Dependence on social welfare

Other Names:
Dependence on social security
Debilitating effects of social welfare
Unmotivating welfare dependence
Welfare weakened initiative
Dependence on government welfare benefits
Destructive welfarism
Welfare payments deter re-employment
Welfare entitlement mentality

Welfare systems tend to create poverty rather than to diminish it, by exceeding their role of providing temporary relief to deserving unfortunates. Such systems encourage dependency and permanent entrapment.


In a time of rapid economic expansion, some nations are finding it possible to guarantee a level of economic support for citizens who are disabled, unemployed or otherwise incapable of self-support. In addition, although many inner city residents receive some kind of public assistance for food, housing, medical care, child support or aid to the aged or disabled, there is little incentive for welfare recipients to leave welfare rolls. It may be risky and often a job results in less income than public assistance offers. Welfare systems also produce their particular forms of social immobility and social strata as the individual uses special currency and special clinics. This often results in aimless activity, fraud and indolence. A committed approach is necessary to counter the long-term patterns of social welfare programmes.


In 1990 in the Netherlands, nearly one in seven members of the labour force claims to be incapacitated and unable to work. More than 100,000 extra people are so declared each year. A third of those claiming disability identify psychological reasons, including nervous exhaustion. Each receives 70% of their previous salary. A 1992 study found 13.5% of USA families on welfare in 1991, and forecasted an upward of one third of all American children dependent on welfare by the year 2010.

Related Problems:
Low self esteem
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
21.05.2019 – 17:46 CEST