Prospecting Among the Poor: Welfare Privatization

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By Bill Berkowitz

Applied Research Center

The California-based Applied Research Center has been one of the most aggressive opponents of welfare reform, saying that it hurts poor people. ARC Senior Research Associate Bill Berkowitz contends in this report that privatization of welfare (interpreted by ARC as "allowing the profit motive to drive social services") has led to a series of problems, including: social service providers lying about their success; some programs keeping enrollment down to save on staffing; some companies over-billing their supporting government agency in order to increase profits; and some service providers discriminating against clients and employees based on race and gender. Berkowitz says the U.S. General Accounting Office should conduct an inquiry into the companies hired to manage welfare services. 23 pages. Free. Applied Research Center, 3781 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611. (510) 653-3415. E-mail: