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Aug 08

Study: Welfare has impoverished millions, poisoned entire communities

“Welfare” in the popular sense originated in the 1960s with President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” By the 1980s, profound research by academics documented that households which accepted welfare payments were WORSE OFF 5 years later compared to similarly-situated households which did not receive welfare “benefits.” (Much of this research was PAID FOR BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and was conducted by professors who detested the results.)

By the Clinton Administration in the 1990s, a groundswell of criticism had formed around welfare policy. Congress enacted legislation aimed at requiring welfare recipients to seek employment, and at gradually moving ‘beneficiaries’ off of the programs.

By the 2000s, most social scientists were reporting that the Clinton-era efforts to limit welfare were creating better outcomes for recipients—measured by financial, physical, and mental health. (And it became clear that total abolition of welfare would produce even better results for the poor.)

Now a new study, “The Long-run Effects of Anti-Poverty Policies on Disadvantaged Neighborhoods” by economists David Neumark and Brittany Bass of the University of California, Irvine, and Brian Asquith of the National Bureau of Economic research confirms that welfare “benefits” are poison to entire communities. Similarly situated households which do not participate in welfare have better outcomes over the long run.