Ending welfare as we know it.
From across the political and ideological spectrum, there is almost universal acknowledgment that the American social welfare system has been a failure. Since the start of the War on Poverty in 1965, the U.S. has spent more than $3.5 trillion trying to ease the plight of the poor. The result of that massive investment is primarily, more poverty.
The welfare system is unfair to everyone: to taxpayers, who must pick up the bill for failed programs; to society, whose mediating institutions of community, church, and family increasingly are pushed aside; and, most of all, to the poor themselves, who are trapped in a system that destroys opportunity for them and hope for their children.
Pres. Clinton deserves credit for bringing this issue back to the forefront of the public policy debate. Yet, both liberals and conservatives seem unable to understand the fundamental structural failure of welfare. Liberals continue to believe that throwing more money at current (or new) programs will make them work, while conservatives search for a paternalistic set of "incentives," such as "workfare" and "LEARNfare." Neither of those approaches is likely to solve the problems of the American social welfare system.
It is time to recognize that welfare can not be reformed. It should be ended. There may be relatively little that can be done for people already on welfare. The key issue is to avoid bringing more people into the cycle of welfare, illegitimacy, fatherlessness, crime, more illegitimacy, and more welfare. The only way to prevent new people from entering the failed system is to abolish programs that insulate individuals from the consequences of their actions.
The origins of the modern social welfare system probably can be traced to the Social Security Act of 1935. Best known for establishing Social Security and unemployment insurance, that law, passed during the heart of the Depression, also contained a number of means-tested joint Federal-state programs to provide temporary assistance to certain categories of the poor. They included Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, and--most important--Aid to Dependent Children, the forerunner of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).
Those initiatives were intended to have a very limited application. Aid to Dependent Children, for instance, was designed to assist a small number of widows and children whose fathers had died. Even those limited programs represented a significant change in social welfare policy. Previously, social welfare had been considered not a government responsibility--certainly not the Federal government's--but the domain of families, churches, fraternal organizations, and other private charitable entities. The Social Security Act, with its attendant programs, represented the first major step on the road transferring responsibility for helping the poor from the private to the public sector.
However limited their original purpose, government social welfare programs inexorably began to expand. By the mid 1950s, many of those receiving welfare benefits were not widows. Many never had been married. A new class of individuals dependent on government support had been created. Criticism mounted. By the early 1960s, The New York Times was editorializing that "the problem [of poverty] cannot be solved with a welfare check."
As a result, a shift began in the emphasis of social welfare programs, from cash payments designed to support people to those designed to lift people out of poverty. An entire new group of training, education, and other noncash programs was born.
Social welfare spending exploded, beginning with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Pres. Lyndon Johnson introduced a new generation of public programs, including Medicaid and food stamps. By the end of the 1960s, virtually every low-income American was eligible for some sort of publicly funded assistance.
Also during the 1960s, a subtle shift in the public perception of social welfare developed. Public aid began to be seen not as a form of tax-supported charity, but as an "entitlement." That trend culminated with the 1970 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelly v. Goldberg, which held that welfare benefits were "an entitlement protected by the due process clause" of the Constitution.
There was little change in the growth of welfare until the Reagan Administration began to tighten eligibility requirements in the mid 1980s. Reagan attempted, on a program-by-program basis, to restrict eligibility to the "truly needy." States were required to set eligibility and income-verification standards. Nevertheless, total welfare spending continued to grow, and benefit levels remained relatively stable.
Promoting jobs instead of welfare
The last major attempt at welfare reform was the Family Support Act of 1988. The centerpiece of that effort was the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Training Program, a combination job-training and job-search initiative. States were allowed to mandate that individuals participate in job-search and could require some participants to perform community-service work as a prerequisite for receiving benefits. The legislation's chief sponsor, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D.-N.Y.), said of the legislation, "For 50 years the welfare system has been a maintenance program. It has now become a jobs program."
Despite the work requirements, the percentage of AFDC recipients participating in job-search, job-training, or community-service work ranges from a high of 30% in Utah to a low of less than one percent in Hawaii. Nationwide participation averages just 6.9%. Predictably, liberals contend that the failure is due to lack of funding, while conservatives claim the work requirements never have been enforced sufficiently.
