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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 21, 2006 / 27 Menachem-Av, 5766

The welfare reform miracle

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What is the American Public Human Services Association? It is the association of state, federal and local welfare directors formerly known as the American Public Welfare Association, from the days back before "welfare" had a bad name.


This month marks the 10th anniversary of the most extraordinary cultural and policy shift in recent American life — the revolution wrought by President Clinton's signing of a welfare-reform bill in August 1996. Pro-work reforms of welfare had been bubbling up from the states since the early 1990s, but the federal legislation completed a change in philosophy that rippled into the lives of single mothers, changing them dramatically for the better.


If the kind of social progress brought by welfare reform had been caused by a liberal policy, its architects would be enjoying Kennedy School sinecures and lionizing portrayals in a major motion picture. But the rebels who changed the welfare status quo were conservative intellectuals and officeholders. The only tribute to them is the facts, recounted in congressional testimony by the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector, the intellectual godfather of reform, and in a new book, "Work Over Welfare," by Ron Haskins, a former staffer on a key congressional committee.


Welfare caseloads have dropped 60 percent since the passage of welfare reform. Was that just the result of a strong economy? No. Caseloads didn't decline significantly in any of the eight periods of economic expansion from the 1950s to the mid-1990s. From 1953 to 1994, the number of families on welfare dropped in only five years, and two years in a row only once. By 2005, welfare caseloads had been declining for a stunning 11 straight years.


Work requirements, and the message sent by reform that dependence is unacceptable, got former recipients into the work force. "From 1993 to 2000 the portion of single mothers who were employed grew from 58 percent to nearly 75 percent," Haskins writes. Among never-married mothers, the most disadvantaged group, employment grew by 50 percent. "Employment changes of this magnitude over such a short period for an entire demographic group are unprecedented in Census Bureau records," he adds.


If a mother is on welfare, it basically guarantees that she will be poor. If she has a job, she will probably have more income, and her children will be better off. So, child poverty dropped every year between 1994 and 2000. In 1995, the black child poverty rate was a little higher (41.5 percent) than it had been in 1971 (40.4 percent). Welfare reform sent it plummeting to 30 percent by 2001, when "the poverty rate for black children was at the lowest point in national history," Rector writes.


Welfare reform also had a small positive effect on the illegitimacy rate. In the debate over reform, politicians spoke out against out-of-wedlock childbearing, and the reforms themselves marginally decreased the disincentives for mothers to marry. The out-of-wedlock birthrate had skyrocketed from roughly 8 percent in 1965 to more than 32 percent in 1995. This rate of increase slowed, and among blacks the rate declined very slightly, from 69.9 percent in 1995 to 68.2 percent in 2003.


Welfare reform, then, has affected the lives of millions of people. If the 1999 poverty rate had still been at 1990 levels, there would have been another 4.2 million poor mothers and children. If the illegitimacy rate had continued at its pre-reform pace, another 1.4 million children would have been born out of wedlock. Some of the gains of welfare reform were lost in the 2001 recession, but reform has created a fundamentally different and better dynamic in the nation's anti-poverty policy.


More worrisome is that the success of the 1996 law has relieved pressure on policymakers to keep states from backsliding on enforcing work requirements. And the ultimate reform in poverty policy won't come until government encourages marriage among the women who now become single mothers. If that seems a hopelessly ambitious cause, a little more than a decade ago people said the same about reforming welfare.

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© 2006 King Features Syndicate

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