ending welfare as we know it

35 results back to index


pages: 261 words: 78,884

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, business cycle, 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

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.

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

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, longitudinal study, 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, Sam Peltzman, 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.

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.

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

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, American ideology, 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, independent contractor, 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, shared worldview, 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.

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.

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: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, Modern Monetary Theory, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Johnson, “Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union,” Jan. 8, 1964. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/​ws/​?pid=26787. “ending welfare as we know it”: The Clinton/Gore 1992 Committee, “The Clinton Plan: Welfare to Work” (1992), https://www.washingtonpost.com/​video/​politics/​bill-clinton-in-1992-ad-a-plan-to-end-welfare-as-we-know-it/​2016/​08/​30/​9e6350f8-6ee0-11e6-993f-73c693a89820_video.html. dramatically reduced deprivation: Gary V. Engelhardt and Jonathan Gruber, “Social Security and the Evolution of Elderly Poverty” (NBER Working Paper no. 10466, May 2004).

Later advances sought to boost the earnings of the working poor, with Gerald Ford passing the EITC and Ronald Reagan expanding it. Bill Clinton reformed the New Deal–era welfare program, once aimed at widows and their children, but by the 1990s primarily used by unmarried mothers. He campaigned on “ending welfare as we know it,” twice vetoing Republican reform proposals for being too punitive but eventually signing a 1996 law that put a lifetime cap on benefits and required recipients to find a job. Finally, Barack Obama attempted to pass a rare universal program, if a means-tested one, with his health care law.


pages: 91 words: 24,469

The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics by Mark Lilla

affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Gordon Gekko, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, New Urbanism, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley

The moment Bill Clinton was elected president, the conservative movement fell into a fit of hysteria reminiscent of the 1950s and which has yet to pass. It didn’t matter that Clinton had fought to move the Democratic Party to the center, that with regard to economics and foreign policy he was a realist, that he had declared that “the era of big government was over” and called to “end welfare as we know it.” Congressional Republicans wanted to stymie him no matter what it took. They shut down the government just because, and impeached Clinton for a peccadillo. Unlike Ronald Reagan, they became absolutists on tax cuts, gun control, and abortion, and purged from their ranks any who dared dissent.


pages: 589 words: 167,680

The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism by Steve Kornacki

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, computer age, David Brooks, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, illegal immigration, immigration reform, mass immigration, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Savings and loan crisis, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

This wasn’t the grand unveiling of a universal health-care plan, just a reminder from the president that one would be coming after he heard back from the task force he had just appointed, one that was being chaired, in a historic arrangement, by the First Lady. There were offerings for the DLC crowd, too—talk of national service, community banking, and small-business loans, plus a vow that “later this year we will offer a plan to end welfare as we know it.” The opposition party was ready to accuse him of taxing too much and cutting too little. To head them off, Clinton committed himself to eliminate one hundred thousand jobs from the federal bureaucracy during his term and to cut one-quarter of his own White House’s staff. With the Cold War over, the Pentagon would get a haircut, too, he said, but so would a host of domestic programs and agencies—a total of $246 billion in savings, he claimed.

Two versions of the bill had reached Clinton’s desk, and he’d vetoed both of them, but when congressional Republicans took their third pass that summer, Clinton reconsidered. He was on record objecting to many provisions, but he was also on record—dating back to his 1992 campaign—with that promise to “end welfare as we know it.” On so many issues, he had turned the tables on the Republicans since the revolution, and he was running well ahead of Dole. But welfare was different. Unlike Medicare, it was not a universally beloved program; in fact, the public was strongly on the side of changing it in major ways. There were voices telling Clinton not to worry—that he was strong enough politically to take any heat that would come with another veto.

Why risk giving Dole any kind of an opening now? On July 31, he announced that he would sign it, even though it had “serious flaws.” He promised to fight for changes after it was enacted and argued that the opportunity was too rare to miss. “This is the best chance we will have for a long time to complete the work of ending welfare as we know it.” Thirty Democrats in the House voted for it and twenty-three in the Senate, while practically every Republican voted yes, and on August 22, Clinton followed through and made it law. Denunciations from Clinton’s own party had been loud. John Lewis called it “mean.” Senator Paul Wellstone, a liberal from Minnesota, said it would “create more poverty and hunger among children in America.”


pages: 154 words: 47,880

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert B. Reich

Adam Neumann (WeWork), affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, Gordon Gekko, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job automation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Bush’s use of Willie Horton—a black convicted felon who while on a weekend furlough committed assault and rape—to whip up white fears that Bush’s opponent, Michael Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts, where Horton had been incarcerated, would release other black convicts. Racism was also behind Bill Clinton’s promise to “end welfare as we know it” and to “crack down on crime.” All were illustrations of what Berkeley professor Ian Haney López has called dog-whistle politics—the use of racially coded language to exploit the prejudices of white Americans. What gave Trump’s racism—as well as his hateful xenophobia, misogyny, and jingoism—particular virulence was his capacity to channel the intensifying anger of the white working class into it.


pages: 455 words: 138,716

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

banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buy and hold, 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, Savings and loan crisis, short selling, telemarketer, too big to fail, two and twenty, War on Poverty

It’s not a coincidence that radical welfare reform took place on the same watch that also saw a radical deregulation of the financial services industry. Clinton was a man born with a keen nose for two things: women with low self-esteem and political opportunity. 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.

