"When our donors met the actual people they were helping they often didn’t like them. During our Secret Santa drive, volunteers sometimes refused to drop gifts at houses with TVs inside. They got angry when clients had cell phones or in some other way didn’t match their expectations. Other times, the donations we got were too disgusting to pass along—soup cans that bulged with botulism and diapers so dry rotted they crumbled in our hands. One Thanksgiving, a board member called from the parking lot, requesting help carrying a frozen turkey from her trunk to our office. “Can you find a deserving family?” she asked. I lugged the bird up three flights of stairs. Somewhere near the top, I noticed the expiration date. It was seventeen years old." Anya Groner talks about working for Hudson Outreach in up-state New York and the sobering, chilling effect it had on her idealism.
posted by The Whelk
on Jul 7, 2014 -
Just two sentences make Americans as pro-welfare as Danes
People’s attitudes to welfare depend on their perceptions of welfare recipients. If they believe that welfare recipients are lazy, they are unlikely to support welfare. If they believe that welfare recipients are making an effort to find work, they are likely to take a different attitude.
Aarøe and Petersen conducted survey experiments in the United States and Denmark to investigate whether stereotypes shaped Danish and European attitudes. They randomly exposed some participants in both countries to canned information suggesting that a welfare recipient was lazy, others to information suggesting that a welfare recipient was motivated to find work, and others to no substantial information about the recipient. They then asked people to evaluate social welfare benefits.
On average, Americans were considerably more likely to associate welfare with laziness than Danes. But what’s interesting is that these stereotypes were largely overwhelmed by the canned information when it was available. When the man on welfare was described in the following terms:
"He has always had a regular job, but has now been the victim of a work-related injury. He is very motivated to get back to work again"
the differences between Americans and Danes disappeared. Both were largely willing to support social welfare measures. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest
on Dec 10, 2013 -
How we prioritize federal spending in America...
National Priorities Project is a national non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to making complex federal budget information transparent and accessible so people can prioritize and influence how their tax dollars are spent.
posted by pallen123
on Sep 19, 2013 -
A 5-year-old girl saw the dust trail of the bus and pedaled toward it on a red tricycle. Three teenage boys came barefoot in swimsuits. A young mother walked over from her trailer with an infant daughter in one arm and a lit cigarette in the other. “Any chance there will be leftover food for adults?” she asked. It was almost 1 p.m. For some, this would be the first meal of the day. For others, the last.
In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children: A bus turned bread truck
Don't look at the comments. Do look at the photos.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Jul 7, 2013 -
Rising Demand for Long-Term Services and Supports for Elderly People
, 574 kb) - "By 2050, one-fifth of the total U.S. population will be elderly (that is, 65 or older), up from 12 percent in 2000 and 8 percent in 1950. The number of people age 85 or older will grow the fastest over the next few decades, constituting 4 percent of the population by 2050, or 10 times its share in 1950. That growth in the elderly population will bring a corresponding surge in the number of elderly people with functional and cognitive limitations."
posted by kliuless
on Jun 27, 2013 -
"Before examining the night in question – the petrol, the plot, the screaming 999 calls, the dead children – Thirlwall said: “It is necessary to look at the history of your relationship with women.” I’ve rarely heard a judge say such a thing, although in the judicial system there aren’t that many female judges, so there’s more chance this take on events is overlooked. Across Europe, the average gender balance among judges is 52 per cent men and 48 per cent women. At 23 per cent, England and Wales is fourth from the bottom, followed only by Azerbaijan, Scotland and Armenia. The higher up the court system, the more male-dominated the bench becomes. Only 15.5 per cent of High Court judges are women. The odds were against Philpott meeting a female judge this week – one woman he had no chance of controlling, striking, or impregnating – but I’m quietly joyous he did." In The Independent
, Grace Dent looks at the abusive background of Mick Philpott
, who got his six children killed in a house fire he started to take revenge on his ex. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Apr 8, 2013 -
The prime minister
has suggested that people under the age of 25 could lose the right to housing benefit, as part of moves to cut the welfare bill.
Scrapping the benefit for that age group would save almost £2bn a year.
via BBC News. Comments sortable and worth reading. [more inside]
posted by marienbad
on Jun 24, 2012 -
In 2008 the late Robert Fitch
, author of "The Assassination of New York
", was asked to foretell an Obama presidency
before the Harlem Tenants Association:
If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at
his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs... Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.
posted by ennui.bz
on May 8, 2012 -
Oranges and Sunshine
is a film by Jim Loach, son of Ken
, telling the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who helped uncover a British Stolen Generation
, children taken from often-living parents and shipped overseas. The Guardian interviews Harold Haig
, one of the victims of the policy:
She was the first to raise the possibility that Haig had been told a terrible untruth – that he might not be an orphan after all. "I didn't think anyone would be so cruel to tell you that sort of a lie," he says. [His mother] had died just a year before he first visited Britain.
posted by rodgerd
on Apr 8, 2011 -
Why Not a Negative Income Tax?
