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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
A few "welfare" myths
    #1743353 - 07/24/03 01:51 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Myths and Facts About Welfare

The general public views poverty as the result of personal failures and deficiencies. This perception rests on several myths. The most prevalent are that poverty results from a lack of responsibility; welfare leads to chronic dependency; African American women make up the largest group of welfare recipients; welfare promotes single parenthood and out-of-wedlock births; welfare provides a disincentive to work; welfare creates a "culture of poverty" because recipients share and hand down to their children a set of defective behaviors, values, and personality traits; and welfare funds extravagant spending by welfare recipients (Ehrenreich, 1987; Katz, 1989). These myths of pathology translate directly to the debate of who deserves help. They also fuel powerful stereotypical racial and gender messages. It is mothers, especially African American and single mothers, who are viewed as undeserving. Unwed mothers are thought to have the choice of marriage and do not obtain the sympathy that widows have. Other groups that are perceived as undeserving are immigrants, especially if they are not fluent in English.

Even the term "welfare" has been pejorative, and distortions of facts about welfare perpetuate myths about public assistance and those who receive it. These negative myths and stereotypes reinforced the government's agenda in cutting welfare spending to those recipients viewed as undeserving. Reform will continue to be ineffective if those implementing it do not separate myth from fact.

Strategies for alleviating poverty and decisions about government spending continue to be closely linked to the perceived causes of poverty, as well as the extent to which these causes are perceived to be modifiable (Furnham, 1982). Poverty is seen as an individual problem or a social issue (such as education or crime) rather than an economic issue (such as unemployment and the economy)(Gallup, 1992). Consequently, solutions are geared toward fixing or punishing those individuals with the "problem." Little attention is focused on societal factors that may perpetuate under- and unemployment, such as inadequate education, transportation, child care, and mental health problems.

Myth: Poverty Results From a Lack of Responsibility
Fact: Poverty Results From Low Wages
Welfare programs have been our country's response to poverty, and everyone agrees that those programs have not solved the problem. Jared Bernstein (1996) of the Economic Policy Institute identifies wage decline as the crucial economic factor that has had the largest impact on poverty rates in the 1980s and 1990s. While hourly rates of pay have fallen for the majority of the workforce since the late 1970s, by far the largest losses have been for the lowest paid workers. According to Bernstein (1996), between 1979 and 1989, the male worker, for example, at the 10th percentile (meaning 90 percent of the male workforce earns more) saw his hourly wage decline 13 percent, and since 1989 he lost another 6 percent. For women workers at the 10th percentile, the decline over the 1980s was 18 percent. The low-wage female worker gained slightly since 1989, but by 1995, her hourly wage rate was $4.84, down from $5.82 in 1979 (all dollars are in 1995 inflation-adjusted terms).

Myth: A Huge Chunk of My Tax Dollars Supports Welfare Recipients
Fact: Welfare Costs 1 Percent of the Federal Budget
Widespread misperception about the extent of welfare exacerbate the problems of poverty. The actual cost of welfare programs-about 1 percent of the federal budget and 2 percent of state budgets (McLaughlin, 1997)-is proportionally less than generally believed. During the 104th Congress, more than 93 percent of the budget reductions in welfare entitlements came from programs for low-income people (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1996). Ironically, middle-class and wealthy Americans also receive "welfare" in the form of tax deductions for home mortgages, corporate and farm subsidies, capital gains tax limits, Social Security, Medicare, and a multitude of other tax benefits. Yet these types of assistance carry no stigma and are rarely considered "welfare" (Goodgame, 1993). Anti-welfare sentiment appears to be related to attitudes about class and widely shared and socially sanctioned stereotypes about the poor. Racism also fuels negative attitudes toward welfare programs (Quadagno, 1994).

