Welfare reform is always a hot topic in a political cycle. The goal of welfare is to provide basic living needs to those who are in poverty, but as with any system, there is the potential for it to be abused. How can the need to provide be balanced with a need to eliminate fraud and abuse? Here are the key points to consider when looking at the pros and cons of welfare reform.
The Pros of Welfare Reform
1. It provides benefits to those who need it the most.
If someone is unemployed, but has a kitchen full of food that will last them a month, do they really need welfare? The goal of welfare reform is to make sure those who actually need the benefits will receive them. This helps taxpayer money to stretch further.
2. It creates conditions that can get people off of welfare.
Welfare is meant to be a part-time solution. Unfortunately it sometimes ends up being a long-term issue. Welfare reform invariably offers vocational training, job placement, and other skill development options to let people contribute to the economy instead of being supported by it.
3. Welfare reform saves money.
When those who abuse the system are able to be removed from it, taxpayer money can be saved because fewer people are on the rolls. When vocational placements work in conjunction with the reforms, more people can even contribute to the system to lessen the load on everyone else.
The Cons of Welfare Reform
1. Who watches the watchers?
Eventually someone has to come up with a definition as to who receives welfare and who does not. Who supervises this process for it to be fair? At some point, welfare reform involves someone or some group deciding the fates of others.
2. It may cost money.
Certain reforms, such as drug testing welfare recipients, has proven to be more costly than beneficial. Not every reform saves money and the end result is a greater deficit without any real benefit except for the knowledge that most people on welfare aren’t taking illicit drugs.
3. It still doesn’t change the core problem.
Welfare is in place because people don’t have equal opportunities in today’s world. Until real equality between genders, races, and socioeconomic circumstances can be created through education, this issue is still going to be a main point of contention for many.
The pros and cons of welfare reform must focus on the core issues each economic sector faces. How we define ourselves as a people is dependent on how we treat those who are in the greatest need. Welfare reform may be necessary, but it must not become something that can be manipulated by only one person or group.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.