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Social Sciences
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Topic:

Analysis of the Welfare States in UK, USA and Canada (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

analysis of the welfare states in uk, usa and canada.

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Content:
WELFARE STATES
(Author’s name)
(Institutional affiliation)
Introduction
* A welfare state is a government that puts the interest of its citizens first. It is achievable through government programs that are instituted to provide benefits and economic aid to the low earners (Barr, 2012). Most financial assistance in welfare states is from taxes paid by the medium and high earners. Other than the poor, welfare states aim to improve the living standards of the elderly, lone parents, disabled, students and caregivers.
* Previously, the US had a weak system of welfare and this led citizens into accepting jobs with very low wages. On the contrary, the strong systems of the welfare state in UK have led citizens into opting for the government funded leisure life through the different welfare programs.
* In Canada, problems of security and prosperity led to an improvement in the welfare of its citizens. The Canadian economy is built on social welfare and as a result it has become a very important aspect of the lives of all Canadians. The society and civilization of Canada is based on security and prosperity which has worked its ways into public sector thereby making it important to all Canadians (Banting, 1987). The difference between the three countries has been brought about by legislations, actions of civil society groups and the community.
The most common causes of single parenthood are death, divorce, single parenting by choice and accidental pregnancies. Different governments have put in place medical advances, and improved maternal care leading to a reduction in mortality of people in reproductive age. The US has the highest number of lone parents among the three countries followed by Canada. Better reporting and social acceptability of lone parenthood could be the reason why the US is leading (Hunsley, 1987).
Significant changes have been proposed on the UK welfare system with specific concern over the increase in number of lone parents. Benefit caps have been lowered and new requirements have been introduced. These measures are aimed at ensuring that the children brought up by lone parents do not end up living in poverty. However, most of the state programs in the UK are geared towards ensuring that welfare benefits are reduced and the lone parents advised to seek employment.
In the US just as in the UK and Canada, most lone parents are women. However, in the US the families are more likely to fall below the poverty line than any other demographic group. This happens because of weak social safety systems, low levels of education and inadequate child support. In the US most single mothers are employed but the positions they hold have no work related benefits and the wages are low. This is because most well paying jobs in the US are for degree holders, but the single mothers find it hard to attend classes since they have children to take care of and the low paying jobs to do.
In Canada, the activities that followed the birth of a new Canada brought changes in the mindset of the citizens, the government and the role of the government in ensuring the wellbeing of all Canadians. The community has become more gentle and kind in dealing with issues that revolve around their welfare than their American counterparts. The self understanding by the Canadians was as a result of broad intellectual currents that washed over Western Civilization. Before, Canada copied innovations by Americans and even social experiments that became part of their lifestyle. The comparable achievements that were believed to be as a result of limited governments, freedom, responsibility and rule of law were actually because of emulating the Americans.
According to (Allan Moscovitch, 1983), the lone families in Canada today came as a result of the societal changes that took place during the Victorian era. The Divorce Act in 1968 led to an increase in the number of marriages being subjected to divorce. Also, family life was affected by increased participation in higher education, legalization of birth control pill and increased participation of women in paid labor. In Canada, children living in lone parent families tend to have more complex custodial circumstances and living arrangements.
The welfare state in the UK has a lot of opportunities for lone parents in helping them maintain a home and raise their children. The benefits and tax credits have increased over the years though it depends on the number of hours worked, ages and the number of children. In the US, the gap in the incomes of married mothers and lone mother is large. A very small percentage of lo...
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