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164 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
In a democratic society
public policy should reflect the interests of all citizens to the greatest extent possible
Due to the degrees of separation (i.e. social statification) that exist between policy makers and the individuals the policies are intended to effect, this ideal (policy reflecting interests of all citizens) is seldom realized
Degrees of separation between policy makers and individuals
Policymakers that create social welfare policies seldom have any knowledge about or investment in the client populations they are supposedly representing
Policy makers seldom have knowledge about populations they represent
Social welfare recipients become marginalized in the policymaking process.
Social Welfare Recipients are marginalized in policymaking process.
The policymaking process:

Step 1: Identifying policy problems
Before a policy can be constructed, a social problem must be identified that requires a political response. Disagreement on the definition and existence of social problems causes some social issues to receive attention while others do not. Quite often, it is the interest of the rest of society that drives social welfare policy, not the needs and suffering of social welfare consumers.
The policymaking process:

Step 2: Formulating policy proposals
Policy proposals can be formulated through polictical channels by policy-planning organizations, interest groups, government bureaucracies, state and federal legislatures.
The policymaking process:

Step 3: Legitimizing Public Policy
Policy is legitimized by the actions of government officials (e.g., politicians, legislators, and the courts).

When a law is passed or a policy legislated, it communicates to the rest of society the legitimacy of the social problem and the subsequent governmental response.

Through policy, the dominant members of society inform the rest of society which type of behavior is proper or morally correct.
The policymaking process:

Step 4: Implementing public policy
Policy is implemented through the activities of public bureaucracies and the expenditure of public funds, often in conjunction with other organizations and agencies.

Just because a policy has been passed does not mean it will necessarily be implemented or implemented properly.
The policymaking process:

Step 5: Evaluating public policy
Policies are evaluated in-house or contracted out to universities or commercial firms.
Technical aspects of the policy process (don't need to know each step)

Step 1. Referral to Committee
With few exceptions, bills are referred to standing committees in the House or Senate according to carefully delineated rules of procedure.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 2: Committee Action
A bill can be referred to a subcommittee or considered by the committee as a whole.

It is at this point that a bill is examined carefully and its chances for passage are determined.

If the committee does not act on a bill, it is the equivalent of killing it.

The bill is said to “die in committee.”
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 3: Subcommittee Review
Often, bills are referred to a subcommittee for study and hearings.

Hearings provide the opportunity to put on the record the views of the executive branch, experts, other public officials, supporters and opponents of the legislation.

Testimony can be given in person or submitted as a written statement.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 4: Mark Up
When the hearings are completed, the subcommittee may meet to “mark up” the bill, that is, make changes and amendments prior to recommending the bill to the full committee.

If a subcommittee votes not to report legislation to the full committee, the bill dies.
There are today approximately 200 Congressional committees and subcommittees in the House and Senate, each of which is responsible for considering all matters that fall within its jurisdiction.
Congressional committees and subcommittees in the House and Senate
Congress has three types of committees:

1. Standing Committees:
are permanent panels with jurisdiction over broad policy areas (e.g.,Agriculture, Foreign Relations) or areas of continuing legislative concern (e.g., Appropriations, Rules);
Congress has three types of committees:

2. Select Committees
are temporary or permanent panels created to consider a specific issue that
lies outside the jurisdiction of other committees or that demands special attention (e.g., campaign contributions);
Congress has three types of committees:

3. Joint Committees
are panels formed by the House and Senate together, usually to investigate
some common concern rather than to consider legislation.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 5: Committee Action to Report a Bill
After receiving a subcommittee’s report on a bill, the full committee can conduct further study and hearings, or it can vote on the subcommittee’s recommendations and any proposed amendments.

The full committee then votes on its recommendation to the House or Senate.

This procedure is called “ordering a bill reported.”
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 6: Publication of a Written Report
After a committee votes to have a bill reported, the committee chairman instructs staff to prepare a written report on the bill.

