Welfare: A Documentary History Of U.S. Policy And Politics / Edition 1

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Federal welfare policy has been a political and cultural preoccupation in the United States for nearly seven decades. Debates about who poor people are, how they got that way, and what the government should do about poverty were particularly bitter and misleading at the end of the twentieth century. These public discussions left most Americans with far more attitude than information about poverty, the poor, and poverty policy in the United States.

In response, Gwendolyn Mink and Rickie Solinger compiled the first documentary history of welfare in America, from its origins through the present. Welfare: A Documentary History of U.S. Policy and Politics provides historical context for understanding recent policy developments, as it traces public opinion, recipients’ experiences, and policy continuities and innovations over time. The documents collected range across more than 100 years, from government documents and proclamations of presidents throughout the 20th century, to accounts of activist and grass roots organizations, newspaper reports and editorials, political cartoons, posters and more.

They enable readers to go straight to the source to find out how public figures racialized welfare in the minds of white Americans, to explore the origins of the claim that poor women have babies in order to collect welfare, and to trace how that notion has been perpetuated and contested. The documents also illustrate how policymakers in different eras have invoked and politicized the idea of dependency, as well as how ideas about women's dependency have followed changing characterizations of poor women as workers and as mothers.

Welfare provides a picture of the government’s evolving ideas about poverty and provision, along side powerful examples of the voices too often eclipsed in the public square—welfare recipients and their advocates, speaking about mothering, poverty, and human rights.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The debate over welfare suffers from lack of historical perspective. Now come Mink and Solinger to transform our understanding with a clearly articulated, carefully organized, and judiciously selected collection of key sources and illustrative documents that illuminates the past and present of aid to poor women and their children. Essential for classroom use, this book also belongs on the desks of policy makers and activists alike.”
-Eileen Boris,Hull Professor of Women’s Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

“A stirringly dramatic narrative of welfare policy history. Through the documents they select, Mink and Solinger bring to life an immensely important human drama, and they do so in a way that paves a path to a higher awareness of the deeply ingrained biases of gender, race, and class that operate in welfare policy.”
-Social Service Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814756546
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 817
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Political scientist Gwendolyn Mink is the author of The Wages of Motherhood: Inequality in the Welfare State, 1917-1942 and Welfare's End, and the editor of Whose Welfare?. She is also the co-editor of The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History and of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Poverty and Social Welfare in the U.S.

Rickie Solinger is an independent historian who lives in the Hudson Valley. Her books include Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade, The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law, and Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States.

Frances Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School, City University of New York. She is coeditor of Work, Welfare and Politics. Her other award-winning books include Regulating the Poor, Why Americans Don't Vote, and Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (all with Richard Cloward).

