Chapter 3 summary Poverty and Welfare
-Images that we have of the poor are bound up with our explanations for their poverty. -Most of the images of the poor and causes of poverty that have dominated U.S. history have focused in one way or another on alleged weaknesses among the poor themselves. -This focus on individual’s characteristics as the basis cause of the poverty. - Policymakers frame arguments in terms of who is deserving and who undeserving of governmental help. -Subgroups among the poor depends on:
the perceived cause of their poverty, composition of subgroup, whether they believed to be on welfare and who is doing categorizing. - Most Americans directionally blame individual for being poor. -Conservative people most likely to blame poverty on poor themselves, while liberal attribute poverty primarily to structural or situational causes. -People on welfare perceived as being poor by choice and other poor people perceived to be poor by circumstances. - Poverty believed to be a problem of Black people and instead of seeing them as victims of discrimination, they considered to be responsible for their own poverty. -U.S. values have had a impact on our views of poor and most central of these: individualism/autonomy- image of someone who worked hard and took individual responsibility of his/her own fate that’s American psyche as what true Americans should be like and this basic idea have several components: Psychological and physical independence of person, individual achievement even under difficult circumstances, no income means lack of ability or either lazy,possibility of maternal gain is needed to motivate people. -These components suggest that being poor or rich is the result of struggle in which best win and worst fail. -and the belief in work, intertwined with moral character.
-Most consequential perception of the poor involves their attachment to work and the work ethnic. -Significant proportion of poor work, many of them full time. -Low wages, weak labor market, declining governmental supports, and increased income inequality are major factors of recent rise of poverty. - Most poor people are not black; Non-Hispanic Whites account for 43% of the poor compared to Black (23%). - Geographically poverty rates are higher in rural areas and in the core of central cities, and in the South and West than Northeast and Midwest. - There was different kinds of attempts to address problem of poverty and still national and regional nongovernmental organizations have as their major goal the reduction of poverty. -Conservatives – welfare aid should be given to families that not able to lift them out of poverty. -Liberal- social welfare programs are an integral part of institutional structure of modern society. - Third perspective interprets social welfare programs as a means of controlling the working class and the poor. There is some major programs:
-Public assistance programs- more residual, means-tested programs that aim at temporarily assisting poor individuals and families. -Social insurance programs- Social Security provides monthly benefits to eligible retired and disabled workers as well as to their spouses, children and survivors. -Public assistance programs- financial support, and to society in general; benefits from TANF and SSI programs come in the form of cash assistance, while from SNAP and Medicaid in the from of in-kind benefits. -Many counties in the world have much higher rates of poverty, but in 2000 U.S had the highest relative poverty rate and also had greatest percentage of children in poverty