Today, there are more than 100 overlapping Federal anti-poverty programs, including 59 major means-tested ones. For example, there are 12 different programs providing food, administered by five separate Federal departments and one independent agency. There are seven housing programs, administered by seven separate departments. That does not count state and local bureaucracies.
Approximately 5,000,000 families receive AFDC. Nearly one of every seven American children is in a family receiving such aid. More than 20% of all those born in the late 1960s have spent at least one year on welfare; over 70% of African-Americans born during the same period have done so. Moreover, the situation is growing worse. More than 30% of all children born in 1980 will spend a year on welfare, and in excess of 80% of African-Americans.
Sixty-four percent of welfare recipients are white; 31%, African-American; 14%, Hispanic; and five percent are classified as "other." Ninety-two percent of families on welfare have no father present. The average family size is 2.9 persons, down from four in 1969.
Welfare dependence is increasingly multi-generational. Although the majority of children raised in AFDC households will not receive AFDC themselves, the rate of AFDC dependence for those raised on that program is far higher than for their non-AFDC counterparts.
Perhaps the gravest social challenge facing America today is the skyrocketing increase in out-of-wedlock births, which have increased by more than 400% since 1960, when 5.3% of all births were out of wedlock. Among whites, 2.3% were out of wedlock; among blacks, 23%. By 1990, 28% of all births were out of wedlock. The rate among whites had increased to 21%, and among blacks, to 65.2%.
The rate of out-of-wedlock births to teenagers nearly has doubled in the past two decades. Out-of-wedlock births per 1,000 unmarried women have increased faster for women aged 15 to 19 than for any other age group.
The concern over the increased rate of out-of-wedlock births is not a question of private morality. If TV's Murphy Brown were typical of unwed mothers, objections would be far more muted. However, only four percent of out-of-wedlock births to white mothers are to women with college degrees, while 82% are to females with a high school education or less. Women with incomes of $75,000 or more are responsible for one percent of white out-of-wedlock births; those with family incomes under $20,000, 69%.
Having a child out of wedlock often means a lifetime in poverty. Approximately 30% of all welfare recipients become such because they have an out-of-wedlock child. The trend is even more pronounced among teenage mothers-50% go on welfare within one year of the birth of their first baby and 77% within five years of his or her birth. Nearly 55% of AFDC, Medicaid, and food stamp expenditures are attributable to families begun by a teen birth. This does not include the cost of such other social programs as special education, foster care, and public housing subsidies.
Moreover, once on welfare, those women find it very difficult to get off. While the average length of time spent on welfare is relatively short, generally two years or less, 65% of those enrolled in the program at any given time will be on the program for eight years or longer. Single mothers make up the largest portion of long-term recipients, averaging 9.33 years on welfare and making up 39.3% of all recipients on welfare for 10 years or longer.
The non-economic consequences of out-of-wedlock births are equally stark. There is strong evidence that the absence of a father increases the probability that a youngster will use drugs and engage in criminal activity. According to one study, children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior than those raised in two-parent families. Another study found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single-parent households are twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from families whose fathers are present. Nearly 70% of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes.
Moreover, the situation perpetuates itself. White females raised in single-parent households are 164% more likely to bear children out of wedlock than those who grew up in two-parent households. Children raised in single-parent families are three times more likely to become welfare recipients as adults.
Obviously, any public policy that encourages out-of-wedlock births is a failure. Yet, that is exactly the situation with the current U.S. social welfare system. The evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. As early as the 1960s, it was recognized that the perverse incentives of welfare were likely to have a negative impact on the family structure of recipients.
More recently, a study for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that an increase in monthly welfare benefits led to an increase in out-of-wedlock births. Holding constant a wide range of variables--including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting--the study found that a 50% increase in the value of AFDC and food stamp payments led to a 43% growth in the number of out-of-wedlock births. Research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that a rise in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150%.
There are some who dispute any link between welfare and out-of-wedlock births. They point out, for instance, that Louisiana and Mississippi have approximately the same rates of out-of-wedlock births as does California, but have much lower AFDC benefits. That would appear to contradict the argument that high welfare benefits lead to more out-of-wedlock births. However, the actual rate of AFDC payments is of far less importance than the value of the entire welfare package within the context of the local economy. In that context, the welfare packages essentially are equal. Therefore, it is not surprising that they yield similar rates of out-of-wedlock births.
