Independent ProducerCaitlin Esch is an independent radio journalist in Los Angeles, Calif. Her work has aired on APM’s Marketplace, NPR News, NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, KQED News, The California Report, KCRW, KPCC’s Take Two and Philosophy Talk. Caitlin has a Master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from George Washington University.
FROM Caitlin Esch
20 years since welfare reform, are the poor better off? When President Bill Clinton spoke in the White House Rose Garden on August 22, 1996, he claimed, “today we are taking an historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be. A second chance. Not a way of life.” Then he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a radical overhaul of the nation’s welfare law. Instead of giving poor people cash assistance for however long they needed it, the new law implemented strict requirements. People had to work or be in some kind of training program in order to receive their benefits, and a five year lifetime limit on benefits was instituted. The result: the number of people receiving cash assistance was slashed from more than 12 million in 1996 to around 4 million today. Is that a good thing? Did the law spur people to get jobs or are poor people in worse shape now, a generation later?
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Trump says goodbye Paris Accord: What does it mean for U.S. and the planet? President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump was to renegotiate a new deal, but will that happen?