Safety Net: Welfare and Social Security, 1929-1979

By Blanche D. Coll | Go to book overview

9
More Than a Salvage Operation

THE SHARP RISE in unemployment during the months immediately preceding the inauguration of President Kennedy was paralleled by a rise in welfare dependency. Even OAA went up, though only slightly. A BPA staff member noted "startling increases in APTD," increases that ranged from 20 to 40 percent in a total caseload of more than 300,000 in this newest of categorical programs. She speculated that the recession was pushing states to more liberal eligibility criteria. ADC rolls passed the 3 billion mark and general assistance the $1 billion mark during the Eisenhower recession.1

In dollars, expenditures for welfare in 1960 totaled $3.8 billion, an increase of more than $1 billion in the last ten years. The welfare state had been much discussed throughout the previous decade, often with more heat than light. Statistically defined, a welfare state exists when government expenditures for all types of goods and services targeted on the needy reaches 8-10 percent of GNP. By 1960, with expenditures at 10.6 percent of GNP, the welfare state had officially arrived.2


The Liberal Agenda

The arrival of the welfare state caused no particular uproar during the campaign of 1960. Both parties pledged to promote civil rights for blacks,

-205-

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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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