Welfare Reform

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Welfare Reform: A Permanent Solution or a Temporary Band-Aid?

Welfare: handouts to the lazy, or a helping hand to those facing hard times? The debate continues, even in the face of sweeping welfare reform, which, for all of its sound and fury, has not helped or changed much. What's wrong with welfare and how can we fix it? This is not a simple question, and there is no simple answer. However, one thing remains eminently clear. Welfare desperately needs to change. But where are we now? Are we headed backward or forward? Does anybody even care? To answer these questions, we must catch a glimpse of the world of welfare.

It is not a pretty sight. Welfare is Odessa, a grandmother in her seventies, who digs through other people's trash to
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No longer are single mothers pitied for their predicament. Instead they are blamed for getting pregnant too soon and for having babies that they knew they could not afford. No longer are women expected to stay home with their children. Instead they are urged to go to work in order to provide for their children and become better role models. Those women who claim that it is too hard to work and raise children are often scorned by the many single professional mothers in America, most of whom are products of the country's increasing divorce rate. Unfortunately, while society may have come a long way since 1935, until last year, welfare had barely changed at all. How long could a program aimed at keeping women at home survive in a society that was pushing women out of the house?

The answer was not very long. Other than a few minor changes in the early sixties, (Among them were provisions which allowed poor two-parent families too receive aid, and the establishment of the food stamp program) welfare was still the same as it had always been. However what had formerly been viewed as a charity program aimed at supporting helpless females, was now seen as a waste of money aimed at giving able-bodied women an excuse not to work. The new view of the stay at home single mother, coupled with America's increasing diversity, caused great resentment toward welfare programs and their recipients. White middle class

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