This report describes the intent and scope of the legislation, impact on existing laws and programs, position of the executive branch, and views of dissenting members of the committee.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 7: Scheduling Floor Action:
After a bill is reported back to the chamber where it originated, it is placed in chronological order on the calendar
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 8: Debate
When a bill reaches the floor of the House or Senate, there are rules or procedures governing the debate on legislation. These rules determine the conditions and amount of time allocated for general debate.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 9: Voting
After the debate and the approval of any amendments, the bill is passed or defeated by the members voting.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 10: Referral to Other Chamber
When a bill is passed by the House or the Senate it is referred to the other chamber where it usually follows the same route through committee and floor action.

This chamber may approve the bill as received, reject it, ignore it, or change it.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 11: Conference Committee Action
If only minor changes are made to a bill by the other chamber, it is common for the legislation to go back to the first chamber for concurrence.

However, when the actions of the other chamber significantly alter the bill, a conference committee is formed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions.

If the conferees are unable to reach agreement, the legislation dies.

If agreement is reached, a conference report is prepared describing the committee members’ recommendations for changes.

Both the House and the Senate must approve of the conference report.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 12: Final Actions
After a bill has been approved by both the House and Senate in identical form, it is sent to the President.

If the President approves of the legislation he signs it and it becomes law.

Or, the President can take no action for ten days, while Congress is in session, and it automatically becomes law.
Technical aspects of the policy process:

Step 13: Overriding a Veto
If the President vetoes a bill, Congress may attempt to “override the veto.”

This requires a two thirds roll call vote of the members who are present in sufficient numbers for a quorum.
Social Welfare in the United States:

How is welfare provided?
In the United States, social welfare is a very pluralistic enterprise. There are many institutions and organizations that contribute to our social welfare system.
Social Welfare in the United States:

Kinship Institutions
Families are and always have been society’s major institution providing socialization, emotional support, and material help to its members.
A Gallup poll asked people who they go to for “advice, assistance, or encouragement” when they face serious problems. Far and away the most common response was “family members.” Second was “friends.” Further down the list were professional helpers like social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists.
Social Welfare in the United States:

Religious Institutions
In addition to their primary function developing the spiritual aspect of human society America’s over 350,000 religious institutions also provide child care, charity, food, education, and counseling and treatment services.
Charitable Choice
Under the charitable choice provision of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, many religious congregations are taking a significant role in welfare programs.
Social Welfare in the United States:

Occupational Institutions
The third major welfare-providing institution is the system of work related welfare generally known as employee "fringe" benefits – benefits provided to employees in addition to basic wages and salaries.
"fringe" benefits
benefits provided to employees in addition to basic wages and salaries.
Social Welfare in the United States:

Marketplace Institutions
The fourth form of welfare provision occurs in the commercial market place.
This involves the sale of social welfare goods and services to the public by profit-making agencies and organizations.
One of the largest commercial operations is child care.
Altogether, for-profit firms own about 70% of all child care centers nationwide.
When it comes to more traditional child welfare services like institutional and group home care, and residential treatment, more than half are run by proprietary firms.
For Profit in Nursing Homes and Home health
Private profit-making firms also own about two-thirds of all nursing homes and home health facilities
Social Welfare in the United States:

Voluntary/Mutual Aid Institutions
The fifth welfare-producing system is based on the voluntary action of individuals and organizations acting to achieve social good.

One major part of this sector is composed of informal groups operating to provide mutual support among neighbors, friends, and peers.

Examples include uncompensated child care, housework, shopping, etc.

Mutual aid also includes self-help organizations.

Finally, people often help strangers informally, such as giving money to a panhandler.
Mutual aid also includes:
self-help organizations.
Social Welfare in the United States:

Governmental Institutions
The sixth and best-known social welfare institution is the state.In the modern welfare state, government stands as the single institution in society with the authority and resources to act broadly and comprehensively on behalf of the common good.
The sum of these parts (institutions) accounts for a very pluralistic and interdependent social welfare system, each vastly influenced by government.
Compared to other affluent nations, the U.S. spends relatively little on social welfare.
Social Constructionism (know this definition)
A theoretical perspective that focuses on the subjective interpretation and definition of social phenomena rather than the objective conditions associated with such phenomena.
Constructionist perspectives focus on how people create and respond to social conditions, how we subjectively construct the meanings of problems, and how our constructions influence how we act toward those conditions.
In social constructionist theory it is the subjective interpretation of a specific social condition that defines a social problem not necessarily “the nature of the condition itself.”
Policies (e.g., laws, rules, regulations, and legislation) are driven by the dominant class and their interests.
An integral component of the social policy process is looking at the contexts (e.g., historical, political, social, and economic) in which a policy was created.

