Custom «Policy Analysis Paper» Sample Essay
Table of Contents
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- The Historical Context of the Current Policy
- The Practice Implications of the Social Policy
- The Strengths and Limitations of the Policy
- A Briefing About the Strengths and Limitations of the Current Policy
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The challenges of the last decades clearly demonstrate the growing importance of social protection of citizens to support the economic development of countries, improve welfare, strengthen the country’s position in the world, considering the negative impact of globalization on the economies of individual countries. Therefore, the social policy of the state plays a vital role in the development of American economy. The main goal of the state is the economic and political strength of the country, and since this goal depends entirely on the human factor, the working and living conditions of the labor force in the country become of primary importance (Chapin, 2014). The modern US social policy has become one of the factors that ensure the improvement of the living standards of the poor and the rapid development of the country as a whole. Therefore, this paper argues that US social policy, which is aimed at reducing poverty, is one of the most successful social strategies in the world because in the United States of America as a state that has the principle of self-sufficiency, self-realization, personal responsibility, and denial of socioeconomic opportunities as subjective rights, social strategy covers a wide range of tasks.
The Historical Context of the Current Policy
The current social policy in the United States of America is a complex system of various payments, benefits, and subsidies. The system of social expenses forms a strong so-called safety net that protects the interests of the population in the event of unemployment and/or loss of working capacity (Chapin, 2014). The US social policy has experienced a rapid development. As a consequence, over 85 million American citizens regularly receive benefits under the conditions of the state social insurance and welfare programs, the amount of which exceeded $1 trillion for the first time in 1997 (McKay, 2017). In the second half of the 1990s, the poverty level in the USA reached its lowest point in history. Historically, two independent branches of social security, state and private one, developed in the country (McKay, 2017). Each of them has its own functions. Thus, the state branch is responsible for the minimum level of assistance, its wide accessibility, and social programs for unemployment. The private one is responsible for the provision of social services of more complete and better quality, for instance, benefits, pensions, and so on. Moreover, a peculiar distribution of functions has been established between the business community and the state. The government is more responsible for maintaining a minimum level of assistance and its wide accessibility.
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The Practice Implications of the Social Policy
In the USA, the social policy that aims at fighting poverty improves every year, which has led to a better provision and influences of service delivery to the population. Thus, great positive changes in the social protection of the population were achieved (Chapin, 2014). They were reflected in the long-term downward trend in the proportion of people having their income below the officially established poverty line (McKay, 2017). Such progress has been achieved in expanding the coverage of Americans by various types of public and private social insurance, the mass reintegration of socially vulnerable groups in social production, and the reduction of their dependence on state support (McKay, 2017). Furthermore, many Americans have experienced the expansion of the availability of educational, medical, and information communication services, the growth of life expectancy, and the overall improvement of the level of education (McKay, 2017). In the modern social policy of the USA, positive practice changes and implications in the sphere of social protection of the population are quite noticeable. At the same time, the problem of poverty reduction is closely related to other spheres of social activity. That is why, the country faces the challenge of achieving positive goals in all areas of social policy such as the improvement of living conditions for the poor, education, and employment. All these actions in the complex give positive results in the fight against poverty.
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The Strengths and Limitations of the Policy
Currently, developed countries of the world have various models of their social policies. In each country, strengths and limitations in their external and internal policies are present. Thus, the main strengths of the US social policy is that it serves as an element of anti-crisis regulation since it contributes to the expansion of the effective demand of the population (Jimenez, Pasztor, Chambers, & Fujii, 2015). Specifically, without the participation of the state social policy, maintaining a market system in a sufficiently stable state is quite difficult. The state acts as a guarantor of the fulfillment of obligations by the social insurance bodies when the latter have financial difficulties. The American system of social protection is based on the principles of universality, while it covers all members of society in need of material support and guarantees the uniformity of social services, equal pensions and benefits as well as the uniformity of conditions for their payment (Jimenez et al., 2015). The fight for poverty reduction in different countries covers all aspects of the state social policy and includes a system of social protection, social security, and social insurance.
