Category Archives: Welfare

Symposium Issue Published: “50 Years After the “War on Poverty”: Evaluating Past Enactments & Innovative Approaches for Addressing Poverty in the 21st Century”

Symposium Issue Published by the Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice: “50 Years After the “War on Poverty”: Evaluating Past Enactments & Innovative Approaches for Addressing Poverty in the 21st Century”:

Vol. XXXIV No. 2

50 Years After the “War on Poverty”: Evaluating Past Enactments & Innovative Approaches for Addressing Poverty in the 21st Century

Introduction by Emily F. Suski

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Deadbeat Dads & Welfare Queens: How Metaphor Shapes Poverty Law

by Ann Cammett

Abstract: Since the 1960s, racialized metaphors describing dysfunctional parents have been deployed by conservative policymakers to shape the way that the public views anti-poverty programs. The merging of race and welfare has eroded support for a robust social safety net, despite growing poverty and economic inequality throughout the land. This Article begins by describing the […]

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50 Years After the “War on Poverty”: Evaluating the Justice Gap in the Post-Disaster Context

by Davida Finger

Abstract: The Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”), formed as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, was one of many initiatives aimed at providing low-income individuals with equal access to justice. Today, the increasing number of people living in poverty, coupled with decreased funding for legal services, has resulted in a significant justice gap […]

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Left Behind with No “IDEA”: Children with Disabilities Without Means

by Alex J. Hurder

Abstract: This Article examines the changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), which were intended to reconcile the Act with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the effect those changes have had on the education of children with disabilities. The Article highlights the important role that parents were given in […]

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Heal the Suffering Children: Fifty Years After the Declaration of War on Poverty

by Francine J. Lipman & Dawn Davis

Abstract: Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. Since then, the federal tax code has been a fundamental tool in providing financial assistance to poor working families. Even today, however, thirty-two million children live in families that cannot support basic living expenses, and sixteen million of those live in extreme […]

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From the “War on Poverty” to Pro Bono: Access to Justice Remains Elusive for Too Many, Including Our Veterans

by Patricia E. Roberts

Abstract: Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty. The Legal Services Program of 1965, along with the Legal Services Corporation formed in 1974, considerably increased civil legal aid to America’s poor. Yet today, there is only one legal aid attorney for every 6,415 people living in poverty. Veterans, comprising 4.6% […]

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Paul Ryan’s Proposal Hints at Change in Tone on Poverty – NYTimes.com

Paul Ryan’s Proposal Hints at Change in Tone on Poverty – NYTimes.com.

A guaranteed income for every American would eliminate poverty — and it wouldn’t destroy the economy – Vox

A guaranteed income for every American would eliminate poverty — and it wouldn’t destroy the economy – Vox.

Paul Ryan and His Poverty Prophet – NYTimes.com

Paul Ryan and His Poverty Prophet – NYTimes.com.

Upcoming Event and New Book: “Income Support for the Poorest: A Review of Experience in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”

Income SupportUpcoming Event and New Book: The World Bank has published a new book, Emil Tesliuc et al., Income Support for the Poorest: A Review of Experience in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (2014) and is also hosting a related book panel on July 9 from 3-4:30pm at the World Bank in Washington, D.C (Auditorium J1-050; World Bank J Building, 701 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20433; RSVP infoshopevents@worldbank.org).

-Thanks to Paul Prettitore for the the heads up!

Symposium Published: “The Meaning of the Civil Rights Revolution” in Yale L.J. (with new David Super article)

Available here and on the Yale L.J. website.  The symposium includes a great number of articles of interest, but to highlight one: David A. Super, Protecting Civil Rights in the Shadows, 123 Yale. L.J. 2806 (2014).  Abstract below:

Beyond grand constitutional moments such as the New Deal and the civil rights era, the American people also remove other, less prominent issues from majoritarian politics. This process of petit popular constitutionalism resolves numerous important issues of government structure and is crucial for vulnerable groups seeking to implement and expand gains they made during grand constitutional moments.

In our two-party system, this gives groups three options. They may join one party’s core constituency, attempt to position themselves as a swing constituency, or seek to establish their concerns as moral imperatives outside of partisan debate with the leadership of a few mainstream politicians of each party. Exerting influence as a core constituency or swing group requires coherence, communication, and group identity that many sets of vulnerable people lack. The alternative petit constitutional route typically requires paring back a group’s objectives to essential aims that can win wide acceptance as moral imperatives across the political spectrum.

Since the 1960s, policy for means-tested public benefit programs has been torn between a partisan “welfare rights” track and a petit constitutional “anti-poverty” theme. The 1996 welfare law represented the final defeat of welfare rights in partisan politics. This leaves low-income people dependent on petit constitutionalism, following the same path that death penalty abolitionists and others took after being disowned by one or the other political party.

New Article: “Deadbeat Dads & Welfare Queens: How Metaphor Shapes Poverty Law”

New Article: Ann Cammett, Deadbeat Dads & Welfare Queens: How Metaphor Shapes Poverty Law, 34 B.C. J. L. & Soc. Just. 233 (2014).  Abstract below:

Since the 1960s, racialized metaphors describing dysfunctional parents have been deployed by conservative policymakers to shape the way that the public views anti-poverty programs. The merging of race and welfare has eroded support for a robust social safety net, despite growing poverty and economic inequality throughout the land. This Article begins by describing the influence that metaphors have on the way people unconsciously perceive reality. It proceeds by examining historical racial tropes for Black families and how they were repurposed to create the Welfare Queen and Deadbeat Dad, the metaphorical villains of welfare programs. It also tracks the demise of welfare entitlements and the simultaneous ascendency of punitive child support enforcement intended to penalize both “absent” parents and families with non-normative structures. Ultimately, this Article argues that the focus on demonizing Black parents in the welfare system has created an obstacle to providing necessary resources to alleviate the suffering of a growing number of poor children of all races, the intended beneficiaries of public assistance.

Statement by Robert Greenstein, President, on Chairman Ryan’s Budget Plan — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Statement by Robert Greenstein, President, on Chairman Ryan’s Budget Plan — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

-A good student of mine sent this to me and it seems worth sharing.

Report: “A Lifetime of Punishment: The Impact of the Felony Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits”

Report: Marc Mauer & Virginia McCalmont, A Lifetime of Punishment: The Impact of the  Felony Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits (Sentencing Project, Revised version 2014).

A Nation of Takers? – NYTimes.com

A Nation of Takers? – NYTimes.com.  [Kristof, who has a mixed record to be sure, takes on subsidies to the rich.]