Propagating Welfare Exit by Enhancing Individual and Contextual Factors
Today, the U.S federal government funds 126 welfare programs that target the low-income people in the American society. 72 of these welfare programs provide either in-cash or in-kind benefits to the target groups. The other welfare programs fund the wider-community projects for low-income individuals. A research done by Cato Institute (2013) indicates that a mother of two children who is a beneficially of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF), Medicaid, and the Widows, Infant and Children (WIC) welfare gets a package of $38,004.
Over time, the question on whether providing welfare payments to recipients helps the recipients gain financial independence has been voiced. The welfare encourages laziness and dependence. The legislator should consider ways of shrinking the gap between welfare value and work by reducing the current welfare benefits and tightening requirements for eligibility (Weathington & Cunningham, 2012). This study gives an in-depth analysis of how to propagate a successful welfare exit by enhancing individual and contextual factors.
Welfare dependency is a major problem in the United States of America attracting the attention of all government agencies (Cato Institute, 2013). Welfare programs were coined to act as a safety net for people living under the poverty line but have become a lifestyle for the poor. The desire to shift the focus from welfare dependency to personal responsibility and independence is an issue that has faced many challenges over the years. The distinction between those deserving and the undeserving welfare recipients is not clear. The issue has raised many concerns among different people with the opponents of the movement arguing that people should receive drug tests to determine their eligibility.
Over the time, there has been a growing concern that there are many welfare beneficiaries thus encouraging dependence. The government spends $131,900,000,000 annually to fund the welfare programs (Weathington & Cunningham, 2012).
U.S Welfare Beneficiaries
|Medicaid 82 679 000 Food Stamps 51 471 000 WIC 22 526 000 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 5 442 000 Supplementary Security Income 20 355 000|
|Source: Cato Institute (2013)|
By 2015, there were 200,257,000 people benefitting from the welfare constituting 48.5% of the total U.S population. This illustrates how big the problem of dependency is in the U.S thus need for welfare exit strategies to be put in place (Guenther, 2013). Other people argue that only people who are led to poverty via uncontrollable factors should be eligible for the welfare donations. For instance, widows are considered eligible for the program because their source of inability to support the family is not self-inflicted. Single mothers, who have never married, on the other hand, are considered undeserving of the welfare help because their situation is as a result of their choices in life (Telleen & Sayad, 2012). The debate on the eligibility of the welfare program support has attracted a lot of attention from scholars and theorists.
Fishback (2010) contends that classical economic theorists argue that people depend on welfare programs because they do not want to work. Classical economic theorists attribute poverty to personal incapability and the choices that person makes in life. In other words, the theories blame the victims for allowing themselves to depend on the welfare programs while there are other options in life. Most of the welfare dependent persons are considered morally deficient in classical economic theories.
On the other hand, the sociologist theories criticize the neoclassical economist theories for ignoring the structural factors that cause people to live in poverty. The desire to determine the causal effects of the increased dependence on welfare programs has led to increased research in the area of risk factors that lead to dependency. Temporary assistance for the needy families (TANF) is one of the organizations that try to propagate the exit plans for welfare dependent people to reduce the cost of the welfare programs and alleviate poverty in the community (Telleen & Sayad, 2012). To achieve success in alleviating poverty and reducing dependency on the programs, an individual must understand the risk factors and the ways to mitigate these problems.
Long-term dependency is highly associated with unwillingness to work, but research indicates otherwise. Most single mothers dependent on these programs still have some form of paying jobs. However, their low skills and lack of quality education limit their access to well-paying jobs thus making it hard to leave the welfare programs. The single mothers depend on both the welfare aid and the small income from their low paying jobs because their income sources cannot sustain families efficiently (Cato Institute, 2013). Additionally, research indicates that the level of dependency among the black people is higher than that of the whites. The level of unemployment in America makes most black men unmarriageable, thus leading to higher numbers of single mothers among the blacks. Lack of quality education and the support of the male partners in families have led the single mothers to view the welfare aid as a lifestyle rather than a safety net.
