Snipping the Safety Net with Welfare Drug Test Legislation

Multiple states last year proposed welfare drug testing laws requiring recipients of benefits to successfully pass drug tests to stay on welfare and other social assistance programmes. The courts disagreed with this brilliant scheme, arguing that the laws were unconstitutional, but they’re at it again this year, with a rising tide of legislative hijinks involving […]

Depicting Need for Assistance as Moral Failing; Benefits Scroungers, Welfare, and the Media

With the economic downturn in the United States has come a dramatic increase in the number of people relying on or needing government assistance to survive. This has meant growing pressure on a shrinking safety net being attacked with cuts from the federal government on down. Congress has made some benefits extensions in the interest […]

Going After Disabled Adults Just Wasn’t Enough: The US Right Threatens Disability Services for Children

The US right has been railing against welfare and social programmes for decades, but it’s become more daring and much more audacious in its attacks on public services. It senses that the economy has created a weak point, an opening for conversations people would not normally entertain, finding them offensive and horrific. Politicians have gone […]

Where Does the Line Between Vital Services and Charity Lie?

Starting in the Bush Administration, there was an increasing push in the United States to privatise the provision of welfare programmes from education to food assistance. The administration popularised the idea of ‘faith-based charities’ that could provide services so the government wouldn’t have to, and promoted a sort of ‘every person for themselves’ approach to […]