The Decline of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Police State


  • Lucien Tomlinson


The Reagan Administration’s defunding of the American welfare state would end two decades of Black socio-economic growth and lead to decades of oppression and mass incarceration. Using dog-whistle coded messaging to drive white Southerners to vote, Reagan effectively demolished a system that benefitted many Black Americans. The defunding of welfare programs directly led to an increase in wealth inequality between White and Black Americans not seen since the end of segregation. The Reagan Administration created the opportunity for future policymakers to incarcerate minority and poor communities in a disproportionate amount. This initial deterioration of the welfare state led directly to the modern issue of mass incarceration and wealth inequality we see today.





Opening Papers