Bruce Rocheleau
Division of Public Administration
(Located on second Floor of ASBO Building at corner of Lincoln Hwy and Carroll Avenue)
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Office Hours:  T:  2-4 and by appointment
You can contact me by email at brochele@niu or tp0bar1@wpo.cso.niu.edu (if the first e-mail address is not working)

We will be exchanging information on the Blackboard site for this course:  http://webcourses.niu.edu/   In order to logon to the site, you need to know your Logon ZID which is available from Information Technology Services.  Please let me know if you have trouble logging on.  We use this site for exchanging information via an on-line discussion group.   It can and should be used for a number of purposes including these two important ones:  (1) Raising issues, asking or answering questions,  and providing feedback for the instructor and/or other members of the class; (2) Posting of debate paper outlines and materials.  The instructor encourages you to use electronic access to ask questions--he checks his electronic mail on most days and will try to give you a quick response. If you need assistance in using electronic mail, please consult with him.

An electronic version of this syllabus is located on the above website. If there should be changes to the syllabus, they will be posted as a revised syllabus on the course website and it is your responsibility to check for them.  I will also be posting notes and review questions for this class at the course website.  So, it is important for you to check this course website and print off the notes prior to coming to class.  This should enable you to focus more on the substance of the class rather than just note-taking. I will also ask that you post your debate and possibly other materials on the course website so it is important to know how to do so.  If you have trouble, I will be glad to help out.


This course will provide students with an understanding of welfare and other social programs & social issues. The course will devote attention to the political and historical context of welfare programs. The details of specific programs will be studied. Coverage will also include policy issues such as alternative solutions to welfare dependency.  A major purpose of this class is to develop critical thinking and an awareness that important issues have opposing viewpoints that need to be understood in order to have a deep understanding of policy areas such as welfare.  In both debates and term papers, you will be expected to take a policy-position and defend it effectively.  The debate should help you to learn how to present an argument effectively.

Required Texts:
Howard Jacob Karger & David Stoesz.  American Social Welfare Policy.  A Pluralist Approach.  5th edition.
Jason DeParle. American Dream. Penguin. Paperback edition.  ISBN: 0143034375 

Students will also be required to do electronic reserve readings on the World Wide Web. You are responsible for accessing, printing and reading these materials. Please let the instructor know if you have problems concerning accessing these materials.  Students are also responsible for obtaining copies of the Notes and Review questions which the instructor will make available on the public administration website noted above. There will also be both required and optional electronic reserve readings in the electronic reserves for this course (located under External Links).  . 

Students will be tested on these reserve materials as well as the texts.

Grading Philosophy:

Your course grade will depend on the following components: (1) Participation (20 %); (2) Debate-presentation and outline (20%); (3) Term paper (20%); (4) Midterm (20%); (5) Final (20%).

In this class, I will try to maintain the integrity of the grades of "A" and "B". A grade of "A" means truly exceptional work, far above the norm and expectations for the class. A grade of "B" means good, above average work. A grade of "B+" means very good, well above average. Normally, only a small percentage of students attain a grade of "A".

Note: I require that you send me  a digital copy of your debate paper and your term paper.  Please use the digital dropbox in Blackboard and not regular e-mail to get it to me.  There will be a penalty if you do not provide a digital copy of these papers.  If you have some material that is part of your paper that cannot be incorporated into the digital version, you may submit that as hard copy.  You are responsible for keeping a backup of your papers in case I cannot locate your paper and also in case of a failure of your computer. 

Participation including Quizzes (20 Percent) Participation will include attendance, participation in classroom discussions and follow-up discussions after the debates, performance on homework assignments, as well as discussion of  term papers in the last part of the course. It is expected that you will come to class having done the assigned readings for that day and be prepared to discuss them. For certain topics, I ask that you access the Internet and read or search for materials on topics related to our course. You will then be expected to discuss these materials in class. Discussion of texts and Internet materials will count towards your participation grade.  It is, of course, expected that you will give polite attention to the instructor and other speakers in the class including students making presentations and violations of this norm will result in a penalty in terms of participation points.  

