Welfare Problems/Internship Welfare Provision -- Term Paper

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S. can face in terms of bankruptcy and poverty if the overall gap in the knowledge of the masses regarding social security is not filled. The sudden rise shown in the chart from the analysis done in 2004 is not an estimate that the government or voluntary organizations want to counter especially with the global financial crises that is currently weakening economic structures in the U.S. As well as the world. Many members of the government and the voluntary organizations setup for the provision of welfare benefits agree that the poverty and bankruptcy levels will likely get worse then the predicted measures if the measures to control them and the measures to spread awareness on the social security aspect are not set in place immediately.

Minimum wages and welfare:

In my opinion, one of the basic things that made a huge difference at Staten Island under one of the welfare provision structures implemented by project hospitality was increasing the minimum wage percentages. Even though the overall debate on the minimum wage as a solitary factor has been growing in recent times, I truly believe that once the overall minimum wage issues is resolved, the loops in the welfare structure that exist nowadays would largely disappear. Furthermore, one of my earliest tasks as an internee at Staten Island was to conduct a survey on the possible solutions that the people believed were applicable in order to improve the overall welfare services that they were receiving. The diagram below shoes the primary and most relevant results that I received from the survey (questionnaire), starting with the welfare strategies that received the highest support to the strategies that received the lowest.

Defense and welfare:

Upon further questioning, I also realized that people in general had a huge problem with the overall amount of finance that was allocated to the defense sector. They all believed that the defense sector was not a means to provide welfare but the overall finance allocation has been used as a means to further the political goals of governments with little to no concern about what the community and society thinks. This perception is shared by many individuals in the voluntary sector as well who feel that the increase of finance allocation of defense was not in order to ensure that the overall welfare structure of the country improved. The diagram below shows the overall defense expenditure of the governments all over the world for the year 2008:

As an intern at the office of Congressman Michael E. McMahon District 13 NY, I was surrounded by people with a completely different viewpoint on the same issue of increasing the financial allocation of defense as a welfare strategy. There were many, along with the Congressman McMahon himself, who believed truly that increasing the defense and security measures of the country, especially after the September 11 attacks on the U.S. soil, became an important factor to provide not only appropriate welfare to the people but to ensure that their welfare is not threatened again. They support this by highlighting the overall social, psychological, property and infrastructure ingratitude that the county went through, which probably would have been avoided if the defense structure was allowed to be made stronger with higher resource allocations. During my internship at the Congressman's office, they recorded the following financial contributions to the defense sector, which clearly shows their support for the investment in the defense sector as a welfare policy:

Interest category

Contributions

Defense Aerospace

$18,390,170

Defense Electronics

$14,553,491

Miscellaneous Defense

$12,804,772

Defense and welfare: who is right?

This particular difference of opinion and viewpoint between the government and the volunteer organization begs the question: who is right? What I have learned working at two such different offices is that it's not about who's right, it's about priorities. Welfare security and structures are meant to be flexible because the idea of welfare differs from one year to the next. That is why the importance of the voluntary organizations and internships procedures are very necessary because one gets to learn the viewpoints of both sides and can act as buffer between the community, the voluntary organization setup for the provision of welfare benefits and the government. This was one of the most important things I learned working at these two offices: the importance of having organizations and individuals who could act as an efficient and lucid buffer and communicator between the three human resources aforementioned.

However, I also learned, during my internship at the offices, that there were certain issues where both the government and the voluntary organizations saw eye-to-eye that included:

Health concerns

Litigation policies and their application

These three aspects were considered by both the Congressman McMahon and the people at Project hospitality as integral parts of the welfare structure that any and every community needed to have in order for them to progress and grow.

Healthcare and welfare:

Project Hospitality already services the needs of the communities at Staten Island that encompass not only food, housing and clothing but proper healthcare services like legal help, assistance for case of mental disability, history of abuse, chemical or alcohol addiction operations and treatments, assistance for HIV and Cancer patients, amongst others. I worked primarily in the sector where the people were given legal advice and assistance for families or children with history or cases of abuse.

During my time working under the Congressman McMahon, he got an invitation from the Tea Party Patriots whose primary focus was the appropriation of the health care structure with high input from the House of Representatives and other government officials. In one of their letters to Congressman McMahon, they wrote: "Price Waterhouse Cooper' released an independent study of the Senate Finance Committee version of the government takeover of health care bill. The study showed that American family's budgets will be severely impacted by the bill and that health insurance premiums will increase dramatically." This became a hot topic of discussion in eth office soon after the letter came and the congressman along with his advisors decided to look into the claim and see if they could help with the proposed problem. I left before he made a decision to join them in their endeavors or not but I know that before the invitation to join the Tea Party Patriots came to Congressman McMahon, he was already recording the following numbers in the finance allocation for the health sector,:

Interest category

Contributions

Bills

Health Professionals

$131,074,734

Health Services/HMOs

$17,813,035

90

Hospitals/Nursing Homes

$34,946,455

66

Miscellaneous Health

$7,369,453

34

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

$43,395,316

91

Litigation and welfare:

In comparison, during my internship at District 13 NY, legal assistance to low-income earners was again considered an integral part of the welfare structure and a major part of the time, efforts and finance were dedicated to this particular sector. The reason behind, according to my understanding, is that the low-income earners are the ones who are more viable to have issues with the legal limits of taxes that are posed on them, the minimum wage levels, value of property etc. (see table below for finance allocations that Congressman McMahon assigned to legal assistance):

Interest

Contributions

Bills

Attorneys & law firms

$259,156,759

Corporate lawyers & law firms

$5,781,670

5

Legal Services

$217,903

19

Trial lawyers & law firms

$21,221,298

14

Conclusion

It is not a hidden fact that the voluntary and intern organizations have a huge part to play, strategically and implementation-wise, in the overall restructuring and application of a more divers, flexible and efficient welfare system. Hence, in this paper, I highlighted my experiences as an internee in a government branch (District 13 NY) and in a voluntary organization (Project Hospitality) to clearly identify the issue of welfare systems within the United States and where the possible loopholes were in the entire process of communication between the government and the voluntary organizations.

References

Abramovitz, M. (2002) In Jeopardy: The Impact of Welfare Reform on Nonprofit Human Service Agencies in New York City. New York: Task Force on Welfare Reform, New York City Chapter, National Association of Social Workers, United Way of New York City.

Alexander, J., Nank, R., & Stivers, C. (1999) Implications of Welfare Reform: Do

Nonprofit Survival Strategies Threaten Civil Society? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector

Quarterly, 28(4): 452-475.

Bischoff, U. & Reisch, M. (2000) Welfare Reform and Community-Based Organizations: Implications for Policy, Practice, and Education. Journal of Community Practice 8(4): 69-91.

Curtis, K. & Copeland, I. (2003) The Impact of Welfare Reform on Nonprofits and the People They Serve in Delaware. Washington, DC: Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, Aspen Institute.

Evans, B.M. & Shields, J. (2000) Neoliberal Restructuring and the Third Sector: Reshaping Governance, Civil Society and Local Relations. Toronto: Center for Voluntary Sector Studies, Ryerson University, Working Paper Number 13.

Myles, J. (1996) "When Markets Fail: Social Welfare in Canada and the United States," in Esping-Anderson, G. (Ed.) Welfare States in Transition: National Adaptations in Global Economies. London: Sage, pp. 116-140.

Poppendiek, J. (1998) Sweet…[continue]

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