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Bits & Pieces: Welfare in The United States

By Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
The Political Social Worker

VAWA is finally re-authorized, facts and myths about welfare in the US, plus Unite Blue wants to turn red states blue.  These are a few of the bits and pieces that caught my eye this week.

Welfare in the US
Dr. Irwin Garfinkel discusses the myths and measurement of the welfare state:

1. The welfare state is a drag on productivity.

Critics of the welfare state argue that the taxes required to finance it blunt economic incentives and thereby undermine productivity.

While it is true that taxes drag down incentives, the expenditures that the taxes finance—on roads, harbors, bridges and other infrastructure—can increase productivity. The same, of course, holds true for public education and public health—two large elements of welfare states.

Social insurance programs and aid to the poor—how most people define “welfare”—have little effect on growth.

Two large plusses combined with even a small negative add up to a large plus.

Read the entire article here.

The York Times published on article in which it was found that making drug test mandatory for welfare recipients does not lead to savings.  If you recall Florida had passed a law requiring all welfare recipients to submit ti drug test.

Continuing the welfare theme we have 10 Things You Should About #TheRealTANAF.  This is a concise and straightforward article on TANF facts.  I wish I had this back when I was a social work student taking social welfare classes.

Thank Your Congressmen
VAWA (the Senate version) on Thursday. You can find out how your Representative voted here.  If they supported the bill please take the time to thank them.

Unite Blue: Turn Red States Blue
Unite Blue has announced a campaign to turn red states blue.  They are looking for volunteers from red states who can act as coordinators. You can find out more at their site.

Unite Blue is a network that works to connect progressives on Twitter.  You can join Unite Blue by Tweeting “I want to join” to @UniteBlue.

Does LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) need to be replaced with a new, more inclusive, term? An advocacy group in London has suggested Gender and Sexual Diversities (GSD).  What do you think?

Social Workers For Social Justice
Social Work Helper has a great interview with social worker, activist, educator and writer Relando Thompkins..  You can read the interview here.  If you haven’t check out Relando’s blog, Notes From An Aspiring Humanitarian.


photo credit: sarowen via photopin cc

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.

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