Welfare Reform Revisited
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.
Interview by David Barsamian.
Recorded at CUNY.
Frances Fox Piven is a leading activist scholar. She is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at CUNY. She is co-author with Richard Cloward of numerous award-winning books including Regulating the Poor and The Breaking of the American Social Compact. She is the author of Why Americans Still Don’t Vote, The War at Home, Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven and Lessons for Our Struggle.