Sample Essay on:
The United States - A Reluctant Welfare State

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

An 11 page paper. The essay begins with a definition of 'welfare state' and discusses what makes the U.S. a reluctant welfare state. Three of the many social welfare programs are discussed briefly: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Pensions. The writer discusses the differences between certain other countries and the U.S. in terms of health care programs. The essay concludes that social justice is not served by the programs and policies in this country. Bibliography lists 15 sources.

Page Count:

11 pages (~225 words per page)

File: MM12_PGuswlfst.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

welfare state. There are numerous definitions of the term, depending on the field of inquiry. For instance, the American Heritage Dictionary defines this term as "A social system whereby the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens, as in matters of health care, education, employment, and social security" (, 2006). Other definitions from the fields of business and politics include the terms: minimum income guarantees, retirement pensions, unemployment compensation, and public housing (, 2006). Economists define a welfare state has having features of both "capitalism and socialism retaining private ownership while the government enacts broad programs of social welfare" (, 2006). Given these definitions and the extend of federally sponsored and supported social welfare programs in the U.S., such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Pensions, we would conclude that the U.S. has the features of a welfare state. As for reluctant, given the love/hate ambivalent feelings regarding these same social welfare programs, we would conclude that it is indeed a reluctant welfare state. The founding fathers did not write a Constitution that supported any type of federal sponsorship of social welfare. In fact, they were adamant the federal government should not interfere with individual rights and privileges. Like all societies, the United States has faced the challenge of numerous social problems throughout its history (Jansson, 2000). During the colonial period, indentured servants who were released often faced poverty (Jansson, 2000). In the 19th and early 20th centuries, poor immigrants faced poverty as well as discrimination and disease (Jansson, 2000). Throughout the history of this country, there have been many specific groups who bore the brunt of social problems; these groups have included women, the elderly, individuals with severe chronic physical disabilities, and different minority groups like Native Americans, African-Americans, and Latinos (Jansson, 2000). Historically, ...

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