Advantages Of Poor Relief

829 Words4 Pages
Although poor relief is mainly a local duty, Great Britain contributes £710,000 annually from the central treasury for "non-effective and charitable services”; of this over £500,000 are for pensions. In the United States in 1890 public charities alone (not including pensions) cost $40,000,000 ; but this sum does not include the value of provisions, etc., raised on the poor-farms, or at the work-houses, of which no accurate estimate can be formed. Very different from the older sort of poor relief is the institution of old-age pensions on the insurance plan. Such institutions, for example, as the German, for compulsory insurance may be made self-supporting and in time promise to relieve the State of a part of the burden of poor relief. If indigence…show more content…
It is perfectly feasible by a proper division of the field between the different institutions to make the insane asylums, prisons, and the like entirely self-sustaining. Hard labor is frequently a part of the criminal's sentence, the less violent insane can be made to work, and something can be got, by proper supervision, from the feeble-minded and the paupers. By an exchange of products between the different institutions the necessary diversity can be obtained. There is little excuse for the too common uselessness of the labor imposed; the tread-mill and oakum-picking of our older prison discipline; the digging of unneeded ditches by the insane, etc. Exchange of products, too, avoids the danger of conflicts with the labor unions, which so often arise when a prison attempts to make a product for sale in the open market. This expenditure is very closely related to the one for the maintenance of security and internal peace. The burden falls mainly upon the finances of the central organ, or, in a federal State, upon those of the component commonwealths. The policy of isolating the defective classes, the insane and criminal, the deaf and dumb, the feeble-minded, and the like is an economy for society as a whole, and if it can be made to prevent the propagation of these weaknesses, is…show more content…
They may be regarded as sums reserved from the wages from year to year and paid over in this form. In that case this expenditure should be positioned under class one. This is the case with most of the pensions in England, and there they are generally, correctly classed under the expenditure for the departments to which the men pensioned belonged before they retired. But when this expenditure becomes, as it has in too large measure in America, a means of reward for political services rendered to candidates for public office, it cannot be placed wherever but in class two, being then expenditure for the benefit of certain persons considered as though it were for the benefit of all. The rapid increase of expenditure for this purpose in the United States, and also for the curious features of that increase, show that it cannot all be justified by any rule of economy. In this country only soldiers are pensioned. Under general laws, which require only that there shall be sufficient proof that the applicant is entitled to a pension, all those who base their claims on inability to work or excellent services are pensioned. But many others are pensioned by special acts of Congress. The amount of pensions has increased since the Civil War, rapidly, but irregularly. The following table shows the

More about Advantages Of Poor Relief

Open Document