2 16 Economic and Social Welfare Policymaking Job seekers register and pick up open job fliers from potential employers at Los Angeles Mission’s annual Skid Row Career Fair. In addition to help from nonprofit organizations such as the LA Mission, people who are unemployed are helped by governmental social welfare programs such as unemployment insurance.
3 16Video: The Big PictureNothing divides Democrats and Republicans more than the debate over how the government should tackle the economy and social welfare spending. Author Martin P. Wattenberg explains how both parties share the same goal to improve the country for everyone, yet they disagree totally on how to achieve it.
4 16Learning ObjectivesWe will begin our study of economic and social welfare policy by identifying the main policy tools that the government employs to address economic problems. Then we will compare and contrast two types of social welfare programs.Next we will assess the extent of economic inequality in the U.S. and examine what the government has done to address it. We will examine one of the largest government programs, Social Security, in more detail, and compare our social welfare policies with those in other countries.Finally, we will consider the implications of social and economic policies for democracy and the scope of government.Identify the main policy tools that American government can employ to address economic problems, and contrast Keynesian and supply-side economics16.1Compare and contrast entitlement and means-tested social welfare programs16.2
5 16Learning ObjectivesAssess the extent of economic inequality in America and the role of government in lessening it16.3Trace the change over time in major federal welfare programs16.4
6 16Learning ObjectivesOutline how America’s Social Security program works and the challenge of keeping it financially solvent in the coming years16.5Distinguish American social welfare policy from that of other established democracies16.6
7 16Learning ObjectivesAssess the impact of social welfare policies on democracy and the scope of government in America16.7
8 16Video: The BasicsWatch this video to learn why economic policy is so complicated in the United States. Find out how policies developed to solve new challenges that arose from industrialization. Then, consider whether you should be worried about the national debt.
9 Economic Policymaking 16.1Economic PolicymakingBill Clinton’s 1992 campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid,” summed up how voters make choices at the ballot box. Economic conditions are the best single predictor of voters’ evaluation of how the president is doing his job. When the economy is good, the incumbent party is rewarded with reelection. When the economy is bad, voters tend to throw out the incumbents and give the opposition party a chance.But the connection is not quite that simple and direct. Each party has its own preferred strategies for addressing an economic downturn, with Democrats more concerned with unemployment and Republicans more concerned with lowering inflation. And the president has less control over the economy than voters assume.Two Major Worries: Unemployment and InflationPolicies for Controlling the EconomyWhy It Is Hard to Control the Economy
10 Two Major Worries: Unemployment and Inflation 16.1Two Major Worries: Unemployment and InflationThe unemployment rate tells us the percentage of Americans who are looking for work but are unable to find it. The unemployment rate varies by demographic characteristics such as age, race, and education level. But the overall unemployment rate has been as high as 10% since the Great Recession. Of course, the unemployment rate does not capture unemployed people who have become so discouraged that they have given up looking for work, nor those who are employed part-time but are looking for full-time work. So, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is now releasing an underemployment rate as well.Inflation is a rise in the price of goods and services. The BLS also tracks how much the cost of buying the same set of basic goods and services rises over time. Inflation currently averages about 4%.Unemployment rate10% in Great RecessionUnderemployment rateTracked by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)InflationRise in price of goods and servicesConsumer price index (CPI)Averages 4%
11 Policies for Controlling the Economy 16.1Policies for Controlling the EconomyThe principle that the government should not meddle at all in the economy is known as laissez-faire. Conservatives still espouse this principle, but it has never really existed in any nation-state, certainly not in modern time. Since the stock market crash of 1929, the federal government’s intervention in the U.S. economy has grown. The government has two main tools with which to steer the economy: monetary and fiscal policy.Monetary policy is determined by the Federal Reserve Board, known as the “Fed.” The chairman is one of the most important U.S. officials. Like the bureaucracy, the Fed has no direct democratic accountability. It meets in secret and can act without first getting permission from elected officials. The Fed manipulates the amount of money in circulation, which affects inflation and economic growth. Too much money leads to inflation, too little leads to economic stagnation. It is a difficult balance to strike.Laissez-faireMonetary policy and the “fed”Federal Reserve BoardMeets in secret; not accountable to CongressManipulating the amount of money
