Betty Reid Mandell's blog
|Betty Reid Mandell August 30, 2012|
[This is an expanded version of a letter sent to the New York Times and not printed.]
|Betty Reid Mandell June 22, 2012|
It has become fashionable, especially among conservatives, to portray public employees as lazy and inefficient, as compared to private sector workers who are touted as hard working, efficient, and cost effective. In this invective, all public sector workers are lumped together— teachers, police, firemen, welfare workers, Social Security workers, etc.
|Betty Reid Mandell March 9, 2012|
[This is an expanded version of an earlier post, giving it a national perspective.—Betty]
The Massachusetts legislature has decided that the poor can’t be trusted with money, and a legislative commission has considered not allowing recipients of food stamps (now called SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and recipients of welfare (TAFDC) to use cash for any of their purchases (such as paying the rent), and issuing vouchers instead.
|Betty Reid Mandell February 25, 2012|
The Massachusetts legislature has established an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Commission, which is now holding hearings on how people use their EBT (food stamp, aka SNAP) cards. They heard that a Massachusetts resident had used an EBT card in Hawaii. They concluded that there must be some fraud involved, which they should investigate and put a stop to. In fact, food stamps are national, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, and can be used in any state.
|Betty Reid Mandell February 3, 2012|
Government officials tell us how many people are living at or below the poverty line, but they don’t tell us how low the poverty line is. A more appropriate name would be the “near starvation line.” The federal poverty line is based on a formula arrived at in 1963, which set the poverty line at three times the annual cost of food under a “low-cost budget,” without considering housing, fuel costs, or child care costs, all of which have escalated substantially in the past forty-nine years.
|Betty Reid Mandell September 8, 2011|
MEANS-TESTING SOCIAL SECURITY is a proposal that some policy-makers are considering. That would be the beginning of the end for the program. When Social Security was first begun, in 1935 during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, some people proposed means-testing it as they means-tested Aid to Dependent Children (now TANF, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). Roosevelt resisted it, knowing that would make it politically vulnerable. In order to protect it, Social Security needed to be universal. The rich as well as the poor would receive it.
|Betty Reid Mandell January 22, 2011|
I wrote a letter to the Boston Globe in response to a series of 3 articles that appeared in the Globe describing how parents are desperately trying to get their children on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and are persuading doctors to prescribe medication so the children will be eligible.
|Betty Reid Mandell February 2, 2010|
Judi Chamberlin, one of the founders of the mental patients’ liberation movement, died January 2010 at her Arlington, MA home from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, a lung disease, at the age of 65.
|Betty Reid Mandell June 28, 2009|
With the Obama election, many of us are wondering how far we can push the new Administration in a progressive direction. As Frances Fox Piven says, he won’t go left unless there is a powerful movement pushing him in that direction. Piven compares him to FDR, under whose Administration many liberal programs, including Social Security, were enacted. FDR began as a centrist but was pushed to the left by protest movements. There has been a steady drum roll of pundits proclaiming that welfare reform is a success.