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Welfare Reform Revisited

Program #PIVF005. Recorded in New York, NY on April 13, 2001.

In the years following the 1996 welfare reform act, the media were full of success stories of women on welfare who had given up their dependency and were now hard working contributors to society. Their putative laziness and promiscuity were things of the past. Welfare reform would deliver them to the workplace and dignity. It hasn't quite turned out like that. Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), the new version of welfare, is soon to expire. The economic downturn has left many women out of work and destitute. With no safety net, they and their children are driven to soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters.


Frances Fox Piven

Frances Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York and an internationally renowned authority on poverty and politics. She was a founder of the welfare rights movement and is involved in the Campaign for Media Fairness on Welfare. She's the co-author with Richard Cloward of Regulating the Poor, The New Class War, Why Americans Don't Vote, The Breaking of the American Social Compact and Why Americans Still Don't Vote.

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