The Modern Pauper

The Homeless in Welfare History
  • Joel F. Handler
Part of the Topics in Social Psychiatry book series (TSPS)

Abstract

Ever since war and famine have occurred, there have been welfare policies to deal with the poor. Although these policies are complex and shift during various periods, some firm generalizations can be made. Often the immediate task of welfare policy was to help deal with disorder; throughout history, armies of the poor have posed threats to society. A second task was the relief of misery; despite the strong social control features of welfare policy, there has always been a humanitarian voice. The third task was preservation of labor markets; relief had to be given under such terms and conditions as would not encourage those who could work to seek welfare instead. This last point is known as the principle of “less eligibility”—that is, the terms of relief had to be less desirable than the conditions of the lowest-paid labor. This is the essence of the work requirement, which often conflicts with the other two principles.

Keywords

Social Security Dependent Child Welfare Policy Juvenile Court Work Requirement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel F. Handler
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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