"What kind of program could help protect every citizen from destitution without granting excessive power to bureaucrats, creating disincentives to work, and clogging up the free-market economy, as the modern welfare state has done? [Nobel-prize winning economist Milton] Friedman’s answer was the negative income tax, or NIT."
posted by shivohum
on Mar 14, 2011 -
Cuba: The Accidental Revolution
. Hasta la revolucion ? Maybe, but some revolution is dictated more by need than by politics. In this
, we are shown how Cuba is converting from oil-subsidized agricolture to organic agricolture with remarkable results. The presence of a police state isn't conveniently forgotten, as much as the facts that public education, public healthcare and limited, regulated free enterprise markets are helping Cubans in the transition from the illusion of freedom in a subsidized economy to a far less comfortable and rich, but more sustainable and independant economy.
posted by elpapacito
on Oct 26, 2007 -
Multiple orgasms trap benefit cheat
is one Times
headline that I wish I had written myself. The story is so far as I can tell quite true; The Daily Mail
has it too, under a much duller headline. On the other hand, it does have readers grumbling at the end: "The more benefit cheats they find - the better. I have two slipped discs, have to sleep sitting up and am entitled to, yes, you've guessed - nothing." writes one, as if Ms Byron were being subsidised for her orgasms.
posted by alloneword
on Aug 24, 2006 -
Consider the scorecard. During Clinton's two terms, the median income for American families increased by a solid 15% after inflation, according to Census Bureau figures. But it rose even faster for African Americans (33%) and Hispanics (24%) than it did for whites (14%). The growth was so widely shared that from 1993 through 1999, families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution saw their incomes increase faster than those in the top 5%. By comparison, under President Reagan in the 1980s, those in the top 5% increased their income more than five times faster than the bottom 20%. Likewise, the poverty rate under Clinton fell 25%, the biggest eight-year decline since the 1960s. It fell even faster for particularly vulnerable groups like blacks, Hispanics and children. Again the contrast with Reagan is striking. During Reagan's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty fell by just 77,000. During Clinton's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty plummeted by 8.1 million. The number of children in poverty fell by 50,000 under Reagan. Under Clinton the number was 4.1 million. That's a ratio of 80 to 1.
Clinton's Biggest Gains Not on Conservative Critics' Radar
posted by y2karl
on Jun 29, 2004 -
Poverty and the Welfare State: Dispelling the myths
This working paper (PDF file) states that "debates on poverty and welfare in Britain are full of myths." Among them (culled from the exec summary, since I'm still reading the paper):
1. The belief that poverty is long term and is passed from generation to generation is not consistent with the evidence.
2. Poverty is not caused by people behaving differently (although people act differently after they become poor), or by people having too many children, or by racial differences.
3. Scare stories about spiraling costs and abuse are greatly exaggerated.
4. Welfare does not encourage dependency.
Just in case anybody's writing a major paper over the holidays or anything.
I found this via the fantastic Canadian Social Research Links
(And if this came up in a previous post, I apologize; I searched on just about every relevant term I could think of.)
posted by 314/
on Dec 30, 2002 -
Corporate Welfare and Social Welfare.
Which is the most egregious? A bill in Congress to address welfare got comments from GWB during a political fund raiser in SC. Does this statement make any sense to you?
"In the way they're kind of writing it right now out of the Senate Finance Committee, some people could spend their entire five years on welfare - there's a five-year work requirement - going to college. Now, that's not my view of helping people become independent, and it's certainly not my view of understanding the importance of work and helping people achieve the dignity necessary so they can live a free life, free from government control." -GWB-
I always thought education WAS the key to escaping poverty but the "education President" obviously disagrees. I'd really appreciate your comments on the bill and this article.
posted by nofundy
on Aug 1, 2002 -
Get out of our county! Get off our welfare rolls! Here, take this money and get out.
Tulare County, California, pays unemployed to move elsewhere, anywhere, and people love it. One woman says the grass is greener in Arkansas, of all places.
Sounds like a win-win, eh? (NYT link)
posted by msacheson
on Jun 18, 2001 -
between James Fallows and Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
[L]et me explain that your book is the account of three month-long episodes of attempting to live entirely on earnings from $7- or $8-per-hour jobs. You show up in low-wage cities and try to get on your feet, like someone "graduating" from welfare to work. One of many intriguing aspects is the juggling of three challenges: landing a job (not that hard, in the "tight" economy of the late nineties); doing the job (sometimes quite hard, as you make vivid); and finding a place to live (nearly impossible, for reasons we will get to).
The material questions are 1) Do we care? 2) What should we do about it? The author makes a couple of suggestion a couple of links into the article. What do you think?
link via adam
posted by Sean Meade
on May 8, 2001 -