Presumably, women do not get pregnant just to get welfare benefits, and a wide array of other social factors has contributed to the growth in out-of-wedlock births. Nevertheless, by removing the economic consequences of an out-of-wedlock birth, welfare has taken away a major incentive to avoid such pregnancies. A teenager looking around at her friends and neighbors is likely to see several who have given birth out of wedlock. When she sees that they have suffered few visible consequences (the very real consequences of such behavior often are not immediately apparent), she is less inclined to modify her own behavior to prevent pregnancy.
Until young women, particularly those living in relative poverty, can be made to see the real consequences of pregnancy, it will be impossible to gain control over the problem of out-of-wedlock births. By disguising the consequences, welfare makes it easier for those girls to make the decisions that will lead to unwed motherhood.
Current welfare policies seem to be designed with an appalling lack of concern for their impact on out-of-wedlock births. Indeed, Medicaid in 11 states actually provides infertility treatments to single women on welfare.
Once the child is born, welfare also appears to discourage the mother from marrying in the future. Research by Robert Hutchins of Cornell University shows that a 10% rise in AFDC benefits leads to an eight percent decrease in the marriage rate of single mothers. Since marriage is the number-one way women escape welfare, it is easy to see that welfare increases the long-term dependence of single mothers.
Economic incentives to remain on welfare
Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence that people receiving welfare are lazy. Rather, the choice of welfare over work often is a rational decision based on the economic incentives presented. The combined tax-free value of welfare benefits is roughly equal to the income that can be earned at many entry-level or low-paying jobs. In addition, an individual leaving welfare may have to forfeit medical and child-care benefits. Thus, for many, welfare may seem a perfectly reasonable alternative to work.
Most welfare recipients lack the skills necessary to obtain the types of jobs that pay top wages. As Douglas Besharov of the American Enterprise Institute explains: "The average annual earnings for female high school dropouts are extremely low. In 1992, 18- to 24-year-old dropouts working full time earned about $12,900 a year.... Even with the help of the current Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other means-tested programs, earners at these levels net, after payroll and state taxes and work expenses, only $15,563.... The major expansion of the EITC pushed through by President Clinton, when fully implemented in 1996, raises these numbers to $17,022.... But this increase will not be enough to break the hold of welfare.
"A welfare mother without any work experience probably couldn't match even these earnings. But if she could, she still might decide it didn't pay to work. Her current benefits--even ignoring the $4,307 in Medicaid for which a welfare recipient with two children is eligible--leave her only some $2,674 worse off than the low salaried mother.... In other words, should she be lucky enough to get the type of job held by others of her educational attainment, she'd be working for a net wage of only $1.50 per hour."
While it would be nice to increase the wages of entry-level employees to the point where work pays better than welfare, government has no ability to do so. Attempts to mandate wage increases, such as minimum wage legislation, result chiefly in increased unemployment. Therefore, it is likely that the value of welfare will continue to eclipse the value of work. Perhaps that is why 68.6% of welfare recipients report that they are not actively seeking employment.
In February, 1994, the Maryland State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a report concluding that "the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today." Research for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that a 50% rise in the monthly value of combined AFDC and food stamp benefits led to a 117% increase in the crime rate among young black men.
Welfare contributes to crime in several ways. Children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in criminal activity than are those from two-parent families. As welfare contributes to the rise in out-of-wedlock births, it concomitantly contributes to the associated criminal activity.
Welfare leads to increased crime by contributing to the marginalization of young black males in society. As George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, has noted, "The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family," a process Gilder says is being "cuckolded by the compassionate state." He describes the typical inner city today as "almost a matriarchy. The women receive all the income, dominate the social-worker classes, and most of the schools. But a matriarchy is contrary to nature, so what happens is that gangs of young men rule the society.... If men don't dominate as husbands and fathers, then they form violent gangs and dominate as thugs and muggers and drug lords."
