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Welfare in The United States

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In the United States, the term "welfare" can be used to refer to cash benefits especially the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or it can be used to refer to assistance programs including, for example, healthcare, through Medicaid and food and nutrition programs.

The AFDC program was created in the 1930's during the Great Depression to relieve the burden of poor families with children who had little or no income to take care of their families. Before this AFDC program was established, antipoverty programs were usually operated by private charities or state or local governments; however, these programs were overwhelmed by the depth of need during the Great Depression. This is how Welfare began as a federal responsibility. The United States Welfare system was then handled by the federal government for the next sixty one years.

Americans had always prided themselves as self reliant and hard working individuals with strong work ethics. Many believed that those who could not take care of themselves were to blame for their own misfortunes. Because of this mindset, the W...
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