Chapter

. Rebuilding the Welfare State: Forging a New Deal for Working Families

Ellen Reese

in Backlash against Welfare Mothers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244610
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520244610.003.0011
. Rebuilding the Welfare State: Forging a New Deal for Working Families

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This chapter addresses future prospects for improving poor mothers’ welfare rights. It argues that to counter the current backlash against welfare mothers, politicians and activists need to offer a bold alternative to the current welfare system that will help build solidarity rather than divisions among working-class families. Rising criticism of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the 1960s and 1970s led to national proposals to replace it with a guaranteed annual income program that would have served both the working poor and the unemployed. The triumph of welfare cutbacks cannot simply be understood in terms of class politics, the rise of neoliberalism, and shifts in the global economy. The New Deal for Working Families would provide paid family leave and expand subsidized child care. Enacting a New Deal for Working Families would require building a strong movement and reframing debates about values, taxes, welfare, and spending.

Keywords: welfare rights; welfare state; New Deal for Working Families; Aid to Families with Dependent Children; poor mothers; welfare backlash; class politics; neoliberalism; global economy

Chapter.  4968 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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