Contemporary Moral Problems, 4
th ed., James E. White, pp. 298-299)
The Boarder Baby Scandal (As reported by Andrew Stein, president of the New York City Council in The
New York Times, Saturday, Jan. 17, 1987).
A Case of UnemploymentJohn Smith and his wife Jane have three small children. Until recently, John had a good job in a factory in Dallas, Texas, and a good life: house, car, T.V., new furniture, and so on. Unfortunately, he lost his job when the factory closed. He has sold all his possessions, exhausted his unemployment compensation and cannot collect AFDC. (Married men and women do not qualify for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); in fact, no welfare at all is available for him in Dallas.) Jane tried working as a waitress, leaving John to care for the children, but she did not make enough money to pay the bills. Now they are living on the street and getting one free meal a day at the Salvation Army. The children are suffering from exposure and malnutrition; John and Jane are tired, hungry, dirty, and depressed. Should such a family receive welfare benefits? Explain your answer.
St. Cloud (Minnesota)
Times, Oct. 6, 1989.) Sharon Lenger, forty-eight, has a bachelorâ€™s degree in psychology and an associate of arts degree in drug counseling. She worked as a residential counselor in a home for abused and molested adolescents in California until she was severely assaulted by one of the residents. As a result of the injuries sustained in the attack, she was unable to work in the home and moved out. She received workerâ€™s compensation, but this was not enough to live on in California since it was based on her low salary and did not take into account the free room and board provided at the home where she had worked. She moved to Minnesota to live near her sick and elderly parents. Then the state of California stopped her workerâ€™s compensation payments. She needed further surgery because of the assault injuries, so she applied for medical assistance and general assistance. Now she receives $203 a month in general assistance payments, not enough to pay for food and a place to live. Currently she is staying at an emergency shelter run by Catholic Charities, and describes herself as one step away from the street. In other words, she is a homeless person. Does Sharon Lenger have a right to adequate shelter? If so, how should this be provided?
The Poor in Brazil
Periodic Famines and Somalia