Nickel & Dimed: Women, Welfare & Work
The “reform” of welfare is an historic shift in public policy. One of the central linchpins of the New Deal has been undone. Millions, mostly women and many of them with children, have been thrown off the welfare rolls. Many have landed in dead end low wage jobs. Their quiet lives of desperation are not the grist for prime time specials. The media are largely silent. At the same time politicians trumpet welfare reform as a successful example of compassionate conservatism. Critics are not so sanguine. They call it welfare deform.
Barbara Ehrenreich is a social critic, journalist, and activist. She received a PhD in cell biology from Rockefeller University. In the 1970’s, she was involved with the nascent women’s health movement. After publishing an article in Ms magazine, she became a regular columnist there and with Mother Jones. She is the author of numerous books including such bestsellers as Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch, This Land is Their Land and Bright-Sided. In 2012 she founded the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a website designed to place the crisis of poverty and economic insecurity at the center of the national political conversation.