Myth: People on Welfare Become Permanently Dependent on the Support
Fact: Movement off Welfare Rolls Is Frequent
A prevalent welfare myth is that women who received AFDC became permanently dependent on public assistance. Analyses indicate that 56 percent of AFDC support ended within 12 months, 70 percent within 24 months, and almost 85 percent within 4 years (Staff of House Committee on Ways and Means, 1996). These exit rates clearly contradict the widespread myth that AFDC recipients wanted to remain on public assistance or that welfare dependency was permanent. Unfortunately, return rates were also high, with 45 percent of ex-recipients returning to AFDC within 1 year. Persons who were likely to use AFDC longer than the average time had less than 12 years of education, no recent work experience, were never married, had a child below age 3 or had three or more children, were Latina or African American, and were under age 24 (Staff of House Committee on Ways and Means, 1996). These risk factors illustrate the importance of structural barriers, such as inadequate child care, racism, and lack of education.

Myth: Most Welfare Recipients Are African American Women
Fact: Most Welfare Recipients Are Children-Most Women on Welfare Are White
Children, not women, are the largest group of people receiving public assistance. Less than 5 million of the 14 million public assistance recipients are adults, and 90 percent of those adults are women (U.S. Bureau of Census, 1995). The majority of the recipients are White (38 percent), followed by 37 percent African Americans, and 25 percent other minority groups (Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans) (McLaughlin, 1997). However, African Americans are disproportionately represented on public assistance because they are only 12 percent of the population (O'Hare, Pollard, Mann, & Kent, 1991).

Myth: Welfare Encourages Out-of- Wedlock Births and Large Families
Fact: The Average Welfare Family Is No Bigger Than the Average Nonwelfare Family
The belief that single women are promiscuous and have large families to receive increased benefits has no basis in extant research, and single-parent families are not only a phenomenon of the poor (McFate, 1995). In fact, the average family size of welfare recipients has decreased from four in 1969 to 2.8 in 1994 (Staff of House Committee on Ways and Means, 1996). In 1994, 43 percent of welfare families consisted of one child, and 30 percent consisted of two children. Thus, the average welfare family is no larger than the average nonrecipient's family, and despite considerable public concern that welfare encourages out-of-wedlock births, a growing body of empirical evidence indicates that welfare benefits are not a significant incentive for childbearing (Wilcox, Robbennolt, O'Keeffe, & Pynchon, 1997).

Myth: Welfare Families Use Their Benefits to Fund Extravagance
Fact: Welfare Families Live Far Below the Poverty Line
The belief that welfare provides a disincentive to work by providing a well-paying "free ride" that enables recipients, stereotyped as "Cadillac queens," to purchase extravagant items with their benefits is another myth. In reality, recipients live considerably below the poverty threshold. Despite increased program spending, the average monthly family benefit, measured in 1995 dollars, fell from $713 in 1970 to $377 in 1995, a 47 percent drop. In 26 states, AFDC benefits alone fell 64 percent short of the 1996 poverty guidelines, and the addition of food stamps only reduced this gap to 35 percent (Staff of House Committee on Ways and Means, 1996).

Despite the ready availability of facts, myths about welfare continue to be widespread. The media contributes to this lack of information. The media helps shape public perceptions about welfare recipients. The way in which a topic is reported can turn a neutral reader into an opinionated reader and can greatly influence public opinion. Although in an analysis of articles published in 10 major newspapers from January 1997 to April 1997, the tone was generally sympathetic to the poor, actual research and facts to counter myths were generally lacking (Wyche & Mattern, 1997).

Recommendations
Federal and state agencies should provide newspapers and other media with accurate information about welfare recipients and programs, including information on welfare reform.
Jobs need to pay better than welfare. Rather than focusing on welfare time limits, policy action at the state and federal levels must address reforming the low-wage labor market by raising wages and increasing the ability of low-wage workers to join unions and bargain collectively.
Public and private agencies should collaborate more effectively to promote and increase employment opportunities for women, especially of hard-to-place women.
States should provide training for case managers and other appropriate personnel to advocate for, support, and follow up with clients in ways that are not adversarial or punitive during their job search process.
States and federal agencies should fund and conduct research on the impact of the transition of mothers to work on the mother and the family and on what strategies best promote most positive outcomes for the mothers and their families.
States should require and fund formative and summative evaluations of proposed programs.

http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/myths.html


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineMalachi
stereotype

Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 1,294
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Xlea321]
    #1743423 - 07/24/03 02:19 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

yup yup. if only we were all jewish....


