Download Cheating Welfare: Public Assistance and the Criminalization by Kaaryn S. Gustafson PDF

By Kaaryn S. Gustafson

Over the past 3 a long time, welfare rules were knowledgeable by means of well known ideals that welfare fraud is rampant. accordingly, welfare guidelines became extra punitive and the bounds among the welfare procedure and the felony justice approach have blurred--so a lot in order that in a few locales prosecution caseloads for welfare fraud exceed welfare caseloads. in fact, a few recipients manage the welfare procedure for his or her personal ends, others are gravely harm via punitive guidelines, and nonetheless others fall someplace in between.In dishonest Welfare, Kaaryn S. Gustafson endeavors to remedy those grey parts by means of delivering insights into the historical past, social development, and lived event of welfare. She exhibits why dishonest is all yet inevitable--not simply because terrible everyone is immoral, yet simply because traditional members navigating complicated structures of principles tend to develop into entangled regardless of their most sensible efforts. via an exam of the development of the crime we all know as welfare fraud, which she bases on in-depth interviews with welfare recipients in Northern California, Gustafson demanding situations readers to query their assumptions approximately welfare guidelines, welfare recipients, and crime regulate within the usa.

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Extra resources for Cheating Welfare: Public Assistance and the Criminalization of Poverty

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The underpinnings of the American welfare system, however, have created contradictions and stresses within the design and the functioning of the system itself. Both law and social science have heavily influenced the ideals behind social welfare programs, the discourses framing social problems, and the structure of the social welfare system itself. Past welfare policies, programs, and motivations echo in today’s welfare politics. That history is outlined below. |â•… 17 From Charitable Aid to Government-Sponsored Relief In the United States, early efforts to aid poor families grew from efforts to create morally upright mothers who would then raise morally upright children.

From the first moment of his bid for presidential election in 1980, Ronald Reagan used anecdotes about welfare queens to exemplify everything he believed wrong with government programs—excessive spending on domestic programs and misuse of government money. Reagan apparently merged the identities of Taylor, the Chicago “welfare queen,” and Williams, the Cadillac-driving “Queen of Welfare” from Compton, into one persona that starred in an often-used anecdote. And he regularly exaggerated the number of aliases so that his welfare queen had a hundred of them (Broder 1981).

In the mid-1960s, government policy makers and the legal profession collaborated to improve the social welfare system. An Advisory Council on Public Welfare, appointed by the secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under a directive of the 1962 Public Welfare Amendments, issued a report to the secretary in June 1966. The report recommended that the federal government establish nationwide standards for welfare provision, that financial need be the sole measure of welfare eligibility, that social services become widely available to the poor, and that legally enforceable rights become attached to welfare payments (Advisory Council on Public Welfare 1966, xiixiv).

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