What are some areas where welfare programs have failed to give us adequate quantity of output and desirable price?  Has our government taken action in order to provide this good or service in an...

What are some areas where welfare programs have failed to give us adequate quantity of output and desirable price?  Has our government taken action in order to provide this good or service in an equitable fashion? Are there alternatives to government intervention? What has been the end result of government intervention?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Initially, an argument can be made that welfare programs have failed to give adequate quantity of output and desirable price.  Government welfare programs are not necessarily geared towards the development of quality products.  Welfare programs have been designed to assist the individual, and not create products.  Yet, along these lines, it is clear that if the supporting of the individual is itself a "product," challenges exist in how this is adequate or desirable.  Individuals who receive welfare still work, and even with that still struggle.  Rising costs are forcing people who work and are on welfare to still experience impoverished conditions and face economic struggle.  In this fact, one can make the argument that welfare programs have failed to give adequate quantity of output and desirable price. The "products" of a self- sufficient and non- impoverished citizen are not being produced.

At the same time, this same argument can be extended to the other side of the equation.  The establishment of corporate welfare in the form of government assistance to corporations through subsidies or straight bailout programs have also been perceived as a failure.  These programs have failed to give adequate quantity of output and desirable price.  Recent statistics reveal that government bailout programs and subsidies do not come at the cost of the wealthiest of Americans, but rather through the middle class.  Programs and subsidies in which the taxpayer is perceived to be paying more to corporations who still are able to experience massive profits for their own benefit would represent a welfare program that has failed to given an adequate quantity of output and desirable price.  The shortcomings of present construction welfare has been evident on both the individual consumer level and the corporate one.

As with understanding the condition of modern welfare, assessing whether there has been fairness in welfare distribution displays how political perception again becomes critical.  Certainly, individuals who believe in governmental fairness being present would point to how both corporations and the individual have received assistance from the government.  The welfare euphemism of "temporary relief for needy families" (TANF) has become absorbed in the way through which government expects help to be something that does not last and is not permanent. Yet, impoverished conditions show little sign of change.  Those who believe that government has distributed welfare fairly would suggest that corporations have been told to be mindful of receiving government benefits.  The current discourse that is present, though, tends to view any welfare distribution without a sense of optimism.  Those who are against welfare in its present state will suggest that government is spending more on those who give less.  At the same time, those who believe that government subsidizing corporate welfare is done because those in the position of economic power wish to keep it through collusion with political control.  

Privatization was seen as an alternative to welfare.  Yet, with private industry benefitting from corporate welfare, this might not be the best solution.  Some suggest that changing the tax code system so that those who make more can pay more might be a viable approach.  Solutions will always be in short supply.  The one constant is the challenging condition of the welfare system. 

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