By Ellen Reese
Backlash opposed to Welfare moms is a forceful exam of the way and why a state-level insurrection opposed to welfare, started within the past due Nineteen Forties, was once remodeled right into a national-level attack that destroyed a severe a part of the nation's safeguard internet, with tragic outcomes for American society. With a wealth of unique learn, Ellen Reese places fresh debates concerning the modern welfare backlash into historic point of view. She presents a better examine those early antiwelfare campaigns, exhibiting why they have been extra profitable in a few states than others and the way rivals of welfare occasionally exact Puerto Ricans and Chicanos in addition to blacks for cutbacks. Her study unearths either the continuities and adjustments in American welfare competition from the overdue Forties to the current. Reese brings new facts to gentle that unearths how huge farmers and racist politicians, curious about the provision of inexpensive hard work, appealed to white electorate' racial resentments and stereotypes approximately unwed moms, blacks, and immigrants within the Nineteen Fifties. She then examines congressional failure to exchange the present welfare approach with a extra renowned substitute within the Sixties and Seventies, which lead the way for nationwide attacks on welfare. Taking a clean examine contemporary debates on welfare reform, she explores how and why politicians competing for the white vote and right-wing imagine tanks selling company pursuits appeased the Christian correct and synthetic consent for cutbacks via a robust, racially coded discourse. eventually, via firsthand tales, Reese vividly portrays the tragic results of present welfare rules and demands a daring new schedule for operating households.
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Additional info for Backlash against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present
82 Nationally, it is estimated that at any point in time, about one-quarter of recipients are sanctioned for failing to comply with program rules, more than double the rate prior to PRWORA’s adoption. 83 Across states, sanction rates vary, from 5 to 60 percent, as do their meaning. 84 Proponents of sanctions claim that they instill work discipline in recipients. However, one survey found that only 6 percent of sanctioned recipients were working after they lost their benefits. 86 Structural employment barriers, such 14 / Welfare Opposition as inner-city job shortages and employment discrimination, keep many women, especially women of color, from finding a job within required time limits.
Par t II The First Welfare Backlash (1945–1979) 3. The 1950s Welfare Backlash and Federal Complicity In the 1950s, states purged their welfare rolls through all sorts of new rules and regulations. ” The rule also led to violent reprisals from fathers, as Mrs. Jones’s story, recounted by a local welfare official, illustrates: Mrs. Jones came to our department . . seeking assistance, telling of the hardships, physical abuse, deprivation, and worry she had experienced until she finally left her husband in another county.
64 A study of long-term employment outcomes among “welfare leavers” found that five years after they left the welfare rolls, only 25 percent were consistently employed in a full-time job, and 33 percent were not working. The remaining 42 percent were working, but most of these were in parttime or temporary jobs. Only five percent of the women worked full-time for the whole year during the entire five-year period. 66 As one welfare mother explained, “We need more than a just a job. ”67 When mothers leave welfare for work, they incur added expenses, such as child care, transportation, and work clothes.
Backlash against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present by Ellen Reese