Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is It Government Secrecy Really Important in a Democratic

A society that helps its own is a good society. A society that can take care of its own is a healthy society. A society that looks after its own is a sustainable society. In many regards, the symbiotic relationship between of citizens and the community benefits society as a whole.  Government benefit programs are not only important for helping people with financial difficulties, but also help the entire community.

Some people have difficultly functioning in society. People with disabilities, mental illnesses, orphans, and more. Others have difficultly from time to time. People who get laid off due to job relocation, who are lost after natural disasters, who have serious medical issues. What is the other option? Do we let people eat grass? Do we leave them on the streets? Government benefit programs exist to help people who temporarily can’t make ends meet or people who were born into certain situations.  These benefit programs are not just handouts. There also include valuable resources people can use to pull themselves back up. There are lots of job skills resources and assistance in getting a job in general. Every so often, people need a little extra help.

It is part of a citizen’s civil duty to help people who have less. As Americans, we are so lucky, many of us living in abundance, so we should help those in need anyways. It is our social obligation to assist people less fortunate. It is hard to remember sometimes, but not everyone is born into the same situation.  These situations some people are brought into are out of their control and governmental benefit programs help equalize these situations. One of most amazing things about America is that if someone gets knocked off their feet, we as a country will rally around and support them until they get back up. In other countries, if people are unemployed, homeless, or hungry, they are left in the gutters. It is one of our basic values as Americans: we help each other out.

As Americans, and as members of society, we must strive to better the common good. The lifting up of people with financial difficulties through government benefit programs lifts the common good. If every citizen is out for his or herself, then society risks falling into the trap of the Tragedy of the Commons. In this well-known theory, the citizens act independently, using only their own self-interest. This leads to a decline in the shared resources of society and its eventual decay. Government benefit programs are a way of preventing this problem.  Having individuals help each other out and connecting them in a way that they are all dependent on each other keeps society from falling into the tragedy. Giving back to and receiving from the community connects the community. It creates a shared bond between people. Because of the continuous and natural cycle of giving and receiving, the community will support itself indefinitely.

Something we can do to help the effectiveness is the not only support these programs financially but with our minds and thoughts. Being on assisted financial programs and stuck in financial difficulties feel like being in a rut. If people can believe they can get out of the rut, then they will.  Another thing that would help the effectiveness of these programs is find a way to dispel the stereotypes associated with the government benefit programs.. Right now, the common belief of people on welfare is that they are leeches taking advantage of taxpayer dollars. The system itself seems old and inefficient. Getting citizens to believe and to support in the programs would be a huge step in the right direction. One solution would be to make it easier to physically lend a hand. It would bring people closer together. Not only adult volunteers, but high school and younger. Starting to instill the idea of service to the common good would connect people on so many levels. It would bring hope and confidence to people on both sides. It is not an easy fix, but there are many ways to increase the success of these programs.
There are issues with the government benefit programs today, but the pros greatly outweigh the cons. Government benefit programs are advantageous to both its recipients and the community as a whole.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Food Stamps for Your Economy

There are countless reasons that people have financial difficulties in this economy. Although some of the reasons may be out of the sphere of your influence, there are also some financial decisions that can be helpful to improve your financial situation. Government programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Lifeline Assistance Program are extremely important resources to help people dealing with difficult financial situations. Some financial problems that people have require immediate intervention and outside help. Many times people have exhausted family resources and church support; so they need to turn to outside help from the government.

Many people seem to think that poverty is a choice or punishment for laziness. For example, Congressman Paul Ryan was recently quoted as saying, “We have this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” When called out on this statement, Ryan tried to back-pedal, but the damage was already done. Ryan’s argument was completely off-base as his insinuation that poor people are lazy only angered the general public – especially when it came to light that Ryan “married” into money – rather than earning it the old-fashioned way.