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Table of Contents

Pt. I 1900-1940 1
1 Public Relief and Private Charity (1884) 3
2 First National Congress of Mothers: Programme (1897) 12
3 First National Congress of Mothers: Address of Welcome (1897) 17
4 First International Congress in America on the Welfare of the Child: Address to the Delegates (1908) 20
5 Conference on the Care of Dependent Children: Call for the Conference (1908) 22
6 Conference on the Care of Dependent Children: Special Message to the Senate and House of Representatives (1909) 23
7 Illinois "Funds to Parents Act" (1911) 25
8 Massachusetts Commission on the Support of Dependent Minor Children of Widowed Mothers: Report (1913) 27
9 Modern Industry in Relation to the Family, Health, Education, Morality (1914) 29
10 Mothers Can Be Trusted (1915) 32
11 The Case for Widows' Pensions (1915) 33
12 Conference on Social Insurance: Remarks (1916) 35
13 Conference on Social Insurance: Remarks (1916) 37
14 Conference on Social Insurance: Remarks (1916) 40
15 Aid to Mothers with Dependent Children (1921) 42
16 Conference on Mothers' Pensions: Proceedings (1922) 45
17 Come, Let Us Reason Together (1924) 53
18 Need for Security (1935) 55
19 Message to Congress on Social Security (January 17, 1935) 65
20 Hearings on the Economic Security Act of 1935 68
21 Hearings on the Economic Security Act of 1935 71
22 Social Security Act of 1935: Title IV - Grants to States for Aid to Dependent Children (1935) 74
23 A Social Security Program Must Include All Those Who Need Its Protection: Radio Address on the Third Anniversary of the Social Security Act (August 15, 1938) 77
24 Statement on Signing Some Amendments to the Social Security Act (August 11, 1939) 81
25 Social Security Act Amendments of 1939: Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Benefit Payments (1939) 83
26 Louisiana Mothers' Pension Statute (1939) 86
27 Santa Cruz Child-Welfare Cases (1940) 88
Pt. II 1940s 89
28 White House Conference on Children in a Democracy: Final Report (1940) 94
29 Newport News Administers Cash Payments (1940) 99
30 Flag Salutes and Food (1940) 100
31 Families Receiving Aid to Dependent Children (1942) 101
32 The Impact of the War on the Public Assistance Programs (1943) 106
33 The Work and Welfare of Children of Agricultural Laborers in Hidalgo County, Texas (1943) 110
34 Social Action on Settlement Laws (1944) 115
35 Common Human Needs: An Interpretation for Staff in Public Assistance Agencies (1945) 118
36 Employed Mothers of Children in the A.D.C. Program: Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare (1945) 120
37 Horsefeathers Swathed in Mink (1947) 125
38 Okies (1947) 131
39 Public Assistance: A Report to the Select Committee on Finance (1948) 132
40 Hearings on the Social Security Act Amendments of 1949 135
41 Public Assistance as a Social Obligation (1949) 138
Pt. III 1950s 145
42 Fraud and Waste in Public Welfare Programs: Debate in Congress (1951) 148
43 An Appraisal of What the Critics Are Saying about Public Assistance (1952) 155
44 Future Citizens All (1952) 161
45 Cleveland Sends 9 Negroes South (1956) 165
46 The Social Work Syndrome (1966) 167
47 California v. Tressie Neal Shirley: Opinions (1961) 169
48 Illegitimacy and Its Impact on the Aid to Dependent Children Program (1960) 174
49 An American Dependency Challenge (1963) 191
Pt. IV 1960s
50 Facts, Fallacies and Future: A Study of the ADC Program of Cook County, Illinois (1960) 199
51 Letter to State Agencies Administering Approved Public Assistance Plans (1961) 204
52 The Newburgh Story (1961) 206
53 Special Message to Congress on Public Welfare Programs (February 1, 1962) 212
54 Washington, D.C., Welfare Studies (1962) 217
55 Message to Congress on the Economic Opportunity Act (1964) 223
56 The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965) 226
57 Individual Rights and Social Welfare: The Emerging Legal Issues (1965) 239
58 The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty (1966) 249
59 Woman Battles Sterlization Ruling (1966) 260
60 Recipients Aroused: The New Welfare Rights Movements (1967) 264
61 Anti-NWRO Letters to Senator Russell Long (1967) 269
62 United Neighborhood Houses' Antipoverty Hearings (1967) 271
63 Hearings on Consumer Problems of the Poor (1967) 274
64 A Time to Listen ... a Time to Act: Voices from the Ghettos of the Nation's Cities (1967) 276
65 Governor's Conference on Public Welfare (1967) 280
66 Hearings on the War on Poverty (1967) 282
67 47 More Negroes Held in Carolina (1968) 284
68 King v. Smith (1968) 286
69 Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (1968) 290
70 Hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1968) 298
71 Welfare Is Not a Right: Two Affirmations (1967, 1969) 301
72 Maximum Feasible Participation (1967, 1969) 302
73 Call-and-Response (1969) 309
74 Guerrilla Theater (1969) 310
75 Welfare Reform: Shared Responsibility (August 8, 1969) 313
76 Proposals for a Guaranteed Adequate Income (1969) 320
77 Thompson v. Shapiro (1969) 322
78 Goldberg v. Kelly (1970) 327
79 Gallup Polls on Americans' Attitudes about Welfare (1961-1969) 331
Pt. V 1970s 337
80 Dandridge v. Williams (1970) 340
81 When You Just Give Money to the Poor (1970) 343
82 Hearings on the Family Assistance Act of 1970 349
