Welfare: Does It Really Help? 

“Everybody has asked the question. . .”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!” 

-Frederick Douglass

Welfare, the great force of governmental compassion for poor people. Or so we think. What has welfare done to develop the poor man’s skills? Not much at all. In fact, it has taught the poor man to rely on the government and its handouts for survival. This dependency is hardly compassionate. 

True compassion would be a true and helpful education that caters to the poor man’s needs. One that is practical and can be executed with great affects. True compassion would be allowing the poor teenager to work for a low wage and learn skills on the job. This would allow the poor teenager to be promoted. However, the minimum wage law hinders employers from hiring cheap and unskilled labor. 



The major issue with the current welfare system is that there is no incentive to work, for as soon as the poor man starts to earn money at a certain rate, the benefits of welfare are taken away. If the system penalizes looking for or aquiring a job, what man would risk losing his benefits? In the contrary, he would not risk losing money unless the job paid well enough to live. 

If young people were allowed to work for low pay, buy the time they would be on their own, they would have developed skills that would allow them a higher paying job. However, the current system does not allow for this to happen. Instead, it makes it harder for young people to get a job, while the one in welfare does not want to get a job for fear of loosing money. 



The welfare system also increases taxes on the middle and upper class, who often supply consumerism and jobs. This hinders the economy from growing as there is less incentive to take risks in business and hiring. Therefore with less job creators, there are less jobs. The less jobs there are, the fewer middle class citizens there are and the more dependent the society becomes. 

The affect in the family is also hurtful, as the male becomes expendable and the government takes its place. This pattern keeps the welfare dependency firmly in place, as mothers have a hard time being able to balance the hardships of parenting and providing for a family alone. This is hardly compassionate and the social results are often tragic. The children have less guidance without another parent and adversely affect the neighborhood and their own future.

Citizens should keep most of what they earn in their own pockets for their own private use. They should be able to give it to charities so that those who are in need or are on welfare for reasons they cannot change can get help. Welfare for an able minded, able bodied person is, however, not sympathetic nor is it helpful. If a man or woman can work he should work. Work is a good thing. It builds character and strength and builds the nation. Work commands respect. 

Welfare does not command respect, nor does it build character or skill. If a person is idle, that is not good for neither himself nor the rest of society. That person could get into all kinds of trouble, when work could develop him and help mature him. Welfare is not sympathetic, it is patronizing, demeaning and though its intentions may be good, the results are not desirable. In essence, welfare as a system and not a safety net is not helpful to able minded and able bodied people. 

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