The two articles being compared in this paper are, End of Welfare as we know it? By David Kelly and A Nation of Welfare Families, by Stephanie Coontz. Both the articles deal with the debate about welfare and the role of the government. Both articles approach the issue from a different angle and make a case that is both convincing and cannot be rejected easily.
Coontz, on the other hand, thinks that the belief that reliance on state is a recent phenomenon and that is destructive. According to her conservatives think it leads to irresponsibility and makes people less proactive. The majority thinks that reliance on the welfare of some kind is some sort of a failure and that ideally, a strong and conventional family is independent and self-reliant.
However, this is a myth that has no basis whatsoever. Citing the example of her own grandparents in the early 1900s were pioneers in the state of Washington and very proud of their independence, were not aware that the land they got so cheaply was subsidized by the government. And like her own grandparents, a majority of people have been successful due to the subsidies and allotments provided by the government and its various organs that are designed to help individuals and families. According to her, at the time of its inception, the idea of a welfare state was not something to be ashamed of but a norm and the state was willing to provide for its citizens for their health education and livelihood.
Similar is the case with the boom of the suburban families of the 1950’s, they were successful and survived because the government and the military provided a lot of incentives in form of grants loans and benefits which were there for almost 40% of the workforce and the funds allowed people to have families and study and progress. In addition, the growth and expansion of suburbs were because the limits on down payments decreased and the interest rates on mortgages declined inducing people to move to the suburbs. However, the people who were adversely affected were the urban poor who according to Coontz were left behind. According to her, the family wage system was a political reaction as the market was expanding. In addition to this, direct government interference and action has lead to the idealistic developments like the pioneers of the 1900s and the suburbs of the 1950’s.
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