ending welfare as we know it

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pages: 261 words: 78,884

$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, clean water, ending welfare as we know it, future of work, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, impulse control, indoor plumbing, informal economy, low-wage service sector, mass incarceration, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, The Future of Employment, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Those elements came from his aide Bruce Reed, who coined the phrase that would serve as a defining idea for the Clinton campaign and presidency. A skinny thirty-one-year-old with no expertise in welfare policy, but with a burning desire to win back the White House for a party that he thought had swung too far to the left, Reed saw welfare reform as a clear political winner. He went searching for the phrase that could put the issue front and center. Clinton first announced that it was time to “end welfare as we know it” in a speech at Georgetown University in October 1991. In the days before the Georgetown speech, as Reed fervently worked to flesh out what exactly this meant, he happened upon one of the papers in which Ellwood laid out his proposal. Reed seized on the only conservative tenet of Ellwood’s plan and proposed that in the Clinton program, families would get up to two years of cash aid coupled with job training and other services.

According to Jason DeParle, however, Ellwood worried that Clinton’s rhetoric on welfare time limits was too harsh. Were Ellwood’s own words going to be used to push families with children off the rolls and into deep poverty? Ellwood had more than once tried to clarify that he promoted time limits only in the context of an overall expansion of aid to the working poor. Bruce Reed’s feverish desire that the new president live up to his pledge to “end welfare as we know it” caused Ellwood to wonder what exactly the Clinton reform was going to look like. Still, when the call came asking him to serve in the new administration as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ellwood immediately packed his bags for Washington. Within days of arriving in the capital, he and a colleague were asked to develop a plan to expand the EITC in a big way.

In just a few years, the federal government would be spending many billions of dollars more on the EITC—to aid workers—than it ever had on AFDC. Making good on the promise to reform the welfare system itself was far more daunting. It quickly became apparent that the administration—and, most important, the president—didn’t have a specific plan for how to approach the issue. There was a clear charge to “end welfare as we know it,” but no one knew exactly how this campaign rhetoric was to be transformed into a concrete proposal. David Ellwood’s plan would cost a great deal more than the current system, because of its investments in education, training, and the provision of public jobs. Bruce Reed’s goal, which was more closely aligned with the language that had gotten the president elected, was to spend a great deal less on welfare, not more.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Bush was a one-term president largely because when recession struck in 1990, as the United States attempted to unseat Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War, Bush had to renege on his campaign promise not to raise taxes.39 Bush’s response to the recession and deficit was, among other things, to raise the marginal tax rate on the top tax bracket to 31 percent from 28 percent—still far below what it had been prior to Reagan. But only 16 percent of Americans surveyed professed to approve of the way in which he handled the economy.40 By 1992, neoliberalism had infected both political parties. Bill Clinton, although a Democrat, promised during his presidential campaign to “end welfare as we know it.”41 Clinton’s plan, outlined in Putting People First, sought to craft a “third way.” He triangulated between liberal welfarism of the kind pursued by Johnson and Roosevelt, and the hard line that Ronald Reagan had sought but was never able to obtain due to a Democratic House of Representatives through his eight-year administration. Clinton proposed reforming welfare by instituting time limits for welfare recipients but at the same time making jobs easier to get and retain.

Levitan, “How the Welfare System Promotes Economic Security,” 458. 37. Michael Comiskey, “The Promise and Performance of Reaganomics,” Polity vol. 20 no. 2 (1987): 316–331. 38. George G. Graham, “WIC: A Food Program that Fails,” The Public Interest vol. 103 (1991): 66–75, at 71. 39. Prasad, “The Reagan Tax Cut of 1981,” at 374. 40. Dolan, “In His Shadow,” 242. 41. Martin Carcasson, “ ‘Ending Welfare as We Know It’: President Clinton and the Rhetorical Transformation of Welfare Culture,”Rhetoric and Public Affairs vol. 9 no. 4 (2006): 655–692. 42. Brendan O’Connor, “Policies, Principles, and Polls: Bill Clinton’s Third Way Welfare Policies, 1992–1996,” Australian Journal of Politics and History vol. 48 no. 13 (2002): 396–411, at 406. 43. James Fallows, “Washington and the Contract with America,” The Atlantic (1994), available online at http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/jfnpr/jfreview.htm, accessed November 2, 2015. 44.

