Friday, September 29, 2006

Welfare to Workhouse: Howard's "Deadbeat Dad" state abuses the bride and abandons the kids

DH has been reading a new report Poverty and Family Life under Welfare-to-Work: The Continuing Failure of Welfare Policy. (Helen Cameron, University of Sth Australia)

It's a great kick-ass report even if it does state the bleedin' obvious. After years in the big filing cabinet for human creativity called University, DH has been browbeaten into accepting that we need this kind of work to stick it to policy wonks in language they can't turn their noses up at. And, of course, preparing this kind of study does keep the middle classes off the streets and feeling important. DH is not knocking it - she may well end up being tidied up into something similar again soon. She's not about to turn her nose up at the last boat out of under-class stigma, marginalisation, and lack of status.

Though give DH a good cartoonist anytime to say the same thing without the verbiage.

But for those of you who get off on this kind of earnest thing, here are some great quotes.
The welfare-to-work "solution" can be thought of as a match made in hell. It puts poor mothers who need the most support and flexibility into jobs in the low-wage labor market which often are the most inflexible [and] have the least family-necessary benefits (Albelda 2000, p.32).

Meahan (2005) notes the ‘precarious positions of single parent families’ under Workchoice policy and about this pushing parents into an underpaying labour market without any beneficial impacts on their life chances or those of their children

[We should avoid ...] any approach that further demonises these families through suggesting they are responsible for their circumstances. ... our silence about poverty[... is] part of a social redefinition that dampens empathy and blocks any transformation of the circumstances of the poor. These parents are raising the next generation however and any processes that further limit these families’ life chances is an act against the future.

Read the whole thing at

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