Trapped In America S Safety Net

Author : Andrea Louise Campbell
ISBN : 9780226140582
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36.30 MB
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When Andrea Louise Campbell’s sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was run off the freeway by a hit-and-run driver, she was seven-and-a-half months pregnant. She survived—and, miraculously, the baby was born healthy. But that’s where the good news ends. Marcella was left paralyzed from the chest down. This accident was much more than just a physical and emotional tragedy. Like so many Americans—50 million, or one-sixth of the country’s population—neither Marcella nor her husband, Dave, who works for a small business, had health insurance. On the day of the accident, she was on her way to class for the nursing program through which she hoped to secure one of the few remaining jobs in the area with the promise of employer-provided insurance. Instead, the accident plunged the young family into the tangled web of means-tested social assistance. As a social policy scholar, Campbell thought she knew a lot about means-tested assistance programs. What she quickly learned was that missing from most government manuals and scholarly analyses was an understanding of how these programs actually affect the lives of the people who depend on them. Using Marcella and Dave’s situation as a case in point, she reveals their many shortcomings in Trapped in America’s Safety Net. Because American safety net programs are designed for the poor, Marcella and Dave first had to spend down their assets and drop their income to near-poverty level before qualifying for help. What’s more, to remain eligible, they will have to stay under these strictures for the rest of their lives, meaning they are barred from doing many of the things middle-class families are encouraged to do: Save for retirement. Develop an emergency fund. Take advantage of tax-free college savings. And, while Marcella and Dave’s story is tragic, the financial precariousness they endured even before the accident is all too common in America, where the prevalence of low-income work and unequal access to education have generated vast—and growing—economic inequality. The implementation of Obamacare has cut the number of uninsured and underinsured and reduced some of the disparities in coverage, but it continues to leave too many people open to tremendous risk. Behind the statistics and beyond the ideological battles are human beings whose lives are stunted by policies that purport to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in America’s Safety Net offers a way to change it.
Category: Political Science

Trapped In America S Safety Net

Author : Andrea Louise Campbell
ISBN : 022614044X
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 42.64 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download : 253
Read : 866

When Andrea Louise Campbell’s sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was run off the freeway by a hit-and-run driver, she was seven-and-a-half months pregnant. She survived—and, miraculously, the baby was born healthy. But that’s where the good news ends. Marcella was left paralyzed from the chest down. This accident was much more than just a physical and emotional tragedy. Like so many Americans—50 million, or one-sixth of the country’s population—neither Marcella nor her husband, Dave, who works for a small business, had health insurance. On the day of the accident, she was on her way to class for the nursing program through which she hoped to secure one of the few remaining jobs in the area with the promise of employer-provided insurance. Instead, the accident plunged the young family into the tangled web of means-tested social assistance. As a social policy scholar, Campbell thought she knew a lot about means-tested assistance programs. What she quickly learned was that missing from most government manuals and scholarly analyses was an understanding of how these programs actually affect the lives of the people who depend on them. Using Marcella and Dave’s situation as a case in point, she reveals their many shortcomings in Trapped in America’s Safety Net. Because American safety net programs are designed for the poor, Marcella and Dave first had to spend down their assets and drop their income to near-poverty level before qualifying for help. What’s more, to remain eligible, they will have to stay under these strictures for the rest of their lives, meaning they are barred from doing many of the things middle-class families are encouraged to do: Save for retirement. Develop an emergency fund. Take advantage of tax-free college savings. And, while Marcella and Dave’s story is tragic, the financial precariousness they endured even before the accident is all too common in America, where the prevalence of low-income work and unequal access to education have generated vast—and growing—economic inequality. The implementation of Obamacare has cut the number of uninsured and underinsured and reduced some of the disparities in coverage, but it continues to leave too many people open to tremendous risk. Behind the statistics and beyond the ideological battles are human beings whose lives are stunted by policies that purport to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in America’s Safety Net offers a way to change it.
Category: Political Science

Legacies Of Losing In American Politics

Author : Jeffrey K. Tulis
ISBN : 9780226515328
Genre : History
File Size : 45.69 MB
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This is a study of the losers in three major episodes in American political history and shows how their ideas ended up, at least partially, winning, in the long run. The authors consider the campaign of the anti-Federalists against the adoption of the Constitution; the failed presidency of Andrew Johnson; and the defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, as political losses that later heavily influenced American politics later. Sometimes the losers, because they articulate a vision of American government that resonates with some part of America, later contribute to a new political order. This is not an effort to explain winning or losing in American politics. Rather, it is intended to offer a new understanding of American political development as the product of a kind of dialectic between different political visions that have opposing ideas, particularly about the size and role of the federal government and about whether America is exclusively a liberal regime or one in which illiberal ideas on topics such as race, play an important role.
Category: History