Crafton, “The Incremental Revolution: Ronald Reagan and Welfare Reform in the 1970s,” Journal of Policy History vol. 26 no. 1 (January 2014): 27–47, at 41. 45. Melinda Cooper, “Workfare, Familyfare, Godfare: Transforming Contingency into Necessity,” The South Atlantic Quarterly vol. 111 no. 4 (2012) 643–661; Matthewson and Arsenault, “Conservatives, Federalism and the Defense of Inequality,” 344. 46. Demetrios James Caraley, “Ending Welfare as We Know It: A Reform Still in Progress,” Political Science Quarterly vol. 116 no. 4 (2001–2002): 525–559. 47. Jounghee Kim, “Welfare Reform and College Enrollment among Single Mothers,” Social Science Review vol. 86 no. 1 (March 2012): 69–91, at 70. 48. Deborah Roempke Graefe and Daniel T. Lichter, “Marriage Patterns among Unwed Mothers: Before and After PRWORA,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management vol. 27 no. 3 (2008): 479–497. 49.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

Just over half of the most secure Americans agree with the statement “Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return,” while two-thirds of the least secure Americans agree instead that “poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.” Keep in mind that in 2013 just twenty-six out of every one hundred poor families received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, down from sixty-eight families for every one hundred in poverty in 1996, the year that President Bill Clinton “ended welfare as we know it.”3 This polarization by class extends to views about business, with two-thirds of the least secure Americans believing that corporations make too much profit, while less than half of the well-off believe that to be the case. What the Pew analysis shows is that on pocketbook issues, the new working class desires more action from government to improve their lives while the affluent exhibit very little support for such action.

When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he fretted that he had just signed away the South for the Democrats for a generation. The Republicans largely made that fear a reality. In the decades that followed, starting with President Nixon and his championing of “states’ rights” and moving on to President Reagan’s “welfare queens,” the first President Bush’s demonizing of Willie Horton, and President Clinton’s calculated “Sister Souljah moment” and pledge to “end welfare as we know it,” white political candidates have effectively used coded racial language to court the white vote and provoke antigovernment sentiment.26 In a shockingly honest admission, Lee Atwater, a leading political strategist and adviser to the Republican party, explained the southern strategy during an anonymous interview with political scientist Alexander P. Lamis, which appeared in his book The Two-Party South and was subsequently reprinted in Southern Politics magazine in the 1990s, this time with Atwater’s name revealed.

Today almost one in twelve black men is behind bars, a staggering loss to families, neighborhoods, and society.52 And for the partners and wives left behind, most of whom are working-class, the challenges of making enough money to get ahead have only intensified with the rise of the bargain-basement economy. Nearly half of all child-care and home care workers have to supplement the incomes they earn from their jobs with public assistance.53 These are the “welfare queens” that Reagan was so fond of demonizing and that President Bill Clinton called to mind in his successful effort to “end welfare as we know it.” Today young activists like Patrisse Cullors and thousands of others are fueling a new civil rights movement that brings together economic, social, and racial justice, which I cover in more detail in Chapter 7. In working-class black neighborhoods, as in Ferguson, Baltimore, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Cleveland, this new generation is connecting the issues of joblessness, police brutality, and the prison industrial complex.


pages: 455 words: 138,716

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi

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banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Edward Snowden, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, forensic accounting, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, information retrieval, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, naked short selling, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, regulatory arbitrage, short selling, telemarketer, too big to fail, War on Poverty

When he was in the middle of a tough primary fight in 1992 and came out with a speech promising to “end welfare as we know it,” he could immediately smell the political possibilities, and it wasn’t long before this was a major plank in his convention speech (and soon in his first State of the Union address). Clinton understood that putting the Democrats back in the business of banging on black dependency would allow his party to reseize the political middle that Democrats had lost when Lyndon Johnson threw the weight of the White House behind the civil rights effort and the War on Poverty. If you dig deeply enough in America, the big political swings always have something to do with race. And Clinton’s vacillating but cleverly packaged campaign to “end welfare as we know it” was a brilliant ploy by the man Toni Morrison called the “first black president” to take back the southern white voters the Democrats had seemingly lost forever when they sent the FBI into Alabama and Mississippi in the 1960s.


