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American Welfare State and Income Inequality

Roosevelt and Welfare

The creation and the growth of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s welfare state had a significant effect on the development of American society, including the economy, health, welfare, corporate affairs, as well as the overall well-being of the population. Through his continuous efforts to establish control and care for the population, FDR managed to be effective in providing financial support to citizens in need of recovering from the consequences of the WWII. Post-1945, FDR’s welfare focused its efforts on establishing a secure world for its citizens through supporting cooperation within the United Nations (Leuchtenburg, 2017). Furthermore, the reshaping of the American presidency also occurred under FDR’s rule; the president used technologies such as radio to deliver speeches to a wide audience and thus making a connection between himself and the society to shape an image that the President was not only a chief executor or legislator but also the society’s caretaker.

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Government Welfare

It has been hypothesized that governmental welfare contributed to the dependency of the society on benefits, with 49% of the American population living in a home where at least one family member receives benefits such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or other types of financial support (Spalding, 2012). Building a culture of dependency is an alarming trend that shifts the culture of opportunities in the United States, which suffers from individuals not seeking work but expecting the government to provide assistance. Despite the good intentions of some anti-poverty programs, earning income tax credit or child refundable credit is only possible when people work for benefits, which they do not do and subsequently perpetuate the culture of dependency in American society.

Income Inequality

Income inequality in the United States has been growing for decades and continues thriving to this day. While some experts offered explanations as to why the gap is expanding by pointing to the uneven relationship between average and median wages, true reasons for the growing inequality are unclear (Bernasek, 2013). If to take into account the growth of median and average wages, it can be concluded that when the average wage increases at a faster rate than the median, the lower-earning individuals fall further behind (Bernasek, 2013). It is important to understand that the weak labor market along with the modern trends associated with the globalization of labor that involves technologies that replace human labor harm income inequality the most. These factors are essential to take into account since it was the society that inflicted, such problems and now has to deal with the worsening of the conditions in the labor market.


Immigration policies created by the Federal Government has always been subjected to debate because of the opposing views on the economy, social and political security of the nation, as well as humanitarian concerns (Felter & Renwick, 2018). While 72% of the American population thinks that immigration is a positive thing, governmental policies to guide immigration processes have not been particularly effective (Felter & Renwick, 2018). For instance, under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants have received temporary legal relief while the current US President focuses on border security and the removal of any protective conditions that allowed illegal immigrants to stay in the country. Therefore, the lack of unity in the efforts to establish comprehensive immigration policies contributes to the government’s inability in addressing this issue.


Bernasek, A. (2013). Income gap grows wider (and faster). The New York Times. Web.

Felter, C., & Renwick, D. (2018). The U.S. immigration debate. Web.

Leuchtenburg, W. (2017). Franklin D. Roosevelt: Impact and legacy. Web.

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Spalding, M. (2012). Why the U.S. has a culture of dependency. Web.

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