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When President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 PRWORA into law PRWORA replaced existing AID to Families with Dependent Children AFDC Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training JOBS and Emergency Assistance programs In their stead PRWORA established cash welfare block grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families TANF and made significant changes in programs dealing with supplemental security income food stamps and public assistance benefits for noncitizens Joy K Rice Welfare programs have been our countrys response to poverty and everyone agrees that those programs have not solved the problem Joy K Rice The Economic Policy Institute identifies wage decline as the crucial economic factor that has had the largest impact on poverty rates in the 1980s and 1990s While hourly rates of pay have fallen for the majority of the workforce since the late 1970s by far the largest losses have been for the lowest paid workers According to Bernstein 1996 between 1979 and 1989 the male worker for example at the 10th percentile meaning 90 percent of the male workforce earns more saw his hourly wage decline 13 percent and since 1989 he lost another 6 percent For women workers at the 10th percentile the decline over the 1980s was 18 percent The low-wage female worker gained slightly since 1989 but by 1995 her hourly wage rate was 484 down from 582 in 1979 all dollars are in 1995 inflation-adjusted termsCanadian Self-Sufficiency ProjectUnlike the Canadian welfare system state welfare programs under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families TANF initiative normally grant welfare ONLY to households with children often headed by single mothers They exclude all non-disabled single people and childless couples who must apply instead to the national Food Stamp program and to residual aid programs where they live if there are any such programs which is not always the case In Canada singles and childless couples make up close to 60 of
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