A Review of The State of Welfare by Gilbert Y. Steiner.

by Robert A. Levine

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Steiner's The State of Welfare analyzes carefully both the history of welfare in the United States and current proposals for new income-maintenance systems. It outlines the failures of welfare to date and describes current efforts at change exemplified by the Family Assistance Program (FAP). FAP is presented favorably but realistically. Steiner strongly supports an income-maintenance program similar to that of FAP, but recommends an additional "intercessor" system by which recipients of welfare are backed by advocacy and personal assistance from an organization interposing itself between recipients and welfare authorities. The model is based on the veteran's benefit system, which is shown to be completely different from other welfare systems, particularly Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). It is possible that FAP is a more workable system than AFDC and a system that--together with other poverty programs--can begin to take welfare off the local tax rolls.

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