Social Policy: Crash Course Government and Politics #49



hello I'm Craig and this is crash course government and politics and today we're going to talk about Social Policy I have a lot of social policies which include not staying out past 3 a.m. on weeknights and avoiding social gatherings where Velveeta sausage cheese dip is served both of these are pretty loosely enforced though actually we're talking about government social policy which deals with things like social security education and health care and hopefully Velveeta sausage cheese dip but probably not in talking about policy it's really hard to separate social policy or foreign policy from economic policy primarily because they're all paid for with money one way to distinguish between them is to look at a policies goals social policy has a number of goals none of which is the outright promotion of social ism glad that's out of the way and no one's going to comment on it at all in the comments peace on earth in America social policy consists of programs that seek to do at least three things some social programs protect against risk and insecurity like from job loss health problems or disability other social programs seek to promote equal opportunity finally some social programs attempt to assist the poor of these three goals there's general agreement that promoting equal opportunity is a good thing less agreement on whether the government should protect us from risk and widespread skepticism about helping the poor Americans traditionally haven't cared much for social policy and part of the reason for this has to do with American strong faith and individualism that suspicious of government action and generally favors private charity and pull yourself up by your bootstraps self-reliance I've no I don't think I've ever worn bootstraps Stan does that make me a true American as you might have guessed the history of the American government social policy pretty much starts as most government programs do with the New Deal prior to the 1930s there were some attempts on the state level to protect workers and limit exploitation but often these were struck down by the courts and the federal government's role in protecting people from risk was minimal the government did provide pensions to veterans widows but except for a relatively brief period after the Civil War the numbers of pension recipients were never very large the Great Depression changed the way that Americans came to view their government and also modified how many of them felt about poverty the suffering caused by the depression was so great and so widespread that many Americans came to feel that it was part of the government's job to do something about it private charities which had been the primary way that Americans had helped the poor before the depression could not handle the numbers of needy people in addition not all these people could be considered to have become poor due to their own personal failings the Great Depression helped solidify the idea that people can sometimes be victims of economic forces beyond their control and that it was the government's duty to help them basically the Great Depression changed people's question from if the government should help – how should the government help the answer to that question came in the form of the New Deal you've probably heard about the New Deal it's a big deal but we've only got 12 minutes so we're going to focus on two specific programs Social Security and aid to families with dependent children or AFDC and if you judge my public opinion polls and who doesn't then Social Security is one of the most successful New Deal programs ever let's go to the thought-bubble started in 1935 the Social Security Act was a reaction to the fact that many elderly people in the u.s. were poor largely because they had no work little savings and no pensions Social Security provided monthly payments to people over age 65 and while no one was getting rich it was enough money to prevent people from falling into abject poverty a couple of things about Social Security first it's not a savings program you pay into it when you're working but that money doesn't go into an account for you to access when you retire so how does it work well when you're working in on a payroll taxes are deducted from your wages and the amount is matched by your employers the total amount that gets taken out is seven point six five percent with 6.2 percent going to Social Security and the other one point four five percent going to Medicare which provides health coverage for older people this money goes into a pot which is then paid out to people over the age of 65 in other words today's workers are paying today's older Americans the benefits are indexed which means that they go up with inflation this program redistributes wealth from younger working people to older retired people because the more you make the more you pay at least up to a point because there's a cap on the amount of your salary that's subject to the payroll tax Social Security also redistributes wealth from richer people to poorer ones in general Americans are suspicious of programs that redistribute wealth but Social Security is very popular with both liberals and conservatives conservatives tend to like it because it's funded by a regressive payroll tax that faces out at higher incomes rather than a more progressive one that hits higher earners harder liberals like it because it provides automatic benefits for the elderly thanks thought-bubble whether Social Security is in crisis depends a lot on what numbers you look at and whether you believe that there are political solutions to potential problems the number of people receiving benefits is rising approximately 50 million Americans receive Social Security and that number is increasing as baby boomers get older and the number of people paying into it is falling eventually if these trends continue there will come a time when there might not be enough money paid into Social Security to pay out benefits to those who qualify this shouldn't be an issue since social security spending is controlled by congressional legislation and they can always raise the payroll tax or raise the benefit age above 65 should be easy I'm controversial since older people tend to vote there's a strong incentive for Congress to fix any problems and keep the benefits coming also it would be a national embarrassment for Congress to let it go bankrupt Medicare which is also paid for by payroll taxes is probably in more trouble partly because of the same demographics that are putting pressure on Social Security but mainly because of rising medical costs which Medicare can only do so much to control Medicare is a third-party payer for its medical benefits it doesn't actually provide doctors or medicine their stuff that makes people healthy since it does cover more than 45 million Americans Medicare has some leverage over costs but at least until recently those costs have been rising rapidly Social Security is generally popular but I'll tell you what was unpopular aid to families with dependent children in fact it was so unpopular we don't even have it anymore like imagine this Eagle is the afdc metaphor AFDC is what Americans tend to think of when we talk about welfare it was a system that paid benefits to women and children and the amount of the payments went up or down depending on how many children you had AFDC is what is called a non-contributory program which means what it sounds like you didn't need to have contributed through taxes to be eligible or to receive benefits there are still some non-contributory social welfare programs most notably free school lunches federal housing assistance programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs also known as snap or food stamps another is the successor to AFDC temporary aid to needy families or TANF or tamp in the 1980's conservatives argued that these AFDC checks created dependency are at the very least an incentive to not work and increasing welfare payments were pointed to as a criticism of liberalism in general but conservatives weren't able to reform welfare in the 80s because even though a majority of Americans didn't like it passing laws is difficult especially when Congress is hostile to you it took a Democratic president Bill Clinton to push welfare reform through Congress which in 1996 passed the personal responsibility and opportunity reconciliation Act better known as the 1996 welfare reform act this law got rid of aid to families with dependent children and replaced it with temporary aid to needy families which emphasized that any aid to needy families was going to be temporary by putting that as the first word in its title there are now work restrictions that recipients must meet in order to get benefits and there are time restrictions you can only receive benefits for two years in a row and five years total all of this was supposed to encourage people to get off welfare and as the name of the law tells us exercise greater personal responsibility so did it work it kind of worked the number of people receiving welfare did decrease and more people did look for and find work on the other hand the law didn't reduce poverty although to be fair that wasn't what it's supposed to do it was supposed to reduce welfare also during economic downturns as in 2001 and 2009 welfare caseloads rose again suggesting that the work that people did find might not be such a stable solution to relieving poverty so this episode is focused mainly on the more controversial aspects of Social Policy those that involve redistribution of wealth from richer to poor Americans and I'm sure all of you commenters are fine with that actually probably not for a lot of reasons some economic but many cultural Americans have generally been suspicious of these redistributed programs remember that I said one goal of social policy one that's not very controversial is increasing opportunity and for most of us the key to increasing opportunity is education which is what we're doing right here education is one social policy that almost everyone agrees on under the theory that if everyone's educated they'll be able to find good high-paying jobs that will enable them to achieve greater economic stability and mitigate the risks in their own lives without the government having to do it for them whether it works or not and just how much the government should be involved are questions that you will have to think about and argue over with your friends and families and teachers and teachers teachers and teachers grandmas and guys McDonald's maybe the guys standing next to it the Velveeta sausage cheese dip platter but it's important to remember that social policy isn't just redistribution of wealth or income it's also education and programs that help people who really can't help themselves thanks for watching see you next time crash course government and politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios support for crash course US government comes from vocals volkl supports non-profits that use technology and media to advance social equity learn more about their mission and initiatives at voqal.org crash course is made with the help of all of these Velveeta sausage cheese tips thanks for watching you

