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Conservative and Liberal Views on the Welfare Dilemma - Essay Example

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VIEWS Conservative and Liberal Views on Welfare Dilemma Introduction In recent years the US has seen an increasing polarization of income levels with the top 1% rising at a far greater rate than the remaining 99%.(Saez 2008) This has spawned protest movements which have the potential to threaten social stability…
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Conservative and Liberal Views on the Welfare Dilemma
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Download file to see previous pages The unemployable category includes primarily single mothers with young children or those considered to physically and/or mentally unfit for employment. The welfare dilemma is that while people expect governments to provide a safety net for those unable to fend for themselves, it has become increasingly difficult for them to discharge this obligation due to rising costs which must be financed by increasing taxes and government borrowing or a combination of both(Voregeli 2011). In simplest terms the liberal solution is the increased taxes/borrowing model while the conservatives favor freezing if not reducing benefits in the interest of keeping both taxation levels and government spending in check Most Accurate and Unbiased View Conservatives argue that generous welfare benefits encourage dependency and laziness at least among those deemed employable. While that is undoubtedly true in a relatively few cases, benefits are rarely sufficient to provide an attractive alternative to gainful employment. Beyond that, I would argue that people have a psychological need to be productive in some way. The liberal view is that welfare is rarely a preferred option either from a financial or self satisfaction viewpoint. People obtain welfare usually because they feel trapped and see no other option. I would therefore argue that the liberal view of welfare recipients as mostly forced into this role because of uncontrollable circumstances is a more accurate and unbiased view than the conservative one of them being lazy freeloaders intent on milking the system. It must be remembered, in a society with still a strong work ethic welfare recipients have a very low status. The Best Government Policy Even when conservatives admit there are people in genuine need, they often argue this can be met by churches and charities. I think the need is too great for this to be a realistic option. They do however have a point about the escalating costs of government programs. To deal with this I would recommend some increase in taxation especially on the wealthy. While low taxes do stimulate growth to some extent, there comes a point where even lower taxes are not effective. For example, the Bush tax cuts were based on the assumption that the wealthy would spend more of their increased net income on new businesses, employing more workers who foster other businesses with their increased income in a “trickle down spin off” effect. This did not happen as many of the elite simply “sat on” their increased wealth. Therefore, I would argue that the Republican philosophy of small government and lower taxes stimulating economic growth has only limited validity. On the other hand, while I advocate proactive government welfare policies, I think savings could be made if there was more attention paid to return citizens to productive lives as soon as possible, even for categories currently considered unemployable such as single mothers and physically disabled people. For example, with the expansion of information technology it might be worthwhile for the government to provide them with training and home computers so that they could eventually work as data processors. Dr. Tim has advocated that those on welfare able to work be given a choice of being cut off welfare or agreeing to do necessary unskilled work within or without the civil service.( Tim 2012) If they worked for a company, the government ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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