is a Research Paper on the United States Welfare Programs and their beneficiaries. Social programs are actually the institutions which provide benefits to the people. These are managed by the U.S. Government. The main cause of these Programs are economic security, access to resources for self development, reduction of social suffering such as poverty and illness. The philosophy behind all these programs is to create United State a Welfare State and to encourage the ideology of American Liberalism. The federally funded U.S programs began in the 1930’s during the great Depression. The united state Government responded the overwhelming families in need of aid by creating a welfare program to provide assistance to those who have little or no income. The eligibility for a Welfare Program depends on numerous factors. These factors are gross and net income, size of the family, any crisis situation such as medical emergencies, pregnancy, homelessness or unemployment. The programs which are managed by U.S. Government are primary and secondary education, subsidized college education, unemployment and disability insurance, income subsidies for low age workers, housing subsidies, food stamps, pensions and health insurance programs that cover public employees. The largest and most important entitlement program is the Social Security Program. Currently total social welfare expenditure constitutes 35 % of GDP. United States Social programs and their Beneficiaries
Social Welfare Programs on Poverty Reduction There are many programs established to reduce poverty in the United States of America. Poverty in a country like united state is a challenge especially for children living in poverty. The most significant program designed to reduce poverty was old age pensions provided through social security in 1960. Social Security was an extraordinary social program. At the end of 20th century this program eliminated poverty among elderly. Other programs were also established but they were poorly funded. There are many other programs which were aimed at reducing poverty including “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” or (AFDC). This was a great program which was primarily designed for families with children. AFDC was passed in the 20th century. This program provided funds to single women having children. This program had many drawbacks so it was abandoned. There was also another program designed EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) which is for the poor working people. Unlike AFDC, this program is for the poor working force whose income is inadequate. AFDC is replaced by another program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF). Inspite of all these programs there is still poverty in United States. Critics have defined the reasons why these programs may fail to reduce poverty.(Crook 1997; Friedman and Friedman 1997; Lee1987; Stigler 1970; Tullock 1971). The reason is that a substantial share of these benefits goes to the middle and upper classes rather than the poor. These programs have detrimental effects. The greater benevolent welfare benefits do not comprise higher poverty rates than those with low benefits rates. Food Stamp Social Welfare Program There is a program which is called The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program is Federal aided, governed by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However the benefits this program brings are shared and circulated by individual U.S. states. The other and more common name of this program is Food Stamp Program. The Food Stamps Program helps low income people to buy food. It is Federal Government Program and it is run by State or local agencies. During the year of 2010 great amount of the budget was served for Food Stamps program. It was 65 billion dollars and nearest 133 dollars for an individual. It was also reported that in the year of 2011(46,224,722) Americans were benefited through this program. One fifth of the citizens of Washington and Mississippi are receiving food stamps. The basic objective for this food stamp program is to provide healthy diet to every citizen of United States. It is mainly concerned with aiding those who are less privileged financially. Peter H, Rossi who is a Sociologist and analyze the social programs and their effects. According to him this program is designed for the families who cannot fulfill their necessities and for this reason they don’t take healthy diet and if in case they take healthy food they abandon their other needs (Rossi, 1998). As declared by the department of Agriculture, the food stamp has risen to 8.1 percent in the last year. This increase is due to the increase in Unemployment and recession. Discussing in his article Phill Izzo reported that in U.S 15 % of population rely on food stamps which is 45.8 million( Izzo Phill 2011). Old Age Insurance System Congress made the Old Age Insurance System for the retired workers for the deceased workers. This is the program whish is designed for the benefits of retired people and it was implemented in 1940’s. And there were no changes made since 1950’s. its scope was broadened after the inclusion of Disability Insurance in 1956.benefits were provided to deceased workers or workers of age 50. It was also included in the program to provide benefits to the dependents of these workers. There was amendment in 1965 to provide benefits to widowed aged 50 or older. In United States the old age security Act was passed in 1935. Old Age Insurance system was also included in this act. As well as welfare payments and unemployment insurance were also included in this Act. Social Security is the largest insurance and welfare program in United States and in 2003 there was 37 % of Government expenditure was made for this program and this is the 7 % of Gross Domestic Product (Feldstein, M 2005). Old age insurance Program has become very famous and popular program because it benefits many people in United States (William Domhoff 2009). Evaluation of Social programs The U.S. social programs have been shaped by long standing traditions and changing economic and social conditions. Now the United State Government has made advancements in social welfare programs including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance. It has made up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the American population. Even as the economy has recovered, social welfare benefits compose 35 percent of wages and salaries in the recent year, higher than 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960. To conclude it must be stated that Government has made efforts to provide social benefits to its citizens. A considerable improvement is still required in this field and the conditions call for more efforts from the governments and other related parties concerned to improve the situation of the economy and individuals. References Crook. Clive,(1997). The Future of the State, The Economist, 20 September: S1-S48. Danziger, Sheldon H ., Robert H. Haveman., and Robert D., Plotnick, (1981). How Income Transfer Program Affects work, Savings and the Income distribution: A Critical Review, Journal of Economic Literature, 19-975-1028 Rossi, Peter. H,(1998). Feeding the Poor: Assessing Federal Food Aid, Washington. AEI Press, p28 Damhoff, William G. The unexpected origin of Social Security act of 1935 (And the recent effort by the corporate community to reform it) June (2009).Web 28 February http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/social_security.html Feldstein, M. Rethinking Social Insurance, American Economic Review (2005), 95(1), pp1-24. Izoo, Phill. Some 15% of U.S uses Food Stamps, November (2011). Real time Economics ( Economic Analysis from Wall street Journal). Web 28 February.