Welfare Reform: Promoting Independence and Self-Reliance Essay

Welfare Reform: Promoting Independence and Self-Reliance Essay

Length: 1742 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Welfare Reform: Promoting Independence and Self-Reliance


Mary Smith gets up every day at 6 am and begins to hustle around the house. She rouses her three children from their slumber and forces them to get ready for school. Once the kids are on the bus, she hops in her car and heads off to her job at the local fast food restaurant. After working her seven hours at the restaurant, she goes to her night course at the college in town. The course she is taking will help her get her high school diploma and possibly lead her to a successful career. These two things have been dreams of Mary's for so long, but she hasn't been able to attain them until now. She has been on welfare since the age of eighteen after having her first baby, Elijah. Most days life still seems like an endless tunnel, but now she thinks she may be starting to see a little light through the darkness.

Many single mothers, like Mary Smith, and others on welfare have been given the chance to pursue happiness because of the reforms to the United States' welfare system. In August of 1996, President Bill Clinton signed legislation that changed much of the system. The bill that he signed was called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. The three goals of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 were "1) to reduce welfare dependency and increase employment, 2) to reduce child poverty and 3) to reduce illegitimacy and strengthen marriage" (Rector, par. 1). Clinton's plan also included three new rules: "1) requires most recipients to work within two years of receiving assistance; 2) limits most assistance to five years total; and 3) lets states establish 'family caps' to deny additiona...


... middle of paper ...


...ec. 2001.
< http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
srv/politics/special/welfare/stories/welfare052799.htm. >

Naughton, Keith. " From the Frying Pan to the Factory." Business Week. 1 June 1998:
106.

Otto, Mary. " Sustaining Welfare-to-Work." Washingtonpost.com. 2 Dec. 2001. 6 Dec.
2001. < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43074-Dec1.html.>

Pear, Robert. " Changes in Welfare Bring Improvements for Families." The New York
Times on the Web. 1 June 2000. 7 Dec. 2001.
? < http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/060100mn-welfare.html.>

Rector, Robert and Patrick F. Fagan. " The Good News About Welfare Reform." The
Heritage Foundation Backgrounder. 5 Sept. 2001. 2 Dec. 2001.
? < http://www.heritage.org/library/backgrounder/bg1468.html>

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Seeking Independence in Essay Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

- It is impossible to live a whole life without the help of others. Everyone starts out relying on their parents to feed them, take care of them, and teach them. However, as people grow older, they learn to look after themselves and be independent of others. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance”, he tells us that once people are able to be independent, they should be an individual who believes in themselves and does not conform to society. In American culture today, there are people who go with the flow and do what everyone else does....   [tags: independent, self-reliance, society]

Strong Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

The Arrogant Emerson and Self-Reliance Essay

- The Arrogant Emerson and Self-Reliance "To believe your own thought, to believe that which is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius" (Self-Reliance and Other Essays, 19). This statement from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson provides a summary of the ideas that transcendentalism centered around. Emerson believed that man is innately good, and that if he were left to his own devices without the structures of society and laws boxing him in, he would create a utopian society very different from the one Emerson lived in....   [tags: Self Reliance Essays]

Strong Essays
1211 words (3.5 pages)

Is Complete Self-Reliance Possible? Essay

- Self-Reliance - Is Complete Self-Reliance Possible. If you are self-reliant then you don’t need to depend on anyone. That is the obvious message that Emerson is trying to convey in his essay "Self-Reliance". It seems as though Emerson believes that we all need to be individuals and put ourselves before anyone else. However, the real question is “is it possible to be totally self-reliant”. After re-reading Self-Reliance I feel as though this question really can’t be answered. Emerson gives us a very confusing argument that seems to run around in circles with no apparent end in sight....   [tags: Emerson's Self Reliance Essays]

Free Essays
939 words (2.7 pages)

Trust in Emerson's Self-Reliance Essay

- Trust yourself, your intuition, and your nature. According to Emerson's Self-Reliance, these qualities are essential to contentment and harmony with one's self. Self-reliance is an appeal to the individual to obey his instincts and to challenge tradition and conventional wisdom. According to Emerson, those who are truly self-reliant have the ability to mark their place in history as great and genuinely creative men. Emerson urges the reader to live by his instinct and listen to his intuition, "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string." Don’t fear your original thoughts, trust them and live accordingly....   [tags: Self Reliance Essays]

Free Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)

Observations on Emerson's Self-Reliance Essay

- Observations on Self-Reliance "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles ." This quotation forms the closing two lines of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self Reliance". I am greatly enlightened by his ideas in this article. "Trust thyself" was his advice and many Americans listened. They not only listened in Emerson's lifetime, but his individualistic concepts have reverberated up to the present time. After reading the ideas expressed in "Self-Reliance", I have come to believe that self-reliance is the most important factor in my life....   [tags: Emerson's Self Reliance Essays]

Free Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Puritan's Beliefs on Self Reliance

- The Puritan's Beliefs on Self Reliance Are we or are we not. That is the question. Does the current generation of Americans have the same values and morals of the Puritans of the 1600’s. Some would say yes and others would say no. This paper will show both sides of the argument. It will discuss whether or not we share the values of self-reliance and honesty like the Puritans treasured. This essay will discuss the importance of the family and home to the Puritans and compare that to today’s standards....   [tags: Puritans Self Reliance Morals Essays]

Strong Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Self Reliance - Society never advances

- Self Reliance - Society never advances "Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. ... For every thing that is given something is taken." Emerson, "Self Reliance", p 169 I agree with this statement, and it frustrates me to no end. Our country is screwed up in every direction one looks. People are starving while others have too much money to spend. Our population is out of control. We pollute to no end. Ours is one of the best countries in the world....   [tags: Self Reliance Essays]

Free Essays
390 words (1.1 pages)

The Importance of Non-conformity and Independent Beliefs in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance

- In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” Emerson calls for each person in society to be wholly true to themselves. He claims that it is most rewarding to the individual and the society for people to believe in one’s own thoughts and not in the thoughts of others. Emerson believes that conformity will ultimately lead to an individual’s demise because by living for others, people are not being true to themselves. Therefore in order to have a well-formed society, citizens should focus inward and have confidence in their own ideas before beginning to look towards other individuals; moreover, Emerson calls individuals not only in “Self-Reliance,” but also in numerous essays to act independently...   [tags: Self-Reliance Essays]

Strong Essays
2766 words (7.9 pages)

The Impractical Philosophies of Self-reliance and Civil Disobedience Essay

- The Impractical Philosophies of Self-reliance and Civil Disobedience The philosophies of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson would work well in a society comprised only of highly intellectual, healthy individuals who were willing put forth the effort needed to thoroughly examine themselves and formulate their own opinions about every issue pertaining to them. Emerson said that all members of society should think for themselves and formulate their own opinions rather than conforming to a popular belief....   [tags: Self Reliance Essays]

Strong Essays
1090 words (3.1 pages)

Self Reliance Essay

- The Transcendentalist movement flourished in New England, and proposed a revolutionarily new philosophy of life. This new philosophy drew upon old ideas of Romanticism, Unitarianism, and German Idealism. Some of these ideas pertained closely to the values of America at the time. These values included nature, individualism, and reform, and can be noted in the essay “Self Reliance,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In this essay, Emerson states his values and incorporates them into his philosophy of self-reliance....   [tags: Literary Themes/Philosophy]

Strong Essays
1682 words (4.8 pages)