Poverty and welfare

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Public policies are critical in providing the United States government with essential guidance for dealing with existing health and poverty problems/issues impacting its population. (Rushefsky) describes the foreign policy as a set of actions undertaken by the government. Notably, these actions have an impact on the lives of its people (134). Ordinances are normally regulations that are enacted after a political procedure. They are supposed to be followed by any resident. A strategy has three components: policy options, policy outputs, and policy effects. The policy choices are enacted by individuals such as politicians or bodies with authority in using the constitutional power affecting the lives of citizens. Implementation of political decisions produces policy output which may involve the government allocating funds so that it can influence the economy and livelihoods of its citizens (4). Finally, policy impacts constitute the effects of public choices and outputs that reflect success or failure of the policy (5). For a policy to be enacted, it first passes through a congressional debate, evaluation, and analysis. The process of crafting mandates and bills purposes to guide the solution-finding process.

Welfare is a form of help provided by the government to its citizens who are in low-income earning capacity or poor and in need. Welfare policies enable the United States government to carry out its main duty of protecting citizens. This task is accomplished by improving the well-being of its citizens both socially and economically. Equality, public responsibility, and wealth distribution are the three pillar principles of providing welfare. Federal policies on welfare and poverty are essential in helping those who are in need within the society. The government accomplishes this duty by distributing funds from rich people through taxation to support low-income earners. In the research conducted, a focus on five critical concerns about welfare and poverty public policies has been emphasized. The first is identification of current public opinion on the plan. The second entails description of stances of political parties regarding welfare and poverty policy. The third revolves around explaining the different interest groups trying to influence the policy formulation. The fourth involves outlining roles of the legislature, executive, and judiciary departments in policy formulation. Finally, discussion is undertaken on the role of bureaucracy.

Current Public Opinion on the Policy

In the United States, citizens in need of public assistance are determined by the poverty line standard. This standard categorizes those households that spend on food three times more than their earnings on an annual basis (Rushefsky 145). Many argue that the poverty standard may be biased and that it does not provide the accuracy on the number of poor people living in the country. These arguments outline that these policies do not represent the whole society. The housing expenditure is much higher in the United States relative to spending on food due to incremental rates on prices of both needs (Kilty and Segal 3). The United States welfare policies include Medicaid, rent vouchers, public housing, food stamps, and supplemental security income (Rushefsky 150). All these programs help the low-income earners in defraying the costs incurred in food, shelter, and medication.

Problems on welfare and poverty are significantly affected by redistributive policies that aim at promoting equality in the American society. According to Faricy and Ellis (55), the public has diverse opinions regarding policies on social welfare, especially how the government spends on the welfare programs. Many individuals support the view that the government should take the significant task of providing citizens with social services and goods. This task will improve the economic status of many and be able to sustain themselves with the help provided. Also, the government should cater to needs of children, elderly, and the poor by providing utterly free education, pension funds, and housing respectively.

The public prefers redistribution of wealth programs to the needy and other deserving individuals in the society. This form of distribution will be necessary for uplifting those who are affected by poverty (Faricy and Ellis 58). The public also has an opinion regarding how these policies are implemented. On the basis of work requirements, many believe that employment is the best way to implement welfare policies (Kilty and Segal 43). Employment is the best strategy towards elevating economic standards of the ones living in poverty. From this strategy, many people will be able to rely on their own income provided the government offers minimum wage jobs to the people who are economically disadvantaged rather than when they would be dependent on payments provided by welfare programs. These programs are the most significant contributors to the persistent poverty in America because many people are over dependent on help funds from the government (Peters 12).

The welfare and poverty policies are thought to be ineffective thereby leaving many citizens dissatisfied with the efforts that the government is placing on dealing with poverty. The government’s effort is identified to be limited, or the implementation of the policies enacted is inefficient (Welfare Opinion). The primary reason why the government is failing in acting on these policies is because many poor people are not working and are solely dependent on relief provided by the state. As much as the welfare policies are meant to uplift the citizens living in low economic standards, a large number of citizens believe that the government should demand some effort from the benefiting people rather than them overly depending on aid (Kilty and Segal 36). The welfare programs created to promote the welfare and counteract poverty fail to effectively address the problem because of poor wealth redistribution, limited investment in the programs, and poor program designs.