Why Washington Won T Work

Author : Marc J. Hetherington
ISBN : 9780226299211
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 66.75 MB
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Major polls all report that "trust in government is at an all-time low" in the United States. At the same time, polarization is at an all-time high. Hetheringon and Rudolph's timely book demonstrates a direct link between polarization and the decline of political trust in America. And it's not just legislators and party leaders who are polarized, but ordinary Americans. Drawing on a cornucopia of evidence and data, the authors show that since the early 2000s polarization in the electorate has increasingly been rooted not in ideological or policy differences, but, for the first time, in extremely negative feelings toward the other party. To an unprecedented degree, Republicans and Democrats simply do not like each other. These polarized feelings are central to why trust in government has polarized which, in turn, is central to "why Washington won't work." On most issues, presidents and other party leaders can convince their own party faithful in the electorate to support their positions. In order to pass legislation, however, a public consensus is needed to push policymakers toward action. Some proportion of the out-party partisans and independents have to have enough trust in government to make an ideological sacrifice and form that consensus. As the authors persuasively explain, this is no longer occurring. Far from being a long-term and relatively stable psychological trait, political trust is highly variable and contingent. Whether or not one trusts government will vary depending on whether one's party is in control, what part of government one is referring to, and what policies or events are most salient. Political trust increases, for example, when the public identifies international issues as most important (as during the 1950s and 60s). They also find that the effects of economic performance on political trust are asymmetric: weak economies harm trust more than strong economies help it. Ultimately, Hetherington and Rudolph have to conclude that it is unlikely political trust will ever to return to 1960s levels (a high point in the US) for any length of time unless international concerns again dominate politics and, just as important, the economy becomes consistently strong.
Category: Political Science

Why Parties Matter

Author : John H. Aldrich
ISBN : 9780226495378
Genre : History
File Size : 90.60 MB
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Party competition in the South has been a subject of perennial interest to political scientists at least since V. O. Key's famous 1949 book on southern politics. The fascination stems from the fact that, unlike every other region in in the United States, for much of its history there has been precious little party competition in the South. Why Parties Matter argues that a competitive party system is essential in order to have the public's preferences and wants expressed and satisfied in elections. Or, in other words, a competitive party system is necessary for democracy to operate effectively. Aldrich and Griffin focus on the history of political parties, electoral competition, and effective democratic governance in the south during four historical eras - the Whig period that preceded the Civil War, the period after Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and the modern era. In each instance, they trace how party competition emerges and the conditions under which it can fail or succeed. While many scholars have argued that strong parties at the national level are necessary for change at the state or local level, the authors bring much evidence to bear showing that it is, instead, a bottom-up, candidate-centered phenomenon. Party competition arises when aspiring office holders determine that their prospects for a successful career are greater in what they call a "nascent party." These candidates first put together a party organization on the local level. Organizing then moves to the state level, and only when the party is solidified at that level will it be able to find sustained success at the national (Congressional) level. In the Whig period, the legacies of the pre-Jacksonian era stunted the development of a Southern party system, but the region was catching up to the North in terms of party competition in the years prior to the collapse of the Whig Party just before the Civil War. In the post-Reconstruction period, a nascent two-party system was abruptly and dramatically thwarted by the "Redemption" of the South by the white southern Democratic Party and in the Jim Crow period, competitive politics virtually disappeared. In the modern era, they find, by virtually every measure, that the Southern party system has caught up to the party system in the North, despite the seeming dominance of the Republican party in much of the south. According to the authors since 1980 the South has progressively become more electorally competitive, and, as a consequence of these more competitive elections, Southern elected officials, according to the authors, have become measurably more responsive to their constituents. In their concluding chapter, Aldrich and Griffin evaluate how, over time, democratic attitudes and behaviors in the South have evolved as compared to the North as the South has acquired a more developed party system and more competitive elections and they also assess the effectiveness of government in the two regions over time.
Category: History

