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on March 3, 2016
Very good study on how skewed Americans view of welfare and welfare recipients really is. It's a info dense book, so don't expect a page turner- but if you're looking for really great research material, you'd be smart to look here.
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on May 9, 2016
should be a must read for all Americans
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on December 5, 2013
Gilens is a rockstar, I had to read this book for a polysci class and I really enjoyed it, he makes some good and interesting points and backs them up with tons of data making all his research very reliable. For the period it was written (1998 I think?) he had some revolutionary ideas.
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on February 8, 2014
Book was ok. Easy to read and made some sense. The author didn't really take a side just talks stats and his conclusions.
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on May 6, 2013
I didn't really want this book, but I had to buy it for a class. It's okay I guess. Well written.
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on July 15, 2005
This book should be required reading in every high school civic class. Gilens dispels the myths of the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor and the myths of the racial composition of welfare recipients. The text is extremely well researched and clearly written. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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on April 5, 2014
No I am not a rabid conservative but, I do think myself a reasonable man. Pay able bodied people to sit home and collect a check and you encourage sloth simple as that. Also fashion a captialist economic system that is unable to provide the number of living wage jobs needed to employ those wanting to work and you create the logical needs based foundation that supports the concept of "Welfare!" Both sides contribute to the disgrace that is welfare. On one side we have the super rich who now have so much money thay can never spend it all. On the other hand we have hard working honorable US citizens toiling away at dead end, low paying minimum wage jobs that make life so hard its just a hint above slavery. Walfare is the admission that while capitalism is a far better system than communism it has its serious flaws. Thw gap between the rich and poor continues to grow. The working poor are increasingly being treated like modern day slaves who suffer long hours, abusive labor practices insisted on by greedy ruthless corporations who would see the streets run red with blood just to make another dollar profit on the bottom line.

Welfare is an ugly truth made neccessary by the failings of capitism in the area of wealth distribution. Welfare is so often seen as a program for the poor when in fact it is a program that aid's the rich corporations. Only because of welfare can today's mega corporations afford to pay the minimum slave wages that maximize profits at the expense of hard working class people. Huge corporations and their disgusting ugly fat cat slob investors are getting rich off the blood and suffering of the working poor. Welfare is a sick system but, let's be clear on who reaps its rewards. A person ellegible for food stamps, section 8 housing or TANIF is hardly living the life of a QUEEN Welfare or otherwise. The true Queens of the Welfare Rackets are the corporations who rake in huge profits by paying employees so little in wages that they and their families qualify for entitlements mean to help the poorest of the poor in our nation.

Oh yes Welfare is a disgrace but their are many reasons and many vilians in the welfare mess and they are not always those you most suspect. Welfare has a corportate purpose in addition to functioning as a safety net for the poor. If corporations were forced to pay a living wage there would be no need for the disgrace of welfare as we know it. It is true welfare robs able bodied working people of the dignity that comes only with work, but corporate greed robs a hard working person of the respect that is owed a person who puts in an honest days hard work. Welfare is a two edged sword both edges cut equally deep in liberal and conservative scared cows. The book lays bare the foolish ideas that are the foundation of the USA's welfare state. Why Americans Hate Welfare is also a book about corporate greed run amuck and how walfare is part of the cost of doing business for those who mega corporate giants that grow fat by paying low skilled workers slave wages. Americans Hate Welfare true but we all know Americans hate higher prices that come with paying a living wage even more the book explores these concepts and does a reasonable but far from perfect job of it.
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on May 23, 2000
This books holds little appeal beyond the realm of Political Scientist. As someone university educated in the field I respect the many years research placed into this book. The explainations are extremely thorough- too much so?- and coupled with extensive graphs and charts. This is a great reference source on the subject of Public Opinion about welfare.
However, the book is a bore. Once you read the preface, introduction and first chapter you've basically finished the book. The rest explains each point- point by point. Interjected between points is explanations of each method used to analyze the point. Is examining the methods used to examine something overkill? Not in itself. However, Gilens drowns casual readers in analysis; and analysis of analysis. He seems to repeat himself often, as if restatement helps drive the point home. After several pages on a topic I could understand by reading a 1 page chart, I just wanted him to move on. Get to the point!
The insights are nothing new to those of use who ignored the dogmatic ramblings of both the ideological left and right for years. Gilens raises questions of racism and classism in people's opinions. That isn't anything new- to some of us
The book gets 4 stars only because of the extensiveness with which it examines the topic. Those intrested in Public Opinion, Welfare or the details of political research should check it out. Everyone else avoid.
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on February 29, 2012
I AGREE THAT ALL STATES SHOULD HAVE SOME SORT OF WELFARE DESIGNED TO HELP THEE SICK, THE UNEMPLOYED, THE DISADVANTAGED, BUT I DRAW THE LINE G*******DARN IT WHEN I SEE PERFECTLY SANE ASS ADULT AGE PEOPLE WHO WALK AROUND THINKING THEIR ASS'ES ARE INTITILED TO DO NO WORK, LAYAROUND ALL DAY SMOKING WEED , DRINKING BEER, PLAYING GAMES DOING NOTHING TO ADVANCE THEMSELVES, AND I AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS WHO TAKE PRIDE IN WORKING, VOTING, AND YES EVEN PAYING MY SHARE OF TAXES, HOW IN THE F******* IS THIS FAIR TO US????, GENERATION, AFTER GENERATION, THESE PEOPLE BEGAT CRIME BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE DAMN WORLD YOU KNOW ITS TRUE!!!! THEN TO TOP IT OFF MAKE MULTIBLE OUT OF WEDLOCK BABIES YEAR IN, YEAR OUT ITS TRUE !!!!!. NOW EVEN THE IMMIGRANTS ARE DOING THE SAME THING !!!! VISIT ANY MAJOR CITY AND YOU'LL SEE IT. I HAVE NO PROBLEM HELPING SOMEONE, BUT EVERY BIRD MUST BE TAUGHT TO HUNT, THEN TO FLY, AND LEAVE THE DAMN NEST!!!!!. IN ESSENCE AT THE END OF THE DAY ASK YOURSELF HOW DID I GET MYSELF IN THIS POSITION AND WHAT DO I WANT OUT OF LIFE , BECAUSE WITH NO EDUCATION, NEVER BEEN MARRIED, SIX KIDS, AND NO MONEY YOU'LL NEVER MARRY!! EVER!!!. THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN SAVE YOU FROM HELL IS YOU!.
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