The changing economy and family organizations have been the primary contributors to the failure of welfare policies. The economy changes over time rendering many to hardships and as a result, poverty becomes inevitable. The policies albeit being subject to be changed, are rendered ineffective. The time taken in formulating other policies is extensive because of the complexity of the process (Rushefsky 153). In summary, the public opinion on welfare policies is based on the facts that, policies favor excess welfare which deters the resourcefulness of many poor people. Furthermore, poverty can be handled by providing job opportunities and providing education to those who are unable to afford school fees.

Stances of Political Parties Regarding the Policy

Welfare and poverty are regarded as among the most critical public concerns that any political party running for office should address. Political parties have a role in influencing policymaking in the United States. They have a task of representing the citizens and act as an aid in controlling the government such that they formulate policies that are favorable to the nation. The parties nominate a leader to run for office and seeks support from the public. Once the political party succeeds and its leader in office, the party may then be able to implement the policies that it has promised its supporters as well as the whole nation. The ruling party will be able to accomplish its goals regarding policy issues through program initiatives and the legislature once it is in power. Addressing the policies that the party have regarding welfare is essential in assuring citizens that the governments have them in consideration. There are two dimensions from which the government is able to achieve its policy proposals, which include, liberalism or conservatism. The ruling party is deemed responsible for solving major problems affecting the society based on liberalism perspective while the conservatism philosophy is created by allowing people to work for themselves to uplift their social status.

The Republican political party has several views on welfare and poverty policy. The party believes that job employment is a significant aspect of uplifting the society. Every individual should be able to support oneself as a way of improving livelihood and escaping poverty (Republican Views). Therefore, welfare policies formulated should be able to extend aid to as many needy people as it can. Charity organizations, religious groups and not for profit organizations play an essential role in promoting the wellbeing of the economically deprived citizens. The welfare and poverty policies should, therefore, exempt these organizations from tax obligations (Republican Views). The exemption will be crucial in enabling these organizations promote not only welfare but also build patriotism. Additionally, the government should offer support to these organizations in form of grants that will enable them carry on their activities in coordination with the state. Single mothers are identified to be the highest dependants on welfare funds. The legislation should be able to strengthen the job requirements to facilitate employment of such groups so that they can be self-sufficient and be able to raise their families independently (Kilty and Segal 54).

Poverty rates have had a tremendous increase in the United States and the citizens majorly rely on the government to curb this acceleration. The Democratic political party has its stance on improving the welfare of the American citizens by recommending various interventions based on welfare and poverty policies. For the government to succeed in alleviating poverty, it should focus mainly on job creation and tax structure reformation on the high-income level earners. Outsourcing labor from foreign nations reduces the number of job opportunities available to Americans. Therefore, the government should employ its own citizens in the industries. Faith-based organizations are identified as the most significant parties in helping the poor in the society. The Democratic Party believes that a partnership between the government and the faith-based organizations will be useful in implementing policies on public welfare and poverty policies.

Education is also a vital element in combating poverty and enhance welfare in the society. The Democratic Party trusts that making education policies better will enhance the success in implementing welfare and antipoverty policies as well. The modern American society is majorly composed of the middle-class citizens, a class that needs to be rebuilt, by enabling the citizens in this class have the refinancing options (Republican Views). The party also has confidence in that when low-class citizens are educated, they will stand a chance for better opportunities in the job market and acquire skills that can be beneficial to economic advantage. Improving the education system will enable students pursue careers of their choices. Additionally, by the government making this system affordable for everyone, poverty rates will flop substantially. Solving the housing problems would alleviate the poverty and improve on welfare (Kilty and Segal 31). The Democrats believe in combating poverty by promoting people in economically constrained environments to own homes. Full-time workers should have wage increases to afford basic needs as well as improve on (Republican Views).

Interest Groups in the Policy formulation

In policy formulation, there are a number of interest groups that try to influence the process (Seifter 957). However, the impact of these groups may succeed or fail. Interest groups are characterized by a number of people organized into a group that has policy goals that can be promoted by operating within a political process. Interest groups are categorized as either membership or institutional. Institutional groups include foundations, businesses, universities, and governments that are tasked with representing others. Mobilization of the public, engagement in the electoral process, public education, and government lobbying are some of the methods that interest groups use in influencing formulation of public policies (Clark et al. 78).

Public mobilization is a process where interest groups rely on people to join their pursuit, in processes such as demonstrating, with an aim to influence policymakers to enact policies that are favorable to the public. Interest groups engage in electoral process to mobilize voters to elect leaders who they believe are motivated to address policy issues being advocated once they are elected to office (Kilty and Segal 53). The public is also educated by these groups regarding current policies and how they can affect the public, as well as seek followership to their cause. Finally, lobbying involves the process by which the interest groups hire advocates to represent them to the policymakers regarding the impact of the legislation being formulated.

