It has become widely accepted that the United States has a fairly ineffective welfare system. A great many attempts havebeen made to reform the system, but none have been whollysuccessful. This thesis explores the variables that go into creating welfare reform and the reasons welfare reform has not been successful. The theories of Frances Fox Piven andRichard A.Cloward, Theda Skocpol, Hugh Heclo, and Frank Levy are all examined . I use Frank Levy's theories to form my hypothesis basing ideology as the main determinant in the formulation of welfare reforms. I am proposing that theideological difference between wanting to ensure that everyone who needs public assistance is covered, and ensuring that only those who truly need assistance receive coverage will determine what shape the plan takes. The second part of my hypothesis proposes that the differing ideologies work against each other so that when a proposal is unveiled before Congressit has a very small chance of passing because the side with the opposite ideology will try to work to see the proposal fail . In addition I believe that people have vested interests in either seeing a proposal be successful or having the system remain the same. These vested interests will also effect a proposals chances of being sriccessful. To test my hypothesis I examined the legislative proposals during the terms of President's Carter and Reagan. The results show that ideology


Moskowitz, Eric S.


Urban Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150



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