BU CAS PO 141 - Week 5: Social Welfare Policy

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I. 3 types of income maintenance or income support policies:Social insurance programs (Least controversial)Work/employment programsPublic assistance programs (most controversial)II. DEFINING POVERTYAbsolute orRelative termsAbsolute definitionMost widely used: social security administration definitionPoverty standard family of 4 one adult and three children2012: $23,364 (Census Bureau)2013: same as 2012Criticisms of SSA definitionToo low (but only cash)Ignores regional variation in cost of livingDEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTRE standard would set poverty threshold about four thousand dollars higher than the social security admission (SSA)Because farmers are their constituents!They want to subsidize farmersRelative DefinitionPoor=earning less than ½ of U.S. median incomeIncreasing income inequality from 1967 to presentIII. WHO ARE THE POOR?AgedWomenLess educatedRuralWorking poor-min. wage (2009: current federal minimum wage=$7.25 x 40 hours x 52 weeks =$15,080) (2010: current Mass mw=$8.00 x 40hours x 52 weeks=$16,640)So why not just raise the mw? If you raise the wage, employment tends to go downIV. HOW POOR ARE THE POOR IN US?43% own their own homes80% have air conditioningonly 6% are over-crowdedAverage poor American has more living space than an average PERSON in many European cities¾ of the American poor own their own carvirtually all have roof over their head, flush toilet, electric refrigerator, stove, central heating, color TV, telephoneV. TRENDS BY DEFINITION OF POVERTYCHART (on course website)% of poverty from 1965-2013 under categoriesMarketPre-WelfarePost-TransferAdjustment for In-Kind BenefitsIn-Kind benefits: goods you give to the poor because you don’t trust them with cashON THE EXAM SHE WILL ASK NOT FOR EXACT PERCENTAGES BUT FOR COMPARISONS BETWEEN DIFFERENT POLICIES AND THEIR EFFECTS ON POVERTYSocial security causes the biggest drop in povertyNeither market nor pre-welfare are definitions of povertyOfficial definition: Post-TransferDoesn’t make much difference after you add social security!Social security is the most effective program in reducing povertyVI. PREVENTIVE STRATEGY (SOCIAL INSURANCE)Social Security Act 1935: Old Age, Survivors, Disability, Health Insurance (OASDHI)Eligible: those who paid into itOver 90% working pop. Covered, included self-employedNot covered state, local, federal with own defined benefit pension planExpanded1939: survivors benefits1956: disability insurance1965: MedicareSingle largest item of federal spending as of FY 2013: Defense 18%, Social Security 23%, Medicare/Medicaid 25%Reform proposals to stop bankruptcy in 2042 (if real)Increase tax revenues byRaising tax rate from 6.2% (total 12.4 with employer contribution) to &%Increasing salary cap from current $113,700 in 2013 to no capRaise full retirement age to 70 (by 2007 full retirement is 67 for people born after 1959)Gradual reduction in benefits, but increase for lower income workers and divorced (10 years or more marriage) or surviving spousesDiversity social security investmentInvest part of money in private stock and bond market (higher yield than government bonds)Privatize part of social security1-2% managed by workers or some boardattraction to production of a nest egg that can be passed on to one’s survivorsVII. ALLEVIATIVE STRATEGY-PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OR “WELFARE”Means testedAFDC and SSIGeneral Assistance (state programs for emergencies)TANF 19%Supplemental Security Income (SSI) : aged blind, disabled*No simple answer to this factorGoal of Crime Policy: Provide internal peace so citizens can maintain life, liberty and pursue happinessBackgroundKinds of Crime:Against propertySome street crime, auto theftPeople don’t regard these as urgent as othersWhite-collarInvestment fraud, the most costly form of crimeNot much focus when it comes to policy making since you don’t feel physical threatPoliticalAgainst personsStreet crime including assault, murder, rape, robberyVictimlessIntoxication, pornography, etc.These might result in other crimes but still regarded as victimlessRising Crime and Fear of CrimeIn 4 decades after WWII, major crime increases dramaticallyViolent crimes increases extremely!House shooting up around 1961Causes:1937: Marijuana transfer actNixon declared war on drugs1961-1981: Baby boomers coming of ageMassive youth population1969: California 1st state to divorce lawSingle parent homes became cause of crime1973: Legalization of abortionDecreased crime in the 90sDecreases of crime in the 90s: Increases awareness of domestic violenceTHE CHART ON CRIME RATES SUPER IMPORTANTEffect: target hardeningProliferation of home & business security systemsGated communitiesPrivate security businessesCrime Rate ComputationFBI Uniform Crime Report7 categories crime, rates per 100,000murder, manslaughterforcible raperobberyaggravated assaultburglarylarceny, theftauto theftDilulio: 3 limits to FBI crime indexBased only on crimes reported to policeReported is ¼ to 1/3 of actual crimeLocal police departments, compile stats.FBI “hierarchical” counting; only most serious crime reportedWhite collar crime not in indexCosts more than street crimePsychologically easier to handleExplanations for Long Rise in Crime RatesLaws increasingIncrease in reportingComputersSympathetic staffMore police on streetDrug prohibitionCrime 1: sales and possessionCrime 2: (unintended consequences of the sale) street crime to pay for illegal > expensive drugsDemographic changes in post WWIIUrbanization of AmericaWealth disparity becomes more apparentYou can relatively anonymous with packed citiesHigher birth rates in lower classIn part, the baby boomer explanationGrowth in population under 25Part of the baby boomers explanationRossell: denominator problemDilulio: Philadelphia: almost all murder victims were blackRossell: even if all murders by blacks, only less than 1% of blacks commit murdersPerceptions of criminality cloud our perceptions about what the actual problem isDilulio: 6% of boys do 50% of crimesRossell: 98% of all violent attacks on street by males, but less than 1% of males attackIncrease in status for criminals in ghettosIdentity politicsConsciousness of victimhoodCrime in response to a sense of injusticeCrime against oppressive systemBreakdown of familyTheory: Lack of a fatherNot quite been explained by dataResearch: Not enough adultsRecent Crime Reduction (since 1995 violent crimes down)Explanation for declineOrder maintenance policing (OMP)NYC: Mayor Giuliani (Bratton

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BU CAS PO 141 - Week 5: Social Welfare Policy

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