The Myth of the 'Welfare Queen'

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Media Outlet: New Hampshire Public Radio

Rachel Black and Aleta Sprague spoke on NHPR's Word of Mouth about the myth of the 'Welfare Queen':

In 1976 presidential candidate Ronald Reagan used "welfare queen" when describing a serial criminal who bilked the government for tens of thousands of dollars in aid—what was true then and still true today: the typical welfare recipient is rural and white. But it stuck as code for urban, black, and working the system. Today, how the myth of the "welfare queen" gets in the way of helping real families.

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Rachel Black is the co-director of the Family-Centered Social Policy program at New America. In this role, she leads research, analysis, and public commentary around a portfolio of issues devoted to creating a more equitable public policy approach to  advancing a new vision for social policy that allows all families to thrive in an era of growing risk, uncertainty, and inequality.

Aleta Sprague is a program fellow with the Family-Centered Social Policy program at New America.