Audience participation in the follow-up discussion of the debates will also count towards participation. You will be expected to read any chapters for the assigned debates and participate knowledgeably in the discussions following the debates. Participation will also count any written assignments such as the statement of your topic and other written homework assignments that are made. Participation may also include discussion of your term papers.

Participation will also include the sharing of useful information (e.g., good questions and/or answers to questions) on the class discussion list and also may include email to me.  Please note that if a student sends me e-mail related to the class and I believe that the student's questions and comments are relevant to the rest of the class, I may forward the email to the entire class.   You should periodically check out (e.g., at least once a week) the discussion list for this course and make comments when you have a reaction to something you read or want to contribute something relevant to this course.  I will keep track of the quality and quantity of your web contributions and take these into consideration in assigning your participation grade. 

Unannounced quizzes will be given and will count towards the participation grade. They will be aimed at checking to see if students have done the reading for the classes.  They may include short answer, essay, true-false, or multiple choice.  If students are absent for a quiz, they will be given a grade of "F" for the quiz.  The quizzes may count up to 1/2 or the participation grades (or 10%). 

Please note that for many of the classes, I expect to post questions and outlines of points that we will discuss in the classroom.  Students are strongly advised to print off a copy of the outline and bring it to class.  However, I will be providing more details, information, and explanation than are in the outline.  

Note that I pass around an attendance sheet. If you come to class late or miss the attendance sheet, you are responsible for signing the sheet that same day. If you do not do this, then you may not get credit for your attendance regardless.  Attendance counts towards a significant portion of the overall participation gradeThe instructor makes notes on who participates from the beginning of the class and, after the midterm, begins to assign a participation grade (pluses for excellent participation) after each class.  

"NIU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which mandates reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodation, please contact me early in the semester so that I can provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR), the designated office on campus to provide services and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities. The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building (815-753-1303). I look forward to talking with you soon to learn how I may be helpful in enhancing your academic success in this course."

Classroom Decorum counts toward participation: 

Cell phones should be turned off and students should not leave early from class unless there are extraordinary circumstances (e.g., an emergency, medical condition, or some other contingency previously approved by the instructor).  If you do need to leave early for a legitimate reason, it is expected that you will let the instructor know about this ahead of time.  Of course, it is expected that you will pay polite attention to the instructor, students, or guest speakers during class.  In this class, there are often strongly-felt debates but it is expected that all communications will be civil in nature.  Failure to adhere to these expectations will result in loss of credit toward the participation grade.

Debate Presentation-Outline (20 percent)

Each student will sign up to participate in a debate. You shall sign up for either a pro or con position. You shall read the selections in the texts (if relevant) but you need to research the topic and should have, at a MINIMUM, 8 highly relevant and good quality sources of information (in addition to texts) for the debate. These sources can include interviews with people knowledgeable in the field as well as books and articles. You shall make a TYPED OUTLINE of your key points fully stated attached to which is an annotated bibliography of the sources other than the texts.  In other words, by reading your outline,  the students and myself should be able to read and understand all of your key points by reading the outline.  An Annotated Bibliography means that you have a paragraph explaining how this particular source (e.g., book, article, or interview) was of value to the preparation of your debate presentation. When you are citing data and/or arguments of others, the sources for these should be listed in the outline. Your grade will be based the following 2 major criteria:

(1) The quality of your research. The quality of the research will be based not only on the number and quality of your sources but also on how well you make use of them. The instructor will use the typed outline to help judge the quality of your research so it is important that you include all points made in the debate as well as the annotated bibliography (each reference used with a brief paragraph on how it was useful).   Note:  You are requested  to post your outline of your debate on the course website for this class:  http://webcourses.niu.edu/  The quality of the annotated bibliography will count towards your grade. 