12 Policies for Controlling the Economy 16.1Policies for Controlling the EconomyThe other tool for influencing the economy is fiscal policy – that is, how much the government taxes, spends, and borrows. There are two positions on fiscal policy. One was proposed by English economist John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression. Keynes thought that the government should spend money to stimulate the economy, and provide jobs if the private sector was unable or unwilling to do so, the idea being that when consumers have money, they buy goods and services, which is essential to getting the economy rolling again. This was the strategy followed by FDR and most Democrats.A competing theory espoused by Republicans is known as supply-side economics. Government should cut taxes to provide an incentive for people to work harder. If they get to keep more of what they earn, they will try to earn more, and have more to spend. Supply-siders believe that the government will actually collect more revenue by cutting taxes because the amount of taxable income will increase when people start working harder and longer. They also believe that cutting regulations will stimulate the supply of goods.Which side is correct?Fiscal policy: Keynesian v. supply-side economicsTaxing, spending, borrowingKeynesian economic theorySupply-side economics
13 16.1 Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke When the head of the Federal Reserve Board speaks, the financial industry listens intently for every clue as to how the Fed may act regarding interest rates. Here, traders on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade monitor Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s news conference following a Fed meeting.
14 16.1FIGURE 16.1: How the Obama administration’s predictions of the impact of the 2009 stimulus plan went awryWhy was unemployment higher than predicted? Would employment have been higher without the stimulus or did the stimulus not do any good?
15 Video: Thinking Like a Political Scientist 16.1Video: Thinking Like a Political ScientistWas the federal government wise to provide tax cuts during the most recent economic recession? University of Oklahoma political scientist Alisa H. Fryar examines how researchers determine the answer to these and other economic policy questions. She also explores the challenges state and local governments face in achieving their economic goals.
16 Why It Is Hard to Control the Economy 16.1Why It Is Hard to Control the EconomySome people believe that presidents can manipulate the economy to win elections, offering a tax cut or stimulus to win favor with voters just before they go to the polls. If it were that easy for presidents to manipulate the economy, we would never have unemployment hovering around 10% at election time, as it did during the 2012 presidential election.The decisions of the private sector are much more critical to the economy than government efforts because the private sector accounts for three-fourths of GDP. Also, the impact of government policies is not felt immediately. It takes time to design, pass, and implement new policies, and the effects can take years to be felt.“Political business cycle”Presidents control economy to win electionsPrivate sector dominates economyFederal government is ¼ of GDPImpact of government policies gradual
17 16.116.1 Laissez-faire economic theory holds that government intervention in the economy:This was the dominant view of economics until the Great Depression and FDR.Is needed during recessions and depressionsIs key to preventing inflationIs detrimental to economic growth and prosperityIs necessary only when interest rates are too high17
18 16.116.1 Laissez-faire economic theory holds that government intervention in the economy:Proponents of laissez-faire economics believe that the private sector should be left to itself, without government regulation or other interference. No country follows this theory in practice.Is needed during recessions and depressionsIs key to preventing inflationIs detrimental to economic growth and prosperityIs necessary only when interest rates are too high18
19 16.1Video: In ContextIs your personal budget like the federal budget? If not, how is it different? University of Oklahoma political scientist Alisa H. Fryar breaks down the complexities of the federal budget and explains how the study of economic policy is changing in a more globalized society.