The number of members or followers of an interest group may vary. Most importantly, these groups are significant contributors in influencing the policies that particularly affect the economic status of the citizens. Welfare and poverty policies are among the most highly advocated laws by these groups. Interest groups have the ability to mobilize the media to broadcast their activities, make the public aware of new policies, and support a particular political leader or party that promises policies of interest (Grossmann 173). Citizen action groups include one of the main organization of people that influence the public policy. These action groups are mainly concerned with advocating many policies on issues that affect the public. However, they can be organized to advocate individual issues. For instance, there may exist groups that only influence either anti-poverty or welfare policies individually. These groups are characterized by large followership and adequate funding. Litigation, electioneering, public mobilization, and hiring lobbyists which are some of the main techniques used in influencing the policies (Seifter 956).

The other example of an interest group is trading organizations. Trade organizations are professional bodies that are concerned with the policies made by the company that may have an influence on the economy. These organizations are well equipped with professionalism. They hire professionals to represent them to the policymakers, the Congress, where they present the impact, both positive and adverse, in which the policies being made affect the businesses (Seifter 961). Impact analysis of the public perspective is essential in determining whether the economy will be improved or depreciated. Non-membership groups form another category of an interest group that influences creation of public policies. These groups are mainly found in every state. They are majorly composed of local governments, universities, and corporations. These groups are well-organized and quite powerful in influencing policy matters. Tactics that these groups use include lobbying. Grossmann suggests that many of these interest groups are successful in influencing formulation of policy changes (184). He also implies that success is dependent on the type of representation used, for instance, lobbying has the potential of exerting a greater influence compared to influence by interest group itself.

The Role of Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary in Policy Formulation

The legislature, executive, and judiciary represent the three arms of government that play a significant role in policy formulation. Policy formulation is a phase where the government tries to find solutions following examination and prioritizing the issues affecting citizens (Rushefsky 158). The president, Congress, policy planning organizations, interest groups, and government bureaucracies propose policies. The legislature is tasked with the role of passing policies after examination and challenging various issues that are important to the public as well as affect the efficiency of the government. In the process of policy formulation, the legislature is responsible is debating on issues such as poverty and welfare. For instance, it might involve the members of Congress to debate on strategies that can be implemented to decrease the rate of poverty in the country by ten percent in the next five years. The legislature examines various proposals by the various groups that take part in policy formulation. The government then chooses the most appropriate policy solution. The role of the legislature entail passing the bill from which it is adopted.

The executive organ of the government is a key player in policy formulation. Once the welfare and poverty policies have been debated on by the legislature, the executive organ will be responsible for enforcing and executing these policies as laws which must be followed by every citizen. Notably, when the policy has already been formulated, it must be adopted. Policy adoption is the process whereby one proposal has been singled out from several alternatives. For the proposal to be adopted, it must be accepted by the executive, which is usually represented by the president or any other agency within the organ. The executive is granted powers by the constitution to accept policy solutions (Rushefsky 161). The president and the governors are regarded as chief executives and have the power to adopt a public policy through an executive order.

The judiciary has a role of interpreting policies after they have been implemented. The judiciary also assesses whether the policies have been passed according to the constitution. The judiciary is composed of the supreme court at the highest hierarchy that is composed of justices who have well-mastered the United States complex constitution. They are able to make sound arguments and judgments on policies presented to them in relation to the constitution. The judiciary’s primary duty is to balance decisions made by the legislature and the executive (Peters 29). Additionally, citizens are protected by the judiciary from policies that are unfavorable and unfair. This is achieved through the review process that is carried out by the judiciary. Following the judicial review, any unconstitutional policies are usually abolished, consequently protecting individuals.

The Role of Bureaucracy

The primary responsibilities and functions of the state are carried out by an institution called bureaucracy. A bureaucratic nation is governed by the rules and regulations of a system composed of written rules. Bureaucracy is also termed as civil service, which is a branch of the executive, that is permanent and non-political (Clark et al. 75). Civil service and its efficiency is usually affected by how administration performs. Bureaucracy is tasked with various roles that are undertaken in public administration. The work of the legislature is to make laws, and in the process, bureaucracy is indirectly involved. The role played by civil service entails working closely with Congress in tasks such as drafting bills for the ministers who will make submissions for the bills to be debated by the legislature. The civil servants have the authority to carry out semi-judicial roles such as dispute settlement on quotas and permit grants (Peters 31). In a bureaucracy, civil servants are permitted to run the administration. In this process, the daily operations are conducted in accordance with the rules, regulations, policies, and government decisions. On the other hand, the executive arm carries out the function of controlling government functions.

