S.N.A.P. Today, Medicare Tomorrow: Save a Dollar, Sacrifice a Child or Grandmother

S.N.A.P. Today, Medicare Tomorrow: Save a Dollar, Sacrifice a Child or Grandmother

Pamela Hampton-Garland (University of the District of Columbia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3843-1.ch004
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Entitlements, social safety nets, benefits and welfare are just a few of the terms used to describe benefits provided to American businesses and individuals by the federal government. For decades since the FDR laws issued post WWII, politicians have been crying reform, in a vain attempt to dismantle the social safety nets that many of the country's most vulnerable populations need to survive. This chapter provides historical and current information on America's safety net programs and provide a deeper understanding of their importance and their beneficiaries. Finally, the chapter provides clarity to the impact that social safety nets have had on poverty in the U.S. and embedded in this chapter is a personal narrative of how the entitlements helped change my life.
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A Facebook Conversation

In a robust Facebook conversation regarding The Washington Post’s article “Do Whites Benefit Disproportionately from Welfare” (Williamson, 2017) a debate raged on the concept of white Americans and welfare. The article asserted that based on a recent study:

Government assistance and tax credits lifted 6.2 million working-class whites out of poverty in 2014, more than any other racial or ethnic demographic. Half of all working-age adults without college degrees lifted out of poverty by safety-net programs are white; nearly a quarter are black and a fifth are Hispanic. (Williamson, 2017)

The author of the National Review article asserts that the article was a misrepresentation of the data and as interpreted by one of the Facebook posts “[The] Washington Post is purposely misleading to make the wrong argument that white people are voting against their self-interest” (Williamson, 2017). This conversation enraged readers who believed that The Washington Post writer was incompetent and her suggestion that white people benefitted from welfare programs more than any other race. According to the Facebook posts, Williams neglected to inform her readers that social security was more of an “investment” that they were entitled to and that they received more because they lived longer and often earned more, and paid more thus deserving social security benefits. The conversation escalated on Facebook including the following statements:

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