Why have both Great Britain and the United States been unable to create effective training and work programs for the unemployed? Desmond King contends that the answer lies in the liberal political origins of these programs. Integrating extensive, previously untapped archival and documentary materials with an analysis of the sources of political support for work-welfare programs, King shows that policymakers in both Great Britain and the United States have tried to achieve conflicting goals through these programs.
The goal of work-welfare policy in both countries has been to provide financial aid, training, and placement services for the unemployed. In order to muster support for these programs, however, work-welfare programs had to incorporate liberal requirements that they not interfere with private market forces, and that they prevent the "undeserving" from obtaining benefits. For King, the attempt to integrate these incompatible functions is the defining feature of British and American policies as well as the cause of their failure.
The welfare reform legislation enacted in 1996 was applauded by many for the successes it had in dramatically reducing the number of people receiving public assistance, most of whom were women with children. Today, however, more than a decade later, these successes seem far less spectacular. Although the total number of welfare recipients has dropped by more than fifty percent nationwide, evidence shows that poverty has actually deepened. Many hardworking women are no better off for having returned to the workplace. In Doing Without, Jane Henrici brings together nine contributions to tell the story of welfare reform from inside the lives of the women who live with it. Cases from Chicago and Boston are combined with a focus on San Antonio from one of the largest multi-city investigations on welfare reform ever undertaken. The contributors argue that the employment opportunities available to poorer women, particularly single mothers and ethnic minorities, are insufficient to lift their families out of poverty. Typically marked by variable hours, inadequate wages, and short-term assignments, both employment and training programs fail to provide stability or the kinds of benefits—such as health insurance, sick days, and childcare options—that are necessary to sustain both work and family life. The chapters also examine the challenges that the women who seek assistance, and those who work in public and private agencies to provide it, together must face as they navigate ever-changing requirements and regulations, decipher alterations in Medicaid, and apply for training and education. Contributors urge that the nation should repair the social safety net for women in transition and offer genuine access to jobs with wages that actually meet the cost of living.
A front-burner issue on the public policy agenda today is the increased use of partnerships between government and nongovernmental entities, including faith-based social service organizations. In the wake of President Bush's faith-based initiative, many are still wondering about the effectiveness of these faith-based organizations in providing services to those in need, and whether they provide better outcomes than more traditional government, secular nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. In Faith, Hope, and Jobs, Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper study the effectiveness of 17 different welfare-to-work programs in Los Angeles County—a county in which the U.S. government spends 14% of its entire welfare budget—and offer groundbreaking insight into understanding what works and what doesn't.
Monsma and Soper examine client assessment of the programs, their progress in developing attitudes and resources important for finding self-supporting employment, and their experience in finding actual employment. The study reveals that the clients of the more explicitly faith-based programs did best in gaining in social capital and were highly positive in evaluating the religious components of their programs. For-profit programs tended to do the best in terms of their clients finding employment. Overall, the religiously active respondents tended to experience better outcomes than those who were not religiously active but surprisingly, the religiously active and non-active tended to do equally well in faith-based programs.
Faith, Hope, and Jobs concludes with three sets of concrete recommendations for public policymakers, social service program managers, and researchers.
Do plummeting welfare caseloads and rising employment prove that welfare reform policies have succeeded, or is this success due primarily to the job explosion created by today's robust economy? With roughly one to two million people expected to leave welfare in the coming decades, uncertainty about their long-term prospects troubles many social scientists. Finding Jobs offers a thorough examination of the low-skill labor market and its capacity to sustain this rising tide of workers, many of whom are single mothers with limited education. Each chapter examines specific trends in the labor market to ask such questions as: How secure are these low-skill jobs, particularly in the event of a recession? What can these workers expect in terms of wage growth and career advancement opportunities? How will a surge in the workforce affect opportunities for those already employed in low-skill jobs? Finding Jobs offers both good and bad news about work and welfare reform. Although the research presented in this book demonstrates that it is possible to find jobs for people who have traditionally relied on public assistance, it also offers cautionary evidence that today's strong economy may mask enduring underlying problems. Finding Jobs shows that the low-wage labor market is particularly vulnerable to economic downswings and that lower skilled workers enjoy less job stability. Several chapters illustrate why financial incentives, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), are as essential to encouraging workforce participation as job search programs. Other chapters show the importance of including provisions for health insurance, and of increasing subsidies for child care to assist the large population of working single mothers affected by welfare reform. Finding Jobs also examines the potential costs of new welfare restrictions. It looks at how states can improve their flexibility in imposing time limits on families receiving welfare, and calls into question the cutbacks in eligibility for immigrants, who traditionally have relied less on public assistance than their native-born counterparts. Finding Jobs is an informative and wide-ranging inquiry into the issues raised by welfare reform. Based on comprehensive new data, this volume offers valuable guidance to policymakers looking to design policies that will increase work, raise incomes, and lower poverty in changing economic conditions.