(2) The grade will also include how well you communicate your points to the audience. Part of the purpose of this course is to learn how ton effectively present an argument. To the extent possible (and the instructor realizes that this is very difficult for many students), you should try to speak to the audience and not just read a paper.   You will lose some credit if you entirely or mainly read your presentation.  Use an outline rather than a paper to make your presentation.  Innovation is encouraged in the debate presentations if it helps to communicate your points.  You may use computer-support such as Powerpoint in your presentations but such computerized support IS NOT REQUIRED.  You may also use other forms of support such as overheads, etc.    The effectiveness of your presentation will count towards the grade.  This includes coordination of the presentation between members of the team.  The grading of the debate will also include your ability to discuss, elaborate, and defend your position in the general discussion AFTER the formal debate presentation.  Overall, the debate presentation and the follow-up discussion should show that you have truly mastered the material.  

In grading the debates, I use both absolute and relative criteria.  Consequently, I "batch" the grading of the debates so that I wait until at least 3 or 4 debates have taken place before assigning grades and giving grades to your debate presentations and papers.  

Note that for both the debate and term paper, it is effective to show that you are aware of the arguments of the opposing viewpoint(s) and to try to refute them if possible.  Your overall mastery of your topic including understanding of the opposing viewpoint  as displayed in your presentation and outline will count towards your grade.  

Note: 2 Students are strongly encouraged to  team together for their debate presentations (i.e., 2 "pros" or 2 "cons.") In that case, a single outline should be presented to the instructor with both students named as the author and it is expected that their presentation will be coordinated and both presenters will receive the same grade based on an overall analysis of both presentations, the follow-up discussions after the debate, and the outline-bibliography.

Topics will be assigned on "first-come, first- serve" basis in the first week of classes. We can have no more than 2 for and 2 against for any one topic. Although a date is scheduled for each debate, the actual debate may vary significantly from the schedule and students are RESPONSIBLE FOR keeping track of changes and showing up on the actual debate day, whether changed or not. If you are not present for your assigned debate, you will lose credit.

Note: The debate topics are possible sources of questions for the Midterm and Final. Thus it is important to be present and listen carefully to the debates.

Time: The initial debate presentation roughly should take about 5 minutes per person.  You should present your strongest arguments in the formal presentation. If you can't fit all of your information into the formal presentation, you can discuss other materials in the discussion after the formal presentations.   As you approach the time limit, the instructor may warn you and may cut you off if you go over the limit.  After the initial presentation, I will allow each side to answer questions raised by the other side or to challenge points made by the other side in their presentation.  Other audience members will also be able to ask questions and make comments about the debate.  Note: The follow-up discussion is a significant part of the grade--I am looking for evidence that you have mastered the material for your debate and can effectively reply to questions and comments during the follow-up discussion.

Summary of Key criteria in judging debate-outline:
(1) Do you hand in an outline with your key points fully and clearly stated?  Are they pertinent to the debate at hand?
(2) Do you have an annotated bibliography?  What is the quality and diversity of your sources and your annotations?
(3) How effectively do you present your arguments to the audience?   Do you give give an effective presentation or just read your material?  Are you able to handle yourself well in the give & take questions afterwards?   Do you present the information effectively within the time limits? Do you employ any innovative aspects in your presentations?
(4) To what extent does your overall presentation including your participation in the follow-up questions show that you have mastered the debate topic?

Important Note on Quality of Sources for Debates and Term Papers:

I encourage students to use both the library and the Internet for finding sources. For both debates and the Term paper, be careful to make sure that your bibliography has good quality and diversity as identified below:  (Note:  You are NOT  to do your term paper on the same topic as you use for your debate).

(1) Refereed sources such as refereed or "peer-reviewed"  journal articles and books from most publishers have been sent out to anonymous reviewers and must past this important quality test. Most books and many refereed journals are still ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE LIBRARY so it is dangerous to depend only on Web sources for information since you will miss out on many of the top quality resources.  The term paper should have at least 3 peer-reviewed articles and/or books as sources and they are also encouraged for the debate. 

(2) Government and other official sources of data also can be good sources and now much of their information is on the Web. It is often best to go to the original governmental data source rather than on others' summaries of governmental data. Often strong proponents of one view or another will sift through data and present a biased summary of statistics.

