Why a Universal Basic Income Is a Terrible Idea
If you have not heard any proposals for a “universal basic income” (UBI), you will soon. Under a UBI, the federal government would send each American (including children, in some plans) a monthly check of, say, $800 or $1,000 to cover basic …
Universal Basic Income’s Growing Appeal
Speaker Ryan released the first part of his anti-poverty agenda this morning. If there ever was a consensus in this town, it is that the current welfare system is broken and needs to be reformed. The status quo is not …
In Worcester, Mass., Welfare That Works
In the midst of a political campaign season likely to focus on the issues of economic stagnation, a struggling middle class, and income inequality, the American people should take notice of how one Massachusetts town’s public-housing authority’s has …
Poverty in the U.S. — We Spend Much More Per Person on Social Welfare than Europe Does
Tomorrow, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual poverty report. Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. has a small social-welfare system and far more poverty, compared with other affluent nations. But noted liberal scholars Irwin Garfinkel, Lee …
Maine Cracks Down on Welfare-for-Drugs
On a muggy day last summer, agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and local police raided the home and office of Herman “Rusty” Hoffman. They’d been investigating him for months, and what they found didn’t disappoint: 500 capsules …
Most Americans Expect a Long, Hot Summer of Racial Unrest. Moynihan Would Not Be Surprised.
It’s hard to get 96 percent of people to agree on anything, but last month’s Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 96 percent of those surveyed believe we are in for a summer of racial unrest. In the wake …
In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew Built a Welfare State That Works
Obituaries of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore who died this week at age 91, broke down into roughly two camps:
He was a hero, building a “clean as Disneyland” republic that runs like a Swiss watch.
Government Usually Fails at ‘Making Sure Everybody’s Got a Shot’
NBC News has found Obama’s “I actually believe in redistribution” quote from 1998 and lays out the full context; they find the full context quite exculpatory:
I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool …
New Romney Ad Hits Obama on Welfare Work Requirements
Mitt Romney’s campaign is going after Obama on his changes to the 1996 welfare reform act’s work requirements… and probably, in the process, complicating Bill Clinton’s high-profile role in the Democratic convention:
Perhaps the Obama defense for this …
Conservatives Shouldn’t Treat the Welfare State as Inevitable
Too many social problems are conceived of in terms of what “we” can do for “them.” After decades of massive expansions of the welfare state, the answer seems to range from “not very much” to “making matters worse.”
Undaunted, people …
Ending Welfare as We Know It
Suppose there was a way to abolish most of the edifice of the modern welfare state, virtually eliminating the bureaucracy that supports it, and still lift people out of poverty. Shouldn’t we jump at it? Maybe. Maybe not.
The ‘Legacy of Slavery’ Is an Excuse for Social Degeneration
One of the secrets of successful magicians on stage is directing the audience’s attention to something that is attractive or distracting, but irrelevant to what is actually being done. That is also the secret of successful political charlatans.
Consider the …
The U.S. Is Now the Real Welfare State
In 2013, the New York Times reported on the case of Carina, a 36-year-old Danish single mother who had been on welfare since she was 16. Denmark has long had one of the most generous welfare systems in Europe, and Carina was …
Still Needed: Stronger Welfare Reform
We all — not just our presidential candidates — need to focus on welfare reform.
Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Resources began considering draft legislation to reauthorize welfare reform for the first time …
Getting Welfare Reform Right
It would be hard to find someone outside the cocoon of Washington special interests who would defend our current welfare system. We spend nearly $1 trillion a year to fund over 100 separate anti-poverty programs, yet we have achieved only minimal gains …
Needed: A Safety Net That Works
Last month, the unemployment rate dropped to a seven-year low, but the labor-force-participation rate dropped to a 37-year low: a paltry 62.8 percent. It’s extremely hard for the economy to grow when the workforce is shrinking. And if we need …
Obama & Sebelius Fundamentally Change Welfare Reform’s Philosophy
If someone wants to argue that the Romney ad claiming Obama “gutted” the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform is hyperbolic, I suppose one can make that case. The work requirements aren’t “gutted” yet. But the change is fundamental …
A thought to add to today’s editorial on Michelle Obama’s child-nutrition program, which has stalled in the House because it would be funded, in part, by cuts to the food-stamp program. I’m no fan of the welfare …