Invisible Safety Net by Janet M. Currie
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Invisible Safety Net
By Janet M. Currie

The Invisible Safety Net

Protecting the Nation's Poor Children and Families

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Format: Paperback

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Invisible Safety Net by Janet M. Currie

Book Description

In one of the most provocative books ever published on America's social welfare system, economist Janet Currie argues that the modern social safety net is under attack. Unlike most books about antipoverty programs, Currie trains her focus not on cash welfare, which accounts for a small and shrinking share of federal expenditures on poor families with children, but on the staples of today's American welfare system: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, WIC, and public housing. These programs, Currie maintains, form an effective, if largely invisible and haphazard safety net, and yet they are the very programs most vulnerable to political attack and misunderstanding. This book highlights both the importance and the fragility of this safety net, arguing that, while not perfect, it is essential to fighting poverty. Currie demonstrates how America's safety net is threatened by growing budget deficits and by an erroneous public belief that antipoverty programs for children do not work and are riddled with fraud. By unearthing new empirical data, Currie makes the case that social programs for families with children are actually remarkably effective. She takes her argument one step further by offering specific reforms--detailed in each chapter--for improving these programs even more. The book concludes with an overview of an integrated safety net that would fight poverty more effectively and prevent children from slipping through holes in the net. (For example, Currie recommends the implementation of a benefit "debit card" that would provide benefits with less administrative burden on the recipient.) A complement to books such as Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling Nickel and Dimed, which document the personal struggles of the working poor, The Invisible Safety Net provides a big-picture look at the kind of programs and solutions that would help ease those struggles. Comprehensive and authoritative, it will prompt a major reexamination of the current thinking on improving the lives of needy Americans.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691138527
ISBN-10: 0691138524
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 10-Nov-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Janet M. Currie

Welfare and the Well-Being of Children by Janet M. Currie Welfare and the Well-Being of Children, Paperback (July 2004)

An analysis of eight of the largest US welfare programmes affecting children. Programmes discussed include: Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the Food Stamp Program, WIC and School Lunch, Head Start and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

» View all books by Janet M. Currie


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Author Biography - Janet M. Currie

Janet M. Currie is chair of the economics department at Columbia University, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the advisory board of the National Children's Study.

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