20 Types of Social Welfare Policies 16.2Types of Social Welfare PoliciesThe federal government spends more on social welfare policies than on any other type of policy, including national defense.Americans tend to equate all social welfare policy with aid to the poor, which makes it one of the most controversial policy areas. In fact, only about 17% of social spending goes to aid the poor. Most of it goes to assisting the elderly, regardless of income.There are two types of social welfare policies–entitlement programs and means-tested programs. It is important to understand the difference between them. Let’s look at them on the next slides.Biggest government expenseOnly 17% goes to poor
21 Types of Social Welfare Policies 16.2Types of Social Welfare PoliciesEntitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, are not funded out of general tax revenue. Working people and their employers contribute to them, and everyone over a certain age is eligible to receive benefits. Entitlement programs are the largest and most expensive public policies administered by the federal government.Entitlement programsSocial Security, MedicareLargest and most expensive
22 Types of Social Welfare Policies 16.2Types of Social Welfare PoliciesMeans-tested programs, such as food stamps and Medicaid, are available to people whose income is below a certain level. They are much more controversial than entitlement programs because they are supported by general tax revenue.Liberals tend to view the poor as victims of circumstances beyond their control, and they see these policies as providing assistance to people in difficult situations.Conservatives view the poor as lazy and see their poverty as a consequence of their own irresponsibility. They see these policies as fostering dependency. Your view on these programs will largely depend upon your perception of poverty – it is the fault of the poor or not?Means-tested programsFood stamps, MedicaidFear of dependency
23 16.2 Which of the following is an example of an entitlement program? Let’s review the difference between entitlement programs and means-tested programs with this question.Food stampsMedicaidPostal serviceMedicare23
24 16.2 Which of the following is an example of an entitlement program? Medicare is an entitlement program. All Americans over age 65, and some younger individuals who are disabled, are eligible for Medicare benefits.Food stampsMedicaidPostal serviceMedicare24
25 Explore the Simulation: You Are the Federal Reserve Chair 16.2Explore the Simulation: You Are the Federal Reserve ChairThe government influences the nation’s economy primarily through fiscal policy and monetary policy. In this simulation, you will learn more about monetary policy acting as the chair of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee.
26 Explore Economic Policy: Who Broke the Economy? 16.2Explore Economic Policy: Who Broke the Economy?Who is to blame for a broken economy? does partisanship play a role? Let’s examine this issue by completing this exercise.
27 Income, Poverty, and Public Policy 16.3Income, Poverty, and Public PolicyThe United States has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes. In 2010, the median household income was $49,445. Yet the U.S. also has the widest gap between rich and poor of any developed country, and income inequality is increasing.The myth of the American dream, the idea that someone can start from anywhere on the socio-economic ladder and work their way up, is less true today than ever. Social mobility is more limited than in other developed countries, and the main conflict between liberals and conservatives is over distribution of income.Who’s Getting What?Who’s Poor in America?How Public Policy Affects Income
28 16.399%The Occupy movement attempts to draw attention to the economic problems of the 99% of Americans who are not in the elite 1% wealth bracket.
29 Who’s Getting What? 16.3 Income distribution Wealth versus income The income distribution in a democratic country goes to the heart of its sense of justice and equality. In recent decades, the rich have gotten richer but the poor have not seen their incomes increase. This income stagnation for the poor and middle class has led to a situation of relative deprivation.When we speak of income distribution, we are usually referring to the amount of money collected in a given time period. But there is even more inequality in America when wealth is considered instead of income. Wealth is the value of assets, such as stocks, bonds, bank accounts, property, etc. One-third of America’s wealth is held by the wealthiest 1% of the population. The next third is held by 9% and the remaining third is held by 90%.Income distributionSense of justice and equality in a democracyRelative deprivation increasingWealth versus incomeIncome is amount collected in given timeWealth is value of assets1/3 of wealth held by 1%1/3 held by 90%
30 16.3FIGURE 16.2: Increase in income inequality and the rise of the top 1%This graph divides U.S. income into quintiles and shows the percentage of the nation’s income earned by each quintile in 1979 and in 2007.