The role of marriage and family as a civilizing influence on young men long has been discussed. Whether or not strict causation can be proven, it has been shown that unwed fathers are more likely to use drugs and become involved in criminal behavior than are married fathers.
Moreover, when those pathologies are concentrated within a single community, crime increases still further. For example, research indicates a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of single-parent families in a neighborhood.
There are those who object to criticism of the welfare system as a "new paternalism," a form of behavioral modification measure aimed at eliminating immorality among poor women. Certainly, there is an odor of paternalism about some conservatives. For instance, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation calls for "legislation requir[ing] responsible behavior as a condition of receiving welfare benefits."
Many conservative approaches to welfare reform tend to be punitive in nature or designed to micromanage the behavior of poor people. Michael Schwartz of the Free Congress Foundation Center for Family Policy explains it this way: "Responsible behavior (marriage) should be rewarded, irresponsible behavior (out-of-wedlock childbearing) should not." Some conservatives would extend the system of reward and punishment far beyond questions of marriage and childbearing. For example, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson's LEARNfare proposals require that the children of welfare recipients attend school as a condition of their parents' receiving benefits, and Rector has called for conditioning welfare benefits on childhood immunization. Nearly all conservative welfare reform proposals link benefits to some form of work requirement.
Conservatives are correct in understanding the way welfare has distorted behavior in ways that generally are damaging to recipients and their offspring, but oddly, many conservatives then turn to government for solutions. They maintain that government can devise a proper mix of incentives and disincentives, rewards and punishments, that can cause poor people to act according to some predesigned plan of behavior.
The larger conservative agenda becomes clear in some welfare proposals that would fund massive government programs to teach abstinence or greatly would restrict the availability of divorce. Thus, welfare reform becomes merely a building block in the conservative call for a "moral and cultural renewal."
Setting aside the philosophical issue of whether it is a proper role of government to attempt to mold citizens' behavior, the government has been remarkably unsuccessful in developing ways to change underclass behavior. One very popular among conservatives is workfare, the requirement that welfare recipients perform public-service jobs in exchange for benefits. The belief is that such jobs will give the recipient both work experience and incentive to get off welfare. However, the types of employment envisioned under most workfare programs are unlikely to give recipients the experience or job skills necessary to find employment in the private sector. For example, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani wants welfare recipients to perform such jobs as scrubbino graffiti and picking up trash from city streets. It is difficult to imagine graffiti scrubbers learning the skills needed to put them in demand by private employers. There seems little difference, therefore, between the sort of work program and the type of government-guaranteed jobs program traditionally decried by conservatives. Another problem is that workfare soon runs headlong into the desire expressed by some conservatives that women with young children stay home, rather than enter the workforce.
Martin Anderson, former senior economic adviser to Pres. Ronald Reagan, sums up the simple illogic of workfare: "If people are on welfare then, by definition, those people should be unable to care for themselves. They can't work; or the private sector can't provide jobs enough. That is supposed to be the reason they are on welfare. What sense does it make to require someone to hold a job who is not able to work?
"The idea of making people work for welfare is wrongheaded. If a person is capable of working, he should be ineligible for welfare payments. Instead of requiring men and women who are receiving fraudulent welfare payments to work, we should simply cease all payments."
Ultimately, the justification for workfare comes down to an emotional appeal to an innate sense of justice, a feeling that no one should get something for nothing, but public-service jobs are not free. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that each public-service job creates $3,300 in monitoring costs. That does not include potential child-care outlays of up to $3,000 per participant, if mothers with young children are included. That is a great deal of money to spend for psychic satisfaction.
A second welfare reform much ballyhooed by conservatives is LEARNfare, a requirement that the children of welfare recipients attend school as a condition of their parents' receiving benefits. Thompson, who pioneered LEARNfare in Wisconsin, says he did so to "keep teenagers in school and make welfare recipients more responsible parents."
LEARNfare appears to have little impact. To start with, it may have been unnecessary. Children of parents receiving AFDC are no more likely to miss school than are other kids. Moreover, LEARNfare does not appear to increase the likelihood that youngsters will stay in school. A multiyear evaluation, conducted by the University of Wisconsin, showed no improvement in either attendance or graduation rates of those covered by the program.
