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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Ending Poor People As We Know Them

Ending Poor People As We Know Them

(p.323) Ending Poor People As We Know Them
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses the issue of poverty within the context of welfare politics. According to Jason DeParle, disdain for welfare and concern for poor children are the seismic forces beneath the debate over public assistance. He implies that if the debate can be reframed to focus on children rather than welfare, Americans might be convinced that the real issue is not how to end welfare but how to end poverty. The trajectory of welfare politics offers the most striking evidence of how the deep, unconscious appeal of the right’s world view drives the framing of political issues, not the other way around. This chapter considers Charles Murray’s argument that “illegitimacy is the central social problem of our time. The most crucial purpose of welfare reform is to generate a situation in which a young woman...is so scared at the prospect of getting pregnant that she will not have intercourse, or will take care not to get pregnant if she does,” and its implications for poor women.

Keywords:   poverty, welfare politics, Jason DeParle, welfare, children, welfare reform, right, Charles Murray, illegitimacy, women

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