By Jane L. Collins, Victoria Mayer

Either fingers Tied experiences the operating terrible within the usa, focusing particularly at the relation among welfare and low-wage gains between operating moms. Grounded within the event of thirty-three girls residing in Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin, it tells the tale in their fight to stability baby care and wage-earning in poorly paying and sometimes state-funded jobs with rigid schedules—and the moments whilst those jobs failed them they usually became to the country for extra reduction.   Jane L. Collins and Victoria Mayer right here study the occasions of those ladies in gentle of the 1996 nationwide own accountability and paintings chance Reconciliation Act and different like-minded reforms—laws that ended the entitlement to welfare for these in want and supplied an incentive for them to come to paintings. Arguing that this reform got here at a time of gendered switch within the hard work strength and profound shifts within the obligations of relations, agencies, and the kingdom, either arms Tied offers a stark yet poignant portrait of ways welfare reform bad, single-parent households, eventually eroding the members’ fiscal rights and affecting their skill to deal with themselves and their young ones.

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Extra resources for Both Hands Tied: Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom in the Low-Wage Labor Market

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23 In 1954 the Milwaukee Journal published a series of↜ articles entitled “The Blight within Us,” calling for urban renewal in the 98 percent black Hillside area adjacent to Walnut Street. Despite vigorous protests by community members, a Hillside Redevelopment Project was approved by the city council. According to one account: Walnut Street was devastated by urban renewal. Better housing was built, but there were fewer places to live, forcing many black homeowners to move. The racist practices of↜local real estate dealers and the surge of↜ local neighborhood associations around the city with restrictive coveÂ� W e l fa r e R e f o r m ’ s C o n t e x t â•… 33 nants made relocation a nearly impossible task.

The caseworker told Aurelia she would assign her to a sewing position, which she would have to attend from 8 to 4 five days a week. “I’m not a seamstress, I’m a cook,” Aurelia protested. “You’ve been here three years,” she said, referring to the caseworker’s own situation. ” “We have food service, but you would have to stand,” the caseworker replied. ” Aurelia’s reference to slavery reflects her understanding that a constitutional right to freely contract one’s labor—to choose when and where to work—is at stake in such assignments.

They shaped the fates of↜ all families who could not a∏ord to move outside the central city and who shared in the poor city services, dilapidated housing stock, and substandard schools of↜ the Inner Core. When certain occupations became associated with blacks or immigrants—for example, work in tanneries, foundries, or domestic service—working conditions and wages declined for all who held those jobs. The fate of↜ the very poor in Milwaukee and Racine—whether black, white, or Latino—was thus shaped by forces of↜ racial exclusion.

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