Friedlander and Burtless teach us why welfare reform will not be easy. Their sobering assessment of job training programs willenlighten a debate too often dominated by wishful thinking and political rhetoric. Look for their findings to be cited for many years to come. —Douglas Besharov, American Enterprise Institute A methodologically astute study that sheds considerable light on the potential for and limits to raising the employment and earnings of welfare recipients and provides benchmarks against which the impacts of later programs can be compared. —Journal of Economic Literature With welfare reforms tested in almost every state and plans for a comprehensive federal overall on the horizon, it is increasingly important for Americans to understand how policy changes are likely to affect the lives of welfare recipients. Five Years After tells the story of what happened to the welfare recipients who participated in the influential welfare-to-work experiments conducted by several states in the mid-1980s.The authors review the distinctive goals and procedures of evaluations performed in Arkansas, Baltimore, San Diego, and Virginia, and then examine five years of follow-up data to determine whether the initial positive impact on employment, earnings, and welfare costs held up over time. The results were surprisingly consistent. Low-cost programs that saved money by getting individuals into jobs quickly did little to reduce poverty in the long run. Only higher-cost educational programs enabled welfare recipients to hold down jobs successfully and stay off welfare. Five Years After ends speculation about the viability of the first generation of employment programs for welfare recipients, delineates the hard choices that must be made among competing approaches, and provides a well-documented foundation for building more comprehensive programs for the next generation. A sobering tale for welfare reformers of all political persuasions, this book poses a serious challenge to anyone who promises to end welfare dependency by cutting welfare budgets.
One of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s proudest accomplishments is his expansion of the Work Experience Program, which uses welfare recipients to do routine work once done by unionized city workers. The fact that WEP workers are denied the legal status of employees and make far less money and enjoy fewer rights than do city workers has sparked fierce opposition. For antipoverty activists, legal advocates, unions, and other critics of the program this double standard begs a troubling question: are workfare participants workers or welfare recipients?
At times the fight over workfare unfolded as an argument over who had the authority to define these terms, and in Free Labor, John Krinsky focuses on changes in the language and organization of the political coalitions on either side of the debate. Krinsky’s broadly interdisciplinary analysis draws from interviews, official documents, and media reports to pursue new directions in the study of the cultural and cognitive aspects of political activism. Free Labor will instigate a lively dialogue among students of culture, labor and social movements, welfare policy, and urban political economy.
From Welfare to Work
Judith M. Gueron Russell Sage Foundation, 1991 Library of Congress HV95.G843 1991 | Dewey Decimal 362.5840973
From Welfare to Work appears at a critical moment, when all fifty states are wrestling with tough budgetary and program choices as they implement the new federal welfare reforms. This book is a definitive analysis of the landmark social research that has directly informed those choices: the rigorous evaluation of programs designed to help welfare recipients become employed and self-sufficient. It discusses forty-five past and current studies, focusing on the series of seminal evaluations conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation over the last fifteen years. Which of these welfare-to-work programs have worked? For whom and at what cost? In answering these key questions, the authors clearly delineate the trade-offs facing policymakers as they strive to achieve the multiple goals of alleviating poverty, helping the most disadvantaged, curtailing dependence, and effecting welfare savings. The authors present compelling evidence that the generally low-cost, primarily job search-oriented programs of the late 1980s achieved sustained earnings gains and welfare savings. However, getting people out of poverty and helping those who are most disadvantaged may require some intensive, higher-cost services such as education and training. The authors explore a range of studies now in progress that will address these and other urgent issues. They also point to encouraging results from programs that were operating in San Diego and Baltimore, which suggest the potential value of a mixed strategy: combining job search and other low-cost activities for a broad portion of the caseload with more specialized services for smaller groups. Offering both an authoritative synthesis of work already done and recommendations for future innovation, From Welfare to Work will be the standard resource and required reading for practitioners and students in the social policy, social welfare, and academic communities.
