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America's welfare state is quietly evolving from needs-based to an employment-based safety net that rewards working families and fuels dreams of a better life, indicates a new study led by a Michigan State University (MSU) scholar.
The major reason: the little-known Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a $65 billion federal tax-relief program for poor, working families. The program has been expanded dramatically during the past 25 years, while cash welfare has been sharply curtailed.
The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states' varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington (UW) study finds.
States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those with generous welfare programs — meaning that two states with similar rates of child abuse and neglect could have very different rates of foster care entry.
Protests that bring many people to the streets who agree among themselves and have a single message are most likely to influence elected officials, suggests a new study.
“We found that features of a protest can alter the calculations of politicians and how they view an issue,” said Ruud Wouters, an assistant professor of political communication and journalism at the University of Amsterdam and the lead author of the study. “More specifically, the number of participants and unity are the characteristics of a protest that have the greatest ability to change politicians’ opinions.”
A special electronic collection of articles from the Fall 2009 and Winter 2010 issues of Contexts on the topic of aging. Featuring Vincent J. Roscigno, Phyllis Moen, Eric Utne, Deborah Carr, Stacy Torres and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. 28 pages, March 2010.