David Zucchino’s captivating book, Myth of the Welfare Queen, sticks to his journalistic roots and reads like an extended news article as it captures two separate yet interconnected stories of women struggling to get by in Northern Philadelphia. Philadelphia was—and is—an impoverished city in many ways, with huge percentages of the population struggling to get by at or bellow the poverty line. Zucchino spent much of 1995 with woman and families on welfare as it was a time when welfare was a particularly hot topic directly preceding the passing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Zucchino strove to cut through the stereotypes and misinformation surrounding welfare and those relying on it. In his own words, “this book is the story of
Welfare has been a safety net for many Americans, when the alternative for them is going without food and shelter. Over the years, the government has provided income for the unemployed, food assistance for the hungry, and health care for the poor. The federal government in the nineteenth century started to provide minimal benefits for the poor. During the twentieth century the United States federal government established a more substantial welfare system to help Americans when they most needed it. In 1996, welfare reform occurred under President Bill Clinton and it significantly changed the structure of welfare. Social Security has gone through significant change from FDR’s signing of the program into law to President George W. Bush’s
At a campaign rally in 1976 Ronald Reagan talked about welfare queens and poverty. He said, “She used eighty names, thirty addresses and fifteen telephone numbers to collect food stamps, social security and veteran’s benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands as well as welfare. Her tax free cash income alone has been running 150,000 thousand dollars a year.”The welfare system is full of gender stereotyping. Stereotyping is when we make perceptions on what we make about others. In the past forty years America welfare system has been designed around Reagan’s fake welfare queen (Black, Sprague). This slur has had negative effects for the families on welfare that urgently need support and are struggling. This paper will discuss the lies of the welfare queen and how it originated and its negative effects on African American families and young girls.
The welfare system first came into action during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployed citizens needed federal assistance to escape the reality of severe poverty. The welfare system supplies families with services such as: food stamps, medicaid, and housing among others. The welfare system has played a vital role in the US, in controlling the amount of poverty to a certain level. Sadly, the system has been abused and taken for granted by citizens across the country. The welfare system was previously controlled by the federal government until 1996; the federal government handed over the responsibility to the states in hope of reducing welfare abuse. However, this change has not prevented folks from scamming the system. The
Welfare policy made its formal debut in America in the late 1930s during the Great Depression. Though, before the Depression, there were several small programs that the United States government supported. When the depression hit, it crippled Americans. The proposed Welfare policy seemed perfect for getting them back on their feet. In 1935, Franklin Roosevelt created two programs that are still in place today: the unemployment compensation and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Though now the AFDC has changed and taken a new name. The Welfare policy that was formally put into place lasted until the 1990s when individuals became concerned that some were abusing the system. They believed that some were having more children to qualify for more aid, staying unmarried, and just not applying for jobs. American’s were so concerned with the policy that they elected a president based on his proposal for a welfare system reformation. President Bill Clinton promised hope for Americans and their policy.
The book I chose to write my paper on is Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform by Sharon Hays. In the book, the author looks at the welfare reform act enacted in 1996, known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. . She examines both the positive and negative effects that the Act has had on the poor as well as the effects it has had on society overall.
The government created the program with the aim of helping the significant number of individuals and families who needed aid thereby assisting those who had no or little income. The American welfare system was held by the federal government for 61 years (Fox,).Many American citizens were dissatisfied with the welfare program attributed to the claim that individuals were abusing the program by refusing to look for jobs, giving birth to more children to get more aid, and not getting married to qualify for more benefits. The topic on reforming the welfare system was a burning issue in the 1990’s. The intention of electing Bill Clinton as the president was influenced by the intention of reforming the US welfare which was federally run. In 1996 a reform law was passed by the Republican Congress and signed by President Clinton and the control of the welfare system was given to the states (Raja,
President Clinton signed the new reform bill for welfare in 1996. According to Martin (2014), this bill was called the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act” (p.37) and it was said to have underlying principles about the causes of poverty. Representatives have used the term welfare queen in order to reduce pity for the poor and gain the support of the public for the welfare cuts (Martin, 2014 p.35). The changes that were made to the bill put a restriction on benefits and also had work
109,631,000, that is the number of Americans that lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released by the Census Bureau.( Jeffrey 1) This is my objective to tell the history and statistics of the welfare system in the U.S. There is no lack of information on the topic of welfare due to it being a topic of politics in the nation. Accordingly most information I have is from databases and news reports or speeches over it. However a lot of these areas of information can be biased which is something to avoid. To evenly space the information I will supply you with I am going to split it up into two halves. The first half will be the history of welfare and how it affects the country. The second half will be over the statistics and who all is eligible for welfare.
America spends an annual amount of 131.9 billion dollars on welfare alone (Department of Commerce). So many facts about welfare are overwhelming, such that over 12,800,000 Americans are on the welfare system. The entire social welfare system is in desperate need of a complete reform. In order for a proper reform to ensue, the people of America must combine efforts with the U.S. government to revitalize the current welfare system. This reform would involve answering two important questions. First, how has today’s welfare system strayed from its original state and secondly, how is the system abused by welfare holders in today’s economy?
Welfare, enacted by one of the greatest presidents of the United States’s existence, Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt, is an effective and useful means to assist American families in need. Throughout history, welfare has proven to help people get back on their feet and into society. Despite the system’s many useful benefits, like most attributes in this world, welfare has kinks in the system. In fact, welfare has yet to be perfected, even though it was established in the year of 1935 and is still in use today. The system may never be perfected, but it can be improved. There are many different thoughts and ideas pertaining to how welfare should change. Some believe it should be eliminated entirely. In doing so, many people all across the nation would be harmed in financial and mental manners. How can welfare be reformed? Is it even possible? The answer is absolutely. It must be reformed, and many would agree on the matter. It is, however, a sensitive and controversial topic to most. Political parties tend to take interest in the discussion of welfare reform, as well. The typical, left-wing Democrat wishes to give more to welfare users, while the standard right-wing Republican would like to decrease what is given to Americans. If everything has its imperfections, why should welfare be reformed? Why not leave it the way it is and let the government figure out the fine print? There are those that take this sort of stance on welfare reform, and there are some that believe differently.
United States Government Welfare began in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt thought of this system as an aid for low-income families whose men were off to war, or injured while at war. The welfare system proved to be beneficial early on by giving families temporary aid, just enough to help them accommodate their family’s needs. Fast forward almost 90 years, and it has become apparent that this one once helpful system, has become flawed. Welfare itself and the ideologies it stands on, contains decent fundamentals; furthermore, this system of aid needs only to be reformed to better meet the needs of today’s society.
Throughout history, there have always been people willing to work for what they want, and those who expect things to be handed to them as if it was a natural-born right. While the welfare system does positively impact some families in need, many people take advantage of it. With this being a well known fact, the government still continues to use ten percent of the federal budget on welfare (“Budget” 1).
The history of welfare reform reveals that the question of personal responsibility versus assistance to those in need has been a constant in the debate over welfare. In the 1950s and 1960s, welfare reform was limited to various states' attempts to impose residency requirements on welfare applicants and remove illegitimate children from the welfare rolls. During the 1970s advocates of welfare reform promoted the theory of