GC Speaks: Government and State Aid Programs and Social Mobility

Written by Bailey Ochs. Media and Photos by Fallyn Paruleski.

There has been a running debate for a while now about social welfare and federal and state aid programs. Some say that the programs are just a way for people to be lazy and reap the benefits of others’ work. Others say that although there are some people who take advantage of the system, there are also those who really need to programs to get back on their feet. I believe that these programs should not be removed completely, but that perhaps there should be more regulations for those who enroll in them.

I have heard people complain about people taking advantage of the government and of tax payers by getting aid and not even trying to find a job. They claim that people are using the aid money to buy things that aren’t necessities for them, and they are taking advantage of people who are hard-working and have to pay for those who are not. I believe that this does happen. I’m sure that there are people who are milking this system for all that it is worth and have no intention of ever giving back by working hard and eventually contributing to the country and helping those who are in a similar position.

However, I don’t think that this describes everyone in these programs at all. There are people who are either injured and cannot work, were laid off, or have small children to take care of. There are people who have jobs, but those jobs are not enough to support their families. These people need temporary assistance until they are able to provide for themselves. I don’t think it is the place of people who do not know what it is to suffer financial hardship this drastically to decide who does and doesn’t need help. I understand people being upset that their tax dollars could be being misused, but that is probably happening in other instances other than welfare as well. We should focus on those who actually need the help and be glad that we have enough to spare.

Because of this need, I do not think that government welfare should be done away with completely. Perhaps the solution would be for the qualifications to be more strict. Also, maybe there could be a way to monitor how people are using their money and to make sure they are trying to get a job (if that is the reason they are on welfare). There are many reasons someone could be receiving aid. So as long as it is determined that they need it for a certain amount of time, they should receive it. You can’t take away from the people who don’t break the rules because some people do. People are always going to break the rules and take advantage of other people. It is human nature. There is evil in the world and removing help from those who need it is not going to stop this. I would think that getting rid of welfare completely could even increase crime as people who are desperate for help could turn to stealing or to going about illegal ways to get money.

Another issue of debate on the subject is if the system actually helps people to move up financially and socially or if it just makes them more dependent on government handouts. I don’t know enough about how many people who enter the system end up working their way out of it. I don’t think that there is one clear answer. Some people will stay where they are and not move up. Others will get back on their feet when they can and will no longer need the assistance.

I do not know of a better system than the current one and think that it should stay in place, but that people on aid should be routinely checked on to make sure less people are taking advantage of it.


This is what other Greenville College students have to say on the subject:


Krista Stackhouse: Some people do [take advantage of the system] and some people don’t. We think there are more than there actually are because the people who take advantage of the system are found out and we hear about those people. If they want to move up and are actually trying to get an education and a job, it will help them. But if they aren’t trying, [the system] will hurt them.


Alex Brandt: Where I’m from, a lot of people abuse [the system]. I’ve known people to sell their LINK cards, but not everyone does. It can help people move up because if they are out of a job, they can be supported for a time.


Matthew Beles: A majority of them are abusing the system. They get stuck because they get financially dependent on it.


Breanna Johnson: Yes and no. But people who take advantage of it mess it up for people who really need it. They could make the rules tighter. It depends on how badly they want to move up. If they just want free handouts, they will just stay stuck.


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