It's Not Like I'm Poor: How Working Families Make Ends Meet in a Post-Welfare World.pdf

It's Not Like I'm Poor: How Working Families Make Ends Meet in a Post-Welfare World.pdf


The world of welfare has changed radically. Poor single parents trade welfare checks for low-wage jobs, and their low earnings qualify them for a hefty check come tax time - a combination of the Earned Income Tax Credit and other refunds. For many working parents this one check is like hitting the lottery, offering a key ingredient to enhance the mobility of low-wage workers: hope. It's Not Like I'm Poor looks at how working families plan to use this annual cash windfall to build up savings, go back to school, and send their kids to college. By interviewing 115 families, the authors show how dreams of economic mobility are often dashed by the reality of making monthly ends meet on meager wages. In accessible and engaging prose, this book describes how the new welfare system offers hope for a middle-class life, even while upward mobility remains elusive.

Sarah Halpern-Meekin is Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kathryn Edin is Distinguished Bloomberg Professor in the Department of Sociology and also teaches in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She is the coauthor of Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage, and Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work. Laura Tach is Assistant Professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Jennifer Sykes is Assistant Professor of Social Relations and Policy at James Madison College, Michigan State University.

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Family Budgets: Staying in the Black, Slipping into the Red 2. Tax Time 3. The New Regime through the Lens of the Old 4. Beyond Living Paycheck to Paycheck 5. Debt I Am Hoping to Eliminate That Word!" 6. Capitalizing on the Promise of the EITC Appendix A: Introduction to Boston and the Research Project Appendix B: Qualitative Interview Guide Notes Bibliography Index


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