View Poll Results: What is the PRIMARY task of a social welfare system?

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  • To ensure that no one lives in poverty

    14 58.33%
  • To redistribute wealth so as to keep all citizens within a given range of each other

    5 20.83%
  • To create a dependent class that can be mobilized for votes

    5 20.83%
  • To socialize individual charity taking advantage of the superior efficiency of government

    0 0%
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Thread: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

  1. #31
    Count Smackula
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    The primary purpose of social programs is to provide social stability. Bismark implemented one of the first social security systems because it proved the only effective tactic to removing the support base for marxists and anarchist. The poverty ridden lifestyle of a 19th century factory worker was bad enough that any kind of change seemed better. Having a minimum standard of living removed the desperation that makes revolution attractive and more importantly gave the common worker a reason to be invested in the status quo. Less radical but equally important, having less destitute people also limits crime.

    There is a reason that every modern nation with a decent economy has some kind of social programs, they are an absolute requirement to a successful nation state.

  2. #32
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    I'd say 2 and 1. Welfare benefits a society. You guys ever been to places that don't have welfare systems for their citizens? You ever wanted to move to them? Who wants to move to Bangladesh and India? Nobody. With that said, I'd rather have them and have a few leaches here and there than not have it and live like the Congolese.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

  3. #33
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Because that's #1. Keeping folks out of poverty.
    No, I think that is different.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  4. #34
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    I dunno cpwill, used to be people served their country because they believed in it not because they wanted a bunch of benefits. Maybe you could make a silly poll for that? For example, most people I know that serve in the military do so because they're to stupid to compete in a real marketplace.

    I think the system is abused but is also used legitimitley like sb stated as well as by older folks and people with children.
    "We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy." -Reagan

  5. #35
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    None of the above. The purpose is described in the name itself: welfare. However, it's not just the welfare of the person receiving the assistance. It's the welfare of us all. For example, when you have a child growing up in such extreme poverty that he doesn't have enough to eat, he doesn't develop. He doesn't grow properly. His brain doesn't develop. His psychologically stunted. His intelligence doesn't develop. He doesn't develop his full potential to contribute as a human being. This is in no one's best interests. Certainly not his, but not in yours or mine either. Give him the proper nutrition that he needs; give him the medical care he needs and the education and maybe he'll grow up and be a fire fighter or a doctor or a mechanic or a janitor or an athlete or even just a street sweeper. In short, he becomes useful in some way. That's far better than growing up stunted, desperate, and homeless, living in a box somewhere and begging for food. With welfare helping him with the basics when he started out as a kid, at least he had a fighting chance. Welfare is an equalizer. It's the concept of the common good.

    Some would have us throw away the common good safety net, preferring the pseudo-darwinian notion of humans being ruthless with one another and just letting one another die. That's not how we survived as a species. It's not how we thrived. We did well be cooperating well with one another, emphasizing one another's best talents, being responsible for one another, not stabbing one another in the back. Creating a quality safety net is one of the ways we do that. That's the purpose of welfare.

  6. #36
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    No, I think that is different.
    "Making sure people don't fall into poverty" sure seems like it would fall under "ensuring that no one lives in poverty".

    I dunno cpwill, used to be people served their country because they believed in it not because they wanted a bunch of benefits. Maybe you could make a silly poll for that?
    We have had that poll. I voted to cut our pension by making it a 401(k) style match, and I called for not giving E-5's and above an annual pay raise last year. In addition I have argued on multiple occasions that we should look into the potential savings of switching to a competitive HSA style system vice TRICARE.

    For example, most people I know that serve in the military do so because they're to stupid to compete in a real marketplace.
    Really? How fascinating. And what branch did you serve in?

  7. #37
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    That option doesn't fit in my beliefs, as I favor certain government services provided to all people no matter their income or wealth. For example, I want public transportation, education, and health care for all people provided for by government agencies - not just for those below the poverty line. Providing these services, I think, will create that "social floor" as people can benefit from these services no matter their wealth.
    Ah. So it's a mixture of #1 and #4, wherein you utilize the superior efficiency of government in order to provide all citizens with superior access to goods and services.

