BOX 175, PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, W.I

Evaluate the following statements in terms of your own value, attitudes and beliefs, ³People on welfare are undeserving weasels who would rather be on relief than work´

An Assignment Presented in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Course SOWK100 - Introduction to Social Work





Welfare Dependency Long since the acceptance of social welfare organizations into the governing body of a


country the argument has been posed that persons who are to receive it, should either be entitled or petition for it. This argument can be found in the study of Social Darwinism, and also as its reformed names, Institutional vs. Residual Views of Social Work and Welfare. Credited to these arguments can be given to famous thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus and Francis Galton; while Darwin is not the author of the theory, it was named after his work, ³On the Origin of Species´. He responded in 1882 with the book, ³In the descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex´ describing how medical advances meant that the weak were able to survive and procreate more weak, he still cautioned that ³hard reasoning should not override sympathy´ and bar the society from helping the poor. The argument can also be simply described as Welfare Dependency, the Encyclo Encyclopedia defines this term as ³A situation where people on welfare, such as those receiving unemployment benefit, treat this as a way of life` rather than attempting to secure a paid job.´ Welfare Dependency is a serious problem because it operates too much like a charity where patrons exercise their power and control without a hope of mutual benefit. Clients are denied a sense of social worth and equality. Dependency is the inevitable result because most societies purport unconditional welfare. Philip Mendes in Arena Magazine No. 69 spoke to issues of dependency, he believed that approaches to the problem of dependency must go into how it is constructed both as a concept and as a psychological, moral and social condition. However, he believed that it is not just that accommodating ability of dependence that are structurally imposed, but that one and the same with the relation of dependency is usually enjoyed as a powerful and respected social position, according to political and ethical values. For the most part, the political support for welfare reflects a generous-looking motive to help those who are

Welfare Dependency poor, and with children. Welfare would provoke little controversy and benefits would probably


be higher if these conditions were as a result of the death, disability, or temporary unemployment of the major contributor to a family's income. The aid in which we feel required to give to the destitute is mainly an incidental result of the instinct sympathy, which is manifested in giving, Charles Darwin said that ³the surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. ... We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.´ Here I believed he spoke directly to the effects of charity and giving, because it seems to spread the culture of poverty more, and if we do not give we seem to spread an evil in our society. Thomas Malthus although not a Social Darwinist himself wrote in his 1798 work entitled An Essay on the Principle of Population that the increasing population would naturally outgrow the food supply, which would result in the starvation of the weakest (poor). In this instance, as a coping mechanism a culture of poverty was developed. These Social Darwinists are suggesting that charity can intensify the problem. Another problem realized as a result of dependency is Welfare Fraud. The definition implies that it refers to various intentional misuses of state welfare systems by withholding information or giving false or inaccurate information. This may be done in small, uncoordinated efforts, or in larger, organized criminal rings. Some common types of welfare fraud are failing to report a household member, claiming one or more imaginary dependents, failure to report income, or providing false information about the "inability" to work. Welfare fraud statistics demonstrates false US population statistics which shows an increase in population volume due to

Welfare Dependency immigration and a positive birth rate. According to welfare fraud statistics most of the welfare


programs are nothing except scams, frauds and illusions. Certainly welfare fraud could cost tax payers millions of dollars each year worldwide. Undoubtedly in some instances welfare scams are almost impossible to detect regardless of having modern and superior security measures. According to welfare fraud statistics ³unreported income´ is the most common type of welfare fraud. The offenders collect a welfare check together with receiving income from other sources which they don't report to the Government. It is my personal belief that welfare dependency is a real problem. The effects are not only creating a culture of dependency but it now transposes to the working population to pick up where their government has left off, thus feeding the cycle. It also creates what is termed the moral dilemma, which is if charity is made available more and more persons would try to access it but if we are barred from giving we lose our moral standing. ³People on welfare are undeserving weasels who would rather be on relief than work´ The statement, though harsh, speaks to the true problem of poverty and welfare dependency. That people now are being made dependent on a society that would at anytime throw them off its back. I believe this problem to be a necessary evil that can only be dealt with by moderation, which may not solve it but maintain it levels.

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