Of the some sixty thousand vacant properties in Philadelphia, half of them are abandoned row houses. Taken as a whole, these derelict homes symbolize the city’s plight in the wake of industrial decline. But a closer look reveals a remarkable new phenomenon—street-level entrepreneurs repurposing hundreds of these empty houses as facilities for recovering addicts and alcoholics. How It Works is a compelling study of this recovery house movement and its place in the new urban order wrought by welfare reform.
To find out what life is like in these recovery houses, Robert P. Fairbanks II goes inside one particular home in the Kensington neighborhood. Operating without a license and unregulated by any government office, the recovery house provides food, shelter, company, and a bracing self-help philosophy to addicts in an area saturated with drugs and devastated by poverty. From this starkly vivid close-up, Fairbanks widens his lens to reveal the intricate relationships the recovery houses have forged with public welfare, the formal drug treatment sector, criminal justice institutions, and the local government.
Both "bureaucracy" and "bureaucrats" have taken on a pejorative hue over the years, but does the problem lie with those on the "street-level"—those organizations and people the public deals with directly—or is it in how they are managed? Norma Riccucci knows that management matters, and she addresses a critical gap in the understanding of public policy by uniquely focusing on the effects of public management on street-level bureaucrats.
How Management Matters examines not only how but where public management matters in government organizations. Looking at the 1996 welfare reform law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, or PRWORA), Riccucci examines the law's effectiveness in changing the work functions and behaviors of street-level welfare workers from the role of simply determining eligibility of clients to actually helping their clients find work. She investigates the significant role of these workers in the implementation of welfare reform, the role of public management in changing the system of welfare under the reform law, and management's impact on results—in this case ensuring the delivery of welfare benefits and services to eligible clients.
Over a period of two years, Riccucci traveled specifically to eleven different cities, and from interviews and a large national survey, she gathered quantitative results from cities in such states as New York, Texas, Michigan, and Georgia, that were selected because of their range of policies, administrative structures, and political cultures. General welfare data for all fifty states is included in this rigorous analysis, demonstrating to all with an interest in any field of public administration or public policy that management does indeed matter.
Welfare mothers are popularly viewed as passively dependent on their checks and averse to work. Reformers across the political spectrum advocate moving these women off the welfare rolls and into the labor force as the solution to their problems. Making Ends Meet offers dramatic evidence toward a different conclusion: In the present labor market, unskilled single mothers who hold jobs are frequently worse off than those on welfare, and neither welfare nor low-wage employment alone will support a family at subsistence levels. Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein interviewed nearly four hundred welfare and low-income single mothers from cities in Massachusetts, Texas, Illinois, and South Carolina over a six year period. They learned the reality of these mothers' struggles to provide for their families: where their money comes from, what they spend it on, how they cope with their children's needs, and what hardships they suffer. Edin and Lein's careful budgetary analyses reveal that even a full range of welfare benefits—AFDC payments, food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies—typically meet only three-fifths of a family's needs, and that funds for adequate food, clothing and other necessities are often lacking. Leaving welfare for work offers little hope for improvement, and in many cases threatens even greater hardship. Jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled women provide meager salaries, irregular or uncertain hours, frequent layoffs, and no promise of advancement. Mothers who work not only assume extra child care, medical, and transportation expenses but are also deprived of many of the housing and educational subsidies available to those on welfare. Regardless of whether they are on welfare or employed, virtually all these single mothers need to supplement their income with menial, off-the-books work and intermittent contributions from family, live-in boyfriends, their children's fathers, and local charities. In doing so, they pay a heavy price. Welfare mothers must work covertly to avoid losing benefits, while working mothers are forced to sacrifice even more time with their children. Making Ends Meet demonstrates compellingly why the choice between welfare and work is more complex and risky than is commonly recognized by politicians, the media, or the public. Almost all the welfare-reliant women interviewed by Edin and Lein made repeated efforts to leave welfare for work, only to be forced to return when they lost their jobs, a child became ill, or they could not cover their bills with their wages. Mothers who managed more stable employment usually benefited from a variety of mitigating circumstances such as having a relative willing to watch their children for free, regular child support payments, or very low housing, medical, or commuting costs. With first hand accounts and detailed financial data, Making Ends Meet tells the real story of the challenges, hardships, and survival strategies of America's poorest families. If this country's efforts to improve the self-sufficiency of female-headed families is to succeed, reformers will need to move beyond the myths of welfare dependency and deal with the hard realities of an unrewarding American labor market, the lack of affordable health insurance and child care for single mothers who work, and the true cost of subsistence living. Making Ends Meet is a realistic look at a world that so many would change and so few understand.
