Description from Boardgamegeek.com
A politically-motivated roll-and-move type game where players move around the board in two different tracks: "working person's rut" and "able-bodied welfare recipient's promenade." The goal of the game is to have the most money after a pre-determined number of circuits around the board have been achieved. The spaces on the board contain various instructions on where to move your piece or how much money to receive or pay out. Players also collect "welfare benefit" and "working person's burden" cards as they progress around the board. The situations presented in the game ridicule the American welfare system and are very "politically incorrect".
So politically incorrect was the game that there was a serious attempt to ban the game! APWA (American Public Welfare Association) first sent its plan to ban the welfare game on November 19th, 1980 to the welfare "CEO's of states" (their term) in the form of an "action alert," then to all members of the APWA, about 10,000 in number, including all state and local welfare agencies from the Virgin Islands to Alaska and from Maine to Hawaii, in its December, 1980 newsletter, Washington Report. This is what it said:
An Open Letter to All APWA Members from Executive Director Edward T. Weaver
I am writing this letter to alert you to a new board game entitled, "Public Assistance: Why Bother Working for a Living?" This game is described in the accompanying article.
I agree with Secretary Harris [Jimmy Carter's HUD Sceretary, Patricia Roberts Harris], the NAACP, and the National Organization for Women that the game is callous, racist, sexist, and a "vicious brand of
stereotyping." We, who are part of the reality of public welfare, understand the myths that surround the work we do and the people we serve. This game, however, plays out the basest forms of this mythology; we
must not let it go unchallenged. I encourage you, as concerned APWA members, to take the following course of action:
1. Do an informal survey to see if the game is being sold in your area. If it is not, keep a watchful eye and initiate the actions in No. 2 below if it appears. You may be able to join with others to contact store
owners/managers to discourage buying.
2. If the game is available in your area:
a. Don't buy it yourself. Let your friends know that it is not a "cute" holiday gift
b. Spread the word to other interested groups (welfare rights advocates, civil rights groups, and women's groups).
c. Either alone or in combination with the groups identified in "b" contact the store owner, manager and/or buyer to explain why the game is offensive and should not be carried.
d. Keep us informed of your efforts
As executive director of the American Public Welfare Association, I feel an obligation to you and to the mission we commonly serve to alert you to the "Public Assistance" game and to suggest the course of action I have outlined. If there are any questions that I, or APWA staff, can answer for you or information that we can share, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We at APWA headquarters will be doing what we can, in conjunction with our Washington colleagues, to remove the game from the marketplace.
Condition: Very good. The SE corner of the box top has split(see image10). Two Bank Notes have minor stains and a few pieces of paper money are slightly damaged (see image 11). Splatters of something on a side of the box bottom (see image 12).