Friday, May 16, 2003

For the first year or two after Clinton's welfare "reform" bill passed, the commentariat was full of gloating that employment was up, case loads were shrinking, and that this proved the critics wrong. Never mind that employment was up in every sector of the economy. Or that the more thoughtful critics weren't worried so much about what would happen immediately, but rather, what would happen in the first major economic downturn after the law's five-year limits had expired, when significant numbers of women might find themselves cut off from both jobs and benefits.

And now we know:

The number of Black children living in extreme poverty is at its highest level in 23 years, according to an analysis released today by the Children's Defense Fund. Despite several years of a booming economy, nearly one million Black children in 2001 lived in a family with an annual income of less than half the federal poverty level (disposable income below $7,064 for a family of three).

In fact, extreme poverty among Black children is significantly up from when the law was passed. (That's using the Children's Defense Fund's measure of "extreme poverty", which tries to take into account food stamps and the like in addition to cash income -- and so has been badly hit by Dubya's reductions in those programs).

Via the Slacktivist.


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