Conservatives should recognize that government is not capable of managing behavior. Instead of trying to develop a mystical combination of rewards and punishment, America would be much better off simply removing programs that insulate individuals from the natural consequences of their actions. It reasonably could be expected that people, faced with the consequences of their actions, would change their behavior. Such an approach would avoid coercion and the conceit that government knows best.
Meanwhile, a small core of unreconstructed liberals argues that the nation has failed to provide sufficient funding to make existing social welfare programs work properly. They call for an expansion of existing programs and new investments in job training and child care. For example, the Working Off Welfare Act, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D.-Calif.), would triple funding for JOBS and expand childcare assistance, while forbidding states to cut AFDC benefits.
The liberals are correct in noting that AFDC benefits have not kept pace with inflation in recent years, but that is only one component. The total benefits package has remained relatively constant.
There currently are a host of government job-training programs. The Department of Education alone runs 59 different job-training programs at a cost of $13,000,000,000. The Labor Department runs 34 more programs, costing $7,000,000,000. Almost every government agency, from the Agriculture Department to the Appalachian Regional Commission, seems to offer at least one.
There is little evidence that job-training actually works. A 1987 study by the General Accounting Office of 61 job-training programs in 38 states concluded that they "are helping recipients find only dead-end jobs, and are failing to give the poor the education and training they need to advance."
It is difficult to determine the success of various job-training programs because most state officials who administer them do not attempt to monitor such things as the proportion of trainees who actually leave welfare, whether they remain off welfare, and whether their income actually increases. What is known is far from encouraging.
Liberal approaches to welfare reform also call for a heavy investment in childcare services. Sandra Hofferth, one of the nation's leading authorities on day care, questions the need for additional government-provided child care. "Analysis of the number of centers and family day-care homes ... over the past 15 years does not suggest any evidence of a shortage," she indicated in 1993.
Both Federal and state governments have made major investments in child care in recent years. The 1990 Act for Better Child Care created a vast new Federal child-care bureaucracy at a cost of $22,000,000,000. In addition, AFDC contains an open-ended entitlement to provide child care to recipients, including transitional assistance to mothers who lose AFDC eligibility because they have accepted work. Federal spending on that program totaled more than $479,000,000 in 1993. Yet, welfare rolls have not declined.
The evidence also suggests that mothers prefer informal child-care arrangements to the formal licensed day-care centers advocated by those calling for additional funding. There exists today an extensive system of informal day care. While all states license or regulate day-care centers that care for more than six children, there are nearly 1,000,000 small, unregulated neighborhood or family child-care providers, typically a mother caring for one of her own kids along with one or two of her neighbors'. That figure does not include such traditional sources of child care as aunts and grandmothers.
As a result, even when government-funded child care is available, many otherwise eligible welfare recipients choose not to take advantage of the program, preferring relatives and other informal alternatives. For example, Ohio's Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) Program offered subsidized day care to teen mothers while they attended school or other education programs, but fewer than 20% of eligible mothers reported using LEAP-funded child care.
Rather than establish vast new Federal child-care initiatives, it would be better to reform the current Child Care and Child Development Block Program to allow a greater choice of providers, including neighbors, relatives, and church-run centers. Where localized shortages exist, government should be seeking to remove regulatory barriers that are artificially limiting the availability of providers.
Liberals, together with many conservatives, also have called for toughening enforcement of child-support requirements. While the concept of requiring fathers to support their children has broad support, there is considerable question about whether such action significantly will reduce the welfare rolls. Many, if not most, unwed fathers are poorly educated, lack job skills, and earn little or no regular income, especially when their children are young. Thus, while vigorous child-support enforcement may help women who end up on welfare because of a divorce, it is unlikely to significantly affect the problem of long-term dependence of unwed mothers.
The President deserves enormous credit for advancing the welfare debate. His courage in confronting the special interests in his own party has made possible the discussion of ideas that never have been realistically on the table before. In much the way that only Nixon could have gone to China, only Clinton could have called for a time limit on welfare.
In actually crafting an alternative. though, he has been less successful. Despite good intentions, the President's approach appears to borrow the worst ideas of both liberal and conservative reforms. The centerpiece is a two-year time limit for welfare eligibility, during which recipients would receive job training. At the end of the two years, those individuals removed from welfare would be required to obtain work in the private sector or perform public-service jobs.
