Chapter

The American Welfare Mess in Comparative Perspective

HAROLD L. WILENSKY

in Rich Democracies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231764
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928336 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231764.003.0008
The American Welfare Mess in Comparative Perspective

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This chapter examines the problems in the welfare system in the U.S. It argues that there is no evidence to support the American stereotype of an epidemic of young teenage sexuality, teenage pregnancy, and early parenthood and shows that welfare benefits in the U.S. are anything but generous. Cross-national comparisons reveal that the most powerful proximate causes of teenage pregnancy and birth rates are poverty, especially deep poverty, inequality, and great distance between the rich and the poor.

Keywords: welfare system; U.S.; teenage sexuality; teenage pregnancy; teenage parenthood; welfare benefits; poverty; inequality

Chapter.  30706 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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