The Development of the Social Welfare System in Canada
The social welfare system In Canada has come to experience many fluctuations In the last sixty years. The development of the social welfare system has come across various factors throughout the years which have Influenced the overall economic, social and political scopes In Canada today. The major events that stirred the nation was the Great Depression of the asses and the Second World War, which brought about a threatened sense of security among the people.
The time frame between 1 949 and 1973 was known as the period of growth and development, as this is the mime when social welfare programs were expanded and a renewed sense of Canadian identity was born. In the early asses, social policy developments were significant, as the government was catering to the needs of the population, one in this case being the elderly. At this time, the Old Age Security Act was passed, which assisted elderly citizens by providing them forty dollars a month beginning at the age of seventy (Turner, 29).
This act was one of the first to be passed as universal In nature, with the government finally stepping In to assist In the areas where It was cost needed. In Dalton, as the
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At this point, inequality was beginning to show its signs in Canada as unemployment began to hit labor intensive Jobs, due to technological advancements in the manufacturing industry. Also, relating back to the COOED article, Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising, technological progress was more beneficial for workers that had higher skills. For example, workers that had knowledge in the information technology field were more specific to the financial sector as they enjoyed higher incomes, whereas workers with little or no skills were left behind, thus widening the inequality gap.
This time period also brought about an economic condition called stagflation (Turner bib which essentially Involved the economy slowing down and experiencing high unemployment rates along with high inflation rates. As a result, the government stalled social policy development and drastically reduced or cut social services, such as local initiative programs all the way through to cutting the unemployment insurance program, which provided coverage to workers over the age of sixty-five.
During this time, it was essential that the government provide these basic social programs to the population due to the fact that it was critical to heave the nation out of its stalled growth period, and make sure Canadians do not have to face similar situations in the future. Recently, the past few cascades have become known as the period of decline, extending through the years 1983 to 2007. This time period came to be Introduced as the neo-conservative era, as leaders such as Thatcher, Reagan, and Maloney followed their own respective neo- conservative agendas.
With respect to Maloney and his conservatives, he had set Canada on a different course of policy direction, one of which included signing a free follows, “the beginning of a very slippery slope towards greater dependence on the United States” (Turner 34). Moreover, during his campaign leading up to the 1984 election, Maloney had stated that social programs were a “sacred trust” (Turner 34) and are not to be violated. It is clear that he did not follow pursuit of what he stood for during elections, and was quick to nullify family allowances and security benefits.
With respect to classical ideologies, it is Liberalism which comes into context with the overall capitalist economic approach. During the Great Depression of the asses, people were starting to lose faith in capitalism, and that is due to very little government intervention in the economy. Similarly, I believe that the free market bristles approach is the best way to let an economy grow and develop, as individual freedom is maximized along with politics and economics being free and competitive.
Accordingly, I also believe in some government intervention in order to protect the people’s basic needs and rights. As John Maynard Keynes expresses in his book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, the government should play a role in ensuring full employment and delivering strong social programs (Turner 29). In the article “The Canadian dream is well within reach”, it discusses the centralized dead that the inequality gap is growing, as the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to remain poor.
I agree with this article as it outlines that most young people are born into the low-income group, and work their way up to the middle or high-income groups over time. Since most young people initially lack education, experience, and training they tend to start out with low incomes and move up the income ladder, in a relatively short period of time. The article also goes on to discuss that being a low-income earner is a “stepping stone” to better paid Jobs, and also that he income ladder hasn’t slowed down over the last two decades (Agoraphobic &Lammam, p. ). What most Canadians fail to realize is that income inequality does not mean that they are limited to progressing economically, as it is stated with the evidence in the article. Ultimately, we also must take into consideration that people from low-income families indeed have a harder time pursuing post-secondary education, and this is where the government must take greater action by implementing social programs in order to assist these people out of the low-income cohort.
Currently, Canada continues to face many issues regarding our social welfare programs, and the people are letting the government know. In a recent CB article addressed, “Canadians lack confidence governments can solve issues”, a survey of the general population proposes that people are not confident in the federal government’s ability to balance budgets and fix current health care issues (McGregor, 2012). Moreover, as health care remains a top priority on premiers’ agendas, people are not convinced that much change will occur with the system.
A change in the verbal ideology of universal healthcare for all Canadians must occur, as the strain on the healthcare system is only continuing to worsen, as the baby boomers enter into retirement. Similarly, Canada should adopt a more United States approach to healthcare, privatized some medical services to those who can afford it, lessening the strain on the federal budget. This article should be an alarm for a “wake-up” call for the federal government, as people are starting to lack confidence in their own governments’ ability to make appropriate decisions.