31 Who’s Poor in America? 16.3 Poverty line Poverty is a relative concept. The percentage of Americans considered impoverished is determined by the income threshold set by the Census Bureau. The poverty line was established in the 1960s by taking the cost of a bare subsistence diet and multiplying it by three, under the assumption that the poor spend 1/3 of their income on food. The poverty threshold for a single adult in 2010 was $11,139. It is widely agreed that the existing measurement tool is outdated as other costs, such as housing, are more significant in a person’s budget than food today.As of 2010, 46.6 million Americans live in poverty, according to the official poverty line. That is about 15.2% of the population. It is clear that this figure greatly underestimates poverty in America.Members of minorities, women, children, and inner-city residents are most likely to be living in poverty. Women with children are the most likely to be poor, at a rate of over 30%.Poverty line$11,139 in 201046.6 million Americans poor in 201015.2% of populationDemographics of povertyFeminization of poverty
32 16.3 If landmass were divided like wealth This graphic shows how the land mass of the United States would be divided if it were distributed like wealth.
33 16.3FIGURE 16.3: Poverty rates for persons with selected characteristics, 2010: A comparison of the official and supplemental measuresThe poverty rate for various groups is shown here using both official and supplemental measures of poverty. The supplemental measure takes into account both government assistance, such as food stamps, and cost of living factors, such as medical care.
34 How Public Policy Affects Income 16.3How Public Policy Affects IncomeSome people believe that the government should ensure a minimum level of income for all. But income is linked to how hard people work, what jobs are available where they live, and what kind of education they can afford. Government affects income mainly via taxing and spending.There are three types of taxes, progressive, proportional, and regressive. A progressive tax charges the rich a higher percentage of their income than the poor. A proportional tax takes the same proportion from everyone, and a regressive tax takes a higher proportion of the poor’s income than the wealthy’s income. Sales tax is an example of a regressive tax. Do you see why sales taxes hit those with lower income harder? The federal income tax is progressive.TaxationProgressiveProportionalRegressive
35 How Public Policy Affects Income 16.3How Public Policy Affects IncomeThe government makes payments to individuals according to various calculations of need. The unemployed may receive unemployment compensation, and the poor may receive various benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps.Poverty among the elderly has been significantly reduced since Social Security was introduced. Food stamps have curbed malnutrition among the poor. Over 90% of black children receive food stamps before age 20.Government ExpendituresTransfer paymentsSocial security, unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc.
36 EBT at the farmers’ market 16.3EBT at the farmers’ marketAs of 2012, about a quarter of America’s farmers’ markets were set-up to take food stamps. A federal government program is working on increasing this number.
37 16.3 TABLE 16.1: The major social welfare programs This table shows the biggest entitlement and means-tested programs and describes their beneficiaries and funding.
38 16.3 What percentage of Americans live below the poverty line? Let’s apply what we’ve learned. Statistics can tell part of the picture.5.3%10%15.2%25.6%38
39 16.3 What percentage of Americans live below the poverty line? Officially, 15.2% of Americans live below the poverty line but this figure is known to underestimate the true percentage.5.3%10%15.2%25.6%39
40 Video: In the Real World 16.3Video: In the Real WorldShould the wealthy pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than people with lower incomes? Real people tackle this central question, and they weigh in on what they believe is the fairest system of taxation and what tax reforms need to be made in the United States.