--------------------
The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Xlea321]
    #1744489 - 07/24/03 01:56 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:Myth: Poverty Results From a Lack of Responsibility
Fact: Poverty Results From Low Wages




So people should take the responsibility of finding a better paying job!  There is always a choice.

Quote:

Alex123 said:Myth: A Huge Chunk of My Tax Dollars Supports Welfare Recipients
Fact: Welfare Costs 1 Percent of the Federal Budget




Well thats still too fucking much!  Being forced to give something for nothing is theft.  Im all for helping the less fortunate volintarily however.

Quote:

Alex123 said:Myth: People on Welfare Become Permanently Dependent on the Support
Fact: Movement off Welfare Rolls Is Frequent




About as frequent as those who stay on for longer periods.  How many go off, then go back on after a few weeks or months?...i wonder...

Quote:

Alex123 said:Myth: Most Welfare Recipients Are African American Women
Fact: Most Welfare Recipients Are Children-Most Women on Welfare Are White




Who cares?!  That doesn't matter.  A mother is responsible for her children not me.

Quote:

Alex123 said:Myth: Welfare Encourages Out-of- Wedlock Births and Large Families
Fact: The Average Welfare Family Is No Bigger Than the Average Nonwelfare Family




Great, then they should be able to support themselves like all the other "average" families.

Quote:

Alex123 said:Myth: Welfare Families Use Their Benefits to Fund Extravagance
Fact: Welfare Families Live Far Below the Poverty Line




I'll let luvs get this one... :smirk:


Welfare is a plague!  Unemployment insurance is not.  What a crock of shit! :thumbdown:



--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Registered: 02/06/02
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Xlea321]
    #1744500 - 07/24/03 02:02 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Good post. Cuts through a lot of baseless stereotypes.


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1744502 - 07/24/03 02:03 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Name one!


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Azmodeus]
    #1744511 - 07/24/03 02:06 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Practically every one of your replies is based on the assumption that "better paying jobs" are in infinite supply. I'd like to see you prove it.


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1744515 - 07/24/03 02:08 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Not better paying jobs, rather personal choice and will to make a better life for yourself. Poverty is no excuse.


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Azmodeus]
    #1744554 - 07/24/03 02:18 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought maybe you had some facts at your disposal, but it seems you only have a great deal of rhetoric, and even more self-righteousness.

There is no doubt that a percentage of welfare recipients do abuse the system. Those people should be identified and forced off. But there are many people who try as hard as possible to be self-sufficient but are held back by systemic lack of opportunity.

For an unemployed person to become employed, one thing is required: a job. A job that that person is capable of doing, and one that pays enough to support the existence of that worker and her dependents. No amount of "personal responsibility" on the part of welfare recipients themselves is magically going to create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be necessary to bring them into the workforce. We live in an economic climate in which even trained and educated middle-class workers are losing their jobs in great numbers.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1744609 - 07/24/03 02:37 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

EchoVortex said:
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought maybe you had some facts at your disposal, but it seems you only have a great deal of rhetoric, and even more self-righteousness.

There is no doubt that a percentage of welfare recipients do abuse the system. Those people should be identified and forced off. But there are many people who try as hard as possible to be self-sufficient but are held back by systemic lack of opportunity.

For an unemployed person to become employed, one thing is required: a job. A job that that person is capable of doing, and one that pays enough to support the existence of that worker and her dependents. No amount of "personal responsibility" on the part of welfare recipients themselves is magically going to create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be necessary to bring them into the workforce. We live in an economic climate in which even trained and educated middle-class workers are losing their jobs in great numbers.




