Volunteering and Attitudes Toward Social Welfare Spending Essay

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Volunteering and Attitudes Toward Social Welfare Spending Despite extensive research having been done on explaining why some individuals are more likely to support spending on social welfare than others, to this date, no one has examined the effect that a person’s level of volunteerism has on support for spending. However, the level of community involvement is worthy of consideration as an explanation for support for social welfare spending because, as has been reported by previous research, volunteers often find that structural problems exist that can only be remedied by government intervention. Using data from the 1996 General Social Survey, this research tests the hypothesis that the more areas in which a person volunteers, the…show more content…
Furthermore, a large portion of the federal government’s budget is reserved for spending that seeks to improve the general welfare of citizens, such as money spent on fighting drug addiction and solving urban problems. Despite the assistance that welfare provides, many people are opposed to its expansion. In 1996, the welfare system underwent significant changes that reduced benefits and reformed the nature of several programs (Welfare Reform). Debate on this topic continues to the present day. Claiming that the country needs to remedy the ever-growing gap between rich and poor, some activists (as well as the poor themselves) clamor for financial support from the government in order to level the playing field. Another way to increase the quality of life for the poor, however, is through volunteering, a method often supported by those who disagree with an expansive government or do not trust the sometimes ineffective federal bureaucracy. Although seemingly contradictory, it is completely plausible that volunteering would cause an individual to support an increase in social welfare spending because he or she may come to realize through volunteering that some problems are too vast to be cured by the work of a few individuals. By examining the relationship between an individual’s level of volunteerism and his or her support of social welfare spending, this research

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