Category Archives: Welfare

News Article: “Trump’s Budget Is What Class Warfare Looks Like”

News Article: Greg Kaufmann, Trump’s Budget is What Class Warfare Looks Like, Talk Poverty, May 26, 2017

Lots of News about Trump’s Budget Proposal and the Poor this Week

This week there was lots of coverage of Trump’s proposed budget (see this overview from the NY Times) and its effect on poor people.  Below are just some of the articles and op-eds on the topic:

Perhaps the headline from the NPR story says it best:

Lastly, perhaps to explain what Republicans think about all this, this week Ben Carson called poverty largely a state of mind.

New Article: “Poor Support/Rich Support: (Re)Viewing the American Social Welfare State”

New Article: Wendy A. Bach, Poor Support/Rich Support: (Re)Viewing the American Social Welfare State, forthcoming Florida Tax Rev. 2017.  Abstract below:

Since at least the 1970s a variety of scholars have redefined the U.S. social welfare state to include not only traditional benefit programs (for example Food Stamps and social security) but also a variety of tax benefits that are “hidden” or “submerged” forms of “welfare for the wealthy.” Including these benefits in the overall picture of U.S. social welfare provision reveals a system that is both larger in size than popularly believed and that, in addition to providing some support for the poor, distributes significant benefits regressively, to households with substantial wealth. Although a variety of scholars and policy analysts have described these outcomes, scholars have yet to focus on the ways in which structural inequality is written directly into the means of administration of U.S. social welfare programs. This article is the first to turn to those questions and to systematically demonstrate that those who are economically (and disproportionately racially) disadvantaged are offered a social welfare state that is meager, punitive and tremendously risky for those who receive its benefits. But for those with economic privilege, the story is quite different. Families and individuals with significant economic privilege benefit disproportionately from a whole host of cash and near-cash benefits that are neither meager nor punitive. In fact, in contrast to benefits for the poor, benefits for the rich function as nearly invisible entitlements. As one moves from benefits for the poor towards benefits for the rich the administrative structures shift along this progression, becoming less and less punitive and risky and more and more like invisible entitlements. Although as a formal matter the rich, like the poor, have no right to economic support in the Constitutional sense, American social welfare policy moves the rich remarkably close to a right to economic support, leaving the poor far behind. This article reveals these vast structural inequalities and concludes by calling not only, as others have, for an increase and more progressive distribution of social welfare dollars but also, for the first time, for reforms that would address the structural inequalities at the heart of the U.S. social welfare state and that would render it more successful at supporting the autonomy and resilience of all of its beneficiaries.

New Article: “In Defense of the Eligible Undocumented New Yorker’s State Constitutional Right to Public Benefits”

New Article: Steven Sacco, In Defense of the Eligible Undocumented New Yorker’s State Constitutional Right to Public Benefits, 40 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 181 (2016).  Abstract below:

Under current New York State law, undocumented New Yorkers, (those residing in the U.S. without the federal government’s permission), are ineligible for most state-funded means-tested public benefits, such as Medicaid and Safety Net Assistance. Articles XVII and I of the New York State Constitution nonetheless create a state mandate to provide for the eligible “needy” and ensure equal protection under the law, respectively. This article proposes that, under these state constitutional provisions, financially eligible undocumented residents of New York State possess an affirmative right to receive state-funded public benefits. Policy arguments against this entitlement are unfounded and barriers to enforcement of the right of undocumented New Yorkers to access state benefits are born of politics, not of the law.

[Self-Promoting Post] New Op-Ed: “Trumpcare and the Successful Campaign to Punish the Poor”

Here: Ezra Rosser, Op-Ed, “Trumpcare and the Successful Campaign to Punish the Poor,”, May 5, 2017.

News Article: Supply-Side Economics, but for Liberals

News Article: Neil Irwin, Supply-Side Economics, but for Liberals, N.Y. Times (Apr. 15, 2017).


Article: Rights and Queues: On Distributive Contests in the Modern State

Article: Katharine G. Young, Rights and Queues: On Distributive Contests in the Modern State, 55 Colum. J. Transnt’l L. 65 (2016).

Two legal concepts have become fundamental to questions of resource allocation in the modern state: rights and queues. As rights are increasingly recognized in areas such as housing, health care, or immigration law, so too are queues used to administer access to the goods, services, or opportunities that realize such rights, especially in conditions of scarcity. This Article is the first to analyze the concept of queues (or temporal waiting lines or lists) and their ambivalent, interdependent relation with rights. After showing the conceptual tension between rights and queues, the Article argues that queues and “queue talk” present a unique challenge to rights and “rights talk.” In exploring the currency of rights and queues in both political and legal terms, the Article illustrates how participants discuss and contest the right to housing in South Africa, the right to health care in Canada, and the right to asylum in Australia. It argues that, despite its appearance in very different ideological and institutional settings, the political discourse of “queues” and especially “queue jumping” commonly invokes misleading distinctions between corruption and order, markets and bureaucracies, and governments and courts. Moreover, queue talk obscures the first-order questions on which resource allocations in housing, health care, or immigration contexts must rely. By bringing much-needed complexity to the concept of “queues,” the Article explores ways in which general principles of allocative fairness may be both open to contestation and yet supportive of basic claims of rights.

Article: Every Dollar Counts: In Defense of the Obama Department of Education’s “Supplement Not Supplant” Proposal

News Article: The poor ‘just don’t want health care’: Republican congressman faces backlash over comments

News Article: Kristine Phillips, The poor ‘just don’t want health care’: Republican congressman faces backlash over comments, Washington Post (Mar. 9, 2017).

News Article: Immigrants are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them

News Article: Caitlin Dewey, Immigrants are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them, Washington Post (Mar. 16, 2017).