...And Economic Justice for All: Welfare Reform for the 21st Century

By Michael L. Murray | Go to book overview
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any readers probably refer to these as "welfare" programs. At some point in the not too distant past, it became conventional wisdom that this was a demeaning term. I'm not sure why. I'll use both terms.
f note is the fact that we do not limit the use of public facilities to "worthy" people. Even bums and loafers can use parks, libraries, roads, etc.
he fact that this age is presently 62, while interesting, is not particularly significant for our purposes.
ere again I use the political "we." Although the decision was actually made by legislators and details are honed out by bureaucrats, I believe, in this democracy, it is fair to conclude that it reflects our will.
s will be discussed elsewhere, the very fact that this affliction elicits so much sympathy makes it a very good candidate for private charity to supplement a guaranteed adequate public income.
"Disability Benefits Are Used for Drugs" Des Moines Register, February 6, 1994, p. 2A.
"Study: SSI Money for Kids Unchecked" Des Moines Register, October 14, 1994, p. 5A.
here are still some who are willing to set the record straight when the criticism is exaggerated, however. "Whatever its impact on illegitimacy, ADC is not the major drain on taxpayer resources that it's thought to be, and the welfare Cadillac is nonsense, popular political myth notwithstanding. . . . The average annual welfare payment per Iowan living in a nursing home on Medicaid comes to more than $14,000; to an SSI recipient, $5,362; to an ADC recipient, around $1,500." Editorial "Does Welfare Worsen the Poverty It's Meant to Cure?" Des Moines Register, January 2, 1994, p. 1C.
Theresa Funiciello, Tyranny of Kindness, pp. 35-36.
In some cases, it is done without thinking. "It was not uncommon for white liberals who would mull over every thought for racist content to revile poor people with impunity." Funiciello, ibid., p. 67.
As an example of contrasting views, here are the views of some Dear Ann Landers writers: "Most welfare mothers aren't interested in going anywhere. They want to stay home and enjoy the lazy life," and "You're sure to be swamped with letters saying welfare mothers are lazy scum, and some of them are, but I'm a decent woman who would have been totally sunk without that check. It saved my life, and I am certain many others are in the same spot I was in 10 years ago," and "I've been following your readers' comments about people on welfare. You know who I mean--the trash who crank out one kid


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