pages: 181 words: 50,196

The Rich and the Rest of Us by Tavis Smiley

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, F. W. de Klerk, fixed income, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, job automation, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, mega-rich, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traffic fines, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

He means they better get their stuff! They better get their stuff! If they don’t get their stuff, it ain’t gonna be about love; it’s gonna be revenge and hatred. We all gonna go under if the poor people and the working people aren’t given their dignity now.”43 We’d like to remind our dear, dear brother Rush Limbaugh of Gandhi’s words, “Poverty is the worst form of violence.” A DAY IN THE LIFE With a pledge to “end welfare as we know it,” former President Bill Clinton disappointed many, including us, by signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. The ballyhooed welfare reform bill, which was really just a page out of the Republicans’ “Contract With America” playbook, was Clinton’s calculated compromise with the Republican-controlled Congress that, at the time, wanted to drastically overhaul, if not eliminate, the traditional welfare system.44 AFDC was replaced with TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a cumbersome bureaucratic system that prohibited unconditional entitlement and mandated time limits in which recipients must seek work.


pages: 306 words: 78,893

After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation, pets.com, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K, zero-sum game

Gilder is a fascinating figure; it's stunning how his seemingly wacky thoughts become conventional wisdom in a decade or less. Most centrists and Hberals found his 1981 book Wealth and Poverty, with its argument that the poor are spoiled by a generous welfare state (as if the U.S. ever had one of those) and instead need the spur of their poverty, rather implausibly brutal; just a decade later. Bill CHnton won the presidency in part on a promise to "end welfare as we know it," and just a few years later, he signed a bill that did exactly that.^ And Gilder's late-1980s New Economy claims seemed loopy when he first issued them; less than a decade later, they were painfully ubiquitous. Back in the summer of 1987, when the Eighties were at their Roar-ingest, an interview with George Gilder ran on the now-departed Financial News Network. Gilder, looking hke he'd just beamed aboard from Melville's Fidele (the flagship of The Confidence-Man), ZTgaed that the trade deficit was nothing to worry about.


pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler

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anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

And so, taking into account the inevitable, now-commencing winding down of that brief, incomparably opulent fossil-fuel fiesta, it may be better to say that Malthus wasn’t wrong, he was just ahead of his time. But if the depletion of fossil fuels proves Malthus to have been ultimately correct in his forecast of human die-off, what would that say for the rest of his message — his calls to abolish the Poor Laws and thus, in Bill Clinton’s famous locution, “end welfare as we know it,” and his implicit view that the “perfectibility of society will always be out of reach”? William Stanton is a retired geologist and contemporary author who has taken up Malthus’s mantle in a well-researched but grim and controversial book, The Rapid Growth of Human Populations, 1750-2000. In it, he compiles population data on virtually every nation: each page features a country chart accompanied by a paragraph or two describing the unique historical circumstances that caused the line on the graph to assume its particular shape.


pages: 364 words: 104,697

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? by Thomas Geoghegan

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Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, collective bargaining, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, dark matter, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Gini coefficient, haute cuisine, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, McJob, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce

Here was an important journalist, a Harvard fellow and all of that, yet he was deep in meetings over what time the cleaning crew went home at night. How many people did he represent? “We have 450 employees,” he said. “They elect us for nine years. And during that time, we can’t be fired.” So he told me much of what Wigand later said about the firing process, etc. He began to open up when he realized I was not an American coming to bash the German model. Remember, at this time Clinton had just signed a bill ending “welfare as we know it,” even when the only welfare we “knew” was welfare for nursing mothers, or with small little kids, and the idea of kicking these women into the workforce . . . well, it repelled a lot of people in Europe. Of course, one could think up a “politically correct” case for it, namely, that the mothers themselves were so sick, impoverished, drugged-up, physically and sexually abused, that it was better to separate them from the kids.


pages: 576 words: 105,655

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, debt deflation, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, ending welfare as we know it, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Irish property bubble, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Philip Mirowski, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, savings glut, short selling, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Putatively Keynesian economists, such as Larry Summers, who were part of the Obama economic team in 2008, merely continued the work of their Republican predecessors. The new team may have been intellectually more attuned to a compensatory logic by virtue of being Democrats, but it was, we should remember, the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton that had balanced the US budget and “ended welfare as we know it.” When the crisis hit, the United States may have been on the right ideologically, but it was very much on the left in terms of economic policy. Europe, in contrast, was populated by left-leaning Social Democrats and center-right Christian Democrats who had spent the previous decade building a currency union that viewed monetary stability plus strict debt and deficit controls as the only policies worth bothering about.


