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Welfare Myths and Realities Essay

Society has continued to undergo evolution and change throughout the history of civilization. These are the factors that spell out the dividing line between social classes and castes that are redrawn on an almost daily basis by mankind. This is why there will always be a mixture of fact and fiction surrounding the way present day society views those people who were unlucky enough to end up at the bottom of the societal class chain. These are the people who are forced to survive using welfare to keep food on the table, money in their pockets, and clothes on their backs.

It is highly unfortunate that the word Welfare has come to mean a person who does not want to work unless he is forced to work. But this is not always what defines a person on welfare. In today’s world, the workplace is a highly competitive environment where people no longer have security of tenure in their jobs. People want to work. The problem is, there are not enough jobs to go around. The reality is that when a person loses his job these days, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to get new regular employment anytime in the short-term future.

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So, he is forced to take what odd jobs he can while trying his luck at landing regular employment. Realistically speaking, temp jobs won’t pay the rent nor keep food on the table. In order to stay afloat, the person must take welfare assistance. This is a not a permanent set up for most, it is just financial aid until the person can get back on his feet. Hey, he paid his taxes and his Social Security dues. Therefore, it is only proper that the system helps him get back on his feet. Nobody in his right mind would want to make welfare his way of life.

Welfare tends to affect a person both psychologically and emotionally as he struggles to try to go back to the way of life that he has become accustomed to. Even though they try to get off welfare at the soonest possible time, sometimes, he is forced to go back on welfare for one reason or another. The last thing he wants to become is a welfare cyclist but he is left with no other choice. Psychologically, a man unable to support himself is thrown into despair and self-pity. He thinks less of himself and wishes to feel better by being able to support himself without the aid of welfare.

The last thing he wants for himself is to get involved in welfare cycling. This is the act of going on welfare for short periods of time during which a person has lost his job. It is totally unfair to say, “the federal welfare program encourages people to stay poor. ” (Margaret L. Andersen & Howard F. Taylor, 2003, p. 200) Man is an ambition driven entity. He pursues lofty goals and ambitions in life and does not deem himself a success or a complete individual unless he has something to show for his existence.

It can be in the form of finances, or something solid like real estate. Whatever it may be, there is nothing that can drive a man to have a desire to stay poor. The government does not give enough financial support to the welfare organizations for one to believe that those on welfare would be getting enough welfare checks or food coupons to sustain any kind of lifestyle. These benefits are available only to a limited number of families who must pass a stringent interview and verification process. Neither is it true that only Blacks or Hispanic families benefit from welfare.

There are also White families who are down on their luck and also move from place to place or even state to state in search of the elusive jobs. The welfare myth about women is proves to be even most unfair. Women are the light that guides a family. While husbands work and bring home what pay then can in the lower middle class society, the women are left at home to tend to the children. Most of them cannot afford child-care and therefore help their husband earn income in order to improve their basic lifestyle.

This is why most women collect welfare for their families. If there were proper child-care assistance provided to these families, both parents would have a chance to work instead of having to line up collecting unemployment checks just to make ends meet. Of the 100% of the total federal budget, only 60% of this it spent on assisting poor families. This provides subsidies for the lowest income families basic living and medical assistance. There is absolutely no truth to the belief that certain welfare recipients are paid benefits that they no longer qualify for.

Though the system is not foolproof, as some payments errors are done due to human error, there are still safety measures in place to make sure that overpayments are limited and that any fraudulent transactions are weeded out in the process. Going on welfare was never meant to make any man rich. It is not a status symbol that will make you the envy of others either. Often times, the amount of the checks given to the people involved are below the poverty level. It is really meant only to be a stop gap measure for those who have had a stroke of financial bad luck.

It was not meant to sustain any person throughout life. The myths that were created by the fear of going on welfare gave the deserving welfare beneficiaries a bad name. It has branded them in such a way that society tends to be judge and jury of the way they conduct their lives and personal businesses. Welfare was meant to be a helping hand when one needs it the most. Welfare was envisioned, developed and meant to help a person get back on his feet after a devastating financial setback.

To believe all these myths that have been handed down from generation to generation would be a disservice to such a humane undertaking that is done for and on behalf of your fellowman.

Works Cited

Andersen, Margaret L. & Taylor, Howard R. (2003). Sociology The Essentials (2nd Ed. ) Welfare Myths: Fact or Fiction? Exploring the Truth about Welfare. 1996. December 22, 2006, Retrieved from http://hcom. csumb. edu/welfare/resources/myths_facts. html Irons, Meghan Erica. Dispelling Myths About Welfare. December 21, 2006, Retrieved from http://www. voice. neu. edu/960215/welfare. html

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