Caveat: Although we will try to separate these contexts and their relevant analytical dimensions into distinct categories, in real life, they seldom separate, but act interdependently of each other.
Historical Context
Social problems, and the policies created to address them, are relative to the social, political, and economic conditions of a society during a given historical period.

Within historical context, all other contexts (i.e., social, economic, and political) exist, or co-exist.

A behavior regarded as normal, or acceptable, during one particular period, may be regarded as perfectly unacceptable during another.
Constructionist Perspective
From a constructionist perspective, morality, truth, and knowledge are provisional.
Social Context
What is the relationship between past and current social conditions relevant to a given social problem/policy?

Social movements (e.g., civil rights, women’s rights, disability right’s, and temperance movement) affect policymaking.
Policymaking is a very value-laden enterprise.
American value system: Individualism, work, and materialism.
Culture and cultural beliefs influence values and decisions.
Religion and moral judgment are significant social determinants of policy.
Laws are based on the moral values of the dominant society.
Political context
The United States has a political system whose interpretation of social problems and the subsequent responses to those problems are predicated on two polarizing philosophies or ideologies.
Perspectives between the two groups differ in attitudes toward change, views of human nature, individual behavior, the family, the social system, the government and the economic system; and their basic values
Conflict Area: Attitude Toward Change

Conservative vs Liberal
Conservative: Resist change; maintain status quo

Liberal: Favor moderate change; change is progress

Many social welfare programs represent nontraditional means of dealing with problems
Conflict Area:

Human Nature; Individual behavior
Conservative: Negative, pessimistic, autonomous/free will, personal responsibility, nature over nurture

Liberal: Naturally good, come in as blank slates, affected by environment, nurture over nature
Conservative social welfare systems have an element of social control.
Social problems are expressions of individual defects of character. Punishment and forced labor are solutions.
Liberals design social welfare systems to free people from problems that are preventing them from realizing their natural potential.
Rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration
Conflict Area:

Conservative: traditional, primary unit of society

Liberal: Evolving institution; progressive families

Conservatives oppose any programs that might compromise the traditional family dynamic
(e.g., abortion, rights for gays and lesbians, and the Equal Rights Amendment).
Conflict Area:

Social System
Conservative: Stable, fair, and functional; Social Darwinism

Liberal: Unfair in frequent situations; maintained as is to oppress others and perpetuate privilege

Conservatives resist governmental change; Liberals promote it.
Conflict Area:

Government and the economy
Conservatives: Less government, reduced taxes; market justice

Liberal: Government intervention; regulation; diversity
Consevative and Liberal Values
Conservative: Personal responsibility, meritocracy, work ethic, status quo, individualism, materialism, capitalism

Liberal: Social responsibility, help with fulfilling roles and needs, progressive change, individualism, but recognize redistribution of wealth
Communism (at extreme)
Analyzing social policy
Whenever analyzing social policy you must look at the value system of the individual or organization proposing the policy.
Economic Context
Economics are important on all levels when considering any action in a capitalist society.
Economic interests of policymakers and service providers are also important considerations.
We live in a materialistic profit-driven society.
Policymakers may want to help people, but at what sacrifice to themselves or their constituents?
When social welfare comes at the expense of individual well-being chances are social problems, and the plight of less fortunate and marginalized populations, will be ignored.
The “troubled persons” industry
Some people and some social groups actually benefit from other’s social problems.
Power Relationships
Must have power to drive policies and to legitimate claims.
Policymaking is a mechanism for expressing and communicating values and norms to other segments of society.
Policies define which behavior is acceptable, usually to subordinate groups.
Groups not conforming to the dominant class ideals are labeled as deviant.
In this way, policy can act as a social control mechanism.
Policy can act as a social control mechanism.
Through this dynamic, groups get marginalized and minority interests minimized.
Policies will then only reflect the interests of the dominant class.
However, without interest, no problems would be created.
Without interest, it is unlikely a social problem will be elevated to the level of social consciousness necessary to affect a response.
The problem is that only the most powerful interests get recognized.
These groups also have the power to select which problems to recognize.
In this way, the powerful and influential groups communicate their interests and demands to the rest of society.
When cultural constructions are compatible with political power, policy decisions are straightforward
When cultural constructions are compatible with political power, policy decisions are straightforward
Positive Construction, High on Political Power
Victims are constructed as good people and they also have political power, we can predict that policy will be quick to offer them benefits
Negative Construction, Low on Political Power
Villains are constructed as bad people and they have little political power, we are quick to pass punitive policies
Positive Construction, Low on Political Power
Victims that are constructed as good people, but have little political power receive little instrumental attention.