pages: 267 words: 79,905

Creating Unequal Futures?: Rethinking Poverty, Inequality and Disadvantage by Ruth Fincher, Peter Saunders

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barriers to entry, ending welfare as we know it, financial independence, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open economy, pink-collar, positional goods, purchasing power parity, shareholder value, spread of share-ownership, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

From this perspective, the 40 PDF OUTPUT c: ALLEN & UNWIN r: DP2\BP4401W\MAIN p: (02) 6232 5991 f: (02) 6232 4995 36 DAGLISH STREET CURTIN ACT 2605 40 UNDERSTANDING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION welfare state itself is seen as the main cause of the poverty it is ostensibly designed to alleviate. Recent policy developments in the United States seem to be based on this premise. From President Clinton’s promise to ‘end welfare as we know it’ in 1992 to the Republican Personal Responsibility Act of 1996 and subsequently, the underlying premise of US reforms has been that welfare is the problem not the solution. These disparate views of the effectiveness of the welfare state have also been influential in the Australian debate. They also reflect an inbuilt tension in views about the nature of poverty and the appropriate response to the problems of poverty (Blank 1994).


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

But, soon after the end of the Labour government, commentators wondered if the Labour landslide of 1997 was analogous to the Liberal landslide of 1906, after which the Liberals dwindled into insignificance. In the USA, Bill Clinton’s Third Way variant also opted for flexible labour markets that promised growing inequality and insecurity. The defining moment came in 1996 when he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act to fulfil his 1992 campaign pledge to ‘end welfare as we know it’. Drawn up by Republicans in Congress, the Act was based on welfare reforms introduced in Wisconsin by its Republican governor and was profoundly regressive, introducing time limits for entitlement to benefits and extending workfare – forcing people into poverty-wage jobs. Meanwhile, Robert Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, was placating the bankers and setting up mechanisms that were to lead to the sub-prime crisis.


pages: 467 words: 116,902

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

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affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, Corrections Corporation of America, deindustrialization, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, friendly fire, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, land reform, large denomination, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

As the Justice Policy Institute has observed, “the Clinton Administration’s ‘tough on crime’ policies resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history.”96 Clinton eventually moved beyond crime and capitulated to the conservative racial agenda on welfare. This move, like his “get tough” rhetoric and policies, was part of a grand strategy articulated by the “new Democrats” to appeal to the elusive white swing voters. In so doing, Clinton—more than any other president—created the current racial undercaste. He signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which “ended welfare as we know it,” and replaced it with a block grant to states called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). TANF imposed a five-year lifetime limit on welfare assistance, as well as a permanent, lifetime ban on eligibility for welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense—including simple possession of marijuana. Clinton did not stop there. Determined to prove how “tough” he could be on “them,” Clinton also made it easier for federally-assisted public housing projects to exclude anyone with a criminal history—an extraordinarily harsh step in the midst of a drug war aimed at racial and ethnic minorities.


pages: 459 words: 123,220

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam

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assortative mating, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, jobless men, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

Unfortunately, agreement has also begun to emerge that (apart perhaps from reversing the long decline in working-class incomes) direct, government-based approaches to solve this problem have so far shown very little promise. “Marriage policy”—reducing the number of single-parent families by restoring the norm of traditional marriage—has been stressed by some conservative commentators.30 Regardless of the merits of that objective, however, the hard fact is that well-meaning policy experiments to increase the rate of stable marriage have not worked. The welfare reforms of 1996 that ended “welfare as we know it” had very little effect on the steady decline of marriage among poorer, less educated Americans. The George W. Bush administration pursued an array of policy experiments designed to enhance marriage and marital stability and rigorously evaluated the results. Among them, the Building Strong Families initiative provided relationship skill training and other services to unmarried parents, while the Supporting Healthy Marriage program offered similar supports to married couples.


pages: 311 words: 130,761

Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America by Diana Elizabeth Kendall

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Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, declining real wages, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, framing effect, Georg Cantor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, haute couture, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, lump of labour, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working poor

