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A Poverty of Imagination Bootstrap Capitalism, Sequel to Welfare Reform cover
  • ISBN: 9780299169541
  • ISBN10: 0299169545

A Poverty of Imagination Bootstrap Capitalism, Sequel to Welfare Reform

by Davi D Stoesz

  • List Price: $19.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/2000
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Description
Welfare reform was supposed to end welfare as we know it. And it has. The welfare poor have been largely transformed into the working poor but their poverty persists. This hard-hitting book takes a close look at where we've gone wrong and where we might go next if we truly want to improve the lot of America's underclass.

Tracing the roots of recent reforms to the early days of the war on poverty, A Poverty of Imagination describes a social welfare system grown increasingly inept, corrupt, and susceptible to conservative redesign. Author David Stoesz details the new ideas, hatched in conservative think tanks of the eighties and elaborated through state experiments in welfare reform, that provided the outline for the 1996 Federal Welfare Act. Welfare-to-work and other behavioral objectives were the basis of these reforms; and an informed skepticism about such approaches is at the heart of Stoesz's book. Investigating the causes of the ongoing failure of welfare assistance, Stoesz focuses on the economic barriers that impede movement out of poverty into the American mainstream.

Stoesz suggests that a form of "bootstrap capitalism" would allow individuals and families to participate more fully in American society and achieve upward economic mobility and stability. This proposal, emphasizing wage supplements, asset building, and community capitalism, sets the stage for the next act in poverty policy in the United States. With its valuable insights on the American welfare system and its positive agenda for change, this book makes a significant intervention in our ongoing struggle to come to terms with widespread poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth.

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