Welfare: The Government’s Cocaine
Welfare, a complex program used by many governments to help people in time of poverty, has helped to raise children to become healthy, productive citizens. Though this system is often abused, it has helped many Americans through economically tough times. Just like everything it has its benefits and its drawbacks, but without it we would be in a much different world than we are today.
II. History of Welfare
Throughout history there always been some form of unofficial welfare be it neighbors, families, or churches giving out money to families in need. Well to explain when welfare started I must first explain what welfare is. Welfare is a series of programs by the government to alleviate poverty.1 Welfare provided by government can be dated all the way back to the ancient Roman Empire under Caesar Trajan; he called it Alimenta.2 Most people think that welfare in the United States started during the great depression, but this is wrong. Welfare actually started in the United States before we were even our own country. When we came over as settlers we brought with us English government and England had a welfare system called the British Poor Laws.3 The earliest program started by the American government was called the Civil War Pension Program, which congress passed in 1862. The Civil War Pension Program provided help to Civil War veterans and their families. It wasn’t until 1935, during the great depression, that the social security act was enacted by President Franklin D Roosevelt. In 1939, the act was amended to include unemployment compensation and aid to families with dependent children.4
III. Who Gets Welfare
To qualify for welfare you must be a US citizen and your household needs to be below the poverty line, which varies from state to state depending on the states average income. Many people believe that you must be unemployed to get welfare, however, according to the Personal Responsibility and Work...