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. That, and a little rolled-up-newspaper training session with rapper Sister Souljah, allowed Clinton to take four of the eleven Confederate states, seizing ground no Democrat had won for more than two decades.


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, Nelson Mandela, 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

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: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Savings and loan crisis, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Equal time in the Oval Office doesn’t matter so much as the actual policies pursued in that office, because the net drift Rightward in the white Boomer electorate has freed conservative politicians to move further to the Right while politicians on the Left have also moved Rightward to remain viable. Except on certain social matters, Obama was far more conservative than Richard Nixon, for example, and this has been the Democratic story since Boomers started voting en masse. The initial deregulatory impulse began under Carter, not Reagan; it was Clinton, not Bush I, who promised to “end welfare as we know it” and declared that the “era of big government is over”; it was Obama who made most of the Bush tax cuts permanent, and so on. But there have also been some odd spectacles on the Right: the provision of prescription drug benefits to seniors under Bush II (Medicare Part D; apparently the era of big government was not quite over), and substantial increases to Medicare and Social Security taxes under Reagan and that president’s decidedly statist salvation of the savings and loan industry.

Social Security also delivers substantial assistance to the disabled and to children, if a working parent suffers disability or death. These programs are less fraught than programs for seniors and we can leave them to the specialists. Only one fact need detain us. In 1992, Bill Clinton campaigned to “end welfare as we know it.” Doing so required gutting Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), a creation of the Social Security laws. In 1996, Clinton succeeded in replacing AFDC with something much less generous. (Therefore, when Boomers argue that Social Security is “untouchable” and an inviolable social bond, they forget their own record.)


pages: 235 words: 65,885

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

addicted to oil, 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, 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.


pages: 294 words: 77,356

Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks

autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, experimental subject, housing crisis, IBM and the Holocaust, income inequality, job automation, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, payday loans, performance metric, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, statistical model, strikebreaker, underbanked, universal basic income, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, zero-sum game

Almost 8.5 million people were removed from the welfare rolls between 1996 and 2006. In 2014, fewer adults were being served by cash assistance than in 1962. In 1973, four of five poor children were receiving benefits from AFDC. Today, TANF serves fewer than one in five of them. But the process of winnowing the rolls began long before Bill Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it.” More aggressive investigation and increasingly precise tracking technologies provided raw material for apocryphal stories about widespread corruption and fraud. These stories birthed more punitive rules and draconian penalties, which in turn required an explosion of data-based technologies to monitor compliance.


pages: 306 words: 78,893

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

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, post-work, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 284 words: 84,169

Talk on the Wild Side by Lane Greene

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, experimental subject, facts on the ground, framing effect, Google Chrome, illegal immigration, invisible hand, meta-analysis, Money creation, moral panic, natural language processing, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Turing test, Wall-E

But the battle lines were drawn: “welfare” was no longer “well-being”, or even “assistance for the needy”. It was a hand-out to the undeserving, even to fraudsters and cheats. Or it was a term of abuse cynically manipulated by racist conservatives. Whatever it was, it was politically radioactive. By 1992, Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was campaigning to “end welfare as we know it”. He would win that year’s election, and ultimately sign a bill that proponents called welfare “reform”, but which Ted Kennedy, a left-wing icon and senator, called “legislative child abuse”. “Welfare” benefits were cut back and time-limited. Today, in another round of the never-ending rebranding, welfare payments are known in America as “Temporary Assistance to Needy Families”, commonly called TANF, so that one needn’t even say the word “needy”.


pages: 365 words: 88,125

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, borderless world, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, rent control, shareholder value, short selling, Skype, structural adjustment programs, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Since the 1980s, in many (although not all) of these countries, governments that espouse upward income redistribution have ruled most of the time. Even some so-called left-wing parties, such as Britain’s New Labour under Tony Blair and the American Democratic Party under Bill Clinton, openly advocated such a strategy – the high point being Bill Clinton introducing his welfare reform in 1996, declaring that he wanted to ‘end welfare as we know it’. In the event, trimming the welfare state down proved more difficult than initially thought (see Thing 21). However, its growth has been moderated, despite the structural pressure for greater welfare spending due to the ageing of the population, which increases the need for pensions, disability allowances, healthcare and other spending directed to the elderly.


