Welfare has been central to a number of significant political debates in modern America: What role should the government play in alleviating poverty? What does a government owe its citizens, and who is entitled to help? How have race and gender shaped economic opportunities and outcomes? How should Americans respond to increasing rates of single parenthood? How have poor women sought to shape their own lives and influence government policies? With a comprehensive introduction and a well-chosen collection of primary documents, Welfare in the United States chronicles the major turning points in the seventy-year history of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Illuminating policy debates, shifting demographics, institutional change, and the impact of social movements, this book serves as an essential guide to the history of the nation's most controversial welfare program.
Abramovitz argues that welfare reform has penalized single motherhood; exposed poor women to the risks of hunger, hopelessness, and male violence: swept them into low paid jobs, and left many former recipients unable to make ends meet.".
The Battle Over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States
Author: Jacob S. Hacker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The Divided Welfare State is the first comprehensive political analysis of America's system of public and private social benefits. Everyone knows that the American welfare state is less expensive and extensive, later to develop and slower to grow, than comparable programs abroad. American social spending is as high as spending in many European nations. What is distinctive is that so many social welfare duties are handled by the private sector with government support. With historical reach and statistical and cross-national evidence, The Divided Welfare State demonstrates that private social benefits have not been shaped by public policy, but have deeply influenced the politics of public social programs - to produce a social policy framework whose political and social effects are strikingly different than often assumed. At a time of fierce new debates about social policy, this book is essential to understanding the roots of America's distinctive model and its future possibilities.
The Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America is a unique reference book that provides readers with basic information about the history of social welfare in North America, including Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Since many themes and issues are similar in the three nations, entries provide comparative information about common as well as distinctive concerns and developments. Significant events, influential people, legislation, social problems, and societal responses are described in detail. Editors include specialists in the social welfare history of each nation, and they have collaborated with scholars from a variety of academic disciplines to prepare entries of varying length addressing these issues. Included in each entry are suggestions for further reading that will guide readers to the rich resources available for learning about the history of North American social welfare. The Encyclopedia also provides cross-references for important topics.
The first interdisciplinary reference to cover the socioeconomic and political history, the movements, and the changing face of poverty in the United States. * 300 A-Z entries on topics related to poverty and social welfare, including the political discovery of poverty, antipoverty policies, and debates about legislation * Includes five introductory chronological essays covering U.S. poverty since the colonial era, giving a historical foundation to the entries in the book * Contributions from over 200 distinguished scholars and experts * Numerous illustrations and primary source documents dispersed throughout the work
Developing Social Welfare Policy for the Twenty-First Century
Author: A. Dobelstein
Category: Political Science
This book attributes American poverty to consequences 19th Century social welfare policies within an economy stretching to meet its 21st Century economic potential, arguing that American poverty persists as economic and political structures have moved into the world of fiscal planning but social welfare remains in its Depression-era structure.
The White Welfare State challenges common misconceptions of the development of U.S. welfare policy. Arguing that race has always been central to welfare policy-making in the United States, Deborah Ward breaks new ground by showing that the Mothers' Pensions--the Progressive-Era precursors to modern welfare programs--were premised on a policy of racial discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Ward's rigorous and thoroughly documented analysis demonstrates that the creation and implementation of the mothers' pensions program was driven by debates about who "deserved" social welfare and not who needed it the most. "In The White Welfare State, Deborah Ward assembles a powerful array of documentary and statistical evidence to reveal the mechanisms, centrality, and deep historical continuity of racial exclusion in modern 'welfare' provision in the United States. Bringing unparalleled scrutiny to the provisions and implementation of state-level mothers' pensions, she argues persuasively that racialized patterns of welfare administration were firmly entrenched in this Progressive Era legislation, only to be adopted and reinforced in the New Deal welfare state. With rigorous and clear-eyed analysis, she pushes us to confront the singular role of race in welfare's development, from its early 20th-century origins to its official demise at century's end." --Alice O'Connor, University of California at Santa Barbara "This is a richly informative and arresting work. The White Welfare State will force a reevaluation of the role racism has played as a fundamental feature in even the most progressive features of the American welfare state. Written elegantly, this book will provoke a wide-ranging discussion among social scientists, historians, and students of public policy." --Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University "This book offers an original and absorbing account of early policies that shaped the course of the American welfare state. It extends yet challenges extant interpretations and expands our understanding of the interconnections of race and class issues in the U.S., and American political development more broadly." --Rodney Hero, University of Notre Dame
The essays in this volume explore the moral foundations and the political prospects of the welfare state in the United States. Among the questions addressed are the following: Has public support for the welfare state faded? Can a democratic state provide welfare without producing dependency on welfare? Is a capitalist (or socialist) economy consistent with the preservation of equal liberty and equal opportunity for all citizens? Why and in what ways does the welfare state discriminate against women? Can we justify limiting immigration for the sake of safeguarding the welfare of Americans? How can elementary and secondary education be distributed consistently with democratic values? The volume confronts powerful criticisms that have been leveled against the welfare state by conservatives, liberals, and radicals and suggests reforms in welfare state programs that might meet these criticisms. The contributors are Joseph H. Carens, Jon Elster, Robert K. Fullinwider, Amy Gutmann, Jennifer L. Hochschild, Stanley Kelley, Jr., Richard Krouse, Michael McPherson, J. Donald Moon, Carole Pateman, Dennis Thompson, and Michael Walzer.
Welfare, Medicare, and Social Security Reform in the United States
Author: Daniel Béland
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Category: Political Science
For generations, debating the expansion or contraction of the American welfare state has produced some of the nation's most heated legislative battles. Attempting social policy reform is both risky and complicated, especially when it involves dealing with powerful vested interests, sharp ideological disagreements, and a nervous public. The Politics of Policy Change compares and contrasts recent developments in three major federal policy areas in the United States: welfare, Medicare, and Social Security. Daniel Béland and Alex Waddan argue that we should pay close attention to the role of ideas when explaining the motivations for, and obstacles to, policy change. This insightful book concentrates on three cases of social policy reform (or attempted reform) that took place during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Béland and Waddan further employ their framework to help explain the meaning of the 2010 health insurance reform and other developments that have taken place during the Obama presidency. The result is a book that will improve our understanding of the politics of policy change in contemporary federal politics.
Including education has profound consequences, undergirding the case for the productivity of welfare state programs and the explanation for why all rich nations have large welfare states, and identifying US welfare state leadership. From 1968 through 2006, the United States swung right politically and lost its lead in education and opportunity, failed to adopt universal health insurance and experienced the most rapid explosion of health care costs and economic inequality in the rich world. The American welfare state faces large challenges. Restoring its historical lead in education is the most important but requires investing large sums in education, beginning with universal pre-school and in complementary programs that aid children's development.