Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Emeritus
From the late 1960s to the mid-1990s, a number of developments turned out to have profound effects on destitute families in the United States, which Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer’s “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” brings into sharp relief. Critics of welfare repeatedly argued that the increase of unwed mothers was mainly due to rising rates of welfare payments through Aid to Families With Dependent Children (A.F.D.C.). Even though the scientific evidence offered little support for this claim, the public’s outrage against the program, fueled by the “welfare queen” stereotype that Ronald Reagan peddled in stump speeches during his 1976 run for the presidency, led to calls for a major revamping of the welfare system.
Wilson, William Julius. "Cashless Society." Review of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. New York Times, September 2, 2015: 14-14.