Tamarla Owens: Product of a Failed System

Topics: Social status, Ascribed status, Sociology Pages: 4 (1352 words) Published: November 10, 2012
Tamarla Owens: Product of a Failed System

Tamarla Owens was a product of failed American policy and ideas. She is prime example of government decisions that contradict reality. From the top down the government failed to realize what they had in fact created with the Welfare to Work program and the true reality of it. First, Tamarla Owens had several social statuses where she lived near Flint, Michigan. She was part of a group or neighborhood in this circumstance, that had nearly half of it’s population making under $15,000 a year including Tamarla at $13,000. This was group stricken with poverty. Having moved to Flint as a teenager, Tamarla was almost born into this status. Let alone other ascribed statuses that lay claim to poverty such as being an African-American, being a woman (let alone single) and living near Flint, Michigan where unemployment was over 8% and the crime rate was over triple the national average in 1999. Tamarla had achieved the status of parenthood, having her first of three children at age 20. She had also achieved the status of a hardworking tax payer, working up to 70 hours week on a state run program that stemmed from the National Welfare to Work program. One must keep in mind, even though she put forth the kind of effort most never will, she remained in poverty and worse unable to sufficiently raise her children in this state sponsored program set forth by lawmakers with no idea of what life was like for Tamarla and many others in their master status role of society. Tamarla was trying to do the best she could for her family. Under the Welfare to Work program, Tamarla received food stamp benefits and medical insurance in exchange for paying pack welfare monies she had received. The issue with this program is that when you start making more money than what you receive in benefits you get cut off from the already at “poverty level” benefits. This was the case in Tamarla’s situation. She did not even make enough to cover...

References: Brehm, E. (2000) Michigan school shooting: a tragic consequence of US welfare "reform", Retrieved November 2nd, 2012 from http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/apr2000/welf-a28.shtml
Moore, M
Kamer, F. (No Year) That time Michael Moore harassed Dick Clark (video), Retrieved November 2nd, 2012 from
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