In Negotiating Relief, Susan Stein-Roggenbuck examines Michigan’s implementation of the New Deal relief programs and the state’s reorganization of welfare in 1939. Local officials, social workers, and recipients were key players in the Michigan debates over how best to administer relief. The book sheds important light on the profession of social work and public welfare, and the development of nonfederal relief at the state and local levels after 1935.
Guided by fiscal localism and a firm belief in home rule, local officials fought to retain control of relief. Stein-Roggenbuck argues that while significant changes occurred in welfare policy as a result of the New Deal, many continuities remained. Among those was the responsibility of families to provide financial support. Often forgotten were those on general relief—individuals who did not fit the federal programs such as Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) and Old Age Assistance (OAA). General relief became a third track of welfare.
Drawing on newspaper records, county and city board minutes, social welfare agency records, federal records, and case file records, Negotiating Relief gives voice to the numerous groups involved in welfare debates, particularly the recipients of relief. This book adds to our understanding of the local implementation of welfare policy in both rural and urban areas.
In Overseers of the Poor, John Gilliom confronts the everyday politics of surveillance by exploring the worlds and words of those who know it best-the watched. Arguing that the current public conversation about surveillance and privacy rights is rife with political and conceptual failings, Gilliom goes beyond the critics and analysts to add fresh voices, insights, and perspectives.
This powerful book lets us in on the conversations of low-income mothers from Appalachian Ohio as they talk about the welfare bureaucracy and its remarkably advanced surveillance system. In their struggle to care for their families, these women are monitored and assessed through a vast network of supercomputers, caseworkers, fraud control agents, and even grocers and neighbors.
In-depth interviews show that these women focus less on the right to privacy than on a critique of surveillance that lays bare the personal and political conflicts with which they live. And, while they have little interest in conventional forms of politics, we see widespread patterns of everyday resistance as they subvert the surveillance regime when they feel it prevents them from being good parents. Ultimately, Overseers of the Poor demonstrates the need to reconceive not just our understanding of the surveillance-privacy debate but also the broader realms of language, participation, and the politics of rights.
We all know that our lives are being watched more than ever before. As we struggle to understand and confront this new order, Gilliom argues, we need to spend less time talking about privacy rights, legislatures, and courts of law and more time talking about power, domination, and the ongoing struggles of everyday people.
Welfare reform was supposed to end welfare as we know it. And it has. The welfare poor have been largely transformed into the working poor, but their poverty persists. This hard-hitting book takes a close look at where we’ve gone wrong—and where we might go next if we truly want to improve the lot of America’s underclass.
Tracing the roots of recent reforms to the early days of the war on poverty, A Poverty of Imagination describes a social welfare system grown increasingly inept, corrupt, and susceptible to conservative redesign. Investigating the causes of the ongoing failure of welfare assistance, Stoesz focuses on the economic barriers that impede movement out of poverty into the American mainstream. He explores such issues as the heterogeneity of welfare families, generational welfare, inadequate benefits, the negative effects of time limits on welfare recipients, a fringe banking industry that exploits low-income families, the limited capacity of low-wage markets, and the unavailability of credit.
Stoesz suggests that a form of "bootstrap capitalism" would allow individuals and families to participate more fully in American society and achieve upward economic mobility and stability. This proposal, emphasizing wage supplements, asset building, and community capitalism, sets the stage for the next act in poverty policy in the United States. With its valuable insights on the American welfare system and its positive agenda for change, this book makes a significant intervention in our ongoing struggle to come to terms with widespread poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth.