These individuals receive symbolic assistance (e.g., public speeches, or a task force to study the problem), but little actual assistance.
Negative Construction, High on Political Power
Politicians face a problem when politically powerful organizations or people are constructed as villains. Punishment in this category also tends to be symbolic in relative terms
To receive beneficial policies, politically powerless victims must be constructed as facing hardship so extreme that politicians must help them even though there will be no political payoffs.
The most salient policy claims include the middle class as victims and the lower class as villains.
Language and discourse
Another dynamic related to cultures and societies is language and the way we symbolically present a social problem in words and discourse.
how we characterize or represent a social problem using language.
Two prominent types of discourse include the medicalization and militarization of social problems.
How problems are framed is an indication of how the problem is defined and interpreted, and how society will respond to the problem.

For example:

The battered child syndrome vs child abuse vs aggravated assault on a minor.

War on Drugs; War on Poverty
Continuum of social knowledge
Blend of objective and subjective knowledge regarding a social problem
Problems that lack sufficient objective evidence can be claimed based on subjective information.
Conditions need not even be real, never mind large, to be considered a social problem (e.g., moral panics such as witch crazes, Halloween and razor blades in candy, and some drug scares).
The media has great power in deciding how and what information is presented to society. Most people do not experience social problems firsthand. They become exposed to social problems through the media.
Without media coverage, most social problems would not exist
In this respect, the media control what people know about a problem that they have not experienced firsthand.

Typically, social problems are represented by big numbers and worst cases being presented as typical cases (e.g., mental illness and violence). Powerful interest groups will propagandize information or pay for it to be presented favorably.
Symbolic vs instrumental policymaking:
Why do we continue to make ineffective (i.e., symbolic) policies?
Symbolic policy communicates social propriety and perpetuates social control. It also pacifies intended or target populations
Types of Policy Analysis:
Product, process, and performance (the 3 P’s).
Types of Policy Analysis:

Studies of product focus on the actual content of the policy.
Types of Policy Analysis:

Studies of process in social welfare policy focus on dynamics of policy formulation.
Types of Policy Analysis:

Performance studies are concerned with the description and evaluation of the programmatic outcomes of policy choices. Analyses of performance seek to measure the effects, effectiveness, and efficiency of social welfare programs.
Methods of Policy Analysis:

Descriptive Analysis
Three different types of descriptive analyses: they are content, choice, and comparative.
Descriptive Analysis:

Content analysis:
Content analysis is the most straightforward of all policy analysis methods.

It is an empirical description in terms of a policy’s intentions, problem definition, goals, and means employed for achieving the goals.
Some form of content analysis is evident in nearly every analytical framework.

It serves as a natural starting point for many policy analyses.
Descriptive Analysis:

Choice analysis
Choice analysis involves the systematic process of looking at the options available for dealing with a social welfare problem.
Descriptive Analysis:

Comparative analysis
Comparative analysis, as a method of descriptive analysis involves systematically comparing policies across two or more settings.

This may include comparing policies between locations, such as nations, states, and communities (e.g., urban vs rural).

