Welfare Queens


Stuff Mom Never Told You: Welfare Queens RICHARD ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan made "welfare queens" a household epithet during his unsuccessful 1976 presidential campaign. Considering the 20th anniversary of so-called welfare reform, Cristen and Caroline examine the deeper origins and implications of the racist, classist welfare queen stereotype as well as the surprising history of how welfare was originally for white ladies.

Episode Sources:

"From charitable volunteers to architects of social welfare: A brief history of social work" http://ssw.umich.edu/about/history/brief-history-of-social-work

"20 years since welfare's overhaul, results are mixed" http://www.npr.org/2016/08/22/490245470/20-years-since-welfares-overhaul-results-are-mixed

"How welfare reform changed American poverty, in 9 charts" https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/08/22/the-enduring-legacy-of-welfare-reform-20-years-later/

"Ronald Reagan's 'welfare queen' myth: How the Gipper kickstarted the war on the working poor" http://www.salon.com/2015/09/27/ronald_reagans_welfare_queen_myth_how_the_gipper_kickstarted_the_war_on_the_working_poor/

"The welfare queen" http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2013/12/linda_taylor_welfare_queen_ronald_reagan_made_her_a_notorious_american_villain.html

"This chart blows up the myth of the welfare queen" http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/this-chart-blows-up-the-myth-of-the-welfare-queen/282452/

"The facts about food stamps conservatives don't want you to hear" http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/05/16/facts-show-food-stamp-program-has-a-strong-record-of-efficienty

"Just how wrong is conventional wisdom about government fraud?" http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/just-how-wrong-is-conventional-wisdom-about-government-fraud/278690/

Academic Insights:

"Welfare and the problem of black citizenship." Dorothy E. Roberts. Penn Law: Legal Scholarship Repository. 1996. http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2283&context=faculty_scholarship

"Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment." Patricia Hill Collins. Routledge. 2002. https://books.google.com/books?id=icWTAgAAQBAJ&dq=patricia+hill+collins+welfare+mother&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"From widow to 'welfare queen': Welfare and the politics of race." Premilla Nadasen. Black Women, Gender and Families. Vol. 1, No. 2. Fall 2007. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/blacwomegendfami.1.2.0052?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

"Jezebel at the welfare office: How racialized stereotypes of poor women's reproductive decisions and relationships shape policy implementation." N. Tatiana Masters et al. Journal of Poverty. Vol. 18, No. 2. 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4002050/