In the five years following the passage of federal welfare reform law, the labor force participation of low-income, single mothers with young children climbed by more than 25 percent. With significantly more hours spent outside the home, single working mothers face a serious childcare crunch—how can they provide quality care for their children? In Putting Children First, Ajay Chaudry follows 42 low-income families in New York City over three years to illuminate the plight of these mothers and the ways in which they respond to the difficult challenge of providing for their children's material and developmental needs with limited resources. Using the words of the women themselves, Chaudry tells a startling story. Scarce subsidies, complicated bureaucracies, inflexible work schedules, and limited choices force families to piece together care arrangements that are often unstable, unreliable, inconvenient, and of limited quality. Because their wages are so low, these women are forced to rely on inexpensive caregivers who are often under-qualified to serve the developmental needs of their children. Even when these mothers find good, affordable care, it rarely lasts long because their volatile employment situations throw their needs into constant flux. The average woman in Chaudry's sample had to find five different primary caregivers in her child's first four years, while over a quarter of them needed seven or more in that time. This book lets single, low-income mothers describe the childcare arrangements they desire and the ways that options available to them fail to meet even their most basic needs. As Chaudry tracks these women through erratic childcare spells, he reveals the strategies they employ, the tremendous costs they incur and the anxiety they face when trying to ensure that their children are given proper care. Honest, powerful, and alarming, Putting Children First gives a fresh perspective on work and family for the disadvantaged. It infuses a human voice into the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of welfare reform, showing the flaws of a social policy based solely on personal responsibility without concurrent societal responsibility, and suggesting a better path for the future.
Putting Faith in Partnerships addresses a major conceptual change in American domestic policy, begun by Reagan and now fully realized by the Bush administration: the shift of responsibility for social services from the federal government to states and communities.
In this groundbreaking study of a politically controversial topic---the debut offering in Alan Wolfe's Contemporary Political and Social Issues series---author Stephen Monsma avoids overheated rhetoric in favor of a careful, critical analysis of the hard evidence on whether public-private partnerships really work.
The book is based on in-depth studies of social service programs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas. By examining public-private partnerships between government offices and nonprofit organizations, Monsma seeks to understand how these partnerships affect the balance between government's efforts to deal with social problems and the rights of individual citizens to control their own lives.
Putting Faith in Partnerships answers many previously unanswered questions in what may be the most controversial public policy debate today: about the feasibility and wisdom of government agencies forming partnerships with private organizations to provide essential public social services.
Stephen V. Monsma is Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University. He has served as director of the Office of Quality Review in Michigan's Department of Social Services and is a widely recognized expert on the role of faith-based organizations in social service programs.
Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform
Sanford F. Schram, Joe Soss, and Richard C. Fording, Editors University of Michigan Press, 2003 Library of Congress HV95.R33 2003 | Dewey Decimal 361.680973
It's hard to imagine discussing welfare policy without discussing race, yet all too often this uncomfortable factor is avoided or simply ignored. Sometimes the relationship between welfare and race is treated as so self-evident as to need no further attention; equally often, race in the context of welfare is glossed over, lest it raise hard questions about racism in American society as a whole. Either way, ducking the issue misrepresents the facts and misleads the public and policy-makers alike.
Many scholars have addressed specific aspects of this subject, but until now there has been no single integrated overview. Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform is designed to fill this need and provide a forum for a range of voices and perspectives that reaffirm the key role race has played--and continues to play--in our approach to poverty.
The essays collected here offer a systematic, step-by-step approach to the issue. Part 1 traces the evolution of welfare from the 1930s to the sweeping Clinton-era reforms, providing a historical context within which to consider today's attitudes and strategies. Part 2 looks at media representation and public perception, observing, for instance, that although blacks accounted for only about one-third of America's poor from 1967 to 1992, they featured in nearly two-thirds of news stories on poverty, a bias inevitably reflected in public attitudes. Part 3 discusses public discourse, asking questions like "Whose voices get heard and why?" and "What does 'race' mean to different constituencies?" For although "old-fashioned" racism has been replaced by euphemism, many of the same underlying prejudices still drive welfare debates--and indeed are all the more pernicious for being unspoken. Part 4 examines policy choices and implementation, showing how even the best-intentioned reform often simply displaces institutional inequities to the individual level--bias exercised case by case but no less discriminatory in effect. Part 5 explores the effects of welfare reform and the implications of transferring policy-making to the states, where local politics and increasing use of referendum balloting introduce new, often unpredictable concerns. Finally, Frances Fox Piven's concluding commentary, "Why Welfare Is Racist," offers a provocative response to the views expressed in the pages that have gone before--intended not as a "last word" but rather as the opening argument in an ongoing, necessary, and newly envisioned national debate.
Sanford Schram is Visiting Professor of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.
Joe Soss teaches in the Department of Government at the Graduate school of Public Affairs, American University, Washington, D.C.