(3) Research done by think tanks and research outfits that are recognized as having produced good quality research in the past. There are many organizations that research welfare-related issues including conservative (e.g., Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute) and moderate to  liberal viewpoints (e.g., Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Urban Institute). I am putting links to many of these recognized sites in our public administration web links and they often have papers/articles and other documents that are useful.  There are certain academic centers that have a great deal of material relevant to this course such as the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and Joint Center for the Study of Poverty of Northwestern and the University of Chicago and you should search these sites for relevant materials.   If you use a site that is NOT either based on a governmental or recognized think tank or academic research center, then you should identify who (e.g., what organization) owns the site and attempt to check on its reputation.  You should discuss this information in your annotation.  

(4) Sources can also include people who are relevant experiences concerning the programs and problems of interest. For example, administrators and clients of welfare programs might be able to offer invaluable information to understanding how well the programs are working.

(5) Many individuals or organizations without such a recognized history of quality research put up sites on the Web and their products tend to be of little value to the serious researcher. Likewise, some periodicals and periodicals contain non-refereed articles that are of dubious quality.  So be sure to have at least 8 sources for the debate-paper (excluding texts) and 10 sources for the term paper (excluding texts)  that are of good quality in your references.  

(6) You are encouraged, when relevant and appropriate, to do site visits and interviews with persons with special knowledge of the programs and issues that you are discussing.  You should note the name, position, and date of the interviews and discuss why this person has special knowledge that is worth using for the paper.  

In summary, part of your task in conducting both your DEBATE PRESENTATION and also your TERM PAPER is to put together a strong set of sources that are very relevant to your presentation. Diversity of sources is also good. Remember that the number of sources cited is the MINIMUM and you are encouraged to consult more.  But also note that I am more impressed with quality than quantity and I am impressed with your ability to synthesize materials from your individual sources.  

Term Paper (20 percent) :

The paper will involve taking a position concerning some policy or proposed policy change.   Another option is a research-oriented paper. The topic must be approved by the instructor. You are not to do your term paper on the same topic as your debate.  The paper should be well-researched and demonstrate that you have mastered the existing information on it. Your sources should include a variety including academic journals, books, government reports, and other sources. When relevant, you are also encouraged to do INTERVIEWS and/or PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION which can be cited as sources.

You should include an Annotated Bibliography of at least 10 sources excluding texts and at least 3 of these should be peer-reviewed articles and/or books.    This means a minimum of 10 quality sources that are very relevant to your work.  You are strongly encouraged to include not just web publications but other types of sources that are not available on the Web such as refereed articles, book and book chapters, and interviews with persons knowledgeable and relevant to your topic.  This means that each reference should have a paragraph attached to it explaining how this reference was useful to the paper.  The Annotation should discuss how this particular publication (or source) was relevant to your research/paper.  This annotation helps me to judge the quality and relevance of your sources. It also helps to discourage plagiarism.   Thus the quality of the annotations counts significantly towards your grade.  If you conduct interviews, the name, position  of the person being interviewed (or brief explanation of the relevance of the person if it is not obvious from their title), and the date of the interview should be included in the bibliography. 

It is expected that a student will do her/his paper on a topic different than their debate topic.  

Citing Web publications:  I prefer that you use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation format.  The following website has a link to instructions on how to do APA format as well as how to cite electronic publications as well as other assistance for writing term papers at following websites:  http://www.niulib.niu.edu/cite-articles.cfm  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/index.html   The latter website discusses how to learn how to paraphrase--i.e., summarize the gist of a statement from a publication in your own words.  For web publications, you should provide the full URL of the publication, the date of the publication, and be sure to print off the publication in case I need to check it since many publications "disappear".   It is also important for Web publications to identify what the nature of the "author" is.  Is the author a governmental organization (if so, which?), a member of some think tank or academic institution, or a private individual or some non-established (e.g., ctr. to think tanks noted above whose work is respected) group or some unknown entity?   You should check with the instructor if you have questions.

