Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

The Deserving Poor, the Family, and the U.S. Welfare System

TitleThe Deserving Poor, the Family, and the U.S. Welfare System
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMoffitt, RA
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number0070-3370 (Print)0070-3370
Accession Number26047935
KeywordsAging, data/trends, Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data, Humans, Public Assistance/*organization & administration/*statistics & numerical, Single-Parent Family, Social Welfare/*statistics & numerical data/trends, Socioeconomic Factors, United States

Contrary to the popular view that the U.S. welfare system has been in a contractionary phase after the expansions of the welfare state in the 1960s, welfare spending resumed steady growth after a pause in the 1970s. However, although aggregate spending is higher than ever, there have been redistributions away from non-elderly and nondisabled families to families with older adults and to families with recipients of disability programs; from non-elderly, nondisabled single-parent families to married-parent families; and from the poorest families to those with higher incomes. These redistributions likely reflect long-standing, and perhaps increasing, conceptualizations by U.S. society of which poor are deserving and which are not.