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Social Welfare Programs in Dynamic Environment Essay


Over the last five decades, social welfare policies and programs have not only expanded to a stabilized position but also contracted following their stabilization. This trend in the social programs and policies is attributed to the various consistent changes occurring in the political, economic and social environments. Notably, social welfare policies are significantly influenced by the context in which doles are delivered. For instance, social welfare is more often than not closely linked with legislatively delegated governmental sector programs, such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Jones 50). In such cases, social welfare policies and programs consist of rules and regulations by which the federal state and, in some cases, local governments apportion financial resources to a population which is economically underprivileged. Social programs and policies are often developed so as to respond to social problems, with no linear relationship being present between the social problems and the social programs and policies.

Also, it is worth noting that the already inexistent social welfare policies and programs are funded at very ineffectual levels. However, the economic environment has not been constant all through, in the second half of the 20th century, thus causing the above-mentioned trend in the social welfare policies and programs. Incidents such as the Great Depression and the World Wars have had impacts on the political, economic and social environment and, as such, have had impacts on the social programs and policies. Therefore, there is a need for changes in policies to revive some of the contacting social welfare programs. To avert the increased inequality in the modern society, social welfare programs that are in line with challenges of the modern society need to be implemented (Brenner 34). This paper looks at how social welfare programs have expanded in the past 50 years. To demonstrate the changing role of social welfare programs, the paper analysis three articles, “Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising”, “The Spirit Level” and “The Canadian dream is well within reach”.

As a result of massive economic development, a large number of poor people in the developing world have been able to move out of poverty. This is an indicator of how social welfare programs have expanded. On the contrary, inequality has led to the uneven distribution of the benefits accrued from the strong economic growth. According to the OECD report “Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising”, wage inequality and the present employment trends (both of which are economic elements) are evident and contributory to the trend in the social welfare programs (OECD 2). Undeniably, this report notes that trade flows between countries all over the world have been on an unrelenting increase, but this does not address the employment trends and wages and salaries inequality. Changes in institutions and government regulations have also resulted into increased income disparities, despite the increased economic opportunities. Socially, there have been numerous changes in the structures of the modern families which have had an impact on household income. A majority of the households are single-parent households, and this have accounted for only 20 per cent of the working-age households (OECD 3).

Moreover, marriage trends are consistently changing, with individuals choosing for themselves the partners they want to marry. All the above mentioned tenets have measurably availed their contribution to increasing inequality even when the labor markets are hardly changing. In addition, this has greatly impacted on the social welfare policies and programs. This report is consistent with Chapter 3 of Canadian Social Welfare book, since the author enlists income security as among the programs and services included in the country’s social welfare system (Brenner 35). The EOCD report clearly illustrates that there is no single inevitable thing with this growing inequality in salaries and wages. The report acknowledges that both integration of world societies and changes in technology have created new opportunities, but have also been an important impediments in the development of social welfare policies. Therefore, a policy strategy geared towards lessening the divided between the poor and the rich has to be adopted. Such a strategy rests on inclusive employment opportunity, more intensive investment in human capital and better designed tax policies (Brenner 36).

“The Spirit Level”, progresses the inequality within the society, especially, the rapports existing between self-reported health and income inequality. According to Wilkins (1), “self-reported health is predictive of longevity within a country”; statistics suggests that self reported health is more common in countries with high mortality rate and low life expectancy. It is notable that there is an economic tie in Wilkins work, thus having congruency with this paper’s thesis. “The Spirit Level”, discusses the significance of social relationships to the health and well-being of mankind. Wilkins demonstrated that with higher income inequalities, the social fabric, which is considerably contributory to healthy societies, is bound to be damaged (Wilkins 1). The article presents evidence and its accompanying rapid accumulation suggesting a strong relationship between economic inequality and social decay.