Maurice Vega

50 Responses

  1. hey bored well let get to 666 commets and mute this vid then listen to a theory this for people like meh

  2. 1:17 – That right there is why the rich/poor divide in the U.S. has become so disproportionately huge. A culture of individualism and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" might sound good, however with minimal government intervention what you end up with an aggressive dog eat dog culture, with the end result being some winners and many losers.

    Since the losers often find themselves in a massive hole with minimal support to recover, they can end up stuck there forever. This is undoubtedly one reason why so many poor people protest voted for Trump. It was an attempt to change the status quo. Unfortunately that was a gamble that almost certainly make the situation worse, not better. On the plus side, Trump is so alarmingly bad, it might be just enough to jolt regular politicians into promoting social mobility.

  3. Does Crashcourse run a speech rate test when they're looking for presenters, and the fastest one gets the job? Thank God YouTube's video speed button 🙂 Just kidding, amazing content as usual.

  4. My Policies:

    Eco power

    Ban on atheism

    Help animal, and needy

    SJWism as a course or class

    Fusion

    Scientific research

    Religious research

    Ban on Alt-Right

    Internet connection fixed

    Human tech in general fixed

  5. Thanks Craig! I just passed my American Government CLEP test! I only studied for 3 weeks and ended up with an extra $900 in my pocket (well- sort of)!