As already has been seen, the record of government job-training initiatives is not bright. Moreover, the President's plans for job-training assistance may do little good for welfare recipients who are most at risk for long-term dependence--teen mothers. The problem becomes even more acute if, as reported, the program initially will target recipients aged 25 or younger. Eighty percent of teen mothers are high school dropouts. Two years of job-training are unlikely to prepare them to obtain work in a competitive private-sector economy.
A study by the National Commission for Employment Policy of a small-scale pilot program similar to the Clinton plan did provide evidence that such an undertaking could help some welfare recipients move from welfare to work. The study focused on women over the age of 22, though, a group very unlike that targeted by the Clinton plan. Older recipients already are the most likely to leave the welfare rolls within two years, even without government assistance. The problem group of teen mothers was not addressed.
Public-service jobs are no solution
If, after two years, welfare recipients are unable to find jobs in the private sector, publicly funded community-service jobs will be necessary. The Administration estimates that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 public-service jobs could be required. The enormous cost is one reason the President has begun to scale back his proposal.
The ultimate problem with the Clinton plan may be that it focuses primarily on people already receiving welfare, most of whom will move off welfare within two years whether or not government intervenes. There may be relatively little that government can do to move those who already are trapped in long-term dependence off welfare--short of simply kicking them off. Therefore, it seems more important to concentrate on preventing new people from entering the system.
The Clinton plan actually may encourage people to enter the welfare system. It establishes new benefits and, since people may be eligible for those benefits only if they are already on welfare, it becomes a rational decision for the low-income working individual, currently making a marginal living, to quit work and enter the welfare system. A study of a job-training program in Oregon, offered under the 1988 Family Support Act, found that welfare rolls grew significantly after the training program became came available. Moreover, the study concluded that the new enrollees were "individuals who previously qualified for AFDC but did not apply for benefits and/or people who reduced their employment to qualify for AFDC."
The new Republican majority in Congress, meanwhile, has brought its own agenda. Their workfare proposals are unlikely to be any more successful than Democrat ideas.
If both liberal and conservative welfare reforms are unlikely to work, what will? The entire social welfare system for individuals able to work should be eliminated. That includes AFDC, food stamps, subsidized housing, and all the rest. Individuals unable to support themselves through the job market should be forced to fall back on the resources of family, church, community, or private charity.
We should not pretend that such changes in our social welfare system will come easily or painlessly. In particular, ending welfare will be difficult for those who currently use welfare the way it was intended--as a temporary support mechanism during hard times. However, those people--almost by definition--remain on welfare for very short periods of time. Therefore, it should be possible to care for them through other mechanisms.
When it comes to charitable giving, Americans are the most generous people on Earth. Every year, they contribute more than $120,000,000,000 to charity. Surely, the U.S. can find private means to assist individuals who need temporary help.
There may be relatively little that can be done for those already on welfare. The key issue is to avoid bringing more people into a cycle of welfare, illegitimacy, fatherlessness, crime, and more illegitimacy. It is the children growing up in the welfare-ravaged neighborhoods who are the true victims of America's social welfare policies.
Adoption must be made a viable option for women who bear children they can not afford to raise. That will entail eliminating the regulatory and bureaucratic barriers that restrict adoption today. Newt Gingrich's call for putting them in orphanages quickly fostered opposition and laughter. a combination that doomed it to failure.
It also must be ensured that government pursues policies designed to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. That means reducing regulations and cutting taxes to spur progress. Policies that make it more costly to hire new employees should be resisted. Occupational licensing laws and other regulations that disproportionately restrict employment opportunities for the poor also should be eliminated.
We are not going to solve our welfare problems by throwing more money at them. Nor will it work to put welfare recipients to work in government-funded jobs picking up trash along the highways. It is time to recognize that welfare can not be reformed. It should be ended. Some say that would be too cruel, that it would punish the victim--but what could be crueler than sacrificing another generation to our current social welfare muddle?
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|Publication:||USA Today (Magazine)|
|Date:||Mar 1, 1995|
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