Essay on Social Welfare

1942 Words8 Pages
The Declaration of Independence was created in 1776 with three basic principles in mind. The pursuits of life, liberty, and happiness were the paramount issues focused on by the framers. The 18th Century was a different time. Back then, every man worked on his own farm. He was expected to provide for himself and his family. It was unheard of for anyone to receive assistance from the government. As the country progressed and evolved, the rich got richer and the poor poorer. The Gilded Age of the late 19th Century truly showed the disparity in wealth in America with billionaire business barons employing penniless workers in deplorable conditions. Progressive reforms came along, pioneered by Teddy Roosevelt and his Bull-Moose Party,…show more content…
Today, many Americans still rely on government subsidies to provide money for survival necessities. Despite the reduction in many programs, Social Security, unemployment, and other federal programs still provide money to millions of Americans. One of the greatest arguments in every political race is the fight to keep or modify existing legislation that allows these programs to continue. In the 2000 presidential race, these programs were on the forefront of the political bickering between the Republicans and Democrats. The legislation of 1996 has shown that it is possible to reduce social welfare programs, but often it is difficult to eliminate them totally. Social Security is the prime example of a social welfare program that is all but impossible to eliminate. Created by the passage of the 1935 Social Security Act, money was to be provided to 35 million elderly American citizens who, at the time, faced a bleak, penniless future. Franklin Roosevelt was one of the staunchest supporters of this legislation: "We can never insure one-hundred percent of the population against one-hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life. But we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age. This law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built, but is by no means complete.... It is...a law that will take care of
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