pages: 340 words: 94,464

Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World by Andrew Leigh

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Atul Gawande, basic income, Black Swan, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, meta-analysis, microcredit, Netflix Prize, nudge unit, offshore financial centre, p-value, placebo effect, price mechanism, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, Steven Pinker, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty

Ronald Reagan had told his campaign rallies the story of a ‘Cadillac-driving welfare queen’: an African-American woman who defrauded the welfare system.21 Critics claimed that forcing welfare recipients into low-paid jobs was ‘modern-day slavery’. Bill Clinton ran for president on a pledge to ‘end welfare as we know it’. The debate over income support was fuelled by ideology on both sides. And then there was MDRC. Read the newspapers of the era, and you come across prudent comments from Gueron: ‘We should be cautious about what we’ve got here’, ‘We haven’t found the pink pill’, it’s not a ‘quick fix for poverty’.22 Even when social programs paid for themselves, her praise was measured.


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, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, 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, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, 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, Money creation, 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, Sam Altman, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

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.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, disinformation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kim Stanley Robinson, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Tragedy of the Commons, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

This idea (that government was bad, and that productive individuals and their corporations needed to be freed from its clutches) changed the politics of America, changed it enough that even liberals couldn’t or wouldn’t stand up to it: Bill Clinton, swimming with this current, managed to force through Congress both NAFTA and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, enshrining unrestricted global trade as the obvious goal. He also ended “welfare as we know it,” helping build the each-to-his-own-devices nation we now inhabit. This is what happens when someone manages to change the zeitgeist; this is why Rand and Reagan were so crucially important. The Koch brothers, Charles and David, are the classic exemplars of this worldview, and arguably the most powerful men in the Western world.


pages: 412 words: 96,251

Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climategate, collapse of Lehman Brothers, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, illegal immigration, immigration reform, microaggression, Nate Silver, obamacare, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, source of truth

From a political identity perspective, Clinton was a candidate designed to cross-pressure the electorate: he was a Democrat who could appeal to Democrats through party and some policy and appeal to non-Democrats through region, race, gender, and style. Clinton often made a show of challenging the party’s left wing, of signaling that he both heard and shared the qualms undecided voters had about the party’s most liberal voices and ideas. He promised to “end welfare as we know it” and said abortion “should be safe, legal, and rare.” Obama, by contrast, was a candidate for an age of identity stacking: his strength wasn’t in converting Republicans but in mobilizing Democratic constituencies to vote at unheard-of rates. When Hillary Clinton ran for president, she ran more like Obama than her husband.


pages: 493 words: 98,982

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, global supply chain, helicopter parent, High speed trading, immigration reform, income inequality, Khan Academy, laissez-faire capitalism, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Washington Consensus, Yochai Benkler

But each of his Democratic successors, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, employed it more than twice as often as Reagan did. 6 In doing so, they, like Reagan, implicitly distinguished between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Those who struggled due to forces beyond their control were deserving of government assistance; those who were responsible for their misfortune, possibly not. In 1992, Clinton campaigned for the presidency promising to “end welfare as we know it.” As president, he connected the rhetoric of responsibility with the rhetoric of rising, evoking both the hard side and the aspirational face of meritocracy. “We must do what America does best,” he proclaimed in this first Inaugural Address. “Offer more opportunity to all and demand more responsibility from all.


pages: 267 words: 79,905

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

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, longitudinal study, 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.


pages: 364 words: 104,697

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? by Thomas Geoghegan

Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, collective bargaining, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, dark matter, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disinformation, 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, 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 Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce

“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

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, Post-Keynesian economics, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, savings glut, short selling, structural adjustment programs, tail risk, 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: 399 words: 116,828

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

affirmative action, business cycle, 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, longitudinal study, 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

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.


pages: 467 words: 116,902

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

affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, Corrections Corporation of America, deindustrialization, desegregation, different worldview, 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

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.


pages: 435 words: 120,574

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, Deep Water Horizon, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, full employment, greed is good, guest worker program, invisible hand, knowledge economy, McMansion, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, working poor, Yogi Berra

As we shall see, the 1960s and 1970s had opened cultural doors previously closed to blacks and women, even as immigrants and refugees seemed to be sailing past the Statue of Liberty into a diminishing supply of good jobs. And the federal government was helping this happen. After Clinton’s 1990s claim to “end welfare as we know it,” rates of financial aid to the poor fell. But in response to the Great Recession, after 2008, welfare rose—mainly through Medicaid and SNAP—although these rates have peaked and are falling. (On this, see Appendix C.) Given trends in the economy and a more open cultural door, news of more “government giveaways” rang alarm bells.


pages: 459 words: 123,220

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

assortative mating, business cycle, 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, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, 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, the strength of weak ties, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

“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: 444 words: 138,781

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

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, Kickstarter, 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.


pages: 311 words: 130,761

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

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, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working poor

