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Poverty and Welfare: People’s Chief Concerns. Source: Public Agenda, accessed on January 3 at http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/pcc_detail2.cfm. Fulfiliing Our Nation’s Ideals. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

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Poverty and Welfare:People’s Chief Concerns

Source: Public Agenda, accessed on January 3 at http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/pcc_detail2.cfm


Fulfiliing Our Nation’s Ideals

  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    • "As long as so many Americans are poor or homeless, our nation has failed to live up to its ideals.”

      A. Strongly agree

      B. Somewhat agree

      C. Strongly disagree

      D. Somewhat Disagree

      E. Don’t know


Survey Organization: Public AgendaSponsored by National Constitution CenterSample: 1,520 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted July 10-24, 2002


Survey Facts

Questions 2-12; 17-21

  • Survey Organization: International Communications Research, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard UniversitySponsored by National Public Radio

  • Sample: 1,952 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted Jan. 4-Feb. 27, 2001
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.


Efficacy of Government Programs

  • Question: Do you think government programs that try to improve the condition of poor people in this country are:

    A. generally making things better,

    B. making things worse, or

    C. aren't having much of an impact one way or another

    D. Don’t know


Efficacy of Government Programs


Can We Eliminate Poverty?

  • Question: If the government were willing to spend whatever it thought was necessary to eliminate poverty in the United States, do you think that this is something that could be accomplished, or not?

    A. Yes

    B. No

    C. Don’t Know


Can We Eliminate Poverty?


For each of the following, please tell me if this is a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all. Keep a record of your answers as we go along.

drug abuse

medical bills

decline in moral values

too many part-time or low-wage jobs

too many single parents

poor people lacking motivation

poor public schools

the welfare system

a shortage of jobs

Causes of Poverty


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is drug abuse a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:drug abuse


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Are medical bills a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:medical bills


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is a decline in moral values a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:a decline in moral values


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is too many part-time or low-wagejobs a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:too many part-time or low-wagejobs


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is too many single parents a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:too many single parents


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is poor people lacking motivation a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:poor people lacking motivation


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Are poor public schools a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:poor public schools


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is the welfare system a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:the welfare system


Causes of Poverty

  • Question: Is a shortage of jobs a major cause of poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or not a cause at all?

    • Major

    • Minor

    • Not at all

    • Don’t know


Causes of Poverty:a shortage of jobs


Causes of Poverty


Anxiety about Becoming Poor

  • Question: Does the possibility of becoming poor worry you a great deal, worry you just a little, or doesn't it worry you at all?

    A. A great deal

    B. A little

    C. Not at all

    D. Don’t know


Anxiety about Becoming Poor


Do the poor work enough?

  • Question: Do you think that poor people in the United States are people who work but can't earn enough money, or people who don't work?

    A. Work

    B. Don’t work

    C. Don’t know


Do the poor work enough?


Survey Facts

Questions 15-16

  • Survey Organization: Princeton Survey Research AssociatesSponsored by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

  • Sample: 985 adults


  • Methodology: Telephone interview conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 10, 1999

  • Note: Percentages may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding


Government Responsibility

  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    • It is the responsibility of the government to take care of people who can't take care of themselves.

    • Completely agree

    • Mostly agree

    • Mostly disagree

    • Completely disagree

    • Don’t know


Government Responsibilitytake care of people


Government Responsibility

  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    • The government should help more needy people even if it means going deeper into debt.

    • Completely agree

    • Mostly agree

    • Mostly disagree

    • Completely disagree

    • Don’t know


Government ResponsibilityRun a deficit


Major change is welfare laws?

  • Question: To the best of your knowledge, has there been a major change in welfare laws in the past eleven years, or not?

    A.Yes

    B.No

    C. Don’t know


Major change is welfare laws? Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001Sample: 1,952 adults


Welfare Reform

  • Question: Just to refresh your memory, the new welfare law, which Congress passed in 1996, ends the federal guarantee of public assistance to the poor. It also requires able-bodied recipients to work within two years. It sets a lifetime limit on federal benefits of five years for most people. And it gives the states a lot of flexibility. All in all, do you think the new welfare law is working well, or not?

    A.Working well

    B. Not working well

    C. Don’t know


Welfare ReformSource: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001Sample: 1,024 adults who say there has been a major change in the welfare laws in the past eleven years


Reasons for success of welfare reform

  • Question: There are many reasons people give for why they think the new law is working well. I'm going to read you a few of them. Please tell me whether each is a major reason you think the new law is working well, a minor reason, or not a reason at all.


Sample: 613 adults who say the new welfare law is working well


Work Opportunity

  • Question: Do you think there are jobs available for most welfare recipients who really want to work or not?

    A. Yes

    B. No

    C. Don’t know


Work OpportunitySource: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001


Work OpportunitySource: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001 1,477 adults who say there are jobs available

  • Question: Do you think most of the jobs they can get pay enough to support a family or not?

    A. Yes

    B. No

    C. Don’t know


Work OpportunitySource: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 20011,477 adults who say there are jobs available


Are poor people needy?

  • Question: In your opinion, do you think that most people who receive money from welfare today could get along without it if they tried, or do you think that most of them really need this help?

  • Could get along without it

  • Really need it

  • Don’t know


Are poor people needy? Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001Sample: 1,952 adults


Incentives to Have Children

  • Question: Do you think that welfare encourages women to have more children than they would have if they were not able to get welfare, or not?

    • Yes

    • No

    • Don’t know


Incentives to Have ChildrenSource: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001Sample: 1,952 adults


Survey FactsQuestions 24

  • Survey Organization: Public AgendaSponsored by The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

  • Sample: 1,000 adults; 


  • Methodology: Telephone interview conducted Dec. 8-17, 1995
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding


What’s wrong with welfare?

  • Question: Some people feel that the most upsetting thing about welfare is that it costs too much in tax money. Others feel that the most upsetting thing about welfare is that it encourages people to adopt the wrong lifestyle and values. What is your opinion?

    • Welfare costs too much money

    • Welfare encourages the wrong lifestyle and values

    • Neither

    • Don’t know


What’s wrong with welfare?


Survey FactsQuestions 25

  • Survey Organization: Newsweek

  • Sample: 656 adults


  • Methodology: Telephone interview conducted April 14-15, 1997
Margin of error: +/- 4 %
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
From Newsweek 4/97, Newsweek Inc.


Government Retreat?

  • Question: Thinking about the new cutbacks and limits in federal/state welfare programs, do you see these cuts and limits mostly as government giving up its proper role of helping poor people or government ending a system that has kept poor people in poverty?

    • Giving up proper role

    • Ending system that kept people poor

    • Neither

    • Both

    • Don’t know


Government Retreat?


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