Poverty and Welfare – The Creation of the Entitlement Class (Part 1 )

 by Providence Crowder

Understanding the Democrat and Republican Parties Through Their Own Words

Political parties are comprised of individuals.  Within a particular party, the individuals may vary to some degree on how they view particular issues.  Corporately, however, political parties set platforms that generally represent the ideologies of the people that make up that party.  In closely comparing the party platforms of the two major political parties in this nation, one can better determine which party best represents his or her moral, social, and economic convictions and make an informed choice based on that persuasion.

How the Democrat and Republican parties address the social ill of poverty is worth examining. Poverty is a reality in this nation and abroad, and neither political party diminishes that reality nor seeks to intentionally do injustice to the economically disadvantaged.  However, the parties have differing ways in which they approach the poverty issue.  I have compared two years from each party’s platform; years in which they specifically addressed Poverty, Welfare, and Welfare Reform.  There were other years in which these issues had been addressed, but for simplicity, I used just two; 1968 and 1980.   After each year’s bulleted platform summary, I recapped the conclusions of each party in my own words.

These are the parties, in their own words:

Democrat Party Platform (Poverty, Welfare, Welfare Reform) – 1968

  • Every American family whose income is not sufficient to enable its members to live in decency should receive assistance free of the indignities and uncertainties that still too often mar our present programs.
  • Income payments and eligibility standards should be determined and financed on a federal basis—This would assure the eligibility in all states of needy children of unemployed parents who are now denied assistance in more than half the states as long as the father remains in the home.
  • Assistance payments should be kept adequate by providing for automatic adjustment to reflect increases in living costs.
  • Congress has temporarily suspended the restrictive amendment of 1967 that placed an arbitrary limit on the number of dependent children who can be aided in each state. We favor permanent repeal of that restriction and of the provision requiring mothers of young children to work.”


Republican Party Platform (Poverty, Welfare, Welfare Reform) – 1968 

  • Welfare and poverty programs will be drastically revised to liberate the poor from the debilitating dependence which erodes self-respect and discourages family unity and responsibility. We will modify the rigid welfare requirements that stifle work motivation and support locally operated children’s day care centers to free the parents to accept work.
  • We favor efforts to enable residents of depressed urban and rural areas to become owners and managers of businesses to exercise economic leadership in their communities.
  • In programs for the socially and economically disadvantaged we favor participation by representatives of those to be served.
  • We pledge a unified federal food distribution program, as well as active cooperation with the states and innovative private enterprise, to help provide the hungry poor sufficient food for a balanced diet. 

Summary of the political parties – 1968:

That the Democrats had a very different approach to attacking poverty than Republicans is evident by comparing the platforms.  The Democrats had enacted a variety of programs and payments to the poor in an effort to lessen the burden of the poor.  They favored no limits on the amount of children that the federal government would provide assistance for and favored removing a requirement for the mothers of young children to work.  The Democrats opposed state sponsored welfare and favored a federal plan instead.  They also favored assistance payments with automatic cost of living adjustments.

The Republicans opposed their approach, citing that the programs and payments stifled work ethic and weakened the family unit.  They favored making payments to privately run daycare centers on behalf of the mothers so that their children would be taken care of, allowing them to accept work to provide for their family.  The Republican approach also favored home ownership and entrepreneurship for the poor to promote self-determination.  Republicans suggested including representatives from the poor in decision making when it came to developing and implementing programs that would best serve them.  The Republicans favored state and community sponsored services as opposed to a federal welfare program, except for a unified federal food distribution program (as opposed to food stamps) to help provide poor with sufficient food for a balanced diet.

Editor’s Note: Part 2 of Poverty and Welfare will be published tomorrow starting with, ” Democrat Platform (Poverty, Welfare, Welfare Reform) – 1980 .


About sswimp

I am not an "African-American'. I am a proud American, who happens to be of African descent. I am Christian. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Word of God shapes my concepts of what it means to be a conservative. I am Pro Life. Devoted to the principles of free enterprise, limited government,and individual responsibility. I believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman.
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7 Responses to Poverty and Welfare – The Creation of the Entitlement Class (Part 1 )

  1. Pingback: Poverty and Welfare – The Creation of the Entitlement Class by Providence Crowder 1 of 4 | AllenWestRepublic

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  3. Duncan Regen says:

    Another good one Stacy. Yhere is no doubt in my ming that the Republican way would be much better. It helps with self worth, and provides for more local control. The closer ypu are to the problem the more effective the program will work.

  4. macmommie says:

    Stacy, I am looking forward to parts 2 and 3. I appreciate the simplicity and clarity of part 1.

  5. vimax says:

    Informative post, Im now one of your feed followers

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