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Authors

Patriquin

Abstract

This essay argues that the 1996 reforms to the American welfare state have no historical precedent. They are not a return to "the poorhouse era" and are radically distinct from Great Britain's new poor law of 1834, to which they are often compared. America is the first advanced capitalist country to jettison a significant element of its welfare state and, as such, is moving into waters that are uncharted and dangerous.

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