The idea that welfare results in dependency and undermines families was most widely found in articles in the 1960s and 1970s, but this theme remains popular in newspaper and television news today. A keyword search for “welfare dependency” yielded more than thirtyfive hundred newspaper articles, television news reports, and Internet blogs on welfare between the early 1990s and 2010. When President Bill Clinton originally signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, he stated his hope that this welfarereform legislation would end “welfare as we know it” and bring a new day of hope for former recipients. The new law replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children—a program that had provided both short- and long-term cash assistance to poor families since 1950—with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Now the assistance would be temporary and require women to participate in job-training programs or meet work requirements that would eventually get them off welfare altogether.


pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson

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affirmative action, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, jobless men, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press. Hacker, Andrew. 1992. Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile and Unequal. New York: Scribner’s. Hamill, Pete. 1988. “Breaking the Silence.” Esquire, March, pp. 91–102. Hamilton, Richard F. 1972. Class and Politics in the United States. New York: John Wiley. Handler, Joel F. 1972. Reforming the Poor. New York: Basic Books. ———. 1994. “ ‘Ending Welfare as We Know It’—A Wrong and Pernicious Idea.” Unpublished manuscript, UCLA Law School. Hannerz, Ulf. 1969. Soulside: Inquiries into Ghetto Culture and Community. New York: Columbia University Press. Hare, Nathan. 1969. “The Challenge of a Black Scholar.” Black Scholar 1 (December): 58–63. Harrington, Michael. 1962. Rev. ed. 1969. The Other America: Poverty in the United States. New York: Macmillan.


pages: 444 words: 138,781

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

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affirmative action, Cass Sunstein, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, dumpster diving, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jobless men, late fees, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, statistical model, superstar cities, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor, young professional

Today in Milwaukee, former leather tanneries line the banks of the Menominee River Valley like mausoleums of the city’s golden industrial age; the Schlitz and Pabst breweries have been shuttered; and one in two working-age African American men doesn’t have a job.2 In the 1980s, Milwaukee was the epicenter of deindustrialization. In the 1990s, it would become “the epicenter of the antiwelfare crusade.” As President Clinton was fine-tuning his plan to “end welfare as we know it,” a conservative reformer by the name of Jason Turner was transforming Milwaukee into a policy experiment that captivated lawmakers around the country. Turner’s plan was dubbed Wisconsin Works (or W-2), and “works” was right: If you wanted a welfare check, you would have to work, either in the private sector or in a community job created by the state. To push things along, child-care and health-care subsidies would be expanded.


pages: 331 words: 60,536

The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto

. • We explained why the 1 990s would be a decade of downsizing, including for the first time a worldwide downsizing of governments as well as business entities. 16 • • • • • We also forecast that there would be a major redefinition of terms of income redistribution, with sharp cutbacks in the level of benefits. Hints of fiscal crisis appeared from Canada to Sweden, and American politicians began to talk of "ending welfare as we know it." We anticipated and explained why the "new world order" would prove to be a "new world disorder." Well before the atrocities in Bosnia engrossed the headlines, we warned that Yugoslavia would collapse into civil war. Before Somalia slid into anarchy, we explained why the pending collapse of governments in Africa would lead some countries there to be effectively placed into receivership.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Long before this argument found its place in the World Bank’s 1997 Report (discussed in the previous chapter), it had already been marginalized inside the Clinton administration.96 The balance of class forces this marginalization reflected was already registered in the defeat US labor had suffered over NAFTA at the hands of the Clinton administration, while the defeat of healthcare reform “foundered on the shoals of internal party divisions, before Republicans and mobilized conservative forces delivered the coup de grace.”97 Clinton’s subsequent initiatives to balance the budget by “ending welfare as we know it” were accompanied by the disappointment of union hopes for labor law reforms that would help undo the loss of union rights and decline in union membership; union density, which had fallen by 4 percent in the 1980s, fell by another 2 percent in the 1990s.98 While real annual income growth averaged 4 percent during what became known as “the Clinton expansion” from 1993 to 2000, the top 1 percent captured more than the bottom 80 percent of the total increase in personal income.99 The Clinton administration especially sought to integrate working-class black and Hispanic communities into mainstream housing markets as part of its goal of fostering wider access to financial services.