A Politicized Concept, Rhetorically Ambitious, with Paradoxical Outcome
Welfare is an ancient phenomenon that goes back to the roman empire when the first emperor Augustus provided the “Cura Annonae” or “grain dole” for citizens who could not afford to buy food every month. Welfare statehood is rooted in innate human nature to help fellow humans. We have obligations towards our neighbors and fellow community members. Some call it humanity, other collective consciousness, and many see it through the lens of the golden rule and sense of ensuring liberty to all individuals.
Today the definition of welfare rests within the “collective” frame.
Humans are social beings, and once they started building the community, they found the need for an organized leadership to maintain order within the system. However, despite the legitimate reasons for establishing government administration to support the proper ordinance, the regime’s role did not stop there.
As we have witnessed throughout history, once a government engages in a public-private affair, citizens of the community fall dependent on the administration. Generally speaking, regimes curb social and economic issues and monopolize access to resources, knowledge, and the job market. Unless citizens are bound and follow specific certain preset ordinances, they will struggle to survive. Hence in a typical socialized system of governance, people become institutionalized. Once institutionalization sits in the meaning of fair competition and reward is takes the downturn. Thus, many forms of socioeconomic classes evolve.
In a highly controlled system government has responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. That is how, over centuries, regimes adopted various welfare programs. The welfare system, despite its compassion and rhetoric, nonetheless has always had its flaws and shortcomings. It has been such a significant issue that it is a hugely politicized concept that within the modern political arena, it is usually a deal-breaker when it comes to electing a public official into the office, such as the presidency.
Welfare and Welfare State- The Bureaucratic version of Human Compassion
Welfare is a type of government support that guarantees that citizens can receive basic human wants, such as food and shelter. In some societies, it may refer to Social security, social insurance programs, which provide support only to those who have previously contributed (e.g., most pension systems). The latter contrasts with social assistance programs that offer support based on need alone (e.g., most disability benefits).
Generally speaking, welfare may also comprise aims to afford a basic level of well-being through free or subsidized social assistance such as healthcare, education, vocational training, and public housing.
Some scholars believe that the government’s means of intervention in public affairs is essential towards shaping public opinions toward welfare state policies in industrialized countries. Since welfare programs are primarily administrative solutions, both situational and ideological factors play a significant role.
The attitudes around welfare programs are incredibly diverse. Many governments produce different public expectations about sweeping social problems and relationships between individuals, the state, and other institutions. Ultimately, understanding welfare policies and their associated semantics influences prevailing attitudes around orders the state should pursue and who should benefit from those welfare programs.
Means of funding, implementation and the expanse of benefit coverage fluctuate broadly among countries. Many protect citizens from the economic risks and insecurities of life. The most common examples of providing benefits are the elderly, retired, sick or invalid, dependent survivors, mothers, the unemployed, the work-injured, and families.
Welfare, Social Attitude, and Humanity
When it comes to the subject of welfare, there is more than one definition. As mentioned previously, such semantic variation is because everyone has a different impression of an empathetic attitude and humanity. Surrounding social norms prevalent to the community, an individual lives independently influenced by the latter two.
We already know that attitude is fundamental to the scope and nature of a welfare program and that governments, by nature, manipulate such behavior and attitudes. However, Too great an emphasis on trying to change attitudes jeopardizes individual sovereignty. In our society, those who would sacrifice the first amendment in an attempt to compel the community into a predetermined attitudinal utterance are also those who would take away citizens’ liberty.
Collective Consciousness is the Prerequisite for the Welfare State Program
Collective conscience (also called collective consciousness, or collective consciousness) has partaken views, ideas, and moral positions that operate as a unifying force within society. It is merely about the “shared understanding of social norms” and not necessarily individual beliefs.
Society must first come to terms with its particular collective mission and positions about the topic they intend to implement To adopt a welfare statehood. Without entering into collective terms, the entire system of the solution will either fail or will require full government intervention. The latter will only come at the expense of many for the partial benefit of the few. Hence one should expect no perfect outcome, only a “minimalistic” turnout. In addition to a collective agreement within a community, public expectations must also be limited, as the welfare state system does not fit a consumeristic attitude.
