Essay on Flat Broke with Children by Sharon Hays

Essay on Flat Broke with Children by Sharon Hays

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Sharon Hays argues that welfare reform policymakers were legislating moral prescriptions for women in poverty who were to take on Welfare aid. I think it could be argued that moral prescriptions on the lives of Welfare recipients was purposeful. Politicians felt Welfare needed to change and help recipients become more self-sufficient over time. This would save money as time went on but would also be a measure of success if less people were on Welfare as time went on. To make Welfare more temporary, inefficiencies had to be addressed and solved. Welfare legislators decided to put the inefficiencies and prescriptions on the recipients themselves and not take into account any other barriers that could be preventing poor individuals and families from getting out of poverty. Moral prescriptions make poverty a cause and solution affair where the cause is moral negligence and the solution is a set of rules and regulations aimed to change morality which will gain people the self-esteem and knowledge to get a job and get out of Welfare.
The first part of the moral prescriptions described in Flat Broke With Children is the Work Plan/Family Plan that is an important part of Welfare reform. (Hays, 23) The Work Plan and the Family Plan are two different means of getting people out of Welfare that contradict themselves at times. The Work Plan and Family Plan have completely different moral goals in the end so it makes sense that they would contradict. The Work Plan is aimed to get women jobs and the Family Plan is aimed to bring families together and extort money from fathers who have abandoned their children. The Work Plan values independence and productivity while the Family Plan values community and commitment to others. (Hays, 23) Bot...


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...did not know which I think is what Welfare administrators do on a more systematic basis.
It seems like the Welfare system treats its recipients with disrespect and shame to discourage them from joining the system. The people who made and run Welfare in the 1990s made Welfare into a blame game and forces recipients to solely blame themselves for their poverty. The moral prescriptions in individually getting rid of poverty according to TANF are the Work Plan/Family Plan. The focuses on work and family are contradictory because of how little time there is to get both goals done and each goal perpetuates the idea that it is the most important part of ending poverty. It seems like Welfare is more about getting people off of Welfare than eradicating poverty. There is a difference in the goals and that is reflected in how the recipients are treated and how Welfare is run.

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