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Family Responsibility: A Dangerous Policy

Autor:   •  April 15, 2018  •  Essay  •  383 Words (2 Pages)  •  5 Views

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Certain politicians often say they want 'small government' and 'individual responsibility' - in other words, they feel that people should be responsible for themselves and not rely on the government to solve their problems. Applying this idea to family policies can have significant negative consequences. It will lead to a variety of social problems, not only for the elderly themselves, but also for their families who would have to look after them.

The elderly themselves have a lot to lose through small-government policies. If no support services are provided, they may have to move in with their adult children. Not only will this make them feel uncomfortable about being a burden to their families, but they may also have to move away from their homes, friends and communities. In many cases, adult children have had to move to another area for work reasons, thus the grandparents may have to move a considerable distance. Relationships that may have developed over a lifetime would then be lost. Such circumstances can lead to serious problems such as depression, as well as a loss of a sense of independence.

Families with children would also be disadvantaged by a reduction in government services for the elderly. Spending time to look after elderly family members will have an adverse effect on the family's free time, their lifestyle and possibly even their work. Further, families with children will face even greater difficulties if governments withdraw subsidised child care in the name of 'small government'. Firstly, without affordable child care, at least one parent would find it hard to go to work. In some cases, the grandparent may be able to help look after the children, but if the grandparent has moved in because he or she is finding it difficult to look after themselves, this may not be possible. Secondly, the resultant loss of income will lead to loss of opportunities for the whole family, including the children.

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