Print this chapterPrint this chapter

READ: Elements of Argumentative Speaking

3 Example of Argumentative Speech

Sample Argumentative Speech

Our welfare system, which was designed to eradicate poverty, has spent five trillion dollars over the past thirty years, and we are no better off than when it started. In fact, the poverty level has actually increased. Even worse, social poverty has blossomed in the form of crime, drugs, illegitimacy, and urban decay. Even the ardent liberal supporters of welfare admit that reforms are in order. Yet they continue to pump 250 billion dollars each year into poverty-related programs.

There is a wide array of significant ills that the welfare program inspires. The current system does nothing to solve the problems it supposedly addresses. In fact, the current program creates additional problems. It creates a cycle of dependency that produces a decaying effect in the human spirit and takes away pride and accountability. This translates into anti-social behavior such as crime, drugs, and gangs. It creates disincentive to find a job. It creates a strong incentive to cheat the system with fraud. I know ten families who are on welfare: each of them lives in the slums of downtown Minneapolis in apartments that stink, have infestations of cockroaches, and are surrounded by gang violence. The parents lay around all day, watching daytime television. Several of the families keep having more babies to increase their handout from the government. One social worker told me that she knows a lady who owes over $9,000 to the government for fraud, and that if they track her down she will need to serve time in jail. They won’t track her down though; she just keeps moving and keeps collecting taxpayer money.

Probably the worst scenario I’ve seen is the family who takes their free government cash straight to the casinos—luckily they’ve won and just bought a brand new Ford Explorer. But not every gambling welfare recipient is so lucky. . . . How much of our hard-earned tax money is being thrown away at casinos? And what about the family’s children; are they still being fed?

The government desperately needs a plan to resolve this disastrous problem. The problem must be attacked from many different directions. First of all, we can no longer tolerate irresponsible parents who create children and then leave it to the taxpayer to support them. Fathers must be made responsible for their children. Secondly, we must eliminate additional benefits for children conceived and born on welfare. Thirdly, we must implement financial assistance on a sliding scale—the more money a person makes at their job, the more money they will receive in assistance to bring them above the poverty level. This makes incentives for working. Lastly, we must provide assistance in kind, through local non-profit charities who can provide face-to-face contact, moral support, hope, motivation, and counseling.

There are numerous advantages to this plan. First of all, when parents are made to be responsible and provide for their children, the taxpayers’ burden will be lighter. Paternity tests can be provided for women who claim not to know who the father of their child is. Let’s send a message to this country: we will not tolerate irresponsibility anymore! If you choose to make a baby, you must provide for that child.

Secondly, when additional benefits are not given for children born while families are on welfare, welfare recipients will begin some family planning. They will be forced, just like the rest of us, to prepare for additional children. If a large family is a priority to someone on welfare, then securing and keeping a job should be, too.

Thirdly, a sliding scale of welfare payments will stimulate people to get jobs. If a person can earn $6,000 at a job, then the government will match the $6,000 and give them an additional $4,000 to push them up and over the poverty mark. If they didn’t have a job, the pay out would be $12,000. The plan will help those who are helping themselves.

Last of all, providing assistance in kind through local nonprofit charities that would enhance overall efficiency of the program. It will reduce fraud and cheating; cash will not be given out so money can’t be frivolously spent on alcohol, gambling, and non-necessity items. I don’t think you can take a gallon of milk to the casino and gamble with it. Junior will receive the nutrition he needs. This way, people in our country who truly need will have basic necessities met.

The welfare program as we know it does absolutely nothing that it was set up to do, while at the same time creating a number of significant ills. The taxpayer spends $250 billion each year for nothing but trouble. Change is overdue, and this plan is the only way to begin to remedy the problem. We must implement it immediately and start making fine wine out of our country’s grapes of wrath.