Unskilled labor does not help to exit the welfare programs because the work associated costs do not match the income earned from the jobs. Additionally, the increasing number of teenage mothers poses a challenge to the exit plans. Teenage mothers tend to make the welfare programs a lifestyle because the disruption between their education and motherhood leaves them no chance to pursue higher education. The cycle follows with low skills and unskilled employments that cannot fully support a family. Lack of affordable childcare, limited access to suitable jobs in affluent suburbs as well as high housing and transportation costs limits the success of the exit welfare programs (Telleen & Sayad, 2012).
Welfare programs that focus on work programs should focus not only on the reduction of dependency people but also on the stabilization of those who exit the programs to prevent further dependencies (Weathington & Cunningham, 2012). Access to suitable jobs, improved education levels through training, and a reduced number of teenage mothers can go a long way in propagating the exit welfare programs for independent welfare people.
- How can individual factors facilitate a successful welfare exit?
- How can contextual factors facilitate a successful welfare exist?
2.2 Research Model
Independent Variables Dependent Variable
|Individual Factors Teenage ParenthoodLiteracy Skills|
|Successful Exit Plan EmploymentEducationCohesive Society|
|Contextual Factors Socio-Economic StatusAvailability of Jobs|
Burns & Burns (2008) contend that a research design is an arrangement of conditions necessary for data collection and analysis in a manner that endeavors to combine the relevance of the study purpose and economy of the procedure. Decisions, such as what and where entail a research design. This study on propagating a successful welfare exit by enhancing individual and contextual factors will use a descriptive design. A descriptive design is a method of collecting research information using interviews and questionnaires. This method will give a platform of determining opinions and perceptions of respondents with regard a successful welfare exit.
A descriptive study is not bound to fact finding but its findings are open to the formulation of crucial principles projected at finding significant solutions to problems (Weathington & Cunningham, 2012, p.67). Thus, the choice of this study design is appropriate for the formulation of vital solutions on propagating a successful welfare exit by enhancing individual and contextual factors.
Validity refers to the ability of the research tool to obtain what it was intended to measure (Burns & Burns, 2008). To ensure validity, the research instrument will be presented to the instructor for cross-examination and advice on adjustments. Further, peer review will be done to ensure content validity is achieved by examining each item of the research instrument to ensure that all questions are relevant to the research topic.
Reliability of a research tool refers to how free scores of the tool are from measurement errors (Guenther, 2013). To ensure reliability, the researcher will conduct a pilot study. Upon conducting a pilot study, suitability and clarity of the items of the research tool will be determined, and vague items will be discarded or adjusted to enhance clarity and increase the reliability of the research instrument. The whole instrument can be changed if it is found to be unreliable. In addition, a reliability test will be conducted by determining Cronbach coefficient. A coefficient of 0.7 or greater is deemed fit to term a research instrument reliable for data.
- H01:There is no significant relationship between individual factors and successful welfare exit.
Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (rxy) will be computed to determine the relationships if individual factors can facilitate a successful welfare exist.
- H02: There is no significant relationship between contextual factorsand successful welfare exit.
Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (rxy) will be computed to determine the relationship whether contextual factors can facilitate a successful welfare exist
Burns, R., & Burns, R. (2008). Business research methods and statistics using SPSS. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Cato Institute. (2013, August 19). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/when-welfare-pays-better-work?gclid=CjwKEAiAy7SzBRD_lv7quOnr6XUSJAAOLkW6gLhZpF_3eQbRQgUuZWJmhuUKyASlHVBpPP5QDejpIBoC2lnw_wcB
Fishback, P. (2010). A patchwork safety net a survey of Cliometric Studies of income maintenance programs in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Guenther, M. (2013). Intersection: How enterprise design bridges the gap between business, technology and people. Waltham, MA: Elsevier.
Moffitt, R. (2003). Means-tested transfer programs in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Telleen, S. & Sayad, J. (2012). The transition from welfare to work: processes, challenges, and outcomes. New York: Haworth Press.
Weathington, B., & Cunningham, C. (2012). Understanding business research. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.