The Difference in Being Poor in Red States versus Blue States
Holes in the Safety Net: Federalism and Poverty (Ezra Rosser, ed., Cambridge U. Press, 2019)
27 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 9, 2019
A person’s experience at the bottom of the economic ladder differs widely depending on where they live, and red state versus blue state policy differences are driving part of that geographic divergence. Red states generally have more punitive public benefits policies than blue states. This division is likely to widen in coming years as Republican politicians at the federal and state levels increasingly attach “behavior modification” requirements to governmental assistance, using federalism tools such as waivers to do so. This threatens to worsen poverty overall, but its impacts will likely be harsher in red states. This chapter traces the expansion of behavioral modification requirements, identifies its causes, and examines its geographical impacts.
Keywords: poverty, federalism, welfare, government assistance
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