America’s welfare policy has fallen short of the goals listed by Anderson. As a system that truly helps those in need, America’s welfare system may meet this goal – especially based on its unique design in giving funds to non-profit organizations to aid in poor communities. This type of funding and approach helps to achieve two goals: one, it targets those in need, as recognized by members of the same community. Two, there is some personal responsibility in the use of funds, as relationships are made face to face and not through a government office.However, goal 2 is a difficult goal to meet – not impairing the incentives to work, in fact, this has been the biggest point of contention between the government and the populace. Demographically, the population most dependant on welfare is single mothers. This demographic has obvious additional concerns of child-raising.
Additionally, the income that a single mother needs to earn is higher when she has children to stay above poverty. However, since many of these women come from urban and rural areas that are very poor, the education level is low, so therefore the earning potential is low. Additionally, since they live in poor housing areas, the work opportunities in the neighborhoods near to home are not high paying.
Therefore, transportation barriers exist to finding work as well as providing for the care of children.Goal 3 – to minimize taxpayer cost. This goal must be looked at in both the short and long term. In the short term, what the government is doing may be cost effective. However, without greater spending in education, there could be several difficulties for the taxpayer burden in the future.
In reality, welfare and poverty is linked to many social systems – primarily education, capitalism, and race. First, education in inner cities and rural areas is not the best. Second, capitalism requires a low-paid workforce to continue to manufacture goods and services. Third, despite legislation against racial discrimination, African-American and Hispanic peoples traditionally earn less. Additionally, with the influx of Mexican immigrants, the low paying jobs are being performed by them. This creates an additional squeeze on the social classes that are primarily on welfare.