Comparisons are also made between public and private service organizations, between different groups (e.g., different age groups, or diagnoses), and between different time periods.
Process Analysis:
Three types of process analysis: Historical, social constructionist, and implementation
Process Analysis:

Historical analysis
Historical analysis is an analytical method that focuses on the evolution of a policy.

This method allows policy analysts insight into how and why a particular policy has developed, how effective past incarnations of the policy have been, and what historical developments have influenced the current policy.
Process Analysis:

Social constructionist analysis
A social constructionist analysis focuses on how people create and respond to conditions, how we subjectively construct the meanings of problems, and how our constructions influence how we act toward those conditions.

This method of analysis allows policy analysts to take into consideration the interaction of a number of sociological, political, and economic dynamics.
Process Analysis:

Implementation – Understanding the implementation process of a particular social policy is critical in order to fully comprehend a policy’s effectiveness.

Policy implementation represents the faithful fulfillment of policy intentions by public servants
Evaluation of Policy
The evaluation of a policy focuses not on the policy’s content, development, or implementation, but on its performance.

Performance can be evaluated from different perspectives including logical consistency, empirically based effectiveness and efficiency, or ethical character.
Logical evaluation of a policy
The logical evaluation of a policy involves assessing:

1. The internal consistency of a policy’s multiple goals
2. The consistency between a policy’s goals and the means for achieving these goals
3. The difference between intended and unintended consequences
Quantitative evaluation of a policy
Quantitative evaluation generally refers to two types of evaluation:

1.Effectiveness evaluation focusing on program outcomes
2.Efficiency evaluation focusing on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit

These analyses are empirically based evaluations examining whether or not policies reached intended goals and at what cost.
Cost-effectiveness analysis
In cost-effectiveness analysis, the only monetary considerations are the costs of the program itself.
Cost-benefit analysis
In cost-benefit analysis, an effort is made to monetize the program’s outcome in addition to its costs.
Ethical evaluations of policy
Ethical evaluations of policy do occur in social welfare, but they are often controversial.
An ethical evaluation is based on the moral or value system of the analyst or organization represented. This allows results to be interpreted based on subjective criteria regardless of the objective conditions (i.e., empirical evidence).

Ethical evaluations are often employed by advocacy researchers and faith-based organizations.
In reality, there is much overlap between methods, and most policy analyses contain elements from several of them.
Good policy analysis almost always begins with solid description and historical analysis, always is based on the best empirical data available, and then proceeds to focus on logic, efficiency, effectiveness, or ethics
Social Policy Analysis Frameworks:

Systematic method
A policy framework: A systematic method for examining a specific social welfare policy or a series of policies.No policy analysis is ever complete or perfect.
Social policy in the real world is to a large extent subjective.
Hogan’s constructionist framework:
1. Historical analysis (historical evolution of policy/program)
2. Social analysis (social movements; social and moral values; cultural considerations)
3. Economic analysis (macro and microeconomic analysis; interest groups)
4. Political analysis (political values; implementation; power relationships; stakeholders)
5. Social knowledge (language and discourse; subjective construction; problem definition)
Gilbert and Terrell:
1. Bases for allocation (Who gets benefits)
2. Bases for provision (What are the benefits)
3. Delivery (How are the benefits delivered)
4. Finance (How are the benefits paid for)
5. Values (Social values that support the range of choices)
6. Theories and assumptions (Theories and assumptions that underlie choices)
Gilbert and Terrell’s analytical framework places social welfare policy in the context of a benefit-allocation mechanism functioning outside the economic marketplace
In allocating financial aid outside of economic markets, public assistance programs like TANF and SSI represent an effort to alter the distribution of resources in society.

In this effort one aim of public assistance is to further distributive justice – an undertaking that must come to grips with the values of equality, equity, and adequacy.
Numerical equality
Numerical equality represents the egalitarian element of redistributive justice.
Numerical equality implies the same to everyone – to all an equal share.
This value prescribes that benefits should be allocated so as to equalize the distribution of resources and opportunities (i.e., equal opportunity).
Proportional equality
Proportional equality represents the meritarian element of redistributive justice.

