PUBPOL 495 (Policy Seminar) is for students currently enrolled in the Public Policy Undergraduate Program only, no exceptions. Enrollment is by permission only.
What are the key features of the U.S. social welfare system, and how did the current welfare system come to be? What are the implications of changing demographics and a changing workforce for the future of the social safety net?
This course will provide an overview of the U.S. social welfare system, encompassing topics such as income transfer policies like the minimum wage, cash welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and a universal basic income, as well as family leave policies, education policies, health and nutrition policies, and housing policies. We will examine the history of the U.S. social welfare system, how it differs from other developed nations, and what we know from research on the intended and unintended consequences of these policies and their disparate impacts on different demographic groups within the U.S. We’ll also discuss how these policies evolved over time as public attitudes shifted, and potential reforms for the future.