Skip to content

Social Welfare

Philly To Pilot A Guaranteed Income Experiment

Cash is king. That’s the takeaway as Philadelphia is set to soon join other U.S. cities in attempting an experimental economic mobility pilot that will give recipients cash payments, no strings attached. As early as March, Philadelphia will start giving up to 60 people $500 a month, for at least 12 months. Recipients will be selected from a pool of 1,100 people who have received federal support through TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, for five years. A total of $322,000 will cover the costs, drawing from existing TANF funds. The key distinction from traditional social programs, such as TANF, said Dr. Nikia Owens, Philadelphia’s deputy executive director of family supports & basic needs, is “they don’t have to do anything extra for this money.”

Santa Fe Just Agreed To Send Some Parents $400 Per Month

New Mexico could become the second state to implement a statewide universal basic income program. The city of Santa Fe is testing out universal basic income, or guaranteed monthly payments, for 100 parents under the age of 30 who attend Santa Fe Community College. They'll  get $400 monthly payments, also known as a "stability stipend," for a year, and if that local pilot program goes well, lawmakers are considering moving forward with a similar statewide proposal. "I think that $400 is a heckuva lot of money to a heckuva lot of people in this state," Albuquerque Rep. Antonio Maestas said during a committee hearing on Monday. Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber, who testified at the hearing, expressed support for guaranteed monthly payments, saying that they are "exactly what we need to break the cycle of poverty."

Mexico: First The Poor

Mexico is a semi-colony with a population of 129 million. Its political, financial and business elites are bound to the US, which receives 80% of Mexican exports. International corporations feast on Mexico’s cheap labor and resources, from the maquilas in the north, to the central mines and the coffee lands of the south. Walmart is Mexico’s biggest employer. Mexico’s GDP per capita is nearly one-third that of the US and 20% greater than that of China. (World Bank, 2019.) But while China will eliminate its poverty very soon, in Mexico half the country is poor.

There Have Been 21 Debate Questions About Paying For Social Programs, Zero About Paying For War

Democratic debate moderators are sending the message that we can afford policies that spread militarism—but not those that protect human life. The implication of these moderators’ questions—that the cost of Medicare for All is so great it will hurt ordinary people—disregards the tremendous harm being inflicted on ordinary people right now by a staggeringly expensive healthcare system.

The US Welfare State Cut Poverty By Two-Thirds In 2018

When you want to determine how much poverty is reduced by the nation’s welfare programs, what you normally do is determine how many people are in poverty based on the distribution of market income and then compare that number to how many people are in poverty when you include taxes and welfare benefits, i.e. the distribution of disposable income. Using this approach, we see in the below graph that there are 77.9 million poor people based on market income and 42.4 million poor people based on disposable income.

Situating Basic Income And Job Guarantee In The Welfare State

Welfare states generally consist of services (child care, education, health care) provided in-kind and cash provided to certain categories of people. Here I only want to talk about the cash welfare state because that’s the one relevant to UBI and JG. A well-designed cash welfare state initially observes that there are three age groups in society: children, working-age adults, and elderly people. The first and last are not expected to work and so they should receive a cash benefit: child allowance for children and old-age pension for adults.

A People’s State Of The Nation

With Democratic candidates for president coming forward and progressives nationwide defining the agenda ahead, this is a good time to look hard at where we are as a country. Abraham Lincoln put it best: “If we could first know where we are… we could better judge what to do and how to do it.” So where are we? There are many ways to judge, but one important way is to compare ourselves to other advanced democracies and see where we stand in the rankings. Let’s focus on 20 well-to-do countries, all members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Trump’s $34 Trillion Deficit And Debt Bomb

Not surprising, the $2.7 trillion in social program spending cuts will finance spending for the military and defense related programs like Homeland Security, Border walls, veterans, police, and programs like school vouchers. Of course, the budget proposal is ‘dead on arrival’ with the US House of Representatives, which must approve all spending bills, according to the US Constitution.  But don’t hold your breath. Trump may now have a back door to this Constitutional obstacle and eventually get his way on the budget, at least in part, to fund his military spending plans.

Sophia Paslaski: Hard Data About Social Programs And Inequality

A recent column headlined “Liberalism and the Democratic Party are dying” (Monitor Opinion, Oct. 12) makes several assertions, but I’d like to address just one. The column suggests that the poor of the U.S. are “poor because the innumerable government social programs brought by liberals have widened the gap between rich and poor. For black and white poor, laws and regulations have made life harder and more costly.” No data is provided to support this claim, which is unsurprising – there is none. There is plenty, however, to support the assertion that increased government spending on social programs actually closes the gap between rich and poor. The studies that show this are far more “innumerable” than our government social programs...

