URSI 100--Introduction to the City

Poverty in the City

Poverty line—level

Poverty line—basis

Why hasn’t poverty declined since early 1970s?

--Structure of poverty


>family structure

--Urban “ghetto”

>meaning of term (shtetl)

>disappearance of work

History of Poverty Programs

--New Deal: AFDC, WPA (“worthy poor”)

--1964 Economic Opportunity Act--War on Poverty (roots of poverty are systematic rather than individual)

> CAPs (“maximum feasible participation”)—HeadStart, VISTA

>Manpower development—JobCorps (1964), CETA (1973), JTPA (1983)

--1965 Food Stamp program & Medicaid

--1970’s—HEW studies (DIME & SIME) find that income support reduces hours worked and increases divorce & separation

--1996—Comprehensive Welfare Reform Act

>abolished AFDC

>limited public assistance to 5 years over a lifetime

>welfare to work provisions


Based on LEVY, J.M. 2000. Urban America: Processes & Problems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


2003 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 1 January 06