The paper (main body, excluding bibliography and appendices) should be A MINIMUM OF 6 pages (double-spaced, normal 1" margins),  no larger than 12 point font.

The paper should show evidence of critical thinking and depth. Although you will be advocating for a particular policy or position, your paper should demonstrate that you have studied sources from other viewpoints and deal with potential objections to your argument.   This will be one of  the significant evaluation measures for the paper.

The instructor will provide a list of potential topics from which to select. You may need to narrow or modify these topics. If you make any major change, you should check it out with the instructor. If you wish to select a topic that is not part of the list, you should consult the instructor.

A paragraph in which you clearly state your proposed topic for your term paper is due no later than Wednesday, Oct. 20th.

The term paper will be due on Tuesday, April 18th.   There will be a penalty for being late.

Criteria for Grading Term Paper:

The grading of the paper will include the following criteria:

(1) The quality of the presentation including writing style, spelling, grammar, correct footnoting, and bibliography styles (Don't forget Annotated Bibliography).. Of course, the pages should be NUMBERED. The footnoting should follow and be consistent with one of the major styles (I prefer the APA style but I will accept other major styles if  they are done consistently and properly). The paper should have complete sentences.  The paper should be well organized in terms of sticking to the point, making transitions, and providing an adequate conclusion.  

(2) The degree to which the paper develops a strong argument, supported by a variety of quality sources, interviews, participant observation, and logic. Again, papers should demonstrate depth and deal with potential objections to the position which you are advocating.  Thus the paper should have a clear thesis.    The paper should avoid long quotations that remain unanalyzed or are "thrown in" without context. The paper should develop and offer strong support for this thesis.  

(3) The degree to which this paper focuses on issues of this class and makes use, if relevant, of texts, other readings, lectures, and discussions in the paper.

(4) The degree of effort involved in the paper is important. In other words, the paper should look like you have spent a great deal of time on it. In particular, the quality and diversity of the sources used for the paper will be important.

(5) The originality of the paper. I am looking for innovative ideas and evidence that you have thought deeply about your sources and synthesized their information.  

(6) The quality and quantity of the sources you use.  Your sources should reflect diversity (e.g., don't over-rely on just web sources).  They should include at least 3 peer-reviewed publications.  A peer-reviewed publication is an article in a journal that has the articles reviewed anonymously or a book from a recognized publishing company.   I will be looking at how well you use and integrate the sources into the body of the paper--if they are listed at the end but not any use made of them--they will not count much.  They should be annotated in the bibliography where you will discuss how you made use of them and I look carefully at the quality of your annotations.  Original data such as that gathered through interviews and/or participant observation can also be valuable. 

(7) Timeliness: Any papers that are late will suffer a penalty. Students are responsible for keeping a copy of their paper.

Plagiarism Statement: "The attempt of any student to present as his or her own work that which he or she has not produced is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense. Students are considered to have cheated if they copy the work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or an assignment written, in whole or in part, by someone else. Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university." Northern Illinois University Undergraduate Catalog.

All direct quotes must be footnoted with the specific page numbers. If a quote is longer than a line or two, it should be indented and single-spaced. You also need to FOOTNOTE IDEAS that you have borrowed from someone even if you do not use direct quotes.  So, if you are using someone's research even if you have altered their words, you still need to reference the source. 

It is assumed that this is an ORIGINAL PAPER that has not (or is not) being used for another class. If it is discovered that you have used this for another class also, the paper will receive a grade of "F."

Midterm and Final Exams (20 percent each)

The Midterm will take place on Thursday, Feb. 23.   The final is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11th, 10-11:50 AM . Note that the same policies apply to the midterm as the final concerning missing it or being late for the exam. The same criteria will also be used to grade the midterm as the final exam (see below) which will consist of short and longer essays.

The midterm will normally be a combination of short and longer essay questions. They will be graded on a number of criteria including the following:

Comprehensiveness:  Does the essay discuss all points thoroughly?

Style: Is the essay to the point? Is it clearly written? Are supporting examples and data used to support generalizations?

