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June 18, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
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Featured Program

Welfare Reform
Last Featured: 6/3/2002

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Six years have passed since former President Clinton and Congress signed legislation to codify pledges to “end welfare as we know it.” A booming economy throughout most of the 1990s helped thousands find jobs and move from welfare to work. Now, with the legislation set to expire this year in an uncertain economy, welfare advocates are pushing to rebuild the safety net for those most at risk. They note that welfare rolls are starting to rise for the first time since the legislation went into effect suggesting welfare dependence fluctuates with economic ups and downs, not political threats or promises. Reform supporters, however, point to the unprecedented drop in welfare dependence as a sign of success. In no prior economy have we seen the exodus from public assistance we saw after the legislation passed. If more people are working, reformers ask, aren’t the policies working?

Frances Fox Piven is the Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York. Piven is the co-author of numerous books on welfare policy, poverty and disenfranchisement. Her book, Regulating the Poor, co-authored with Richard Cloward, a look at the role of welfare policy in controlling the working poor, is widely acknowledged as a social science classic. She has participated in many welfare and political reform efforts and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Adelphi University in l985, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973 and of a Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in 1982.

Jason A. Turner is a Visiting Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, specializing in welfare reform issues. Before joining Heritage, Turner served as welfare commissioner of New York City where he created the largest work program in the country. Under Turner’s watch, welfare caseloads in the city dropped by 47 percent and more than 400,000 former welfare recipients were placed in jobs. Turner is also well known as one of the chief architects of the Wisconsin welfare-to-work program under former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. He worked as Director of Family Assistance at the Department of Health and Human Services during the first Bush Administration, where he oversaw the federal welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

Closing Quote
"There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will."

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (H.R.2015)
The White House Website
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Heritage Foundation, Issues 2002: Welfare
The Welfare Law Center
Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for children and families
The Welfare Information Network
Center for Law and Social Policy
The Urban Institute
The Brookings Institute Policy Briefs
The Welfare to Work Partnership
Welfare Warriors
Children Now
Institute for the Study of Civic Values
Welfare Reform Watch Project
America's Failed $5.4 Trillion War on Poverty
by Robert Rector, William F. Lauber, Heritage Foundation
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
by Barbara Ehrenreich
Regulating the Poor : The Functions of Public Welfare
by Richard A. Cloward (Editor), Frances F. Piven (Editor)
The US Economy
Fixing the Mortgage Mess
Can We End Homelessness in 10 Years?