Well, you just made the case for welfare reform. That is what everyone, besides most liberals wants. It should be a second chance, not a life long meal ticket.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Azmodeus]
    #1744652 - 07/24/03 02:58 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Alex123 said:

I didn't write the article.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1744658 - 07/24/03 03:01 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

No amount of "personal responsibility" on the part of welfare recipients themselves is magically going to create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be necessary to bring them into the workforce.

Good point Echo. Sure is refreshing to read a little truth about this once in a while!


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Offlineshakta
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Xlea321]
    #1744699 - 07/24/03 03:14 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

The thing that pisses people off are the habitual abusers of the system. This may not be an overwhelming majority, but it is enough to put a large drag on the system.


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Invisiblesir tripsalot
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Azmodeus]
    #1744728 - 07/24/03 03:23 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

So when is your flight out of B.C scheduled? This place is the most liberal province in Canada,it must drive you nuts. There is a line to be drawn but welfare has a purpose.


--------------------

"Little racoons and old possums 'n' stuff all live up in here. They've got to have a little place to sit." Bob Ross.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: sir tripsalot]
    #1744795 - 07/24/03 03:41 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

"Well thats still too fucking much! Being forced to give something for nothing is theft. Im all for helping the less fortunate volintarily however."

If you're bitchin about 1%, then I'd have to ask how you survive without a heart.

mine might be bleeding, but at least its still there.


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: shakta]
    #1744800 - 07/24/03 03:44 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

The thing that pisses people off are the habitual abusers of the system.

Never pissed me off yet. The people that piss me off are the bastards following economic policies designed to create unemployment, drive down wages and then blame everything on people on welfare.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1744898 - 07/24/03 04:16 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

DoctorJ said:
If you're bitchin about 1%, then I'd have to ask how you survive without a heart.

mine might be bleeding, but at least its still there.



Exactly. Almost every other civilized country has a welfare system, and they see the US bitch all the time about what little welfare we have. It must make them think "why do Americans only care about themselves?"


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Cornholio]
    #1744902 - 07/24/03 04:17 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Cornholio said:
Quote:

DoctorJ said:
If you're bitchin about 1%, then I'd have to ask how you survive without a heart.

mine might be bleeding, but at least its still there.



Exactly. Almost every other civilized country has a welfare system, and they see the US bitch all the time about what little welfare we have. It must make them think "why do Americans only care about themselves?"



They don't have a 10th ammendment, we do.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: Xlea321]
    #1744980 - 07/24/03 04:44 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
Alex123 said:

I didn't write the article. 




No shit?  i was using the quote function, but it doesn't surprise me you thought i was quoting you. :shake: :smirk:


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: shakta]
    #1745670 - 07/24/03 08:39 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

shakta said:
Quote:

EchoVortex said:
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought maybe you had some facts at your disposal, but it seems you only have a great deal of rhetoric, and even more self-righteousness.

There is no doubt that a percentage of welfare recipients do abuse the system. Those people should be identified and forced off. But there are many people who try as hard as possible to be self-sufficient but are held back by systemic lack of opportunity.

For an unemployed person to become employed, one thing is required: a job. A job that that person is capable of doing, and one that pays enough to support the existence of that worker and her dependents. No amount of "personal responsibility" on the part of welfare recipients themselves is magically going to create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be necessary to bring them into the workforce. We live in an economic climate in which even trained and educated middle-class workers are losing their jobs in great numbers.




Well, you just made the case for welfare reform. That is what everyone, besides most liberals wants. It should be a second chance, not a life long meal ticket.



What makes you think most liberals don't support welfare reform? Clinton did.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlineshakta
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Re: A few "welfare" myths [Re: silversoul7]
    #1745673 - 07/24/03 08:41 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I take that back. You are correct. Clinton wanted to, but he didn't do anything unfortunately.


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