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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2010): Social security - overseas

Framing US redistributive policies: tough love for poor women and tax cuts for seniors

W.M. Limbert and H.E. Bullock

Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, vol.9, 2009, p. 57-83

Between 1979 and 2006, the largest increases in after-tax income went to the top 1% of US households, whose average annual income increased by 256%, while those at the bottom of the heap saw a far smaller gain of 11%. The financial problems currently facing low- and middle-income families are due in part to redistributive policies which have allowed the incomes of the richest to soar while weakening the safety net for the poorest. This paper offers a critical analysis of the political framing of two redistributive policies which contribute to the widening income gap between the richest and the poorest: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which provides cash assistance to poor families with children and a 2003 tax cut on dividend income, which primarily benefits wealthy households.

Tipping points: what participants found valuable in labour market training programmes for vulnerable groups

J.R. Graham, M.E. Jones, and M. Shier

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 19, 2010, p. 63-72

This article is based on face-to-face and focus group interviews with 72 Canadians facing significant barriers to employment who had completed a labour market training programme. Barriers to labour market integration included single parenthood, criminal convictions, being disabled and Aboriginal status. The study found that respondents associated life skills rather than labour market skills with success in overcoming personal barriers to securing and maintaining employment.

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