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The social safety net is a term used to describe a collection of services provided by the state (such as welfare, unemployment benefit, universal healthcare, homeless shelters, and perhaps various subsidized services such as transit), which prevent any individual from falling into poverty beyond a certain level.
A practical example of how the safety net works would be a single mother with several children, unable to work. By receiving money from the government to support her children, along with universal health care and free education, she can give her children a better chance at becoming successful members of society, rather than be caught up in the hopelessness of extreme poverty.
Comparisons of systems are endless, and among the most common are the ones between Canada and the United States, due to their proximity. Supporters of a strong social safety net argue that these programs have resulted in a much lower crime rate and general lower poverty levels in Canadian cities, and this benefits everyone. Detractors argue that it is not these programs that are the cause of the lower crime in Canada; two commonly suggested alternatives being a different culture and stricter gun laws.
- Social network
- Social Protection
- Social security
- Social welfare provision
- Welfare (financial aid)
- Welfare state
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