Should chronically disruptive students be allowed to remain in public schools? Should nonagenarians receive costly medical care at taxpayer expense? Who should be first in line for kidney transplants --the relatively healthy or the severely ill? In T "argeting in Social Programs ," Peter H. Schuck and Richard J. Zeckhauser provide a rigorous framework for analyzing these and other difficult choices. Many government policies seek to help unfortunate, often low-income individuals --in other words, "bad draws." These efforts are frequently undermined by poor targeting, however. In particular, when two groups of bad draws --"bad bets" and "bad apples" --are included in social welfare programs, bad policies are likely to result.Many politicians and policymakers prefer to sweep this problem under the rug. But the costs of this silence are high. Allocating resources to bad bets and bad apples does more than waste money --it also makes it harder to achieve substantive goals, such as the creation of safe and effective schools. And perhaps most important, it erodes support for public programs on which many good bets and good apples rely.By training a spotlight on these issues, Schuck and Zeckhauser take a first step toward much-needed reforms. They dissect the challenges involved in defining bad bets and bad apples and discuss the safeguards that any classification process must provide. They also examine three areas where bad apples and bad bets loom large --public schools, public housing, and medical care --and propose policy changes that could reduce the problems these two groups pose.This provocative book does not offer easy answers, but it raises questions that no one with an interest in policy effectiveness can afford to ignore. By turns incisive and probing, Bad Draws will generate vigorous debate.
"Work over Welfare" tells the inside story of the legislation that ended "welfare as we know it." As a key staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee, author Ron Haskins was one of the architects of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. In this landmark book, he vividly portrays the political battles that produced the most dramatic overhaul of the welfare system since its creation as part of the New Deal.
Haskins starts his story in the early 1990s, as a small group of Republicans lays the groundwork for welfare reform by developing innovative policies to encourage work and fight illegitimacy. These ideas, which included such controversial provisions as mandatory work requirements and time limits for welfare recipients, later became part of the Republicans' Contract with America and were ultimately passed into law. But their success was hardly foreordained. Haskins brings to life the often bitter House and Senate debates the Republican proposals provoked, as well as the backroom negotiations that kept welfare reform alive through two presidential vetoes. In the process, he illuminates both the personalities and the processes that were crucial to the ultimate passage of the 1996 bill. He also analyzes the changes it has wrought on the social and political landscape over the past decade.
In "Work over Welfare," Haskins has provided the most authoritative account of welfare reform to date. Anyone with an interest in social welfare or politics in general will learn a great deal from this insightful and revealing book.
Not Just Black and White: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immgiration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States
Climate change threatens all people, but its adverse effects will be felt most acutely by the world's poor. Absent urgent action, new threats to food security, public health, and other societal needs may reverse hard-fought human development gains. "Climate Change and Global Poverty" makes concrete recommendations to integrate international development and climate protection strategies. It demonstrates that effective climate solutions must empower global development, while poverty alleviation itself must become a central strategy for both mitigating emissions and reducing global vulnerability to adverse climate impacts.