However, and as is explained in Chapter 3, politically motivated and ill-founded criticism is in the offing of zero-rating every effort to leave people with a blurred impression of the above evidence. Greater levels of inequality translate into increased for social services such as health services, law enforcement and correctional facilities. A big percentage of these services, as argued by both Wilkins and in Chapter 3, are expensive, but partially effective. This, therefore, calls for smaller governments, which will assure a reduction in the present income inequality. Moreover, there is a need for change in politics and policies that will ensure the realization of a change in the social organization. “The Spirit Level”, suggests that grander inequality has an impact on all aspects of the society, including democratic governance, individual lives and the society (Wilkins 1).

In Kabrabegovic and Lammam’s viewpoint (1), when the Canadian economic situation and prospects is considered, the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to widen. In this article, the economic factor is absolutely evident. For most Canadians, life has to start at a low income level, since they are immigrant descendants. However, they tend to climb the economic ladder. This characterized them as a financially mobile generation. These economic dynamics have availed proportionate impacts on the social programs and policies (Karabegovic and Lammam 1). By virtue of existent economic inequality, Canadians have all through had the impression that there are available opportunities for them to advance economically. However, these opportunities are quite limited. As explained in Chapter 3, this inequality was largely as a result of the Great Depression and the World Wars, the infamous twin crucibles. Moreover, social welfare programs and policies are derived from public policy, and therefore involve political processes. These have created various challenges in the execution of the dream discussed in the “The Canadian Dream is Well Within Reach” (Karabegovic and Lammam 1).

It is evident that the fate of social programs and polices is an important issue in the modern society. According to a research article by Jack Stilborn, there are controversies on whether the federal government should continue to give financial support to social welfare programs. This is because a majority of provincial and local programs does not meet the national and international standards. The author highlights the importance of the national standards in the establishment and management of social programs. The government has a legal mandate and authority in streamlining the social welfare programs and policies (Stilborn par. 1). Nonetheless, political as well as historical factors continue to impact on the expansion, stabilization and contraction of social welfare programs and policies.

In conclusion, the thesis still remains, with support coming from different quarters as above discussed. As learnt from the Canadian case, political and economic factors have been in the forefront in leading to the expansion, stabilization and the subsequent contraction of social welfare programs (Brenner 43). This also equally represents rapid social changes which predispose some members of the society to the inability to learn and adopt new-fashioned skills of work and survival for their own support. With the emergence of new responsibilities, families that could earlier meet their needs comfortably are finding themselves at a crossroad since these new responsibilities are leaving them with no adequate money, time, resources and opportunities.

Changing times are also predisposing business to failures and subsequently rendering members of the society unemployed. They may even be forced to go a step further to abandoning their families, which may be forced to look for assistance from different quarters such as churches or volunteer self-help organizations. As was the case during the Great Depression, individual may have to move from one region to the other in search of jobs or even be forced to depend on others for the provision of their basic needs (Jones 56). It is on these tenets that the future of social welfare program in many countries, including Canada, remains unclear. With the fast growing and rapidly spreading globalization, numerous new considerations and pressures are likely to enter in the social welfare arena. As thus, all ought to be strong political advocates so as to stimulate both environmental management and social development in the interest of all.

Works Cited

Brenner, Thomas. “The Political Base of Canadian Social Welfare.” In Joanne Turner and Francis Turner (eds.) Canadian Social Welfare (6th ed.) Toronto: Pearson Education Canada, 2010. 24-43. Print.

Jones, Marion E. The Economics Base of Canadian Social Welfare. In Joanne Turner and Francis Turner (eds.) Canadian Social Welfare (6th ed.) Toronto: Pearson Education Canada, 2009. 43-60. Print.

Karabegovic, Amela and Charles Lammam. “The Canadian Dream is Well Within Reach”. Fraser Forum. Web.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) n. d., . Web.

Stilborn, Jackson. National Standards And Social Programs: What The Federal Government Can Do. 1997. Web.

Wilkins, Richard. New Statesman, 2010. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Social Welfare Programs in Dynamic Environment." September 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-welfare-programs-in-dynamic-environment/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Social Welfare Programs in Dynamic Environment'. 5 September.

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