Neither Liberal Nor Conservative

Author : Donald R. Kinder
ISBN : 9780226452456
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 39.71 MB
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Congress is crippled by ideological conflict. The political parties are more polarized today than at any time since the Civil War. Americans disagree, fiercely, about just about everything, from terrorism and national security, to taxes and government spending, to immigration and gay marriage. Well, American elites disagree fiercely. But average Americans do not. This, at least, was the position staked out by Philip Converse in his famous essay on belief systems, which drew on surveys carried out during the Eisenhower Era to conclude that most Americans were innocent of ideology. In Neither Liberal nor Conservative, Donald Kinder and Nathan Kalmoe argue that ideological innocence applies nearly as well to the current state of American public opinion. Real liberals and real conservatives are found in impressive numbers only among those who are deeply engaged in political life. The ideological battles between American political elites show up as scattered skirmishes in the general public, if they show up at all. If ideology is out of reach for all but a few who are deeply and seriously engaged in political life, how do Americans decide whom to elect president; whether affirmative action is good or bad? Kinder and Kalmoe offer a persuasive group-centered answer. Political preferences arise less from ideological differences than from the attachments and antagonisms of group life.
Category: Political Science

Legislative Style

Author : William Bernhard
ISBN : 9780226510286
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 70.36 MB
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Once elected, congresspeople face choices about how to allocate their time and effort. What is the right balance between working in the district and on Capitol Hill? How much legislation should they introduce? On which issues should they focus? What is the optimal amount of time to spend fundraising? To what extent should they toe the party line? William Bernhard and Tracy Sulkin argue that, together, these decisions define a congressperson's "legislative style." They contend that legislators adopt styles that align with their ambitions, experiences, personal inclinations, and their electoral and institutional constraints. In turn, legislative styles shape the nature of representation that constituents receive, the scope and content of the policy legacy that members leave, and the paths their careers take. In this book they develop ways to measure the choices members make and create a typology of "legislative style." The authors start by describing data they collected on sixteen indicators of legislative activity including the proportion of staff allocated to district offices, number of bills introduced, number of speeches given on the floor, total amount of money raised, and percentage of the time the member voted with the party. They then group this data into eight indices, each reflecting a component of legislative style. They rate each congressperson from the 101st to the 110th Congress according to the number of activities in each index and come up with characterizations of their styles. They describe five styles: policy specialists, party soldier, district advocate, party builders, and ambitious entrepreneurs. They argue that members develop fairly consistent styles although they can change over time. They look at the members during each Congress and track their careers to measure change over time. This study enables us to better understand the choices legislators make and the consequences these choices have for them.
Category: Political Science

Welfare As We Knew It

Author : Charles Noble
ISBN : 9780195113372
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 84.7 MB
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Compared to other rich Western democracies, the U.S. does less to help its citizens adapt to the uncertainties of life in a market economy. In Welfare As We Knew It, Charles Noble offers a groundbreaking explanation of why America is so different. Drawing on research in comparative politics, history, and sociology, he demonstrates that deeply-rooted political factors, not public opinion, have limited what reformers have been able to accomplish. Rich historical analysis covering the Wilson administration to the present is followed by a provocative look at future U. S. social policy. Reformers who want government to do more, Noble argues, must refocus their activities on political and institutional change, such as campaign finance and labor-law reform, if they hope to succeed. Taut, comprehensive, and accessible, with a much-needed international perspective, this book will change the way we look at U. S. social policy.
Category: Political Science

Social Policy For Effective Practice

Author : Rosemary Chapin
ISBN : 9781134474417
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 62.59 MB
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For use as a text in foundations generalist social policy courses, either at the baccalaureate or master’s level, this book examines the process of defining need, analyzing social policy, and developing new policy. A clear philosophical base and a common theoretical framework underlie the discussion of each component of the policy process. Four themes are interwoven throughout the book: the importance of thinking critically about social policy, the benefits of using the strengths perspective in policy analysis and development, the critical role social policy plays in all areas of practice, and the absolute responsibility of every social worker to engage in policy practice. Routledgesw.com now contains 6 cases; the Sanchez Case has been revised to include much more policy content. Instructor materials include extra readings, PowerPoints, test questions, annotated links, syllabi, and EPAS guidelines. The book is also customizable on Routledge Custom Gateway.
Category: Political Science

Double Standard

Author : James W. Russell
ISBN : 9781442206595
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 86.69 MB
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The second edition of Double Standard analyzes how and why social policy and welfare states evolved differently in Western Europe and the United States. Exploring common social problems—from poverty to family support to ethnic and racial conflict—the book shows the disparate consequences to these different approaches. The new edition includes the latest available statistical information, an analysis of the 2010 health care reform in the United States, and a discussion comparing the social consequences of the recent recession in the U.S. and Europe.
Category: Political Science