What is positive and negative about the current Public Assistance programs?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Many countries in the world have different forms of Public Assistance programs. The uniform positive is the moral principle that fortunate should help the less fortunate. When people are disabled, orphaned, widowed with young children, afflicted with diseases, it would be inhuman for the wealthy not to contribute to help them. Although private charity might be ideal, in a world of 8 billion people, only governments have the power and logistical ability to ensure that those needing help get it. There are two negatives. First, Public Assistance as now constituted has not eradicated need and poverty. Second, when badly done, it can create a self-perpetuating disincentive to self-improvement.