Proportional equality implies the same treatment of similar persons – to each according to his or her merit or virtue.
Adequacy refers to the desirability of providing a decent standard of physical and spiritual well-being, quite apart from concerns for whether benefit allocations are equal or differentiated according to merit.
The essence of Gilbert and Terrell’s approach may be summarized as follows: (KNOW THIS)
1.Viewing social welfare policy as a benefit allocation mechanism requires four types of choices: those pertaining to allocation, provision, delivery, and finance.
2.Understanding these four dimensions of choice requires knowing the basic alternatives associated with each.
3.Understanding why given alternatives may be preferred over others requires explicating the values, theories, and assumptions implicit in policy design.
Implementation analysis
Edwards (1980) focuses on four domains in his implementation framework: communication, resources, disposition (i.e., attitude), and bureaucracy.
The universal analytical framework:
1.Description of problem (origin, scope, definition)
2.Description of policy (contents; choices; goals and objectives)
3.Historical background (how did problem/policy/program come to be)
4.Which social dynamics contributed to the creation of the policy?
5.Which economic dynamics contributed to the creation of the policy?
6.Which political dynamics contributed to the creation of the policy?
8.Evaluation of policy (effectiveness and efficiency; consequences)
9.Policy alternatives
Allocation: Who gets benefits and services?
Two Concepts: Universalism and Selectivity
Universalism denotes benefits made available to an entire population as a basic right.
Universalists favor public arrangements that address these needs on the basis of a general entitlement, as a social right. Public education is a truly universal social program.
denotes benefits made available on the basis of individual need, usually determined by a test of income.
Selectivists believe benefits should be targeted and restricted.

Public assistance programs are selective programs.
Additional Types of Eligibility Rules:

Allocative principles:
This schema is the authors’ attempt to present allocative principles on a continuum that considers the different conditions under which social provisions are made accessible to individuals and groups in society.
The continuum is framed by the institutional and residual models of social welfare.
Additional Types of Eligibility Rules:

Attributed need
Eligibility based on attributed need is conditional on membership in a group of people having common needs that are not met by existing social or economic arrangements.

The two conditions that govern this principle are:

1. Group-oriented allocations that are
2. Based on normative criteria for need.

Examples include the homeless, the elderly, immigrants, parents, and the uninsured.
Additional Types of Eligibility Rules:

Eligibility based on compensation is conditional on membership in groups of people who have made special and economic contributions – such as veterans or social insurance contributors – or who have unfairly suffered harm at the hands of society, such as victims of racism or sexism.

This allocative principle attempts to restore equity where inequity has prevailed in the past.

The two conditions that govern this principle are:

1. Group-oriented allocations that are
2. Based on normative criteria for equity.

Examples include Affirmative Action, Veteran’s benefits, and Indian services.
Additional Types of Eligibility Rules:

Diagnostic differentiation:
Eligibility is conditional on professional judgments of individual cases where special goods or services may be needed, as in the situation of the physically or mentally impaired.

The two conditions that govern the principle are:

1. Individual allocations that are
2. Based on technical diagnostic criteria of need.

Examples include special education, mental health services, and disability.
Additional Types of Eligibility Rules:

Means Testing:
Eligibility based on means-tested need is conditional on evidence regarding an individual’s inability to purchase goods and/or services.

The individual’s access to social provisions is limited primarily by his or her economic circumstances.

The two conditions that govern this principle are:

1. Individual allocations that are
2. Based on economic criteria of need.

Examples include most public assistance programs (TANF, WIC, SSI, Food stamps)
Policy Alternatives:

Guaranteed income programs
Guaranteed income programs (negative income tax) defined by two characteristics:

1. The provision of a defined minimum subsidy for families with little or no income and
2. The utilization of a formula to determine how much this subsidy decreases as earnings increase.

Use the IRS to administer two-way operation – money in and money out.
Policy Alternatives:

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – A negative income tax for workers when the value of the credit exceeds the amount of the taxes owed, the worker receives a cash rebate (refundability).

What makes the arrangement a negative tax is its refundability.
Refundability (in EITC)
That is, when the value of the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, the worker receives a cash rebate.

