Welfare refers to the situation of being in a prosperous condition. People prosper when they have sufficient resources for a valuable life.
This term also refers to assistance by the state to people who need it, mainly because they do not have enough money. The support can be in the form of cash, food, and other resources.
Two related terms
- The welfare state is when the government seeks to provide at least a minimum income and public service for all residents of a country.
- Welfare economics is a normative study of how we should regulate economic activities to provide social welfare for the population. This field of economics, among its topics, focuses on economic efficiency and income distribution.
What is a welfare program
Welfare programs are government programs to provide financial or other assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals or households.
The objectives vary depending on the program.
That is to ensure that people can meet their basic needs, such as food and shelter. By doing so, the better their living standards.
Other goals might be to promote job performance or increase access to education. Or, the program is for the affordability of health access, as a health insurance program.
What are the types of welfare programs?
Programs can take various forms, such as:
- Monetary payments or cash payments
- Food Coupons
- Unemployment benefits
- Housing assistance
- Cheap credit
- Childcare assistance
- National health insurance
- Entrepreneurial assistance
For those of you who live in the United States, you can see it on the USAGov website.
How does welfare program work?
Welfare program funds come from taxes, the primary source of government revenue. In some cases, recipients may also contribute by paying, but that is less significant.
Program recipients vary. They include unemployed individuals, school-age teenagers, those who are sick or disabled, veterans, and those who have dependent children. Income level and family size are among the factors considered in the selection.
For monetary payments, for example, recipients receive monthly payments. Meanwhile, for the national health insurance program, recipients receive free health care benefits when they undergo treatment in a hospital.
Is the program effective?
It is debatable to answer questions.
The desired result depends primarily on the circumstances that led them to apply for aid. Welfare programs allow people at least to overcome financial pressures during difficult times of their lives. Not everyone is rich and lucky.
Mentally or physically disabled people need help. The welfare program provides ongoing assistance to improve their lives.
Those with less education also need support, such as skills training or education subsidies. With it, they can take steps to financial independence.
Pros and cons
Availability resources are vital to maintaining the health, mental, and comfort of citizens.
Welfare programs affect the economy for several reasons. Supporters argue that the welfare program:
- Helping to reduce poverty and increase the income of poor families. Improved income is essential to maintain purchasing power and encourage household consumption.
- Encouraging a more productive workforce, for example, through education subsidy programs. When citizens are more productive, it ultimately increases the productive capacity of the economy.
- Breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. Poverty often raises social problems in society, such as crime. Not only that, poverty in children, in particular, reduces productivity and economic output around 1.3 percent of GDP. It also increased health expenditure by 1.2 percent of GDP.
But critics argue such aid would have unintended negative consequences.