Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work

Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work Welfare Mothers Are Popularly Viewed As Passively Dependent On Their Checks And Averse To Work Reformers Across The Political Spectrum Advocate Moving These Women Off The Welfare Rolls And Into The Labor Force As The Solution To Their Problems Making Ends Meet Offers Dramatic Evidence Toward A Different Conclusion In The Present Labor Market, Unskilled Single Mothers Who Hold Jobs Are Frequently Worse Off Than Those On Welfare, And Neither Welfare Nor Low Wage Employment Alone Will Support A Family At Subsistence LevelsKathryn Edin And Laura Lein Interviewed Nearly Four Hundred Welfare And Low Income Single Mothers From Cities In Massachusetts, Texas, Illinois, And South Carolina Over A Six Year Period They Learned The Reality Of These Mothers Struggles To Provide For Their Families Where Their Money Comes From, What They Spend It On, How They Cope With Their Children S Needs, And What Hardships They Suffer Edin And Lein S Careful Budgetary Analyses Reveal That Even A Full Range Of Welfare Benefits AFDC Payments, Food Stamps, Medicaid, And Housing Subsidies Typically Meet Only Three Fifths Of A Family S Needs, And That Funds For Adequate Food, Clothing And Other Necessities Are Often Lacking Leaving Welfare For Work Offers Little Hope For Improvement, And In Many Cases Threatens Even Greater Hardship Jobs For Unskilled And Semi Skilled Women Provide Meager Salaries, Irregular Or Uncertain Hours, Frequent Layoffs, And No Promise Of Advancement Mothers Who Work Not Only Assume Extra Child Care, Medical, And Transportation Expenses But Are Also Deprived Of Many Of The Housing And Educational Subsidies Available To Those On Welfare Regardless Of Whether They Are On Welfare Or Employed, Virtually All These Single Mothers Need To Supplement Their Income With Menial, Off The Books Work And Intermittent Contributions From Family, Live In Boyfriends, Their Children S Fathers, And Local Charities In Doing So, They Pay A Heavy Price Welfare Mothers Must Work Covertly To Avoid Losing Benefits, While Working Mothers Are Forced To Sacrifice Even Time With Their Children Making Ends Meet Demonstrates Compellingly Why The Choice Between Welfare And Work Is Complex And Risky Than Is Commonly Recognized By Politicians, The Media, Or The Public Almost All The Welfare Reliant Women Interviewed By Edin And Lein Made Repeated Efforts To Leave Welfare For Work, Only To Be Forced To Return When They Lost Their Jobs, A Child Became Ill, Or They Could Not Cover Their Bills With Their Wages Mothers Who Managed Stable Employment Usually Benefited From A Variety Of Mitigating Circumstances Such As Having A Relative Willing To Watch Their Children For Free, Regular Child Support Payments, Or Very Low Housing, Medical, Or Commuting CostsWith First Hand Accounts And Detailed Financial Data, Making Ends Meet Tells The Real Story Of The Challenges, Hardships, And Survival Strategies Of America S Poorest Families If This Country S Efforts To Improve The Self Sufficiency Of Female Headed Families Is To Succeed, Reformers Will Need To Move Beyond The Myths Of Welfare Dependency And Deal With The Hard Realities Of An Unrewarding American Labor Market, The Lack Of Affordable Health Insurance And Child Care For Single Mothers Who Work, And The True Cost Of Subsistence Living Making Ends Meet Is A Realistic Look At A World That So Many Would Change And So Few Understand

Kathryn J Edin is Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

❮PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work ❤ Author Kathryn Edin –
  • Paperback
  • 340 pages
  • Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work
  • Kathryn Edin
  • English
  • 04 September 2019
  • 9780871542342

10 thoughts on “Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work

  1. says:

    Making Ends Meet How single mothers survive welfare and low wage work delivers where Nickel and Dimed couldn t Whereas the latter is often touted as an eye opening expos of the conditions America s working poor endure, I found Barbara Ehrenreich s Nickel and Dimed self centered and methodologically flawed Kathryn Edin currently at Harvard and Laura Lein currently a dean at the University of Michigan actually interviewed hundreds of single mothers receiving welfare or working for low wages in four cities, and re constructed their balance sheets Data from previous national level data always have previously shown their expenditures to be higher than their income Welfare benefits only account for approximately 60% of their budget A similar gap exists for low wage earners on their primary jobs Although workers make slightly , this is offset by higher expenses

    The authors also survey how these women make up the rest through unreported or underground work, contributions from boyfriends or absent fathers, friends, and family, and charities Their work convincingly shows that welfare recipients are very frugal, can not get by on their benefits alone, and which aspects of the system don t work Unfortunately, the field research was done in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Aid to Families with Dependent Children was still in effect, and there might be subject selection bias since they required personal introductions for mothers to open up to them Nonetheless, Edin and Lein make an academically rigorous and convincing case for improving America s safety net.

  2. says:

    The policy context is outdated, but the findings are still interesting and in line with recent research Earth to HHS, the logic of welfare to work is totally off and neither public assistance nor low wage work provide enough to cover even the basic necessities for these families Most interesting to me, though, was the method used One of the authors had done some previous research on family budgets and concluded that accurate information just couldn t be gathered through surveys because most national level microdata had low income respondents reporting much lower incomes than expenditures This work is the result of in depth, multiple interviews with a sample of single mothers recruited by working with social service agencies, churches community based organizations, and then snowball sampled from those women to reach even those who weren t necessarily connected to community support systems Lucky academics with their grant funds and extended research timelines

  3. says:

    I always find it interesting then the lives of poor people women are written by people who have never had to struggle to pay the bills, or know what it really is like to live well below the poverty line, but still somehow manage to raise a family With that being said, the authors of this book did a great job of repesenting the facts, with very little bias or interpretations and showed through interviews and statistics, the real face of what is looks like to struggle to raise a family alone with a low wage job and the sacrifices, choices, and the decision to lie and work under the table, just to have a little extra, that single moms have to make every day.

  4. says:

    Solid book Fairly repetitive, and without clear differences between chapters Provides insightful information about how low wage work alone does not provide enough income for single mothers to survive on Information about welfare has become outdated.

  5. says:

    Reading this book about 20 years too late However, the data is interesting and most of research still holds water today It was an eye opener Would love for these authors to redo after the econ crisis.

  6. says:

    Welfare and low income work impact during the 1990s.See Promises I Can Keep Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage

  7. says:

    Welfare costs and benefits and single working mothers Data from 1992, so considerably out of date but shows clearly how difficult it is to live a decent life working little and benefitting little

  8. says:

    Fascinating Really good read.

  9. says:

    Emotion instead of reason, truly distinguished professors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *