Influences of Americans’ Belief in Individualism on U.S. Policy on Welfare and Education

Americans’ belief in individualism is a significant factor that has an overarching influence on the United States policy on welfare and education. It constitutes Americans’ value system which orients members of American society towards what is desirable for their society. The United States policy on welfare and education delivery is built upon the traditional belief and values in individualism espoused by the American people. The majority of the American people believe in the ability of the individual to pursue and achieve their dreams as opposed to people being products and beneficiaries of a system or organization. Individualism among American people includes the conviction that individuals can raise themselves by their efforts from humble origins and achieve success in life. This confirms the main reason why the majority of Americans hate welfare.

The majority of Americans’ attitude towards the social policy on welfare and education can be seen as a result of underlying factors such as; differences due to cultural values, beliefs about the policies of the government and social groups, and how politicians and the media formulate information that is relevant for policy. A great number of the American public does not support the welfare state. However, the majority of them have consistently endorsed the efforts of the government in enhancing the growth of the economy and opportunity. Welfare provision support among the American public at different levels varies considerably across social groups and government programs on welfare and education. The majority of Americans tend to approach social policy with a commitment to individualistic values. This is because the majorities among them are not well informed about poverty. As a result, the opinion of the American public dictates poverty politics in the U.S.

Additionally, Americans’ individualistic beliefs are confined to the stereotype that those who receive welfare unlike those who are poor prefer to receive welfare than work. This perception makes those who receive welfare as going against cultural beliefs equating work with morality. This view effectively shapes the United States policy attitudes. For instance, due to belief in individualism, the majority of the American public will support the government initiative of enhancing the minimum wage as opposed to proposals to expand welfare benefits. On the account of poverty, many Americans stress the deficiencies of those who are impoverished. They depict the appearance of poverty primarily due to the poor lacking appropriate skills, effort, and ability.

They also attribute these deficiencies to explain the reasons why impoverished children perform poorly in school. Nevertheless, the majority of the American public believes that these deficits can be rectified through appropriate training, education, and encouragement. This enables them to acquire required skills, learn to strive, and able to develop their nascent abilities. These beliefs seem reasonable within the context of an American individualistic ideology which emphasizes that everyone can succeed provided they possess or can acquire necessary talent, can work hard enough, and reside within a state which gives equal opportunity. Most Americans think of their educational institutions as avenues through which the poor can be rescued. Therefore, most of them support an education system that does provide a level playing field.

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