Marjorie has tasked us with compiling a database of sources for her upcoming pieces; we need to find welfare recipients, academics, government officials and entities, and everything in between. This is going to help her -- and us -- report. I'm in charge of reading through the hundreds of articles that were written between 2002 and 2007. I was actually surprised at how many stories were written during this time, seeing as how not much was being down in Congress regarding welfare. In Wisconsin, however, things were as heated as ever.
A piece by Steve Schultze that was published in the Journal Sentinel on April 8, 2005 examined how Wisconsin's welfare program Wisconsin Works was failing to lift people out of poverty. The lede stated: "The vast majority of poor people stay poor after going through the state's landmark welfare reform program, says a new audit released Thursday."
"W-2 grads who left the program in late 1999 earned on average just $8,300 the first year out of the program and less than $12,000 by the fourth year in the work world, the report found. The most common job found by former clients: working for a temporary help service."
I'm nowhere near done with reading through all the articles, but I'm having fun learning about how our local paper has covered it over the years. For the next week, we're tasked with giving Marjorie summaries of all the academic, government and think tank reports we've come across, as well as continuing the database of sources.