    Private charities may pick and choose who will benefit from their charity. So, for example, some charities run by fundamentalist churches may choose not to provide charity to homosexuals, for instance. I'd rather that social floor be granted to all people, which is why I prefer them to be run by government agencies that are not allowed to discriminate in such ways.
    So there is no notion of ever "cutting people off" with you? Someone can take a free ride their whole life long on the backs of others? That's the strength that private charity brings - it is better able to know when it is hampering someone by enabling their destructive lifestyles.

  8. #38
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    So there is no notion of ever "cutting people off" with you? Someone can take a free ride their whole life long on the backs of others? That's the strength that private charity brings - it is better able to know when it is hampering someone by enabling their destructive lifestyles.
    Well, for one, you can't guarantee that charities can decide to what level their efforts enable any destructive lifestyles. Actually, most charities limit their benefits based not on any destructive behaviors people engage in but rather their own limited resources.

    And the downside to private charities is that they are entirely voluntary efforts but needs for a social floor is constant. As in private charities flourish only so as long as the people who decide to donate to them prosper. So during bad economic times, those charities will suffer just in times when the need for a social floor is greatest.

    There will always be children. There will always be the mentally ill. There will always be the physically disabled. There will always be the elderly. And they need to be taken care, though no fault of their own. And a constant government system of welfare can help provide that.

    And I think you put too much credit in "free riders." Even in a society with a social floor, I think people will be more than willing to work if they do so in a position in which they are treated with respect and can get the rest they need to deal with stress and mental and emotional wear.

    That is I think that asshole bosses are much bigger deterrents to people wanting to get and keep jobs than a social welfare floor is.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  9. #39
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    None of those.

    The primary purpose of social welfare is to create a social floor by which no person may fall beneath that all people may have access to and that all people contribute to in the form of taxes when they are able. This social floor includes providing for children, as they cannot provide for themselves, for the mentally ill, as people who suffer mental illness suffer it by no fault of their own, for the physically disabled, who may still contribute to society after some initial support, and to the elderly, who get so old that they can no longer support themselves.

    And it is up to the government to provide this social floor as private charities may be too selective in who they determine are worthy support.
    Well said Sam, I didnt vote because none of the choice applied to how I view it either.
    Govt has to recognize that only a few will ever be successful and rich, most should be self sufficient and reasonably comfortable and a smaller percentage should need help from time to time...theres absolutely nothing wrong with govt providing that helping hand...because turtledude Cpwill the teaparty and our corporations ARE NEVER going to do it...
    The haves used to be content with having alot more than everyone else, they took theirs and some of what was left around to their workers and that kept the middleclass strong and kept most americans working and able to sustain themselves and add to the tax rolls...when the culture of total greed kicked in and the haves decided they were entitled to it ALL they created a much larger group of unproductive non tax paying poor and a much smaller tax paying middleclass....they caused this by outsourcing as many middleclass incomes as they could for an extra buck, taking pensions and benefits and sticking it in their pockets.....they have no one to blame but themselves.
    Govt has to be the watchdog imperfect as it is...the private sector will do nothing for anyone that doesnt make lots of money for them or doesnt have anything they can take from them anymore.

  10. #40
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    Re: What is the primary purpose of social welfare policy?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Well, for one, you can't guarantee that charities can decide to what level their efforts enable any destructive lifestyles. Actually, most charities limit their benefits based not on any destructive behaviors people engage in but rather their own limited resources.

    And the downside to private charities is that they are entirely voluntary efforts but needs for a social floor is constant. As in private charities flourish only so as long as the people who decide to donate to them prosper. So during bad economic times, those charities will suffer just in times when the need for a social floor is greatest.

    There will always be children. There will always be the mentally ill. There will always be the physically disabled. There will always be the elderly. And they need to be taken care, though no fault of their own. And a constant government system of welfare can help provide that.
    yes, but I think you are mixing social welfare with merely the social provision of goods. public transportation doesn't fall under "welfare".

    And I think you put too much credit in "free riders." Even in a society with a social floor, I think people will be more than willing to work if they do so in a position in which they are treated with respect and can get the rest they need to deal with stress and mental and emotional wear.

    That is I think that asshole bosses are much bigger deterrents to people wanting to get and keep jobs than a social welfare floor is.
    Really?



    Why would someone work harder or longer if it meant a lower standard of living?

    I would strongly recommend to you Charles Murray's description of Fishtown if you honestly think that industriousness has not decreased in our populaces that face these kinds of disincentives.

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