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Thursday, November 5, 2009

MORE ON WELFARE REFORM, SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES, AND INEQUALITY

Today's Buggy Topic

Found, as usual, at Economist's View, the topic was inspired by a thread that Professor Mark Thoma, the man who runs that web site, started with a link to a Brookings Institute study on welfare and food stamps and black families. 

The key issue for prof bug?   To what extent, can the explosive growth of out-of-wedlock births in the African-American community between 1965 and 1995 --- a high-octane surge from 25% of illegitimate births to nearly 70% in that thirty year period, an astounding change, with lots of problems in inner city communities that ensued --- be attributed to the pre-reformed welfare system?

The Background

It was President Lyndon Johnson who initiated the system with aid-to-dependent families in 1965, always with good intentions.  And very frequently with intrusive government social policies --- guided by misleading social science theories that don't fully understand the complexity of the problems that generate those policies --- that welfare stem entailed, over time, bad unintended consequences entirely beyond the predictive powers of those theories.

In turn, as research began to find out with more illuminating studies --- focused on the harmful results of single-parent families for their infants and children --- that research showed how children from such families are at risk in a variety of ways: not least, in delinquency of different sorts: some minor, some more serious, some deadly.

No Need To Say More Here

The lengthy buggy post in that thread should be easy to follow.  Just be sure to read the thread's introductory comments that kick off the subsequent posts.

Click here