Socialpolicy is a tool that addresses the welfare of citizens.Traditionally, social policy focused on health, poverty, education,housing and unemployment but recently it has broadened to othersocial issues in global contexts. Often, social policy raisesquestions as to whether or not services meet the requirements ofparticular groups such as older people, children, the disabled,women, or minority group members. Social welfare policies areservices provided by the government to its citizens, and this articlewill analyze unemployment benefits as an example of social welfareprogram.
Theselected social policy addresses the problem of unemploymentexperienced in the United States. The rate of unemployment hascontinued to experience an upsurge underscoring the resilience of theeconomy. The unemployment system operates based on two primarygoals: providing employees who lose jobs based on faults that areentirely not theirs with a check every week and promoting thestability of the economy by gratifying employers who curtail theirpersonnel turnover (Godley,2012).The benefits offered to those workers who are jobless are fundedthrough state and federal unemployment taxes employers pay.
Historyof unemployment in the U.S
TheAmerican government started tracking the problem back in the 1950s,but estimations of previous rates of unemployment are easy toascertain. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression’s unemploymentrate was 23.6%. The lowest rate in the country was 1.2%, and it camein 1944 during the Second World War when the economy was experiencingan overdrive(Godley,2012).1953 was the year in which the lowermost post-war rate of 2.9% wasobserved.
Sincethe postwar period ended in 1948, the country has undergone elevenrecessions. Over that time the government has initiated several meansof pushing back unemployment resulting from cynical contractionsbeing faced by the economy. By the time President Ronald Reagan’swas leaving office the rate of unemployment had dropped to 5.3% afterrising to 10.8% in the early 1980s. In the course of George Bush andBill Clinton presidencies, the percentage rose to 7.5% and hoveredbetween four and six percent (Godley,2012).For the second time in decades, The Great Recession boosted it toabove ten percent. Until September 2012, it maintained a positionabove 8%.
Itis during President Obama’s presidency that the American Jobs Actwas proposed. However, the Congress has not passed it yet. Economistsbelieve that enacting the Act would have pressed down on theunemployment rates to below seven percent. As usual, where Americaneconomic policies are concerned, no agreement is ever reached onwhich strategy is best.
Theoriesabout the cause of unemployment
Modelsof general-equilibrium for studying the zero subordinate bound on theinsignificant interest rate comprise of implicit unemploymenttheories. Some cases, however, entail explicit theories. TheDiamond-Mortensen-Pissarides (DMP) model is a well-developed accountof the determination of wage, turnover, and unemployment. The typicalDMP model is a clashing unemployment theory in the sense that theunemployment determinants mentioned don’t consist of any variablesthat indicate current output in excess supply. Other theoriessurrounding unemployment include Marxian unemployment theory whichconcerns the relationship between employment and economic demand.Classical economics, the Austrian School, and the New Classicaleconomics are theories of economics that argue that market mechanismsare dependable means of unraveling the issue of unemployment.Keynesian economics puts emphasis on the cyclical nature ofjoblessness and endorses government interventions with claims thatthey will cut down on the unemployment rates during recessions.
Themajor objective of this policy was to ensure that that the unemployeddo not suffer much and that they should live an average life justlike others do. Typically, the policy targeted the unemployed peoplein the country. One of the major stated objectives of the policy isto curb the issue of unemployment among the American people.Therefore, the policy states that they will be given wages got fromthe tax paid by the employers. In my opinion, the primary covertobjective is to ensure that the unemployed citizens lead an averagelife and according to this policy, it is evident that there is nohope of employment opportunities.
Valuesunderlying the policy objectives
Someof the values related to this policy include the safety of the peoplein the community. Through this policy vices such as theft arediscouraged since everyone can afford their basic needs. Regardingthe overt and the covert objective, equality is evident in thiscommunity since this is an attempt to raise the standards of theunemployed so that they can feel like part of the community.According to the policymakers, they expected that they would bringall members of the community together regardless of their status.Typically, they expected to bring fairness in the community bydistributing the funds equally.
Oneof the direct targets of this policy is the illiterate people whosenumbers has been reducing over the years. Most of them are the youthsand young adults who refuse to go to school. The indirect target ofthis policy are the literate but employed people. This is a littlegroup of people who are unemployed, but they qualify for employment.
Effectsof the policy
Themajor intended effect of the policy was to ensure that all peoplewere able to cater for their needs regardless of their status withoutbegging (Ehrenreich,2014).This would improve the security of the community since there couldnot be instances of theft and terror due to poverty.
Thereare some unintended effects of the policy that was experienced justafter its implementation. For instance, hatred arose among theemployed and the unemployed because they paid huge taxes that wasused for upkeep by the unemployed (Mishel,et al. 2012).The lawmakers did not foresee this since they wanted every person tolead a good life whether employed or unemployed.
Shortrange and long range effects of the policy
Shortrange effects of the policy include the unemployed and the poor beingable to cater for their basic need. Thus, the stability of the nationwill be experienced over a short period since everyone will haveaccess to facilities such as the hospital.
Themajor long-term effect of this policy is that the poor/unemployedwill retain their state while the employed/rich will continue beingricher. This is because the unemployed will only be able to cater fortheir basic needs and have no chance of growing their finances.
Implicationof the policy
Thispolicy has made a significant change in the income of the unemployedsince they can get a penny to cater for their basic needs. The policyis crucial for both the employed and the unemployed since it focuseson the growth of both parties and the nation as a whole. Typically,there are no changes in the services and rights due to the policysince it aims at reforming the quality of life of the Americans.
Tosolve the issue of unemployment, authorities should considerengineering new employment opportunities to help the unemployed toget employment. This can be done through the creation of newindustries that will absorb a volume of the unemployed people. Inaddition, the illiterate should be educated or encouraged to beself-employed so that they can generate a source of income.
Inconclusion, the unemployment policy has played a crucial role inshaping the life of most of the American citizens. Through thispolicy, it is evident that the unemployed can now meet their basicneeds and pay their medical care. Despite the success of this policy,it is crucial to note the alternative policy that has beenrecommended so that the situation of unemployment can be dealt witaccordingly.
Ehrenreich,J. H. (2014). Thealtruistic imagination: A history of social work and social policy inthe United States.Cornell University Press.
Godley,W. (2012). Seven unsustainable processes: medium-term prospects andpolicies for the United States and the World. In TheStock-Flow Consistent Approach (pp.216-254). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Mishel,L., Bivens, J., Gould, E., &Shierholz, H. (2012). Thestate of working America.Cornell University Press.