Richard Fording is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
Reclaiming Class offers essays written by women who changed their lives through the pathway of higher education. Collected, they offer a powerful testimony of the importance of higher learning, as well as a critique of the programs designed to alleviate poverty and educational disparity. The contributors explore the ideologies of welfare and American meritocracy that promise hope and autonomy on the one hand, while also perpetuating economic obstacles and indebtedness on the other. Divided into the three sections, Reclaiming Class assesses the psychological, familial, and economic intersections of poverty and the educational process. In the first section, women who left poverty through higher education recall their negotiating the paths of college life to show how their experiences reveal the hidden paradoxes of education. Section two presents first person narratives of students whose lives are shaped by their roles as poor mothers, guardian siblings, and daughters, as well as the ways that race interacts with their poverty. Chapters exploring financial aid and welfare policy, battery and abuse, and the social constructions of the poor woman finish the book. Offering a comprehensive picture of how poor women access all levels of private and public institutions to achieve against great odds, Reclaiming Class shows the workings of higher learning from the vantage point of those most subject to the vicissitudes of policy and reform agendas.
Reformed American Dreams explores the experiences of low-income single mothers who pursued higher education while on welfare after the 1996 welfare reforms. This research occurred in an area where grassroots activism by and for mothers on welfare in higher education was directly able to affect the implementation of public policy. Half of the participants in Sheila M. Katz’s research were activists with the grassroots welfare rights organization, LIFETIME, trying to change welfare policy and to advocate for better access to higher education. Reformed American Dreams takes up their struggle to raise families, attend school, and become student activists, all while trying to escape poverty. Katz highlights mothers’ experiences as they pursued higher education on welfare and became grassroots activists during the Great Recession.
In a book that speaks clearly and forcefully to the heart of the welfare debate in the United States, Ruth Horowitz examines one of the most critical questions of welfare policy: how can a United States government program help teen mothers—one of the most needful groups of all welfare recipients—move from welfare dependency to employment, independence, and responsible citizenship?
"Rich vignettes reveal the complexities of teenage mothers' lives, particularly the disjuncture between classroom and street identities, 'inside' and 'outside.' . . . Original and illuminating as well as timely."—Sharon Thompson, Women's Review of Books
"Horowitz offers insights that should be considered in the debate over welfare reform. . . . Teen Mothers . . . places Horowitz's results in the context of major theories about the role of welfare in the U.S. and offers a microlevel critique of the implicit assumptions and probable consequences of each theory's approach to welfare reform."—Booklist
Large numbers of Americans claim public resources and participate in direct relationships with government through the diversity of welfare programs found in the United States. Most public debates ignore the political importance of these activities, focusing instead on the economic and moral questions raised by welfare policy. By contrast, Unwanted Claims asks how different types of welfare programs, such as social insurance and public assistance, affect the lives of ordinary citizens. The author investigates why citizens turn to welfare programs, how they view the welfare system, and what they learn from experiences in welfare programs about themselves and government. The analysis shows that the welfare system plays a surprisingly important and sometimes contradictory role in modern political life. Depending on their designs, welfare programs can draw citizens into a more inclusive and vibrant democracy or treat them in ways that reinforce their social and political marginality.
Unwanted Claims is a work of political sociology that provides an illuminating account of political life in the U.S. welfare system that should be of interest to scholars, students, policy practitioners, and the general public. Written in a style that minimizes technical jargon, avoids complex statistical presentations, and makes extensive use of clients' own descriptions of their experiences, beliefs, and actions, it offers an accessible and humanizing portrait of welfare participation that challenges conventional wisdom and raises important questions about poverty, welfare, and democracy in America.
Joe Soss is Assistant Professor of Government, The American University.
Jeff GROGGER Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HV95.G743 2005 | Dewey Decimal 361.68
In Welfare Reform, Jeffrey Grogger and Lynn Karoly assemble evidence from numerous studies to assess how welfare reform has affected behavior. To broaden our understanding of this wide-ranging policy reform, the authors evaluate the evidence in relation to an economic model of behavior.
