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The Poor in America before the Welfare State
#1
which is how it should be today....

link: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/libra...fare-state

snippet:

Quote:A common complaint in today’s society is the excessive growth of the welfare state. According to those who offer this complaint, the welfare state refers to the many entitlement programs which provide taxpayer-funded relief to needy individuals and families, the disabled, and the elderly. To many these programs have become an essential part of a well-ordered society, to the point that calls for diminishing their financial support are dismissed as cruel, unethical and unworkable. A look back at the history of poverty relief in the U.S. however suggests that government welfare has not always been considered to play such an integral role.

America’s first settlers and Founders were certainly not oblivious to the problems of poverty, nor were they callous in their treatment of it. Yet they explicitly urged its alleviation by means other than the federal government. This ideology was concisely expressed by James Madison, who declared that "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." And Ben Franklin once stated, "the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."

Giving the poor a hand up rather than a hand out continued beyond the Founding era through a variety of private organizations and charities known as mutual aid societies. After visiting America in the early 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville made note of this phenomenon when he wrote, "Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions, constantly form associations. ... Wherever, at the head of some new undertaking, you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association."

These types of organizations originally opposed a government-run, government-funded welfare state because they viewed mutual aid as an expression of independence and personal responsibility. With dues from members, they provided services such as unemployment insurance, workers compensation, health insurance, life insurance, and sick pay. In many cases, a fraternal society would hire a doctor to care for the members' families giving them access to reliable, inexpensive healthcare. Additionally, these organizations established a privatized safety net through orphanages, hospitals, and homes for the elderly.

Contrary to the major problems of fraud encountered in contemporary government-based welfare programs, the early American versions of mutual aid societies maintained an ethical organization by policing their own members to ensure benefits went to those who were legitimately in need. Such societies were also strict in their membership, permitting admittance not only by character but often by sex and race. However, this did not stop people of all demographics from starting mutual aid societies. There were societies for men, women, African Americans, Hispanics, Polish, German, Jewish, and others.

In addition to mutual aid societies, there were also missions, churches, and other private relief agencies. These organizations operated on the generosity of volunteers and benefactors ready and willing to give help to those truly in need and incapable of supporting themselves. Instead of freely doling out aid however, these types of organizations often encouraged work in return for assistance in order to avoid promoting idleness. Furthermore, this approach to relief sought to encourage "accountability" and address the "root problems" underlying an individual’s impoverished state.
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#2
andrewjs18;48142 Wrote:which is how it should be today....

link: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/libra...fare-state

snippet:

Good post. I agree with Franklin: it's too easy to stay poor, in the United States. The worst malady facing our destitute is obesity. Imagine that.
kevindsingleton, proud to be a contributing member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.

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#3
kevindsingleton;48183 Wrote:
andrewjs18;48142 Wrote:which is how it should be today....

link: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/libra...fare-state

snippet:

Good post. I agree with Franklin: it's too easy to stay poor, in the United States. The worst malady facing our destitute is obesity. Imagine that.

For lack of activity....many times in the "old days" people were poor because they lacked skills to have a higher paying job....not because they sat around the house all day.
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#4
RugerGirl;48197 Wrote:
kevindsingleton;48183 Wrote:Good post. I agree with Franklin: it's too easy to stay poor, in the United States. The worst malady facing our destitute is obesity. Imagine that.

For lack of activity....many times in the "old days" people were poor because they lacked skills to have a higher paying job....not because they sat around the house all day.

Lack of activity, and easy access to too many calories. Being poor in a poor country doesn't result in obesity, but being poor in a rich country gets you a segment on daytime television because you're too big to roll out of bed.

It's Bizarro World, and the Black King is in the White House.
kevindsingleton, proud to be a contributing member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.

Have some Pi: http://www.raspberrypi.org/
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#5
This was the main reason why the faternal order of the moose was created we still have an orphanage and widow/ elderly care.
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