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One of the limitations of the current struggle against poverty in the USA is globalization. In its current form, while giving the world visible integrity, globalization does not destroy or smooth out its internal contradictions; on the contrary, it strengthens and exacerbates them (Jimenez et al., 2015). Thus, growing interdependence results in increasing mutual vulnerability. The global danger of dividing the USA into the zones of well-being and poverty is that the latter appears to be tightly intertwined with other global threats and risks such as illegal migration, terrorism, and crime, thus acting as the breeding ground.
A Briefing About the Strengths and Limitations of the Current Policy
American social activities are characterized by large-scale and independent significance. They rely on their own and stable legislative base, impressive financial resources and a wide network of institutions while using a variety of mechanisms to implement numerous social programs. The strengths in the current policy of poverty reduction are as follows. They include social protection that covers a wide range of measures to develop, improve, and implement safeguards in such areas as pensions, including private ones, support for individuals whose income does not reach the poverty line by American standards, and the expansion of accessibility of educational, medical, and information services (Chapin, 2014). At the federal level, special programs have also been developed for different groups of population, including the social protection of veterans, servicemen, assistance to retirees, and families with children. At the same time, in addition to the basic ones, a social policy has an auxiliary function that lies in removing the negative consequences of the functioning of private markets (Gilens & Page, 2014). Nevertheless, the American social policy regarding poverty eradication has some shortcomings even though the state is legally responsible for maintaining employment and improving social standards for the population. In addition, these phenomena constitute a social evil, they undermine the tax base, and when they reach a critical level, they act in the direction of destabilizing the economy and society as a whole. However, at the moment, there is no unified control of the policy under discussion. There is no opportunity to provide material assistance and support to people who have the right to receive social assistance from the state. Specifically, modern social policy is not in a position to provide the inhabitants of poor regions with everything necessary for a normal existence (Gilens & Page, 2014). Improvements in the lives of the population, especially those living on the brink of poverty, is one of the top priority social policies for the USA. Therefore, to reduce the number of poor people, it is necessary to study the situation in detail and to invest more in the solution of the problem.
The US social policy in question has a number of functions that ultimately determine the humanistic nature of the state. Thus, through politically created public funds, the state seeks to maintain the state of individuals in such a social status that would not be burdensome to it. The compensatory mechanism, which is aimed at eliminating external constraining conditions, does not allow an individual to be an active participant in the existing processes in society. The elective mechanism is aimed at determining the circumstances and properties of the individual, allowing them to be classified as needy. The cumulative mechanism is to accumulate the social potential of the state, expressed in the dependence of individuals on social and political activity of the state (Gilens & Page, 2014). All these functions are represented, to a greater extent, in the social policy of the state since it is in the close dependence on the state policy in general.
Consequently, if the USA wants to be able to manage the social sphere within its social and political activities, it must reduce the social sphere in the category of politics. For the successful development of its social policy, the state must differentiate from the whole set of relations in the above-mentioned sphere those ones that begin to acquire a universal character and that must be protected politically (Gilens & Page, 2014). It means that social protection is a special political form of including individuals in social life with a view to removing economic obstacles that prevent them from overcoming the issue without outside help. With such a move, the state defines the social zone of its political influence and its protection by all means at its disposal if it wants to reduce the number of poor people and improve the economic situation of the country (Gilens & Page, 2014). Therefore, in the United States, not only do federal and state authorities insure against unemployment of persons employed in the civil service, but they also apply tax incentives to firms that increase their costs of retraining and creating new jobs.
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The social policy, aimed at poverty reduction in the country, is a fundamental factor of protecting US residents from objectively existing risks and, at the same time, the basis for maintaining social stability in the country. Nowadays, the United States is one of the most powerful countries in the world that has achieved great success in the social sphere. In a number of areas, the US social policy is characterized by perfection and a more modern approach to their development. To solve the accumulated problems, more advanced methods of social policy are also used. For a long time, people have taken the path of developing human potential as the basis for solving problems in various branches of the social sphere. Consequently, the most important goal of the state is providing a decent standard of living for the population. Therefore, to improve the US social policy and reduce the number of poor people in the country, the social sphere must ensure constitutive social rights and social guarantees, secured by economic opportunities.
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