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: 504 words: 129,087

The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter

"side hustle", 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disinformation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Hangouts, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, microaggression, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, passive income, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, white picket fence, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Clinton greatly expanded the earned income tax credit—the most successful antipoverty program in a generation—which, along with a rising economy, sharply raised the incomes of the working poor. But despite some rational justifications at the time, many of the policies implemented by Clinton and his fellow boomers in the 1990s would prove to be disastrously shortsighted. The bill he signed to “end welfare as we know it” helped some welfare recipients find jobs, but cut off desperately needed cash for families stuck in deep poverty. His 1994 crime bill had a few redeeming qualities (including the assault weapons ban and the Violence Against Women Act) but ultimately accelerated the mass incarceration of a generation of young black men.


pages: 582 words: 160,693

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

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, independent contractor, 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, Norman Macrae, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Sam Peltzman, 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: 519 words: 155,332

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--And Those Fighting to Reverse It by Steven Brill

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, future of work, ghettoisation, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of radio, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, obamacare, old-boy network, paper trading, performance metric, post-work, Potemkin village, Powell Memorandum, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Tax Reform Act of 1986, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

They were almost never the “welfare queen” stereotypes whom Reagan, running a second time for president, told apocryphal stories about on the campaign trail, but they were tapping the taxpayers for billions of dollars more each year at the same time that the middle class was increasingly struggling. Neither Reagan nor his Republican successor, George H. W. Bush, was able to end Aid to Families with Dependent Children. It was Democrat Bill Clinton and Republicans in Congress who delivered on a 1992 campaign promise made by Clinton, a self-proclaimed “new Democrat,” to “end welfare as we know it.” Clinton’s plan, developed from the time he led a group of moderate Democratic governors in the 1980s, was to expand job training programs dramatically and even provide subsidized government jobs. In return, no adult or his or her family could get welfare if the adult did not take a job within a stipulated deadline.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bear Stearns, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Herbert Marcuse, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

As these hearings and negotiations went on for the first eighteen months of the Clinton administration, Democrats had large majorities in both the Senate and House. The main labor union federation, the AFL-CIO, had broached the idea of a single-payer healthcare system. But the Clinton plan was the plan, and it died. In Clinton’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination in 1992, he had promised to “end welfare as we know it.” Welfare really meant one rather modest program that had been in existence since the New Deal as an add-on to the law creating Social Security. It provided a monthly cash floor to the poorest families with young children. In the 1990s fewer than 5 percent of Americans were getting those benefits, which since the beginning of the right turn in 1976 had been cut by a quarter to around $100 or $150 per family per week in today’s dollars, and which in the 1990s cost the federal government the equivalent of $18 billion a year, a fraction of one percent of the budget.


pages: 614 words: 174,226

The Economists' Hour: How the False Prophets of Free Markets Fractured Our Society by Binyamin Appelbaum

"Robert Solow", airline deregulation, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Growth in a Time of Debt, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Savings and loan crisis, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, starchitect, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

Federal spending on human welfare declined. Indeed, the overall diminution of the government’s role in the economy obscured an even larger decline in spending to help the poor, as policy makers shifted welfare spending toward the elderly and the middle class. A milestone in that shift was Clinton’s promise to “end welfare as we know it.” Instead of providing direct aid to poor families, the federal government began to divide $16.5 billion among the states each year. More than two decades later, the sum remains the same, but inflation has eroded the value by more than a third. And America lost its edge in education. The cost of a university education in the United States is now among the highest in the developed world, and it is not a coincidence that Americans who entered their working primes in the 2010s were less likely to have college degrees than the citizens of eleven other developed nations.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

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, Bear Stearns, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, 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, foreign exchange controls, 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, Kickstarter, 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, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, Tax Reform Act of 1986, 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.


pages: 1,037 words: 294,916

Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein

affirmative action, anti-communist, anti-work, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, card file, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, distributed generation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, ending welfare as we know it, George Gilder, haute couture, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, index card, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Joan Didion, liberal capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mortgage debt, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Project Plowshare, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

The best measure of a politician’s electoral success was becoming not how successfully he could broker people’s desires, but how well he could tap their fears. This is a book, also, about how that story began. Scratch a conservative today—a think-tank bookworm at Washington’s Heritage Foundation or Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation (the people whose studies and position papers blazed the trails for ending welfare as we know it, for the school voucher movement, for the discussion over privatizing Social Security) ; a door-knocking church lady pressing pamphlets into her neighbors’ palms about partial-birth abortion; the owner of a small or large business sitting across the table from a lobbyist plotting strategy on how to decimate corporate tax rates; an organizer of a training center for aspiring conservative activists or journalists; Republican precinct workers, fund-raisers, county chairs, state chairs, presidential candidates, congressmen, senators, even a Supreme Court justice—and the story comes out.