Until very recently, the United States was one of the very few consumeristic states in the world. However, amid the expansion of social media, the internet, and other communication logistics, such an attitude is becoming more and more prevalent in almost every society, with only a handful of exceptions.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Sociology, social classes of worthiness affect welfare policy development through their constitutive offering to cultural schemas. Participants also influence the deployment. That is thru expert deliberation and public conversation, as well as the state of institutionalization in social programs that reinforces the symbolic and predetermined boundaries between divisions of the poor. There are many artificial ways that cultural mechanisms blended with the existing class of citizens ‐ and institution‐based accounts of welfare policy development. Such a manner is the so-called bureaucracy. And once we witness the dissociation of humanity or collective conscience from its core sentiment and we bureaucratize something inherently personal, it means that we let bureaucrats define what is humane and what is not! Furthermore, by doing so, we provide the administration the opportunity to politicize something purely social and personal. Yet- we even have the tenacity to object to the decisions of politicians, who we empowered in the first place.
Why People Seek Welfare
There are many theories about why people seek welfare and fall into the vicious circle of poverty, joblessness, and public assistance sponsorship. Some blame the weak job market, few on lack of opportunity, and others fault drug addiction and substance abuse for the ever-increasing need for welfare programs. The above scenarios have in common the way they focus on the symptom and not the root of the problem.
The major problem with the welfare program is that (based on what I described at the beginning of this article); Such dependence is not merely referent to the direct welfare implementation but also is the upshot of multidimensional control over public affairs such as overzealous application of licensing, certification, mandates, and legislation. Therefore, once the liberal implementation of orders is in place, people will have no option but to rely on the government for a disaster intentionally and bureaucratically brought upon them.
The irony of all that is said and done is that- the welfare program may function in societies with lower expectations, homogenous cultural traits, and a “Non-capitalist” governing system. However, the worst will ensue once one tries to patch the supposedly “By the People, for The People” with a system meant to be on the common union or, in extreme cases, socialist.
The Controversy of the Welfare System
However, one of the major arguments is over the semantics of what a real “unbureaucratic” welfare means. Some may see, as most conservatives do, aid in creating an opportunity to flourish. Seeking aid has to do with promoting circumstances that allow people to grow. It means doing everything to thrive in their homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, economies, and political communities. However, from a liberal perspective building a government based on majority rhetoric and redistribution of wealth is the mere opportunity to help the needy.
The mainstream liberals criticize their oppositions based on the notion of “Love’ Assistance to the Poor’ But Hate’ Welfare.’” Then again, such an argument is utterly baseless because even though active assistance (As liberals foresee) may be relevant only with proper infrastructure built for passive help (as conservatives offer).
In my opinion, one cannot be apart from the other and must ensure that the former be temporary and the latter permanent or at the minor long term. But unfortunately, neither side is willing to compromise by holding extreme stances, simply because welfare is nothing but a politicized collective conscience, turned ugly.
Why People Want to Politicize Welfare
Among the majority of people I know, I could hardly recall anyone supporting any form of politicization of social affairs; however, that ideology is the subject of oratory. But still, I witness the same people expecting their administrations and leaders of their political parties for solutions. We can’t necessarily blame the average citizens for their contradictory attitudes. For people to comprehend the correct stance of the governments, it requires transparency, the kind of characteristics by nature are rare to a typical regime. Politics operates in the grey zone, as no one other than the politicians will be aware of the progress and outcome until something happens. The latter is something utterly in contrast to the needs of the individual and the societal realm.
For the reasons explained earlier, The need for the political instrument in welfare statism is a highly controversial issue, particularly in the United States.
It is also vital to recognize that bureaucratic arrangements and political players are the primary origins of welfare programs, including the public health course that has defined its utterly politicized nature.
Welfare statism is a bureaucratic version of otherwise known as empathy and humanity, implemented on a large scale. The average citizen, under tolerance, is inherently the seeker and giver of compassion. Some do it according to their faith, others simply because that is what a good Samaritan does. Based on such traits, we also reflect on our public policies, elect officials to enforce them, even though the outcome is entirely paradoxical despite its theoretical logic.
The World needs Humanity and Empathy.
For an actual human to watch another fellow soul suffer is a difficult task. We may feel the pain of others based on our inner consciences a may worry that we won’t know what to do or say. Based on that cruciality, we also select our officials and expect them to prevent such scenarios happen.
Empathy is the glue that holds society together, the capacity without which humans would not have unfolded. Indeed, we are living in the Age of Empathy. It is most likely to emerge with people we know.
In human history and psychology, trends often move in opposite directions. Empathy has a limited domain, thus accompanied by hostility to ‘outsiders.’ That is why we enjoy creating a melting pot and using slogans such as: If you are not with us, you must be against us! Or- We are in it together!
Human Nature in the State of Welfare is a Paradoxical One.