Readings: Does the essay make use of the readings/lectures when appropriate and show a mastery of the reading/lecture material for the class?

Opposing Viewpoints:  Does the essay show an awareness of opposing viewpoints?

Synthesis: Does the student raise any innovative ideas in her/his response? Does the student synthesize lectures, texts, and other materials in responding to the question, going beyond "regurgitation"?

Handwriting should be legible or you may be called in to read the exam to the instructor.

The Final:

The final may be similar in structure to the midterm.   Your essays will be judged on the basis of the degree to which you meet the criteria above as well as the extent to which you demonstrate an in depth understanding of the K&S text, DeParle book, other assigned readings,  lecture notes, the optional readings for the course, and other materials from this course that are relevant to this question.   Remember that a strong, in depth answer will give attention to opposing viewpoints . 

Policy on Test-Taking and Incompletes: It is the policy of the Political Science Department not to give incomplete grades except for extraordinary reasons (e.g., serious illness that would make test-taking impossible and can be verified by a note from a physician). Thus students will receive an "F" grade unless they can provide verifiable evidence of extraordinary reason why they were unable to take the final.

Lateness to exams is the responsibility of the student and no extra time is guaranteed. The exams of late students will be graded using the same criteria as for other exams.


I. Introduction: Framework for Studying Welfare Policy

1/17, 1/19, 1/24, 1/26

Karger & Stoesz (hereafter referred to as K&S), Chs. 1, 2, & 8
DeParle, ch.1
Olasky.  What is Compassionate Conservatism and Can It Transform American?  Heritage Foundation, July 24, 2000.  http://www.heritage.org/library/h1676.html 
Nunberg.  "Politicians Stand Up for What' Right and Left."  New York Times, July 13, 2003. Accessed from www.nytimes.com 7/13/03.
Neikirk.  Medicare drug plan has holes, critics say.  Chicago Tribune.  June 15, 2003. Accessed from www.chicagotribune.com 6/15/2003.
Lakoff, G. (September 1, 2003).  Framing the Dems.  American Prospect Online.  http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?name=View+Issue&section=root&id=137
Reich. (1997, May/June). Up from bipartisanship. The American Prospect Online, 8(32). Retrieved August 8, 2002, from http://www.prospect.org/ print/ V8/ 32/ reich-r.html

Read the above articles and be ready to articulate your own political philosophy and attitude toward social policy--what role do you think government should play?  Are you closer to Olasky or Lakoff or some other approach to public policy?  I encourage you to share your opinions on the Blackboard  and review those of other students and come to class prepare to discuss. 

Read the Neikirk article and be ready to discuss how the prescription relates to the models of policy making process. 

II. Poverty Profile: Who are the poor? What are alternative definitions of poverty? How do these alternative definitions tie into politics and ideology? 1/26, 1/31/, 2/2

K&S, Ch.5

Do  you think that the economic position of the working poor and/or middle income workers is improving, staying the same, or getting worse? How would you determine the answer to this question? 

Homework Assignment:    Let us assume that you are in charge of setting the Federal poverty level for DeKalb County (or you may select another county if you prefer).  What do you think the poverty level should be for a family of 3 (let's assume single mother with 2 children, 1 less than 2-years old, the other 6-8 years old) who would need to live in DeKalb.  Provide an overall monthly figure and the specifics of how you derived this figure.  What are the major categories of expenditures and how much spending would you allow in each category?  Be ready to defend why you think your figures are the best that can be used.  What considerations would you have to think about in setting this figure?   Type your figures and your rationale and be ready to hand in as well as discuss in class.  Hand in on 9/8.  

How do you think the official poverty level should be calculated?  How serious a problem do you think poverty is in the U.S.?  What incomes would you classify as working poor? As middle income?  As wealthy? 

III. History of Welfare Programs: 2/2, 2/7, 2/9    

K&S,  Ch.3
DeParle, Part 1

2/7:  Debate 1:  Same sex marriage should be banned.     

