LASA 2: Analyzing a Social Policy
In this course, you have learned that social policies are formulated to solve social problems considered important by a mass of voters, media, and political actors. Social policy is but one solution to the problem—not necessarily the most rational, effective, or socially just. Social policies are human creations and, as such, can be changed. In this paper you will analyze a social policy as a tool for social justice.
Research one social welfare policy using your textbook, the Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet.
Social Welfare Policy use (Social Security)
Summary of Social Security Program
Social Security is the biggest social welfare program in the United States, although strictly speaking Social Security (full name Old-Age, Survivors, and 2930 3031 3132 3233Disability Insurance, or OASDI) is not welfare. Rather the main part of Social Security is a mandatory insurance system that levies a tax on payrolls (known as FICA, or the Federal Insurance Contributions Act) of workers, matches these funds with employer contributions, and keeps the money in a trust fund to be paid out in the form of monthly pensions when each worker reaches retirement age (currently 66 for those born after 1942). The system is designed to draw revenue from current workers to pay retirement pensions of current retirees, so it is technically not a savings plan. Currently over 90% of retired workers in the United States receive some form of retirement pension under this policy. Social Security, like its sister program, Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB), distributes funds based on prior earnings in the labor market. Both were established in 1935 by the Social Security Act, the cornerstone of the New Deal. Since 1956, Social Security has also insured and thus paid workers who have lost wages due to disability. Social Security is the most important of all social welfare policies in terms of scope and coverage. In 2000, approximately 45 million persons received cash payments through OASDI, 31.8 million of whom were retirees and their dependents; 6.7 million were disabled workers and their dependents, and 7 million were children and surviving spouses of diseased workers.29
Analyze the policy and address the following:
The social problem addressed by the policy
1. What is/are the problem/s to be solved in the most fundamental terms?
2. What is the history of the problem/s in the United States?
3. What are the various theories about the causes of the problem/s? Based on this, what do you think is/are the most important causes/s of the problem/s?
The policy objectives, value premises, expectation, and target populations
1. Policy objectives—overt and covert objectives: What are the stated objectives of the policy? In your judgment, what are the covert objectives of the policy?
2. What are the values underlying the policy objectives? What values are revealed by the overt and covert objectives?
3. What did the policymakers expect would be the result of the policy?
4. Target segments of the population at whom policy is aimed: Discuss the direct target of the policy in terms of size and other demographic characteristics. Who are the indirect targets of the policy?
Effects of the policy
1. Intended effects: What effects did the lawmakers intend?
2. Unintended effects: What effects did the lawmakers not foresee?
3. Distinguish between short-range (less than five years) and long-range (over five years) effects of the policy.
Implications of the Policy
1. Changes in the distribution of material resources: Are there any changes to the distribution of material resources, including income and other tangible benefits, as a result of the policy for direct or indirect target groups?
2. Changes in distribution of services, rights, and statuses: Are there any changes in services, rights, or statuses as a result of the policy?
1. What alternative policy/policies would more effectively address the social problem discussed in the policy analysis while advancing social justice?
Write a 4–6-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
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