America's Struggle Against Poverty in the Twentieth Century by James T. Patterson

By James T. Patterson

This re-creation of Patterson's popular publication contains the tale of battles over poverty and social welfare via what the writer calls the "amazing 1990s," these years of striking functionality of the financial system. He explores various matters bobbing up from the commercial phenomenon--increasing inequality and calls for to be used of a far better poverty definition. He focuses the tale at the impression of the hugely arguable welfare reform of 1996, glided by a Republican Congress and signed by way of a Democratic President Clinton, regardless of the laments of anguished liberals.

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Extra info for America's Struggle Against Poverty in the Twentieth Century

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In these years 11,234 New Yorkers—more than 2,000 per year—were “removed” from one town to another as a result of such suits. Three cases suggest the working of local poor laws as late as 1933–1935. In Syracuse, New York, a woman who had established her settlement married an immigrant, who then traveled to Canada to straighten out his papers, only to be denied reentry to the United States. When the woman and her children applied for aid, the town demurred, arguing that her marriage to an immigrant without the right of settlement made her ineligible for relief.

Their reports seethed with outrage: Massachusetts, 1934: About the unemployed themselves: this picture is so grim that whatever words I use will seem hysterical and exaggerated. And I find them all in the same shape—fear, fear driving them into a state of semi-collapse; cracking nerves; and an overpowering terror of the future . . I haven’t been in one home that hasn’t offered me the spectacle of a human being being driven beyond his or her powers of endurance and sanity . . They can’t pay rent and are evicted.

The eminent sociologist E. A. 1 Economic progress also expanded expectations of improving the lot of the poor. In a post-Malthusian world of abundance poverty could not only be alleviated; it could be prevented. This faith in prevention helped account for the “discovery” of poverty by many writers in the progressive era. It fostered also a plethora of antipoverty ideas from contemporary reformers. Prevention of poverty represented the dominant social philosophy of an optimistic, forward-looking age.

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