For:   _____________________________________________

Against:  __________________________________________________

Policy Debate Questions for discussion in class and on website: 

What are the most important reasons why societies provide welfare assistance?  What causes them to be more or less generous and what is the effect of welfare programs on society and the economy?   Are improvements in welfare policy due primarily to altruism and desire to help the poor or the desire to preserve the status quo? 

What role do economic issues such as the Federal deficit play with respect to economic performance and policy?  With respect to social welfare programs?  Are social welfare programs major factors in creating the deficit?  If so, which ones are?    What is the position of the Bush Administration towards deficits?  What is the position of Democrats towards deficits?  Are deficits defensible under any conditions?  If so, what? 

IV. Social Insurance and Tax Approaches to preventing poverty: 2/14, 2/16, 2/21

K&S, Ch.10& Ch.9

Policy Debate Questions for discussion in Class:

What if any changes do you think should be made in the Social Security program?  Do you think it should be reformed?  Privatized? 

I encourage you to put your opinion on the course blackboard site and come to class prepared to debate. 

Additional Information:

2/14: Debate 2: Social Security should be privatized as suggested by a plan as advocated by George W. Bush and the Republicans.  (Note:  Opposing view would be to advocate the Democratic or other liberal alternative,).  

For: ________________________________________________________

Against: ____________________________________________

2/21:  Debate 3:  Illegal immigration is harmful to the U.S.   

For: ___________________________________________________

Against: _________________________________________________


V. Cash Assistance and Food Stamp Programs: (Midterm =2/23), 3/7, 3/9, 3/21, 3/23

K&S, Ch.11 and Ch. 17
DeParle, Part II

How should the welfare system be changed?  How many hours should workers be required to work?  If they have babies, how soon should the mothers of the babies be expected to work?  How much money should be given to people on welfare?  How much emphasis should be given to marriage initiatives?


* Visit and read   Illinois Department of Human Services TANF site:  http://www.dhs.state.il.us/ts/fss/tanf.asp

Note: Thursday, February 23=Midterm

VI. Legal Issues in Social Welfare Policy:  3/21,

Legal Aid for the Poor.  What aid should be provided? 

What legal issues do the people in the DeParle book get involved with?  Who represents them?  What do you think about the equity of legal representation for the poor?  What kind of access to legal services do you think they should have? 

Skim through the following online article about the Velazquez decision concerning legal services for the poor:  Neuborne, B. & Udel.  D. Legal Services Corporation vs. Velazquez.   http://www.brennancenter.org/resources/downloads/Clearinghouse_Review_LSC.pdf

3/21:  Debate 4:  School vouchers should be adopted because they will provide major help to solving the problem of poor education in impoverished areas such as those in inner cities. (Against:  School-vouchers would not solve the problems, will cause further problems, and should not be provided).  

For:  ________________________________________________________________

Against: ______________________________________________________________


VI. Race, Gender, Child Welfare, and Poverty 3/23, 3/28

K&S, Ch.4  
DeParle, Part 3 

Note:  TERM PAPER PROPOSAL DUE Tuesday, March 28th

Policy Issues for Discussion: 

To what extent would cracking down on deadbeat dads solve the financial problems of female-headed families?  

A new approach of the Bush Administration for government is to adopt programs to encourage marriage.  What role, if any, should government take in fostering marriage as a solution to impoverished, female-headed families? 

What would be the impact of gay marriage on families and society?  Would it be harmful?  Should they be allowed or banned? 

Recommended Readings:

*Garrow, "Toward a More perfect union."  New York Times Magazine, May 9, 2004, pp. 52-57.
Darcy Olsen.  The Advancing Nanny State:  Why Government Should Stay out of Child Care.  Cato Policy Analysis, #285, Oct. 23, 1997 http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-285.html

*Sawhill, Isabel. (4/08/02)  "Is Lack of Marriage the Problem?"  The American Prospect.  http://www.prospect.org/web/printfriendly-view.ww?id=6208

*Spalding, Matthew. (May 17, 2004). "A Defining Moment."  The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, #1759. Accessed from www.heritage.org 8/4/04.

