Blame Welfare, Ignore Poverty and Inequality

By Jamieson, James W. | The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

Blame Welfare, Ignore Poverty and Inequality


Jamieson, James W., The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies


Blame Welfare, Ignore Poverty and Inequality Joel F. Handler and Yeheskel Hasenfeld Cambridge University Press, 2007

This 340-page book, published by the prestigious Cambridge University Press, is well-researched although its selection of data is clear evidence of the predilections of its authors. Handler, a professor of law, and his colleague, Yeheskel Hasenfeld, professor of social welfare, both of the University of California, Los Angeles, make no attempt to hide their belief that their own set of social values should be the universal standard for all humankind. The result is a clear revelation of the effectively dysgenic goals that dominate Western academic thought at the present time.

The publisher's introductory blurb says it all:

With the passage of the 1996 [U.S.] welfare reform, not only welfare but also poverty and inequality have disappeared from the political discourse. The decline in the welfare rolls has been hailed as a success. This book challenges that assumption. It argues that although many single mothers left welfare, they have joined the working poor and fail to make a decent living. The book examines the persistentdemonization of poor single-mother families, the impact of the low-wage market on perpetuating poverty and inequality, and the role of the welfare bureaucracy in defining deserving and undeserving poor. It argues that the emphasis on family values - marriage promotion, sex education, and abstinence - is misguided and diverts attention from the economic hardships low-income families face. The book proposes an alternative approach to reducing poverty and inequality that centers on a children's allowance as basic income support coupled with jobs and universal child care.

We are advised by the publishers that the academic status of the authors is confirmed by the fact that in 1997 Joel F. Handler won the American Political Science Association Prize for the best book on U.S. national policy, and has lectured in Europe, Israel, South America, and Asia, while Yeheskel Hasenfeld co-authored Mobilizing for Peace, a book that won the 2003 Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize, and has lectured at universities in Israel, Japan, and Singapore.

Blame Welfare, Ignore Poverty and Inequality present us with a thesis that is in 180 degree opposition to the ideals of the founders of eugenics, who were fairly widely accepted in academe before World War I, after which the Western world seemed so sickened by the massive dysgenic harm inflicted on the populations of Europe and, to a lesser extent, of North America, that emotions were directed toward the well-being of those who survived rather than to the well-being of future generations. …

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