The bureaucrats play an essential role in formulation policies. The civil service implements policies made by the government (Peters 29). The civil servants have sufficient expertise and can be involved in all the processes of policy formulation. Implementation of welfare and poverty policies by civil service can optimally achieve their objectives. Apart from the implementation, bureaucracy is also involved in the formulation of policies. Civil servants are involved in the process although this is the role of the political executive organ. For instance, policies to solve problems related to welfare will have both the advantages and disadvantages as well as the state of impact they will have on the citizens. The work of civil service is to analyze data that will provide information on advantages and limitations of a policy (Olcay 75). From the information provided, therefore, the executive will be able to select the most appropriate policy to adopt.

Bureaucracy is also important in advising the executive. The political executive seeks to advise the civil servants on matters regarding performance of various departments in a ministry as well as advising those who are new in office. Bureaucrats are defined as people who are competent in functions of all the three organs of the government and, therefore, they are allowed to disseminate their knowledge and use their skills in advising on various matters. Civil servants are responsible of offering advice on policies that seem viable and effective towards achieving the predefined goals, through analysis.


Public policies are key towards solving the most common problems that affect the current American society and most commonly poverty and welfare. Notably, through policies which act as guidelines, the government is able to formulate appropriate solutions to the problems identified. The current public opinion on poverty and welfare policies is diverse. Many believe that welfare programs are responsible of increasing rate of poverty in America because of the needy do not work and hence they remain over-dependent on aid provided. The recommendations are for the government to offer low-wage jobs to the poor so that they can earn their own money and be able to provide themselves with basic needs. The two major political parties in the United States, the Democratic and the Republican, have been identified to have close related stances on welfare policies. The views include partnerships and support for non-profit and faith-based organizations that play a critical role in uplifting those living in poverty. Moreover, both parties have favorable stances that when put into action, may help many citizens. There are various interest groups that have been identified to influence welfare and poverty policies. They include trade unions and citizen action groups. The groups have the main aim of addressing the policymakers on the impact the policies have on the citizen.

The executive, legislature, and the judiciary play significant roles in enforcement, enactment, and review of the laws respectively. The organs have all been identified to be significant contributors in policy development. Finally, the bureaucracy has been determined to carry out different functions within the executive. The civil service remains non-partisan and permanent. The bureaucrats are identified as experienced personnel in all the three arms of the government. The civil servants are also important in the formulation of policies as well as implementation.

Works Cited

Clark et al. “Representative Bureaucracy Policy-Making Positions in the Ppm.Sagepub.Com Federal Executive Service.” Public Personnel Management, no. 1, 2013, p. 75. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/0091026013484570.

Faricy and Ellis. “Public Attitudes Toward Social Spending in the United States: The Differences Between Direct Spending and Tax Expenditures.” Political Behavior, vol. 36, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 53–76. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11109-013-9225-5.

Grossmann. “Interest Group Influence on US Policy Change: An Assessment Based on Policy History.” Interest Groups & Advocacy, vol. 1, no. 2, Oct. 2012, pp. 171–92. link.springer.com, doi:10.1057/iga.2012.9.

Kilty, Keith, and Elizabeth Segal. Rediscovering the Other America: The Continuing Crisis of Poverty and Inequality in the United States. Routledge, 2012.

Olcay. “A Common Agency within Bureaucracy.” Theoretical & Applied Economics, vol. 23, no. 2, Summer 2016, pp. 73–102.

Peters. American Public Policy: Promise and Performance, 9th Edition. CQ Press, 2012.

Republican Views. “Democratic Views on Welfare | Republican Views.” Republican Views on The Issues, May 2017, http://www.republicanviews.org/democratic-views-on-welfare/.

Rushefsky. Public Policy in the United States. M.E. Sharpe, 2013.

Seifter. “States as Interest Groups in the Administrative Process.” Virginia Law Review, vol. 100, Sept. 2014, p. 953.

Welfare Opinion. “Welfare Opinion.” Federal Safety Net, 2014, http://federalsafetynet.com/welfare-opinion.html.

September 01, 2021

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