A Sampling of AFDC Payments: Erosion of the Safety Net
Since the 1950s, the solution to excessive welfare costs and poverty has been framed in two ways: (1) to improve the employability of welfare recipients and (2) to coerce fathers to assume responsibility for support of their children. Increasingly, the basis for differentiating between the deserving and undeserving poor has shifted from morality to employability-those able to work and those unable to work. Those able to work should be put to work, and any public assistance should be temporary. At the same time, more and more policymakers have become willing to shift mothers with children from the “unable” category to the “able” category.