Some of the most obvious advantages of public welfare include a greater level of equality amongst citizens, happier people and less crime. Some of the greatest disadvantages of welfare include high tax rates and large government deficits to support the programs. Welfare programs are also thought to create a system that favors high unemployment and low productivity amongst those receiving benefits.
Opponents of government welfare say the system promotes a level of dependency amongst its benefactors. Because it can be preferable to receive welfare benefits rather than work, these opponents believe that welfare actually causes more problems and does nothing to ease the disparity between rich and poor. It is also thought that the system creates a problem in society between those who give and those who receive the benefits.
For proponents of welfare, the goal of the system is to prevent starvation, disease and overall misery among the poorest of the population. The intention of the welfare system is to provide temporary support for families while they go through a crisis or change in employment. The support ceases once the temporary period passes and the family is able to get back on its feet. As of 2014, low wages and underemployment can also lead to qualification for welfare benefits.