Why is social welfare policy important or critical?

Social welfare policy is important because it protects citizens by fulfilling their basic needs and upholding a certain standard of living for all people. It supports low-income people and people who need more medical care.

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At its core, a social welfare policy indicates the importance of humanity, regardless of particular circumstances. These policies seek to uphold a standard of living for all citizens, providing for basic needs for those who—temporarily or in a more sustained way—cannot meet those needs for themselves.

Social welfare policies highlight the value of those whose income falls below a certain threshold or who have no income at all. It supports these individuals and families with access to housing, food, and/or medical care so that they are not left hopeless. Such policies also protect those who are medically fragile, offering them a means of obtaining medical care and access to basic human needs in a structured way.

By having a social welfare policy, the entire community benefits—not just the individuals who receive those services. Without providing access to such services, there would almost certainly be an entire population of people starving and begging publicly. It decreases the sense of desperation that those who are pushed to the point of starvation must feel, and therefore, it likely decreases the crime rate as well.

In a capitalist economy, it also provides a sense of security to those for whom a possible recession means loss of jobs or loss of retirement resources. The social welfare policy shares the risk of living in such a society among the entire working population, guaranteeing the basic human needs for all during times of personal economic or medical struggles.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 15, 2020
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Social welfare policy provides a much-needed lifeline for families or individuals who are either in poverty or in danger of falling below the poverty line. It is important not just in the United States but all around the world. If we accept that basic human rights include access to fresh water, food, and shelter, then social welfare policy goes a long way to providing these basic necessities for people who would otherwise not have access to them.

There is also a secondary benefit to social welfare policy, which is a reduction in crime. If a family living off social welfare benefits suddenly had these benefits taken away from them, then that family may perceive there to be no other option than to resort to petty crime in order to stay alive.

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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.  

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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”.

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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.

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