Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare

By Frances Fox Piven


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The nation’s rural counties—many of which, specifically within the South, skilled massive outmigration in their poor—nevertheless had an increase of 60 consistent with cent. The Northern rural rolls virtually doubled (87 consistent with cent), and Southern rolls moved up extra modestly (34 in keeping with cent). differently to explain those raises is to invite: what percentage of the 800,000 extra households at the rolls in February 1969 have been situated in a single zone or one other, in city parts or in rural ones? desk 2 indicates that many households in all elements of the rustic bought at the rolls, even if there have been nice adaptations through sector. The Northeast and West accounted for many of the nationwide raise (39 consistent with cent and 26 in keeping with cent respectively). Seventeen consistent with cent of the rise happened within the North primary zone. ultimately, the South contributed 18 in line with cent to the nationwide elevate; this truth merits unique observe, for the Southern rolls had now not replaced in any respect through the 1950’s. It additionally merits notice as the welfare explosion is popularly believed to be a totally Northern phenomenon. city components as an entire accounted for the overpowering proportion of the nationwide AFDC raises (70 consistent with cent), however it used to be the “big 5” city facilities that skilled the main dramatic upward push. throughout the 1950’s, those counties accounted for under 23 in line with cent of the nationwide bring up, whereas the remainder 116 city counties accounted for 2 and a part occasions as a lot (57 according to cent). within the 1960’s, although, the “big 5” counties contributed as a lot to the nationwide bring up as all of the final city counties within the country mixed (34 and 36 in keeping with cent, respectively). desk I AFDC Caseload raise via zone a eventually, rural counties contributed 30 consistent with cent to the rise, even though the contribution via Northern rural counties (22 in step with cent) was once a lot more than through Southern ones (9 consistent with cent). (Still, it's worthy remembering that the Southern rural rolls had fallen through the 1950’s. ) We come now to the main extraordinary function of the welfare upward thrust. to talk merely of its importance and the place it happened is to miss a rare truth: that the rolls went up all at once—by 31 in line with cent within the first 4 years of the last decade, yet by way of fifty eight in line with cent within the subsequent 4 years. said differently, totally seventy one in keeping with cent of the massive welfare raise throughout the 1960’s happened within the 4 years after 1964 (Table 1). It was once actually an explosion. four desk II sector Contribution to the Welfare Explosion a % Contributed to the nationwide AFDC bring up in 1950–60 1960–69 nationwide overall a hundred% 100 percent areas Northeast 33 39 North principal 34 17 West 33 26 South zero 18 Deep South . 05 6 different South -. 05 12 121 significant city Counties eighty 70 five such a lot Populous 23 34 116 closing fifty seven 36 seventy eight Northern seventy four 60 forty three Southern 6 10 All much less city and Rural Counties 19 30 Northern 25 22 Southern -6 nine a See previous desk for notations and definitions. one of the areas, all however the North significant sector skilled a minimum of thirds in their raises after 1964. certainly, 86 according to cent of the complete Southern elevate and an striking ninety eight consistent with cent of the Deep South bring up happened after 1964!

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