Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective
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FEATURING FELICIA KORNBLUH – A recent report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities concluded that TANF – the government welfare program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – is reaching fewer poor families. The number of poor Americans receiving assistance dipped to a low in 2014 and has remained there. The report concludes that, “TANF’s work requirements and block grant structure exacerbate, rather than reduce, deep poverty.”
There was a time when the idea of welfare was not anathema in the US. But decades of demonizing the poor and blaming them for their plight has deeply skewed US government policy, ensuring that there is always money for militarism, corporate subsidies, and tax cuts for the rich, and never enough for the most vulnerable Americans. Now, a new book suggests that a feminist perspective is needed to right this wrong.
Felicia Kornbluh, Associate Professor of History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Vermont. Her earlier book is The Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America. She is the co-author with Gwendolyn Mink of the new book Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective.
**This segment was originally broadcast on December 14, 2018.