Despite the glamorous and humane image of the welfare system and its logically positive intentions, the outcome of the letter has perpetually shown the opposite result.
Proponents of welfare state expansion ignore human nature. Welfare programs offering handouts have propagated over the past decades. Government spending on welfare programs for poor and low-income in the U.S. is now are in trillions annually. The latter, just like contributions with no expectation of personal responsibility, is a scheme that robs individuals of their integrity and motivation.
A not so recent U.K. study shows just how crippling welfare can be in consuming human initiative. The study revealed that the welfare state creates a “why bother” economy leaving many with no incentive to work. The survey showed ten members of the same family living in a group home paid for by the government, none of whom had ever held a job. Besides, it reported families who feel insulted when someone suggests they should find jobs. It is the ultimate poison that has produced an entitlement mentality.
Some believe the greatest weapon against poverty is not welfare. Yet still, we need to define the true definition of “welfare” and how we define its scope. The contemporary concept of the welfare system, as the mainstream envisions, is a “Bureaucracy driven Welfare.”
Realistically speaking, real welfare should not be about financial donation and eliminating incentives to work. But it is about creating options, a free environment, transparency, and accountability. If financial support is given, it must incorporate all necessary avenues to preserve opportunities for all individuals and criminalize monopoly and unjustifiable favoritism. Latter is called “Humanity driven Welfare.”
The Bureaucracy Driven Welfare is Economy Dependent, but Humanity inspired Welfare Relies on Genuine Empathy.
The government doesn’t care about humanity; hence once the economy suffers, the bureaucracy drives welfare.
The essence of humanity is to strive towards the freedom of the will based on actual knowledge of the world. Being Humane by itself is a subjective phenomenon, hence the rationale for the unification of the opposites in objectivity. It has a blind nature and is part of life itself in this infinite, eternal, and ever-changing universe. On the other hand- the government is a body that has the authority to make and the power to enforce laws within a civil, corporate, religious, academic, other organization or group. Handing over the individual control to the government is giving up humanity in exchange for heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all administrative mandates. That propagates by way of offices usually keep close contacts with interest group lobbyists who want to influence government activities. Interest groups may provide valuable statistics to government agencies, and they want to be heard. Both lobbyists and bureaucrats value contact with congressional subcommittees that shape the laws that govern their particular interests. These three groups set most government policies.
Bureaucracy is Against Humanity.
Bureaucracy is mainly a centralized form of management, differentiated from adhocracy, in which control is decentralized.
Humanity needs a free mind and individual liberty. With the disappearance of the people’s right to choose and motivation comes the utter extinction of particular citizens. They live in a spontaneous society as if they were stateless or lawless persons.
Collectivism, despite its rhetorical message, ignores humanity. Because humanity is about the individual trait and inherent values to care, where collectivism invites bureaucracy, compassion is a personal trait, not a standard characteristic, something bureaucracy-driven welfare will never address.
The welfare program can risk a paradoxical outcome.
Some believe former welfare recipients, indeed, can get jobs, and they’ll be better off. However, it may not be exactly as though since their costs will be higher, particularly for childcare and health care, they may earn more yet do worse.
The welfare program is bureaucratic. It Empowers politicians, makes citizens dependent, and undermines compassion. Welfare programs treat the symptoms of poverty- not the cause. As a result, they will never be the solution to ending poverty, nor are they designed to be a lasting solution. We have created a massive, cumbersome officialism to deliver an ineffective welfare state that, at best, locks millions of citizens into a station in life above indigence but far from their potential. This “welfare-industrial complex” supports itself by maintaining a complicated set of unrelated programs that collectively do not and have not been shown to move large numbers of people out of poverty methodically for a long time.
Welfare Programs Promote Bureaucracy Rather Than Self-Sufficiency. It predisposes constituents to welfare dependency.
Welfare dependency is the state in which people rely on government welfare benefits for their income for an extended duration, without which they would not be able to make ends meet.
Grassroots is where compassion lives, not in the officialdom of the bureaucrats. Let communities build their welfare within themselves. For the successful empowerment of grassroots, we need a decentralized administration system, minimize regulations, and increase grassroots participation. It is always best to leave the personal affairs to the families and the local communities where compassion is more intimate and in line with the norms of that society. Welfare is the type of community empathic support aimed to support that local citizens help each other through establishing opportunity, motivation, even temporary fiscal support through community funds contingent on the proactive enthusiasm of the welfare recipient. Once again, we need to develop humanity or a grassroots-driven active welfare system and discourage bureaucracy-driven passive welfare programs.