Why is social welfare policy important or critical?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social welfare policy is important for two main reasons.

First, these policies are important to those people who could benefit from them and could help our country by helping them.  Our country has a number of poor people who could benefit from social welfare programs that are intelligently conceived and administered. This could help them out of poverty which would be a great benefit to them. At the same time this could be beneficial to our whole society.  Fewer poor people would lead to less crime.  More people in the middle class would boost our economy. 

Second, social welfare policies are important because our government is strapped for money.  We face serious fiscal problems with the government running large deficits every year.  What this means is that we have to be smarter about our social welfare policies.  We have to do more to ensure that they really work so that they are not just wasting our money.  We have to do this or the political backlash against such programs will be so great that these programs will probably disappear.

For these reasons, it is important and critical to have good social welfare policies.

pholland14 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social welfare policy is very important because social welfare should be viewed as means to an end, not the end itself.  Social welfare in America is designed to provide comfort to the elderly and handicapped as as a way to help citizens who have lost their jobs.  This aid can be utilities and housing subsidies, food stamps, job training, or direct cash aid.  Social welfare is sometimes controversial in that some people in America can be seen abusing the system, and in some areas poverty is generational.  What makes social welfare policy so engaging to study is that lawmakers try to strike a balance between helping the greatest number of people and keeping the programs cost-effective while minimizing waste.  By minimizing waste and demonstrating the positive benefits of these policies, lawmakers can better justify giving these programs more money in future congressional budgets.  

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social welfare policies are important because they form the framework that allows all citizens of a particular nation to live within their basic rights with access to some of the most basic social amenities. In the United States, programs such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid and food and nutrition programs (SNAP) have been established to address some of the pressing social issues.

These programs developed and guided by the underlying policies are geared towards helping people in need for purposes of poverty alleviation. They also offer an opportunity to risk groups to maintain their households and preserve their human dignity. These policies and programs also address other effects that arise from poverty such as crime and mental conditions such as depression by giving people an opportunity to “get back on their feet”.