41 Helping the Poor? Social Policy and the Needy 16.4Helping the Poor? Social Policy and the NeedyUntil the Great Depression in the 1930s, government played a very small role in social welfare. Families were expected to care for each member, and the poor and destitute had to rely on the largesse of private charities. The life of the poor prior to government social welfare programs was grim beyond our imagining.“Welfare” as We Knew ItEnding Welfare as We Knew It: The Welfare Reform of 1996
42 “Welfare” as We Knew It 16.4 FDR’s New Deal programs FDR’s New Deal social welfare programs, such as Social Security and Aid to Families with Dependent Children, were initiated not only to alleviate crushing poverty during the Great Depression but to assure that poor Americans, such as the elderly and women with children, would have a permanent safety net.In the 1960s, President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” expanded this safety net for the poor with new programs, such as food stamps.These social welfare programs did what they were designed to do in alleviating the worst deprivations of poverty but they did nothing to address the causes of poverty.FDR’s New Deal programsSocial Security Act of 1935AFDCJohnson’s War on PovertyFood stamps
43 “Welfare” as We Knew It 16.4 Republican’s war on dependency By the 1980s, Republicans, and some Democrats, began to fear that there were generations who had come to depend on government programs for subsistence. Stories were told of “welfare queens” who collected enough benefits to live richly on a combination of government assistance programs.As the number of single mothers on welfare grew, there was concern that AFDC was facilitating an increase in deadbeat dads, who were fathering children but letting the government provide for them financially.There was a growing belief that the welfare rolls were populated by the undeserving poor and that they were mainly African American. The stereotype of African Americans as the main recipients of welfare was never true, but it provided additional pressure from voters on the government to “end welfare as we know it.”Republican’s war on dependency“Welfare queens”Deadbeat dadsThe undeserving poor/African Americans
44 Ending Welfare as We Knew It: The Welfare Reform of 1996 16.4Ending Welfare as We Knew It: The Welfare Reform of 1996Welfare reform was achieved under a Democratic president, albeit a relatively conservative Southern Democrat, working with Republicans in Congress. The 1996 welfare reform bill, officially called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, had three main provisions.First, states would receive a fixed amount of federal money to run their own welfare programs, resulting in benefit levels that varied substantially by state. Second, there was a two-year limit for receiving benefits, during which time the recipient was supposed to undertake job training and find work. Finally, there was a lifetime maximum of 5 years for benefits. The AFDC program was re-named Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.Welfare reform was extremely effective. With states administering their own unique programs, benefit levels dropped to an average of $363 per month, and the number of recipients declined dramatically, as Figure 16.4 will show you.Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)States would run their own programsTwo year limit for benefitsLifetime maximum of 5 yearsFrom AFDC to TANFReforms were effectiveBenefit dollar amounts declinedNumber of recipients declined
45 16.4Climb WyomingThis single mother was enrolled in a job training program whilst receiving welfare in Wyoming. TANF recipients must make an effort to find work in order to be eligible to receive benefits.
46 16.4FIGURE 16.4: How welfare reform drastically reduced the welfare rollsThe number of people on welfare used to fluctuate with the poverty level. But when welfare reform restricted states to a fixed amount of money for benefits, the number of recipients could not go up when the poverty level increased. But, as you can see, there was no such restriction on the food stamp program, and the number of recipients has continued to track the poverty level.
47 16.4 Which of the following was a goal of welfare reform? Now that you’ve learned about welfare reform, can you answer this question?Reduce the number of people living in povertyReduce the number of children who lack medical insuranceReduce the number of people receiving welfare benefitsReduce the need for job training to get people off welfare47
48 16.4 Which of the following was a goal of welfare reform? The goal of welfare reform was to reduce the welfare rolls, and the reforms were very successful in achieving that goal. The reform stands as an example of government doing what it set out to do. Fewer poor people receive welfare today than at any time in the program’s history.Reduce the number of people living in povertyReduce the number of children who lack medical insuranceReduce the number of people receiving welfare benefitsReduce the need for job training to get people off welfare48
49 Social Security: Living on Borrowed Time 16.5Social Security: Living on Borrowed TimeAmericans have money withheld from their pay checks to contribute to Social Security. When they retire, they will receive benefits based on their lifetime earnings. But the number of people retiring is rising in relation to the number who are working and paying into the program, and retiree are living many more years than they used to. The program is going to have to be reformed to avoid running out of funds after the Baby Boom generation retires.Growth of Social SecurityReforming Social Security
50 Growth of Social Security 16.5Growth of Social SecuritySocial Security is one of the most popular government programs, despite the fact that its benefits are modest. The average recipient receives only $1, 229 per month. Yet the program has been crucial to reducing poverty amongst the elderly and disabled.Social Security is the most expensive federal government policy but, until recently, it was fiscally sound. Contributions from workers exceeded benefits being paid out to retirees, giving the program a surplus. But since 2010, payouts have exceeded income. The surplus will be depleted unless benefits are cut or the withholding rate increased. Neither of these solutions is popular with voters, but something must be done. What do you think is the best solution?Popular programModest benefitsAverage $1,229/monthMost expensive public policyBut fiscally soundSurplus depleting since 2010What is the solution?
