Welfare Reform Analysis

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The method in which welfare is being reformed, including, but not limited to forcing people to survive off unlivable minimum wages and instituting harmful qualifications in order to receive welfare aid, is not an effective means of helping the impoverished. This has been true for about the past decade. Working for minimum wage does not provide a sufficient amount of income to survive. In addition, welfare now has qualifications that are harmful for those in need of support. Welfare reform is not on the right track to improve lives and is only going to exacerbate the terrible living situations of the penniless. Connie Rounds is a victim of welfare reform. As described in Sarah Glazer’s Welfare Reform, Connie Rounds’ story illustrates the damaging…show more content…
For her article, Ehrenreich entered into the low-wage workforce. During the time of her 1999 journalistic study it was clear that one could not make a living on the jobs available to the low-wage workforce and those recently off welfare. Forcing people to become independent on these minimum wage jobs was and is only dooming them to a miserable and hardship-filled future. In 1998 it was found that an average hourly wage of eight dollars and eighty-nine cents would qualify as a livable wage, however, at the time the minimum wages were only six to seven dollars and the odds of finding a livable wage job were nighty-seven to one. The minimum wage was far lower than the livable wage, however, welfare reform was expecting people to become independent through these unlivable minimum wages. True independence with minimum wage was never a possibility and the lives of the impoverished only became more dire. Due to the low minimum wage, Ehrenreich was forced to find a second job, even with the advantage of starting with an ample sum of money. Also, like others she met that lacked welfare support, these jobs were in terrible settings. Descriptions of these settings, including no breaks, slippery floors, abundant second-hand smoke, and more, reminds one that the factories of the Industrial Revolution have returned. In the…show more content…
In Living wage sure beats welfare, they say William Bole reports that Rev. Doug Miles found that many of those lining up for the food pantry were holding down full time jobs. “They just couldn’t live on what they were making.” (Bole) In an effort to fix this the Rev. Doug Miles pushed for a living wage, far more than the current minimum wage at the time. The minimum wage that welfare reform was expecting people to live off of was in fact not enough to even support the buying of food. In Working poor, working hard Katherine Newman expounds on the fact that welfare benefits are cut off at low levels and unavailable to those that earn minimum wage and work a forty-hour week. Newman also states that only a “combination of the two income streams [welfare and a job] make it possible to manage…life.” (Newman) These two sources only emphasize the already established fact that welfare reform must be reformed
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