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The United States or The United Welfare States - A Cost Benefit Analysis

The role of welfare within our society has always been controversial. This problem emphasizes the need to understand the roles of variable factors when pertaining to the subject of welfare within our society. The proposed analysis will address the phenomenon of welfare assistance and several factors which may contribute to the increase or decrease of welfare assistance to the poor in 4 ways: (1) by defining major concepts and any other concepts about which there is likely to be misunderstanding, (2) by further examining the past history pertaining to the subject of welfare assistance within the United States, (3) by developing the formulation of a hypothesis which will provide for an explanation of welfare, and finally (4) determining whether or not the benefits of welfare assistance outweigh the cost. Ultimately, the purpose of this research analysis is to investigate variable factors that may contribute to the increase or decrease of welfare assistance. This cost benefit analysis is an attempt to explain the tentative assumptions of others pertaining to the subject of welfare, in order to determine and explain the relationship of welfare to the economic cost and benefits. Cost-Benefit Analysis before welfare assistance can be analyzed there is a need to define the terms that will be used. Policies like welfare assistance are worthwhile only if the benefits to society are greater than the costs. When choosing among a set of policies, the policy with the greatest net benefit (benefit over cost) should be chosen. Hence, this is where the term cost-benefit analysis comes from. Cost-benefit analysis is a technique for determining the optimal level of an economic activity such as welfare. In general, an activity such as welfare assistance should be expanded as long as it leads to greater benefits than costs. In purely economic terms, does the benefit of welfare assistance justify the costs of welfare assistance? (Mishan 13) Why Use Cost-benefit Analysis? Since 1981, government agencies have been required to perform cost-benefit analyses called Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA's) for all major regulations within the United States. Many statutes require that cost-benefit analysis be undertaken and the results be reported to Congress (Mishan 2). Cost-benefit analysis can...

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...ning have proven to help alleviate and shrink the welfare rolls.

Do the benefits of endorsing welfare assistance programs outweigh the cost? Cost benefit analysis shows that as long as the government can stay on track with the new social welfare reform measures that have taken place over the past few years, then yes it is beneficial. However, when the day comes that it is no longer beneficial to support such programs should society follow economic indicators or follow its moral obligations?

Work Cited

Schiller, Bradley R. The Economy Today. 7th Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill,


Mishan, Edward J. Cost-Benefit Analysis. New York: Praegor Publishers,


Sharp, Ansel, Charles, Register, and Paul, Grimes. Economics of Social

Issues. Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 1998.

Rowley, Charles, and Alan Peacock. Welfare Economics. London: Martin Robertson & Co. Ltd., 1975.

Smith, Russell, and Dorothy, Zietz. American Social Welfare Institutions. New

York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1990.

Myles, John, and Paul Pierson. Friedman's revenge: the reform of "liberal" welfare

in Canada and the United States. Politics & Society, Dec 1997 v25 n4 p443 (30).
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