51 Reforming Social Security 16.5Reforming Social SecuritySocial Security is difficult for the president and Congress to reform because older Americans vote at higher rates than any other group. But presidents have proposed some ideas for reform. Bush suggested diverting 1/3 of Social Security funds into private investments. But the possibility that people could lose money in the stock market did not appeal to the electorate, especially during a period when stocks were slumping. Also, removing money from Social Security would hasten its bankruptcy rather than save it. In fact, many Democrats believed that was the ultimate goal of the plan to privatize Social Security.Obama has proposed a combination of reforms to keep the program fiscally solvent, including increasing the age to receive benefits, lowering the cost of living increase, reducing benefits for people who have other sources of income, and raising contribution amounts.Politically difficultOlder Americans have high voting rateReform proposalsBush: Put 1/3 into private investmentsObama:Increase age to receive benefitsLower inflation raisesReduce benefits for wealthy recipientsRaise contribution amounts
52 16.516.5 Which of the following was a Social Security reform proposed by President Bush?We’ve discussed several reform proposals. Can you answer this question?Lower age to receive benefitsIncrease contributionsRaise age to receive benefitsDivert funds to stock market52
53 16.516.5 Which of the following was a Social Security reform proposed by President Bush?President Bush proposed encouraging people to invest their money privately rather than contributing to a government retirement fund but this proposal was not popular with the American public.Activity: Recent debates over Social Security reform make the issue ripe for classroom discussion. Consider the following questions:• How do you feel about the fact that Social Security programs may not be available to you, assuming you will retire after 2020? How might this be remedied?• Should those members of the over sixty- five age group who paid into Social Security programs, but who have alternate good incomes, be taken off Social Security? Why? Justify your conclusion.• Should Social Security be kept the way it is or should there be reform? Why are there different opinions as to whether Social Security is in trouble or not?Lower age to receive benefitsIncrease contributionsRaise age to receive benefitsDivert funds to stock market53
54 Social Welfare Policy Elsewhere 16.6Social Welfare Policy ElsewhereOther developed countries are more generous with social welfare programs than the United States. Americans are often shocked when they find out the types of policies that are the norm in other countries, such as free day care, paid parental leave, free college tuition, and universal health care. But they are even more shocked by the taxes that support these welfare states. Europeans pay for their benefits with tax rates that can exceed 50% of income.Americans and Europeans have a fundamentally different perspective on poverty and social welfare. Americans see them as an individual responsibility, and tend to distrust government. 71% of Americans believe that poverty is the fault of the poor person and within their control. Europeans, on the other hand, believe that government has the primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. They trust their governments more than Americans do. Only 40% of Europeans believe that a poor person could lift him or herself out of poverty if they worked hard enough.The European welfare stateTaxes and benefitsIndividual v. government responsibility
55 16.616.6 What is the main difference in the American and European attitudes toward poverty?Attitudes toward poverty have a direct bearing on social policy. Think about these choices before giving your answer.Americans believe poverty is your own faultEuropeans believe poverty is a result of circumstances beyond your controlBoth A & BNeither A nor B55
56 16.616.6 What is the main difference in the American and European attitudes toward poverty?Americans think that poor people are lazy, that opportunity exists for them to lift themselves out of poverty by hard work. Europeans believe that the poor are victims of circumstances beyond their control and that there is little they could do to change their financial situation.Americans believe poverty is your own faultEuropeans believe poverty is a result of circumstances beyond your controlBoth A & BNeither A nor B56