  6. thank u sir it was very beneficial episode, especially the subtitles was there helps a lot
    to understand because my language is Arabic .very appreciated your efforts .best regards from Iraq

  7. Whoa! CrashCourse is affiliated with PBS now (or was when this video was made)? Congrats and great job, you guys!!!

  8. Why are Americans SO afraid of socialism? It's ridiculous, I live in Canada and the socialism here needs to increase! Socialism = equal opportunity, justice, and compassion. Ya know, like CHRISTIAN values.

  9. While the presentation was overall efficacious because it was informative, you ought to appear more disinterested. Try avoiding broad strokes. Take for instance the phrase you used, "Americans are skeptical of X", well that's just not true. Americans can't be bundled together in a way that ignores the breadth of our views. Instead, try "some Americans are skeptical of redistributive American Government social policy programs". Looking forward to more refreshers with you material. Take great care!

  10. You're talking to fast; the second I grasp what you're saying you move on quickly to something else. I understand I can pause the video and that you have limited time to explain.

  11. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP.! he says that the new deal made medicare, FDR, but I thought it was Lyndon B. Johnson with the Great Society. WHO DID IT?

  12. I love having worked 3 close to minimum wage jobs, where they all stole from me, or caused me harm, or found loopholes or other shady means to not give me what I had earned and worked for. I was very conservative and used to think the minimum wage should be abolished and had faith that people were generally good. OH boy was I wrong when I had to start working enough to support myself. Particularly the people where I live.

  13. I have a social policy exam and i didn't even know what social policy was till this moment RIP my existence

  14. As a Norwegian, I find it kind-of funny how poorly the US government takes care of its people.

    If I don't work and DON'T haven't worked enough to get unemployment money, I'll get about 1000 dollars per month (dependent on rent pricing and local price levels), tax free, just to stay alive, and there exists an enormous amount of different funding you can apply for rather easily from a single welfare organization.

    I once applied for and received somewhere about 400 dollars to buy new clothes for instance. That said, the government expects you to try and find a job while you get this cash, and they expect you to prove that you do this. But I just think about how difficult it must be to be an American down on your luck. Currently I'm also taking a Bachelor in Programming at one of Norway's most prestigious universities, and it's completely free.

  15. "since the Great Depression and the New Deal the government’s role has increased significantly"
    All according to the evil plan of the ones who incited the crash.
    Remember, problem – reaction – solution.
    That's how they tighten the noose.

  16. The freer the economy, the richer are everyone, and less poor people (really poor, not relatively).
    But socialists don't care about the poor or the facts, they care for the gap. It hurts them to see others succeed even though it means there will be less poor people.

  17. I don't agree with the social policy of education. People should get a job first and then get a relevant education to play a bigger role in the business. That way you KNOW your education is relevant. It doesn't make sense people get an education without specific idea of who they're going to work or what kind of business they're going to start. Of course they have idea of where they want to work, but without experience in the workplace it's all speculation.

  18. It's so sad. The great depression was prolonged and deepened by government action. A vastly harsher depression happened in 1921 and was all but forgotten specifically because the government did NOTHING. And it ended in less than a year.

    And because they did make it worse, the started a social policy that's been eating away at the US for over 80 years now. Starting social wars like the "war on poverty" and "the war on drugs" they've never won. And which has only become worse.

  19. Please do more videos about Social Policy! I have been studying it in depth and there is a lot more that could be touched on. Specifically more about social policy/welfare state in other countries compared to the US (eg switzerland, Uk, Australia) could be good as it links about what was said about cultural attitudes towards tax and receiving welfare.

  20. "…medicare has some leverage over costs…" Except, you know, when congress passes laws explicitly forbidding Medicare from negotiating prices (for example, medication prices), thereby completely stripping the single largest payer of ANY leverage, but also ensuring inefficiency in spending (which is used to justify reduction in funding in nice loops of circular and consequentialist logic) and the emergence of, for all intents and purposes, "government death panels" (aka cost/benefit evaluation boards) determining whether or not to actually allow many treatments due to expense (and regardless of the fact that such board automatically form and control private insurers, to the general harm of their–now forced to participate–customers). In other words, if medicare were actually afforded any leverage it would dramatically improve cost and availability of health care. Our current situation is directly caused in no small part by deliberate prevention of such by vested interests in pursuit of very short-term profits.

  21. I pay over 15% to social security (FICA taxes) because I'm self employed. Everyone else pays this rate too they just don't realize it.

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