83 Statement on Welfare Reform (1970) 351
84 Welfare Rights Activism in the Early 1970s (1971-1973) 355
85 Wyman v. James (1971) 360
86 Welfare Myths vs. Facts (1971) 364
87 The Welfare Mess: A Scandal of Illegitimacy and Desertion (1971) 368
88 Welfare Is a Women's Issue (1972) 373
89 H. R. 1 and the Poverty of Women (1972) 380
90 Hearings on Problems in Administration of Public Welfare Programs (1972) 385
91 State's Abortion Law Helps Reduce Welfare Costs (1972) 387
92 Jefferson v. Hackney (1972) 389
93 State of the Union Message on Human Resources (March 1, 1973) 394
94 Hearings on Health Care and Human Experimentation (1973) 398
95 Hearings on Health Care and Human Experimentation (1973) 403
96 Hearing on Child Support and the Work Bonus (1973) 404
97 New Jersey Welfare Rights Organization v. Cahill (1973) 408
98 Hearings on the Impact of Federal Policies (1973) 411
99 Funding Sterilization and Abortion for the Poor (1975) 415
100 Welfare Reforms Near a Standstill (1976) 417
101 State of the Union Address (January 19, 1976) 422
102 Four Republicans Speak about Medicaid Funding of Abortion (1976, 1978) 425
103 New Paternity Affidavits Ordered for Welfare Aid in New York City (1977) 430
104 President Jimmy Carter's News Conference on Welfare Reform (August 6, 1977) 432
105 Questions Submitted by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan to HEW Secretary Joseph Califano (1978) 438
Pt. VI 1980s 441
106 The Coming Welfare Crisis (1980) 443
107 Before the Fall: Brinkmanship in a Philadelphia Cul-de-Sac (1980) 447
108 The Return to Welfare Seems in Vain: A Vain Try to Find the Security the Government Check Can Offer (1980) 452
109 Address before a Joint Session of Congress on the Program for Economic Recovery (February 18, 1981) 457
110 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981: Summary of Welfare Provisions (1981) 459
111 AFDC Program Changes under OBRA (1982) 461
112 Federal Cuts Frustrate "Working Poor" Mother (1982) 463
113 Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 (1984) 466
114 Saving the Underclass: Interview with Charles Murray (1985) 468
115 Restoring the Traditional Black Family (1985) 475
116 Beyond Entitlement: The Social Obligations of Citizenship (1986) 482
117 The Work Ethic State (1986) 484
118 The Family: Preserving America's Future (1986) 496
119 Beyond Welfare (1987) 499
120 Attacking Problems Money Can't Solve (1987) 502
121 A Step Back to the Workhouse? (1987) 504
122 Executive Order on the Family (1987) 507
123 State of the Union Address (January 25, 1988) 509
124 Remarks on Welfare Policy (1988) 510
125 Poor Support: Poverty in the American Family (1988) 516
126 Whey Welfare Reform Is a Sham (1988) 518
127 The Family Support Act of 1988: Official Summary (1988) 523
128 Remarks on Signing the Family Support Act of 1988 (October 13, 1988) 533
Pt. VII 1990-2002 535
129 Hearings on the Family Support Act of 1988 (1990) 540
130 Poverty and Norplant: Can Contraception Reduce the Underclass? (1990) 543
131 Mother-Only Families: Low Earnings Will Keep Many Children in Poverty (1991) 545
132 Tough Love Comes to Politics (1991) 551
133 Stop Favoring Unwed Mothers (1992) 556
134 So How Did I Get Here? (1992) 558
135 Scapegoating Women on Welfare (1993) 563
136 Public Attitudes toward Welfare Reform: A Summary of Key Research Findings (1993) 565
137 Women on Welfare Talk about Reform: Clients in Focus Groups Discuss Teen Pregnancy, Child Support, and Time Limits (1994) 569
138 Glass Ceilings and Bottomless Pits: Women, Income and Poverty in Massachusetts (1994) 572
139 Hearings on the Work and Responsibility Act (1994) 578
140 The Contract with America (1994) 587
141 Preview of Republican Plans to Reform Welfare (1994) 590
142 The Bell Curve (1994) 595
143 The Republican Revolution and Welfare Reform (1994) 596
144 Few Welfare Moms Fit the Stereotypes (1995) 602
145 Welfare to Work: The Job Opportunities of AFDC Recipients (1995) 604
146 Beaten, Then Robbed (1995) 608
147 Remarks on Child Support Enforcement (1995) 610
148 Remarks on Child Support Enforcement (1995) 612
149 Fathers' Rights (1995) 614
150 Remarks on the Personal Responsibility Act of 1995 619
151 Alligators and Wolves (1995) 622
152 Issues in Brief: Teenage Pregnancy and the Welfare Reform Debate (1995) 624
153 The Stories of Legal Immigrants Who Would Be Affected by House and Senate Welfare Reform Proposals (1995) 631
154 Women's Pledge on Welfare Reform: Eliminating Poverty for Women and Their Children (1995) 633
155 The End of Motherhood as We Knew It (1995) 636
156 In Welfare Reform, Governors Miss the Point (1996) 638
157 Shame on the Wisconsin Senate, Thompson and Clinton "New" U.S. Welfare Reform: Costs More; Helps Less; Hurts Families and Workplace (1996) 640
158 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 642
159 C.K. v. New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services (1996) 648
160 Remarks on Welfare Reform (August 22, 1996) 658
161 Comparison of Prior Law and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) (1996) 663
162 Giant Companies Entering Race to Run State Welfare Programs (1996) 680
163 Feminists and the Welfare Debate: Too Little? Too Late? (1996) 682
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