Safety Net: Welfare and Social Security, 1929-1979

By Blanche D. Coll | Go to book overview

7
The Safety Net

WITH AN UNEMPLOYMENT rate of less than 2 percent, the World War II economy was notably artificial. Profits, wages and prices, labor mobility, strikes, and production and distribution of civilian goods were all successfully controlled. Yet, with the Depression in such recent memory, only the heedless would have dismissed the possibility of a postwar bust. The thoughtful were also reminded of the role the worldwide depression had played in the rise of fascist dictatorships in Italy and Germany and the territorial expansionism of Japan. Poverty also fostered that other enemy of democracy and capitalism--Marxist communism.


The Welfare State

The New Deal legacy of economic and social legislation was expected to have a stabilizing effect in case of a postwar recession. The uncontrolled wheeling and dealing of the 1920s would be impossible. Regulatory laws now governed the operation of banks and securities exchanges. Bank deposits were insured; home mortgages could be refinanced; credits and loans were available to farmers. The National Labor Relations Act guaranteed the right of employees to join labor unions and to engage in collective bargaining through representatives of their own choosing. The Fair Labor Standards Act established a minimum wage and maximum (40- hour) workweek, and outlawed child labor under the age of sixteen. The

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Safety Net: Welfare and Social Security, 1929-1979
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - This Business of Relief 1
  • 2 - From the Cradle to the Grave 34
  • 3 - Planning Welfare Programs 54
  • 4 - The Unsettling Question 80
  • 5 - An Orphan Program 103
  • 6 - The Main Stem 124
  • 7 - The Safety Net 149
  • 8 - The Welfare Mess 176
  • 9 - More Than a Salvage Operation 205
  • 10 - Workfare 239
  • 11 - Welfare Reform 257
  • 12 - To End Welfare as We Know it 277
  • Notes 289
  • Bibliography 319
  • Index 331
  • About the Author 348
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