It contains many of the key characteristics of a guaranteed income scheme:

1.It provides a basic income subsidy to low-income families.
2.It utilizes a formula to determine how subsidies decrease as earned income increases.
3.It is administered through the tax code.

The EITC is different from a guaranteed income plan, however, in that it only covers part of the population (i.e., low-income wage-earning families).
Policy Alternatives:

Dependent deductions vs child allowances
A tax deduction for children does not benefit poor people who would not be paying taxes anyway.

It disproportionately benefits individuals from higher tax brackets.

Child allowances would benefit everybody regardless of income or status.

This is an example of a universal policy alternative.

It exists in some form in every Western welfare state except the United States.
Provisions: How are benefits provided?
Two main types of provisions: Cash vs in-kind benefits.

Cash – Allows for greater consumer sovereignty – The degree to which a choice can be exercised with regard to the goals or services delivered.

Consumers prefer sovereignty; public administrators value simplicity.

Cash benefits also benefit merchants that welfare beneficiaries patronize.

In-kind – Material goods/commodities – Tangible benefits such as food, housing, and clothing.

In-kind – Greater target efficiency – The ability to exercise control over the nature of the article and the way it is consumed.
Universal cash programs:
Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation
Selective cash programs:
Universal in-kind programs:
K-12 education and Medicare
Selective in-kind programs:
Medicaid, Public Housing.
Credits and vouchers
Pre-payments or post-payments to purveyors of benefits and/or services.

A credit can be used by a beneficiary only at purveyors chosen by the organization providing the credit.

A voucher can be used at purveyors chosen by the beneficiary.

Vouchers preserve consumer choice while allowing a degree of social control.
Food Stamps
The food stamp program was the largest voucher program in the US; it has been greatly replaced by electronic benefit transfer.
Section 8
Section 8 housing is another program that utilizes vouchers
Delivery System
The delivery system refers to the organizational arrangements that exist among service providers and between service providers and consumers.
The delivery system refers to the organizational arrangements that exist among service providers and between service providers and consumers.
Coordination of Services
Coordination is a strategy aimed at developing an integrated and comprehensive social service system.
There are three general approaches to coordinating services:
centralization, federation, and case management.
general approaches to coordinating services:

Coordination through administrative unification

Since a centralized organization has many executive or supervisory layers, there is a large distance between clients and administrative decision makers.
general approaches to coordinating services:

Administratively separate (independent).

Some authors favor decentralized administration for personal social services programs and centralized administration for programs delivering hard benefits.
general approaches to coordinating services:

The geographic centralization of different agency resources but not their administrative unification.

Two or more organizations that agree to cooperate and coordinate their services (interdependent).

The crucial distinction between centralization and federation resides in the different control mechanisms employed in each.
general approaches to coordinating services:

Federative vs Centralized
Federative structures involve voluntary collaboration of autonomous agencies bound by reciprocity; centralized structures are bound by a formal organizational hierarchy.
Case-level collaboration or case management
Coordination of services and resources by one service provider for an individual client.

As a coordinating mechanism, case management facilitates access to services.
Case management
Case management can ensure greater efficiency in the use of services by eliminating duplication.
Citizen and consumer participation
The strategy of citizen participation is aimed at redistributing decision-making power between agencies and clients.

The rationale for citizen participation is that clients will be guaranteed responsive and effective services only if they are in positions of influence.
Indigenous workers (paraprofessionals)
This is the use of consumers or former clients as service providers.

This is most popular in the field of substance abuse treatment.
The voluntary sector
Historically, the original social welfare system in this country was started by the voluntary sector.
In no other industrialized country do citizens donate as much time and money to the welfare of society as in the United States.
For all intents and purposes, voluntary agencies and non-profit agencies are synonymous.
Non-Profit Agency new label
The new label encompassing all of these agencies is “nongovernmental organizations” or NGOs.
Non-profit agencies in the US?
Today, there are nearly 1.5 million non-profit agencies in the United States. Approximately, 200,000 are identified as social service agencies; approximately 350,000 are religious institutions.
Privatization and commercialization
Having a service delivered indirectly through contracting with a private provider (voluntary and for-profit agencies).