Since poverty is such a complex issue, it is hard to point at any one thing and say that’s the cause for people’s financial difficulties. Once workers get stuck in poverty, it can be quite difficult for them to lift themselves out of it because the opportunities for success just aren’t as plentiful as in past generations. It used to be thought that the route to the American dream was hard work, dedication, and sacrifice – but now it seems to be more about net-working and being in the right place at the right time.

Programs like Medicaid were created to provide health coverage to categories of low-income people. There are many positives to having this benefit provided for by the government. For example, people that need Medicaid are more likely to seek preventative care such as mammograms and cholesterol screenings. Food Stamps are another government program that helps people with financial difficulties. Although the number of people eligible for food stamps may vary from state to state, education level is not necessarily a qualifier for eligibility. A big reason for this statistic is because while manufacturing jobs used to pay well and did not require much education, these jobs have now all but disappeared – leaving many workers competing for any type of job.

There are several things that can be done in our country to improve the effectiveness of government programs that help low-income people. As a society, we have an obligation to reach out and help those less fortunate. We also need to be sure that we are providing for those in need without discouraging their initiative to provide for themselves. We need to encourage the people who are able to work to get a job. If they refuse to work, they should suffer the natural consequences of their decision. The needs of poor people in our country vary from case to case. A personal customized plan of assistance should be made available from someone who knows how much financial help they need and when to tighten the purse strings. Churches, charities, and private industry must step up and help provide assistance so people can begin to lessen their dependence on government programs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Medicaid for a Low Income Solutions

The majority of people served by government assistance programs, such as, Lifeline Assistance Program, Food Stamps, and Medicaid are legitimate recipients. Amid the individuals who receive these benefits are the elderly, the disabled, and the impoverished. These dependents have the necessary requirements in order to be assisted financially. The resources provided are essential to the beneficiaries’ well-being. Without the aid of these programs, individuals would not be able to meet their minimum daily requirements.

Indeed, the need for federal and state financial aid programs are a necessity. However, an urgency exists to further improve these programs to eradicate fraudulent cases in the system. Undeniably, there are people who take advantage of the system and receive aid fraudulently. They unlawfully provide false information in order to qualify for funds. For example, people receiving Lifeline Assistance may report less income than they receive in order to qualify for this assistance. Food Stamps are designed to purchase foodstuff. Some recipients may receive Food Stamps and sell or trade them for money to buy unauthorized items such as, tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.

Stricter procedures should be prescribed to develop an effective means of eliminating deceptive individuals. Perjury is one of the major causes of fraud pertaining to distribution of government financial assistance. Case Managers working closely with the families receiving aid should require more astringent proof of household income and expenses. Recipients should be required to provide paycheck stubs, bank statements, or generally any physical evidence to prove they qualify for assistance. If major purchases such as vehicles are made, receipts should be furnished. Penalties should be dispensed and rigorous fines, including jail sentences, should be issued to those who choose to furnish unlawful and false information. These strict guidelines will improve the approval process as the intake of families’ information is reviewed.

Another strategy to ensure that only authorized individuals continue to receive aid is to hold the recipient accountable. For example, if a family is receiving Food Stamps because they qualified due to their low income, the head of household should be required to apply for employment. This person should have a minimum number of jobs they apply for and provide the reason for not gaining employment. Failure to prove an employment search would result in immediate loss of benefits. This will encourage the family to seek amelioration and not be continuously dependent on financial assistance.

Bare necessities such as food and medical care are vital to every person’s daily living needs. These programs are designed to provide assistance to those who demonstrate the licit requirements. Reinforcing guidelines and distributing harsh retribution will ensure only justifiable individuals receive government aid. By improving the effectiveness of these programs, the government will eliminate the excessive fraud caused by those individuals who falsify information to qualify for aid.

More importantly, however, is the realization that some families in the United States are poor, disabled, and/or elderly. These individuals unequivocally qualify and should receive financial assistance longterm. Improved regulations will safeguard these families who are authorized to receive these benefits.