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Book Cover
Author Handler, Joel F.

Title Blame welfare, ignore poverty and inequality / Joel F. Handler, Yeheskel Hasenfeld
Published New York : Cambridge University Press, 2007
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xiii, 401 pages) : illustrations
Contents 1. Introduction -- The argument -- The plan of the book -- 2. The state of poverty : TANF recipients -- The myth and reality of poverty in America -- Measuring poverty -- Experiencing poverty -- The risk of poverty and poverty spells -- Who are the poor? -- The working poor -- Poverty, race, and ethnicity -- Poverty, gender, and single parenthood -- Child poverty -- Why is poverty persistently high? -- Welfare recipients -- Historical trends -- Welfare use -- Characteristics of families -- Race/ethnicity -- Education level -- Welfare and work -- Monthly income -- Employment -- Welfare leavers : stuck in poverty -- Conclusions
3. The response to poverty and inequality : the welfare state -- Introduction -- The public welfare state -- Cash assistance -- The earned income tax credit (EITC) -- In-kind programs -- Food and nutrition -- Hunger and food insecurity -- Child care -- Child support -- Education -- Housing -- Health care -- Trying to reform health insurance -- Health insurance for low-income children (SCHIP) -- Health of children of immigrants -- Summary : child well-being -- Who uses the welfare state? -- The impact of the welfare state on poverty -- The private welfare state : workers -- The "third section" -- Conclusions -- 4. Demonizing the single-mother family : the path to welfare reform -- The colonial period -- The origins of aid to dependent children -- The "suitable home" -- The "welfare queen" and the welfare "crisis" -- The attacks on welfare -- The liberal response to welfare : the war on poverty -- The triumph of the "welfare queen" -- The transformation of welfare departments -- Putting recipients to work -- State waivers to increase work requirements -- "Ending welfare as we know it" -- Conclusions : a return to colonial welfare
5. The welfare bureaucracy -- Welfare bureaucracy as an enactment of moral symbols -- The "new" welfare-to-work ideology -- The welfare department as an employment agency -- The "welfare-to-work" approach -- Use of sanctions -- Routinization and discretion -- Provision of social services -- State variations : do they matter? -- Integrated vs. specialized case management -- Privatization of TANF : who benefits? -- Changing the culture of the welfare department -- Conclusions -- 6. Work and the low-wage labor market : mothers and children -- What kinds of jobs are available? : the low-wage labor market for women -- The rise of non-standard work -- Stuck in low-wage jobs -- The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) -- The impact on welfare leavers -- The dilemmas of child care for low-wage workers -- The use of child care -- The costs of child care -- Availability of child care resources -- Caring for children with health problems -- "It's just not working" -- The quality of child care -- The effects of child care -- Impact of working in the low-wage market on child development -- Conclusions
7. Welfare reform and moral entrepreneurship : promoting marriage and responsible parenthood and preventing teenage pregnancy -- Marriage and poverty -- Married and poor -- The fragile families study -- Paternity establishment and child-support enforcement -- Promoting healthy marriages -- Family cap -- Domestic violence -- PRWORA and teens -- Teen single mothers, fathers, and their children -- Teen mothers on welfare -- Living arrangements -- School attendance -- Sanctions -- Teen children of welfare recipients -- Does PRWORA affect rates of teen pregnancy, school dropout, and living arrangements? -- Can abstinence-only-until-marriage programs reduce teen pregnancies? -- Conclusions -- 8. Addressing poverty and inequality -- The starting point -- The interconnectedness of poverty issues -- Why there has to be both jobs and income support -- Improving the pain labor market -- Increasing the income of families : a children's allowance -- Improving child care -- Childcare : the very early period -- Children : preschool -- Improving the neighborhood effect -- The hard-to-employ
Summary From the Publisher: With the passage of the 1996 welfare reform, not only welfare, but poverty and inequality have disappeared from the political discourse. The decline in the welfare rolls has been hailed as a success. This book challenges that assumption. It argues that while many single mothers left welfare, they have joined the working poor, and fail to make a decent living. The book examines the persistent demonization of poor single-mother families; the impact of the low-wage market on perpetuating poverty and inequality; and the role of the welfare bureaucracy in defining deserving and undeserving poor. It argues that the emphasis on family values - marriage promotion, sex education and abstinence - is misguided and diverts attention from the economic hardships low-income families face. The book proposes an alternative approach to reducing poverty and inequality that centers on a children's allowance as basic income support coupled with jobs and universal child care
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 349-378) and indexes
Notes English
Print version record
Subject Public welfare -- United States.
Family policy -- United States
Welfare recipients -- Government policy -- United States
Low-income single mothers -- Government policy -- United States
Poor families -- Government policy -- United States
Poverty -- United States
Equality -- United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Poverty & Homelessness.
Family policy
Public welfare
Welfare recipients -- Government policy
United States
Form Electronic book
Author Hasenfeld, Yeheskel
ISBN 9780511349911