The private for-profit sector is often referred to as the corporate sector.
Privatization is linked both to the presumed advantages of the competitive marketplace and to the failings of public bureaucracies.
Conservatives believe that the government should be as limited as possible, and it should contract out all direct services or provide individuals with vouchers.
Liberals see some value in private social service arrangements; however, the primary responsibility of social welfare should fall upon government.
An inaccuracy to the marketplace rationale is that social welfare consumers seldom are able to shop for services.
They are generally forced to take what is available.
Criteria for evaluating service delivery:
1.Integration of services

2.Continuity of services


Financing: How do we pay for programs and services?
Most of the funding for social services comes from the government (i.e., public sources) (approximately 60%); while only about 40% comes from private sources.
Funds for social welfare benefits are obtained in three fundamental ways:
1.Through taxes (including employee benefits)

2.Through voluntary giving (private contributions)

3.Through consumer fees (fees for service, premiums, co-pays, tuitions)
“The mixed economy of welfare”.
This dynamic, the pluralistic funding patterns of the US welfare state, the intermingling of the three major organizational sectors of modern society – the state, business (the profit-seeking marketplace), and the voluntary nonprofit sector
Tax policy is the use of legislation to define how revenues are generated in order to achieve social welfare objectives.
The top 1% of all taxpayers pay over 40% of all federal income taxes while those under $30,000 pay little or nothing.
In general, Americans pay much less in taxes than other industrialized countries.
Progressive taxes
Taxes those who earn the most at higher rates.

The largest source of federal funds comes from the federal income tax.
Regressive taxes
Taxes those that earn the least at the same rate as those how earn the most.

The second largest source of federal funds -- and one that is entirely focused on social welfare -- is the social security tax.
The social security tax is an earmarked payroll tax...
meaning that it is levied on wages and salaries (and not other kinds of income).
The social security tax is burdensome on ordinary tax payers because it is levied only on “payrolls” -- i.e., earned income -- and therefore exempts income from other sources, like investments.
Those who enjoy non-work income -- capital gains, dividends, and gifts, for example -- pay no social security taxes on that income.

Since the richest 1% of taxpayers typically receive half their income in the form of capital gains, it is very rare for them to be taxed at anything close to the official 35% top federal rate.
The excise tax
based on consumption rather than on income.
One is taxed, in other words, according to what one buys.
Sales taxes, the most common excise, and the largest source of state revenues, are levied on the sale of goods.
Taxes on alcohol and cigarettes are often referred to as “sin taxes.”
The rate is the same for all, but the burden is regressive because it constitutes a bigger hunk of what poorer people earn.
While all residents in a given jurisdiction are subject to the same percentage sales tax, the burden is generally thought of as inequitable since the items taxed absorb a higher proportion of the income of lower-income households.
Tax expenditures
Tax credits, deductions, and exclusions designed to encourage certain kinds of behavior.
Tax policy and special interest
Tax policy has always contained provisions that benefit specific interests.
Bending the tax code in response to lobbying is a long-standing practice in the United States.
Through this mechanism, individual politicians can accommodate special interest groups and constituents in their local areas.
This type of special earmarking is often referred to as “pork.”
Voluntary Giving
Nonprofit agencies are registered under federal tax code section 501(c) (3) as charitable organizations.
Philanthropic funding sources (i.e., sources of charitable giving)
Individual contributions, 76%
Foundations, 11%
Bequests, 8%
Corporations, 5%

While a given tax expenditure, like the deduction for charitable giving, may be available to many, it means more to those who are richer.

Charitable contributions reduce the tax base for everyone, thus limiting available revenue for public spending.
Federal Grants-In-Aid to States:

Categorical grants:
Specify in detail how the federal funds are to be spent by states and
require elaborate accountability to ensure that funds are spent by states in accordance with federal intent.

Government uses a formula to determine federal financial match of state dollars typically based on population, per capita income, or population at risk.

Participation by the states is totally voluntary.
Federal Grants-In-Aid to States:

Block grants:
Provide a specified dollar amount for states to spend on designated program areas.
Block grants are more flexible and easier to manage for federal government.