The Best Way To Eradicate Poverty: Welfare Not Jobs

The Census released its income, poverty, and health insurance data last week (ASEC, SPM). Among other things, the data allows us to see who was in poverty and therefore gives us good insights about how to eradicate poverty. In this post, I detail what I think these insights are using my own calculations of the 2017 microdata. Below is the overall poverty rate broken down by market income and disposable income. “Market income” refers to all income received from labor earnings and capital ownership. “Disposable income” refers to each person’s final income and takes into consideration taxes paid and government benefits received. For both figures, I use the poverty line of the Supplemental Poverty Metric. In 2017, the market poverty rate was 25 percent. The poverty rate when counting disposable income was 13.9 percent.

Soon You Cant’t Use Food Stamps At Farmers Markets — But That’s Not Half Of It

This week, I thought I would write about food stamps and farmers markets. People on food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), receive their benefits on a card that can be read like a credit card. Crucial to allowing recipients to use food stamps at farmers markets are card readers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just canceled its contract with the company that makes the card readers. As a result, food stamp recipients will likely lose the ability to use food stamps at farmers markets. I was all set to write about this terrible mix-up. But then I realized it’s not the part I really care about. Of course, food stamp recipients should be able to shop at farmers markets. But it’s a tiny part of a much bigger issue. The diets of food stamp recipients lie at the intersection of two issues: our food system and economic inequality.

Trump’s Executive Order On ‘Welfare’ Is Designed To Pit Workers Against One Another

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that sums up how little he understands about poverty in America. The order, titled “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” carries little weight by itself. It directs a broad range of federal agencies to review programs serving low-income people and make recommendations on how they can make the programs harder to access, all under the guise of “welfare reform.” The order’s main purpose appears to be smearing popular programs in an effort to make them easier to slash—in part by redefining “welfare” to encompass nearly every program that helps families get by. To that end, the order reads as follows...

The U.S. Spends Far Too Little On Social Welfare

The US government has a spending problem. Given the country’s level of wealth, the government spends far too little — at least $1.6 trillion a year too little — on social welfare. This exacerbates problems like poverty and inequality, and makes life a lot harder for a lot of people — from families with young children, to would-be college graduates, to the sick and elderly — than it should be. By leaving a large proportion of healthcare spending to the private sector, the United States has ended up with a healthcare system which does not even pass the basic test of universal coverage but is far more expensive than one that was publicly funded were at stake. The best way to show this is to compare US social welfare with similar countries around the world. As a starting point, I use the OECD’s social expenditure database...

Why People Love ‘Assistance to the Poor’ But Hate ‘Welfare’

Last Spring, in a highly publicized meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, President Donald Trump received some startling news. One of the members mentioned to Trump that pushing forward with “welfare reform” would be hurtful to her constituents, “not all of whom are black.” “Really?” Trump replied. “Then what are they?” Statistically, they were probably white. But given the United States’ history with the word “welfare,” it’s not all that surprising that Trump was confused. Despite the fact that white Americans benefit more from government assistance than people of color, means-tested aid is primarily associated with black people and other people of color—particularly when the term welfare is used. For many Americans, the word welfare conjures up a host of disparaging stereotypes so strongly linked to stigmatized beliefs about racial groups that—along with crime—...

Traditional Welfare And Taxes Can Be Reformed To Support Universal Basic Income

By Scott Santens for Futurism - Some of the most common questions ever asked in regards to the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) are in regards to the details. “How much income? Who gets it? Who pays for it? How is it paid for? What does it replace?” These are all great and important questions, but the answers vary from person to person, because the answers are a matter of personal and political preferences when it comes to fine-grained details. With that said, after years of studying basic income, below you will find what I currently believe in May of 2017 are the details of an optimally designed UBI blueprint. First, how much are we talking about? In the United States, I suggest starting with the definition of poverty we already use, and eliminating poverty entirely. According to 2017 federal poverty guidelines, this means if we were to pass legislation tomorrow, it would need to be $12,060 per adult citizen and $4,180 per dependent under 18. The amount for kids is imperative so that income floors scale according to household sizes. A child basic income is also in large part a revenue neutral consolidation of existing expenditures presently unequally distributed. However, for reasons I will explain below, I suggest adding 10% to each amount, so $13,266 ($1,105/mo) per adult citizen and $4,598 ($383/mo) per citizen under 18.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.