*Heritage Foundation.  (2004).  Marriage Promotion. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Features/Issues2004/MarriageWelfarePoverty.cfm

3/23:  Debate 5:  Should major emphasis be placed on "marriage initiatives" such as those proposed by the Bush Administration? 

Yes:  _______________________________________________________________

No : ________________________________________________________________


3/30:  Debate 6:  Malpractice insurance should be reformed as Bush and the Republicans suggest  with limits on the amount of awards that can be obtained from suing the medical community and other changes they advocate.

For:  ________________________________________________________________
Against:  _____________________________________________________________

4/4: Debate 7:  The Federal Estate tax should be abolished as advocated by Bush and the Republicans.  (Against:  The Federal estate tax should be retained or only modified as proposed by the Democrats).  

For:  _____________________________________________________

Against:  __________________________________________________


VIII.   Private Charities, and Alternative Ways of Organizing Welfare: 4/4

K&S: Ch. 7
*Cato Institute. School Vouchers. http://www.cato.org/cgi-bin/scripts/printtech.cgi/research/education/vouchers.html

*Tanner, Michael. (March 22, 2001).  Corrupting Charity:  Why Government Should Not Fund Faith-Based Initiatives. #62. http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp62.pdf

How should services to the poor be designed and delivered?  What should be the role of government?  Of the private-for-profit and nonprofit sectors?

IX. Health Programs and Welfare  4/6, 4/11, 4/13, 4/18

K&S, Ch. 12
Review DeParle for parts related to health care

Heritage Foundation.  The Uninsured.  http://www.heritage.org/research/features/Issues2004/uninsured.cfm

Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. (07/02/03). Bad Medicine.  http://www.prospect.org/web/printfriendly-view.ww?id=6840

Kuttner. Forward Progress:  Why Democrats should go for broke on health care reform.


4/6:   Debate 8: The U.S. health care system would be improved by adopting a national health insurance program that guarantees health care for everyone.   This approach should be similar to (you may choose Canada, Germany, France or another country that has such a program.)  The Against position would take a position against a national health insurance program.) 

For: ________________________________________________________

Against: _____________________________________________________


4/11: Debate 9:   Faith-based organizations are more effective in dealing with the problems of the poor and their use should be much more heavily emphasized as proposed by the Bush Administration. 

For ___________________________________

Against: __________________________________

NOTE: The term paper is be due Tuesday, May 11th.   There will be a penalty for being late.

XI. Housing the Poor and the Homeless  4/20, 4/25 

K&S, Ch. 16

Recommended: Read a brief HUD description of the Section 8 Voucher program at following: http://www.hud.gov/progdesc/voucher.cfm

Discussion for Class: What are the implications of the DeParle book for housing and the working poor? 
How do we improve housing for the poor in a way that is effective and  politically doable?  
Can the people displaced by the teardown of public housing find suitable replacement housing?  Will mixed-income neighborhood approach work in Chicago? 
How would you solve the problem of low income housing? 

4/20:  Debate 10:  Affirmative action programs are effective and necessary to promote equitable and adequate pay for women and minorities.

For: _________________________________________________

Against: _________________________________________________

VII. Child Welfare Policy:  4/27, 5/2, 5/4

K& S, Ch.15
Review parts of DeParle relevant to child welfare

VIII.  International and Globalization Issues and Conclusion:  5/4  

K&S, Ch. 18
DeParle, Epilogue. 

Be ready to discuss what can be done to make our social policy system better?  What can be done to help the working poor and lower middle class?  What changes should be made?  What direction should we be headed?

4/27   Debate 11: Globalization and free trade are harmful to working poor and low income workers in the U.S. 

For: _________________________________________________

Against: _________________________________________________

5/2 : Debate 12:   Should Minors be required to obtain parental consent prior to receiving an abortion? . 

For: ______________________________________________________________________

Against:  ___________________________________________________________________

XIII. FINAL EXAM:  Thursday, May 11, 10-11:50 AM.