Like all policy, it's because different points of view are in the ascendant at different times. Social Security came out of the Great Depression, and Medicare and Medicaid came out of the 1960's, those were the two main periods of the 20th century when social democracy was en vogue in the U.S.neverfail wrote: ↑Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:30 pmI acknowledged that in light of how powers and responsibilities are divided between the federal and state levels of government in your country that it is amazing that The Federal has as much involvement as it does. May I suggest that this is because they have found that in practice you cannot rely on all of the states to do the right thing?
That's a fair question, since it was Eisenhower who had to deploy the National Guard to integrate public schools in the 1950's when the state-level governments resisted it, q.v. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nineneverfail wrote: ↑Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:30 pmI could mentally picture how in some state, county of municipality where there is deep dislike of racial minorities they would deliberately underspend on areas of social welfare that are within that particular regional jurisdiction on the understanding that denying the needed support may give them an incentive to move on to become someone else's problem. If some poor white trash misses out as well, then tough luck!
Does this often happen in practice, do you think?
As for whether this is happening specifically today with state and municipal level benefits... maybe, but not that I'm aware. Especially since more white people than black people receive assistance in the U.S., I'd think that it would be tough to come up with such a workaround, and that would make it a really easy fourteenth amendment case. I gather that systemic racism in the U.S. at those levels are more often expressed through the criminal justice system.
If anything, the best argument for racism in the social safety net is at the federal level. In the U.S., blacks tend to die sooner than whites, which means as a group they get a lot less payout as pensioners than whites do. Personally I think that's yet another reason to move to a system of genuine individual accounts that accumulate value that's actually owned by the accountholder and can be passed on to heirs, but given demographics in the U.S. and that all the money put into the system is immediately required to pay today's pensioners, I'm not sure how one would implement that.