Category Archives: Welfare

[Self-Promoting Post] New Op-Ed: “Trump’s all out war on the poor”

[Self-Promoting Post] New Op-Ed: Ezra Rosser, Trump’s all out war on the poor, The Hill, Feb. 15, 2018.


New Article: “Itemized Deductions in a High Standard Deduction World”

irs-form-1040New Article: Emily Cauble, Itemized Deductions in a High Standard Deduction World, Stan. L. Rev. Online, Jan. 2018. Abstract below:

New tax legislation enacted in December 2017 exacerbates the extent to which various itemized deductions, such as the charitable contribution deduction and the home mortgage interest deduction, disproportionately benefit high income individuals. This essay develops this critique and concludes by suggesting paths for reform that should be considered by a future Congress.

New Article: “A Poor Mother’s Right to Privacy: A Review”

New Article: Danielle Keats Citron, A Poor Mother’s Right to Privacy: A Review, 98 B.U. L. Rev. (2018, Forthcoming). Abstract below:

Collecting personal data is a feature of daily life. Businesses, advertisers, agencies, and law enforcement amass massive reservoirs of our personal data. This state of affairs—what I am calling the “collection imperative”—is justified in the name of efficiency, convenience, and security. The unbridled collection of personal data, meanwhile, leads to abuses. Public and private entities have disproportionate power over individuals and groups whose information they have amassed. Nowhere is that power disparity more evident than for the state’s surveillance of the indigent. Poor mothers, in particular, have vanishingly little privacy. Whether or not poor mothers receive subsidized prenatal care, the existential state of poor mothers is persistent and indiscriminate state surveillance.

Professor Khiara Bridges’s book, The Poverty of Privacy Rights, advances the project of securing privacy for the most vulnerable among us. It shows how the moral construction of poverty animates the state’s surveillance of poor mothers, rather than legitimate concerns about prenatal care. It argues that poor mothers have a constitutional right not to be known if the state’s data collection efforts demean and humiliate them for no good reason. The Poverty of Privacy Rights provides an important lens for rethinking the data collection imperative more generally. It supplies a theory not only on which a constitutional right to information privacy can be built but also on which positive law and norms can develop. Concepts of reciprocity may provide another analytical tool to understand a potential right to be as unknown to government as it is to us.

New Issue of Pathways: The Next Round of Welfare Reform

Pathways_Winter2018_cover_smallNew Issue of Pathways: The Next Round of Welfare Reform (Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, Winter 2018). Contents below:

Editors’ Note
Past, Present, and Future of Welfare
The inside architects of welfare reform reflect on how the revolution happened, what it achieved, and what remains to be done.
The Unsuccessful Family Experiment
For those who believe that the welfare reform bill was mainly oriented toward promoting work, it might be surprising to learn that the bill begins with this line: “Marriage is the foundation of a successful society.” How did the grand plan to save the family work out?
The Kids Are All Right
How are our children doing? Are the doom-and-gloomers right?
Did Welfare Reform Increase Employment and Reduce Poverty?
The welfare reform bill aimed to reduce dependence on welfare and increase self-sufficiency. A simple question: Did it work?
Welfare Reform and the Families It Left Behind
What is welfare reform’s biggest failure? Find out here.
State Policy Choices
The welfare reform of 1996 was conceived as an experiment with radical decentralization of policy. How is that experiment faring?
A New Social Compact
Where should we go from here? We close with three very different diagnoses … and three very different prescriptions.

News Coverage: “Why the Trump administration won’t let Maine ban soda and candy from food stamps”

News Coverage: Caitlin Dewey, Why the Trump administration won’t let Maine ban soda and candy from food stamps, Wash. Post, Jan. 20, 2018.

(Self-Promotion) New Op-ed: “Exceptional Indifference: An International Perspective on U.S. Poverty”

(Self-Promotion) New Op-ed: Ezra Rosser, Exceptional Indifference: An International Perspective on U.S. Poverty, CommonDreams, Jan. 21, 2018. [This is an op-ed about U.S. poverty in an international perspective and recent efforts to make life worse for poor people.]