57 Understanding Economic and Social Welfare Policymaking 16.7Understanding Economic and Social Welfare PolicymakingNo issue divides liberals and conservatives more sharply than social welfare policy. The view that the playing field is level and that anyone can succeed with individual initiative and hard work and that social welfare policies encourage and reward laziness is diametrically opposed to the view that systematic inequalities prevent some people from having an equal chance at success and necessitate a helping hand in a civilized society.Even if liberals and conservatives both believed that the playing field was level for the able-bodied, there would remain disagreement over how much, if any, assistance to provide to people unable to compete due to age or disability.Democracy and Economic and Social Welfare PoliciesEconomic and Social Welfare Policies and the Scope of Government
58 Democracy and Economic and Social Welfare Policies 16.7Democracy and Economic and Social Welfare PoliciesDemocracy has been key to the development of both economic regulations and social welfare policies. It was voters who rejected President Hoover’s laissez-faire approach to the Great Depression and elected FDR with his promises of a New Deal. It was voters who elected various politicians over the years who limited working hours and imposed health and safety standards on employers. We have health care for the poor and the elderly because the democratic process has produced it.Americans value liberty but accept certain limits on it for the good of society. We accept that free speech does not give us the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater and we accept that free enterprise does not give businesses the right to employ 10-year-olds.But democracy does not always ensure that policy works in the public interest. Different groups have different levels of political power, and groups representing the interests of the wealthy have much more power than groups representing the interests of the poor.There is also the issue of policy inertia. Once a policy is instituted it can be hard to generate the political view to abolish or change it. Assistance programs for women with children, introduced in the 1930s, during an era when mothers were not expected to work outside the home, were not reformed until the 1990s, long past the advent of the time when women with children were expected to work.Problems of free enterprise addressed via democracyGovernment regulation demandedLimits to economic freedomGroups unequal in political resourcesPolicy inertia
59 16.7Child laborThis photograph shows an 11-year-old girl working in a textile mill in Tennessee. U.S. law now prohibits child labor.
60 Economic and Social Welfare Policies and the Scope of Government 16.7Economic and Social Welfare Policies and the Scope of GovernmentThe scope of government involvement in the economy is hotly debated by liberals and conservatives. Liberals see government intervention as a way to fix imperfections in the market whereas conservatives see imperfections in government as standing in the way of markets.In the realm of social welfare policy, conservatives see the poor as underserving of government assistance and liberals see them as deserving. Whether you think the welfare system is too big or too small depends upon your perspective on the causes of poverty.Liberals and conservatives disagreeLiberals advocate more govt. interventionConservatives want lessWelfare state too big or too small?Depends which side you are on
61 16.716.7 The viewpoint that the welfare state is too large and serves an undeserving clientele is likely to be espoused by:These two groups fundamentally disagree on this issue. You should be able to identify which group holds the viewpoint in this question.A liberalA conservativeBothNeither61
62 16.716.7 The viewpoint that the welfare state is too large and serves an undeserving clientele is likely to be espoused by:Conservatives view the welfare state as too large, with tax money taken from hard working people and given to “welfare queens” and other undeserving lazy people.A liberalA conservativeBothNeither62
63 16Discussion QuestionWhat tools does the government possess to intervene in the economy? Who wields these tools and how effective are they in improving economic growth? Why do conservatives and liberals disagree about social welfare policy?
64 16Video: So What?How does American government compare to governments in other industrialized western countries? Author Martin P. Wattenberg boils the differences down to three Gs–God, guns and government—and he explains how these can be seen as the key to America’s success and the root cause of our problems.
65 16 Further Review: On MyPoliSciLab Listen to the Chapter Study and Review the FlashcardsStudy and Review the Practice Tests