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Public Views on Welfare and Poverty

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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

1. 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 Agenda

       Sponsored by National Constitution Center
                  Sample: 1,520 adults

Methodology: Telephone interview conducted July 10-24, 2002

                                      Our       Nat’l
                                     Class      Sample
   A. Strongly agree
   B. Somewhat agree
   C. Strong disagree
   D. Somewhat disagree
   E. Don’t know
            Survey Facts
Questions 2-12; 17-21
• Survey Organization: International
  Communications Research, the Henry J. Kaiser
  Family Foundation and Harvard
  University
Sponsored 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

2. 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

                           Our     Nat’l
                          Class   Sample
 A. generally making
 things better
 B. making things worse
 C. aren't having much
 of an impact
 D. Don’t know
Can We Eliminate Poverty?

3. 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?

                   Our     Nat’l
                  Class   Sample

  A. Yes

  B. No

  C. Don’t Know
      Causes of Poverty
• For each of the          •   drug abuse
  following, please tell   •   medical bills
  me if this is a major    •   decline in moral values
  cause of poverty, a      •   too many part-time or
  minor cause of               low-wage jobs
  poverty, or not a        •   too many single parents
  cause at all. Keep a     •   poor people lacking
  record of your               motivation
  answers as we go         •   poor public schools
  along.                   •   the welfare system
                           •   a shortage of jobs
       Causes of Poverty
4. Question: Is drug abuse a major
   cause of poverty, a minor cause of
   poverty, or not a cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
       Causes of Poverty:
          drug abuse
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
5. Question: Are medical bills a major
   cause of poverty, a minor cause of
   poverty, or not a cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
       Causes of Poverty:
         medical bills
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
6. Question: Is a decline in moral
   values a major cause of poverty, a
   minor cause of poverty, or not a cause
   at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
     Causes of Poverty:
  a decline in moral values
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
7. Question: Is too many part-time or
   low-wage jobs a major cause of
   poverty, a minor cause of poverty, or
   not a cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
         Causes of Poverty:
too many part-time or low-wage jobs
                   Our     Nat’l
                  Class   Sample
  A. Major

  B. Minor

  C. Not at all

  D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
8. Question: Is too many single
   parents a major cause of poverty, a
   minor cause of poverty, or not a cause
   at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
     Causes of Poverty:
  too many single parents
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
9. Question: Is poor people lacking
   motivation a major cause of poverty,
   a minor cause of poverty, or not a
   cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
      Causes of Poverty:
poor people lacking motivation
                  Our     Nat’l
                 Class   Sample
 A. Major

 B. Minor

 C. Not at all

 D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
10. Question: Are poor public schools a
    major cause of poverty, a minor cause
    of poverty, or not a cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
      Causes of Poverty:
     poor public schools
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
11. Question: Is the welfare system a
    major cause of poverty, a minor cause
    of poverty, or not a cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
      Causes of Poverty:
      the welfare system
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
       Causes of Poverty
12. Question: Is a shortage of jobs a
    major cause of poverty, a minor cause
    of poverty, or not a cause at all?
  A.   Major
  B.   Minor
  C.   Not at all
  D.   Don’t know
       Causes of Poverty:
       a shortage of jobs
                 Our     Nat’l
                Class   Sample
A. Major

B. Minor

C. Not at all

D. Don’t Know
                Causes of Poverty
           Cause             Major %   Minor %   NotC   DK
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
Anxiety about Becoming Poor

13. 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

                    Our     Nat’l
                   Class   Sample
   A. Great deal

   B. A little

   C. Not at all

   D. Don’t know
Do the poor work enough?

14. 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?

                       Our     Nat’l
                      Class   Sample
  A. Work but don’t
  earn enough

  B. Don’t work

  C. Don’t work
            Survey Facts
Questions 15-16
• Survey Organization: Princeton Survey Research
  Associates
Sponsored 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
15. 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.
  A.   Completely agree
  B.   Mostly agree
  C.   Mostly disagree
  D.   Completely disagree
  E.   Don’t know
Government Responsibility
   take care of people
                           Our     Nat’l
                          Class   Sample
 A. Completely agree
 B. Mostly agree
 C. Mostly disagree
 D. Completely disagree
 E. Don’t know
Government Responsibility
16. Do you agree or disagree with the following
    statement?
   – The government should help more needy
       people even if it means going deeper
       into debt.
  A.   Completely agree
  B.   Mostly agree
  C.   Mostly disagree
  D.   Completely disagree
  E.   Don’t know
Government Responsibility
      Run a deficit
                           Our     Nat’l
                          Class   Sample
 A. Completely agree
 B. Mostly agree
 C. Mostly disagree
 D. Completely disagree
 E. Don’t know
  Major change is welfare laws?

17. 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 2001
             Sample: 1,952 adults


                       Our           Nat’l
                      Class         Sample

  A. Yes

  B. No

  C. Don’t Know
             Welfare Reform
18. 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 Reform
     Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001
Sample: 1,024 adults who say there has been a major change
         in the welfare laws in the past eleven years

                                Our          Nat’l
                               Class        Sample

A. Working well

B. Not working well

C. Don’t know
    Reasons for success of
       welfare reform
19. 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


                                  Major Minor Not DK
The law requires people
to work
The law has cut welfare
rolls
Welfare depts are doing
more to help poor
people
There is less stigma
attached to welfare
      Work Opportunity
20. 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 Opportunity
  Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001

                    Our       Nat’l
                   Class     Sample

A. Yes

B. No

C. Don’t Know
      Work Opportunity
        Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001
    1,477 adults who say there are jobs available
21. 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 Opportunity
      Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001
  1,477 adults who say there are jobs available

                         Our          Nat’l
                        Class        Sample

A. Yes

B. No

C. Don’t Know
 Are poor people needy?
22. 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?
A. Could get along without it
B. Really need it
C. Don’t know
Are poor people needy?
   Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001
          Sample: 1,952 adults

                        Our      Nat’l
                       Class    Sample
A. Could get along
without it

B. Need help

C. Don’t know
Incentives to Have Children

23. 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?
  A. Yes
  B. No
  C. Don’t know
Incentives to Have Children
  Source: NPR / Kaiser / Harvard 2001
           Sample: 1,952 adults

                     Our           Nat’l
                    Class         Sample

A. Yes

B. No

C. Don’t Know
           Survey Facts
              Questions 24
• Survey Organization: Public Agenda
Sponsored
  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?

24. 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?
   A. Welfare costs too much money
   B. Welfare encourages the wrong lifestyle and
      values
   C. Neither
   D. Don’t know
  What’s wrong with welfare?

                              Our     Nat’l
                             Class   Sample
A. Welfare costs too much
in taxes
B. Welfare encourages the
wrong lifestyle and values
C. Neither

D. Don’t know
          Survey Facts
            Questions 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?
25. 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?
   A.   Giving up proper role
   B.   Ending system that kept people poor
   C.   Neither
   D.   Both
   E.   Don’t know
 Government Retreat?
                            Our     Nat’l
                           Class   Sample
A. Giving up proper role
B. Ending system that
kept people poor
C. Neither
D. Both
E. Don’t know

				
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