News Coverage: “Making Medicaid a Tool for Moral Education May Let Some Die”

News Coverage: Eduardo Porter, Making Medicaid a Tool for Moral Education May Let Some Die, N.Y. Times, Jan. 16, 2018.

New Article: “The Management Side of Due Process in the Service-Based Welfare State”

New Article: Charles F. Sabel & William H. Simon, The Management Side of Due Process in the Service-Based Welfare State, in Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry L. Mashaw, edited by Nicholas R. Parrillo, Cambridge University Press, 2017. Abstract below:

The American welfare state is evolving away from the model initiated during the New Deal and elaborated during the civil rights era. It increasingly aims at capacitation rather than income maintenance, and its interventions more frequently take the form of services as opposed to monetary grants. These changes entail modes of organization and legal accountability different from those associated with New Deal-civil rights era model. This paper, written for a volume honoring Jerry Mashaw, considers Mashaw’s seminal analysis of legal accountability in the welfare state in the light of the key trends of recent decades. The tension or trade-off between individualized decision-making and bureaucratic rationality that preoccupies much of Mashaw’s analysis is mitigated in novel ways in the newer programs. The new programs depend on the tailoring of services to the individual circumstances of the beneficiary. Yet, at the same time, these programs aspire to use technology and managerial techniques to hold frontline agents accountable in ways different from those Mashaw contemplated.

Op-ed: “A New Year’s resolution for the media: Do not let Republicans get away with saying ‘reforms’ when they mean ‘cuts’”

Op-ed: Jared Bernstein, A New Year’s resolution for the media: Do not let Republicans get away with saying ‘reforms’ when they mean ‘cuts’, Wash. Post, Dec. 29, 2017.

New Article: “(Anti)Poverty Measures Exposed”

New Article: Francine J. Lipman, (Anti)Poverty Measures Exposed, 21 Florida Tax Rev. 256 (2017). Abstract below:

Few economic indicators have more salience and pervasive financial impact on everyday lives in the United States than poverty measures. Nevertheless, policymakers, researchers, advocates, and legislators generally do not understand the details of poverty measure mechanics. These detailed mechanics shape and reshape poverty measures and the too often uninformed responses and remedies. This Article will build a bridge from personal portraits of families living in poverty to the resource allocations that failed them by exposing the specific detailed mechanics underlying the Census Bureau’s official (OPM) and supplemental poverty measures (SPM). Too often, when we confront the problem of poverty, the focus is on the lives and behavior of those suffering the burdens of poverty and not on the inadequacy of resource allocations in antipoverty programs. The purpose of poverty measures should be to expose the effectiveness and failures of antipoverty programs so that they can be improved, not to scrutinize the lives and characteristics of those who are enduring these hardships.

This Article exposes poverty measures through the details of the United States’ current antipoverty programs, including the demographics of the populations who are included as beneficiaries and those that are left without adequate resources to survive. After reverse engineering the OPM and SPM, the Article describes the raw data from the starting population universes but then reveals the details of U.S. citizens and residents who have been intentionally excluded from the poverty analysis. The Article reveals that the excluded population is likely disproportionately poor and, thus, their erasure from the starting population universe understates derived poverty rates. Therefore, as a starting point, the OPM and SPM exclude millions of vulnerable Americans from the Census Bureau’s poverty measurement analyses. Nevertheless, the Article continues its poverty measure analysis using the Census Bureau’s original databases and rebuilds the OPM and SPM from the original population universes by applying each resource allocation program by program until demographic patterns emerge of who is lifted out of poverty proportionately or disproportionately in accordance with their pre-allocation poverty percentages in the population universes. By shifting the focus from Americans who suffer scarcity to the details of each antipoverty program and the demographics of who and in what proportion they are served by these programs, we better understand why almost 50 million Americans, including 16 million children, are not adequately provided for; do not have the necessary life resources; are struggling day in and day out; have been “nickel and dimed”; and are not getting by in the United States; and who, because of the misallocation (not lack) of resources, suffer the persistent and pernicious plight of poverty.