International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 22, Issue 2, Fall 2008

Steven Daskal
Pages 281-301

Fellow Citizenship and U.S. Welfare Policy

This paper offers an assessment of current welfare policy in the United States. I argue that there is a genuine set of reciprocal obligations owed between fellow citizens that both justify and constrain U.S. welfare policy. In particular, I argue that there is both a widespread duty for potential welfare recipients to seek employment and a similarly robust obligation for other members of society to provide publicly funded jobs of last resort for those unable to find traditional employment. This leads me to endorse elements of current U.S. welfare policy but also recommend several substantial changes that would make the overall policy more just.