When myths inform legislation, harm often results. So much of today’s welfare reform, based on myth, works to keep people in poverty. It’s been created from a top-down, men-dominant model and it brings not dignity but despair. In her new book Ensuring Poverty, co-author Felicia Kornbluh argues that work that contributes to a stable economy is valuable; it is important to be able to take care of young kids and older or infirm relatives. That work is valuable and must be recognized as such. Kornbluh argues that welfare reform under President Clinton worsened poverty as it threw people off welfare but created no jobs. And that that legislation was the start of the current divisions in the Democratic Party, with traditional Democrats fighting against the poorly thought-out plan. She also says the widely held notion of “deadbeat dads” is faux feminism which hurts working women. Looking at the challenges from a feminist perspective offers much better solutions.

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