During the 1990s, both the United States and Britain shifted from entitlement to work-based systems for supporting their poor citizens. Much research has examined the implications of welfare reform for the economic well-being of the poor, but the new legislation also affects our view of democracy—and how it ought to function. By eliminating entitlement and setting behavioral conditions on aid, welfare reform challenges our understanding of citizenship, political equality, and the role of the state. In Welfare Reform and Political Theory, editors Lawrence Mead and Christopher Beem have assembled an accomplished list of political theorists, social policy experts, and legal scholars to address how welfare reform has affected core concepts of political theory and our understanding of democracy itself. Welfare Reform and Political Theory is unified by a common set of questions. The contributors come from across the political spectrum, each bringing different perspectives to bear. Carole Pateman argues that welfare reform has compromised the very tenets of democracy by tying the idea of citizenship to participation in the marketplace. But William Galston writes that American citizenship has in some respects always been conditioned on good behavior; work requirements continue that tradition by promoting individual responsibility and self-reliance—values essential to a well-functioning democracy. Desmond King suggests that work requirements draw invidious distinctions among citizens and therefore destroy political equality. Amy Wax, on the other hand, contends that ending entitlement does not harm notions of equality, but promotes them, by ensuring that no one is rewarded for idleness. Christopher Beem argues that entitlement welfare served a social function—acknowledging the social value of care—that has been lost in the movement towards conditional benefits. Stuart White writes that work requirements can be accepted only subject to certain conditions, while Lawrence Mead argues that concerns about justice must be addressed only after recipients are working. Alan Deacon is well to the left of Joel Schartz, but both say government may actively promote virtue through social policy—a stance some other contributors reject. The move to work-centered welfare in the 1990s represented not just a change in government policy, but a philosophical change in the way people perceived government, its functions, and its relationship with citizens. Welfare Reform and Political Theory offers a long overdue theoretical reexamination of democracy and citizenship in a workfare society.
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
Work and the Welfare State places street-level organizations at the analytic center of welfare-state politics, policy, and management. This volume offers a critical examination of efforts to change the welfare state to a workfare state by looking at on-the-ground issues in six countries: the US, UK, Australia, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.
An international group of scholars contribute organizational studies that shed new light on old debates about policies of workfare and activation. Peeling back the political rhetoric and technical policy jargon, these studies investigate what really goes on in the name of workfare and activation policies and what that means for the poor, unemployed, and marginalized populations subject to these policies. By adopting a street-level approach to welfare state research, Work and the Welfare State reveals the critical, yet largely hidden, role of governance and management reforms in the evolution of the global workfare project. It shows how these reforms have altered organizational arrangements and practices to emphasize workfare’s harsher regulatory features and undermine its potentially enabling ones.
As a major contribution to expanding the conceptualization of how organizations matter to policy and political transformation, this book will be of special interest to all public management and public policy scholars and students.
Can the welfare system in the United States accord people dignity? That question is often left out of the current debates over welfare and workfare. In this provocative book, Nancy Rose argues that the United States has been successful in the past––notably during the New Deal and in the 1970s––at shaping programs that gave people “fair work.”
However, as Rose documents, those innovative job creation programs were voluntary and were mainly directed at putting men back to work. Women on welfare, and especially women of color, continue to be forced into a very different kind of program: mandatory, punitive, and demeaning. Such workfare programs are set up for failure. They rarely train women for jobs with futures, they ignore the needs of the women’s families, and they do not pay an honest wage. They perpetuate poverty rather than prevent it.
Rose uses the history of U.S. job creation programs to show alternatives to mandatory workfare. Any effort to redesign welfare in America needs to pay close attention to the lessons drawn from this perceptive analysis of the history of women, welfare, and work. This is an indispensable book for students, scholars, policymakers, politicians, and activists––for everyone who knows the system is broken and wants to fix it.
Workforce Intermediaries: For The 21St Century
edited by Robert P. Giloth, Published in association with The American Assembly, Columbia University Temple University Press, 2003 Library of Congress HD5708.85.U6W67 2004 | Dewey Decimal 331.25920973
Confronted with businesses facing a long-term shortage of skilled workers and evaluations showing that job training for the poor over the past 25 years had produced only meager results, a number of groups throughout the country have sought to find a more effective approach. The efforts of these partnerships, which editor Robert Giloth calls "workforce intermediaries," are characterized by a focus on improving business productivity and helping low-income individuals not just find a job, but advance over time to jobs that enable them to support themselves and their families. This book takes stock of the world of workforce intermediaries: entrepreneurial partnerships that include businesses, unions, community colleges, and community organizations. Noted scholars and policy makers examine the development and effectiveness of these intermediaries, and a concluding chapter discusses where we need to go from here, if society is to provide a more coherent approach to increasing the viability and capacity of these important institutions.Published in association with The American Assembly, Columbia University.