America's Struggle Against Poverty in the Twentieth Century by James T. Patterson

By James T. Patterson

This new version of Patterson's commonplace booklet incorporates the tale of battles over poverty and social welfare via what the writer calls the "amazing 1990s," these years of striking functionality of the economic system. He explores quite a number matters bobbing up from the commercial phenomenon--increasing inequality and calls for to be used of a far better poverty definition. He focuses the tale at the effect of the hugely arguable welfare reform of 1996, glided by a Republican Congress and signed by means of a Democratic President Clinton, regardless of the laments of anguished liberals.

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13 Most settlement houses, which proliferated between 1900 and 1915, enthusiastically supported preventive reforms. The left wing of the settlement house movement went further, favoring a broad range of such social reforms as minimum wages for women and children, unemployment insurance, the abolition of child labor, and racial justice. Younger and more idealistic than the Lady Bountifuls of the Charity Organization Societies, these settlement house workers tried to divest themselves of demeaning stereotypes about the poor and to accept the lower classes, including immigrants, as they were.

36 Voluntarism in America meant more than qualified laissez faire. For many, including trade union leaders, it involved active distrust of government, which traditionally had sided with corporate elites. Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, never tired of exhorting his followers to rely on their own economic powers—notably the strike—and to avoid political involvement. Though he himself formed a loose alliance with the Democratic party after 1906, he bitterly opposed socialism.

Workmen’s compensation was therefore a sound “investment in human capital,” as was unemployment insurance. 21 The refund provision was not so important in England, where unemployment was widely understood to be a broad industrial problem over which individual employers had little control. The cost of paying insurance had to be pooled among all employers. In the United States, however, AALL leaders made the refund idea a core of their preventist philosophy. In part they believed that the United States, lacking reliable statistics on unemployment, could not easily devise a system of pooling; in part, as progressives they tended to blame individual corporate leaders for what more often than not were structural problems.

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