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Heres for Ya

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Heres for Ya

Comments for: Heres for Ya
madmex2000 Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2006 06:31PM

White 38.8%
Black 37.2
Hispanic 17.8
Asian 2.8
Other 3.4

Time on AFDC
Less than 7 months 19.0%
7 to 12 months 15.2
One to two years 19.3
Two to five years 26.9
Over five years 19.6

Number of children
One 43.2%
Two 30.7
Three 15.8
Four or more 10.3

Age of Mother
Teenager 7.6%
20 - 29 47.9
30 - 39 32.7
40 or older 11.8

Status of Father 1973 1992
Divorced or separated 46.5% 28.6
Deceased 5.0 1.6
Unemployed or Disabled 14.3 9.0
Not married to mother 31.5 55.3
Other or Unknown 2.7 5.5

As you can see, the stereotype that the average welfare recipient is a teenage black mother with several children is completely false, and not a little racist. The fact that blacks make up only 12 percent of the population but 37 percent of AFDC recipients reflects the continuing discrimination they experience on the job market.

Another set of myths surround the "incentives" that welfare supposedly brings. In March 1987, the General Accounting Office released a report that summarized more than one hundred studies of welfare since 1975. It found that "research does not support the view that welfare encourages two-parent family breakup" or that it significantly reduces the incentive to work.11

Nor does welfare give single mothers an incentive to bear more children. AFDC families are not much larger than the national average. In an effort to curb this supposed incentive, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to experiment with a "family cap." The cap denies mothers extra welfare benefits for having more babies. And did the cap result in fewer births among AFDC mothers? At first, the Heritage Foundation reported that AFDC births fell 29 percent - a tremendous result. But no other study confirmed this finding, and it soon became clear it was nonsense. The Heritage study failed to report that birthrates for New Jersey in general were falling also. A Rutgers University study by Michael Camasso found that the family cap had no effect on welfare birthrates. His study researched two groups of women: mothers who would receive more benefits if they had additional children while on welfare, and those who would be denied more money under the family cap. Camasso wrote: "From August 1993 through July 1994 there is not a statistically significant difference between the birth rates in the experimental and control groups."

Many other studies have confirmed that welfare provides almost no extra incentive to have children. An 8-year study in Wisconsin, which is undergoing massive welfare reform, has found that women on welfare actually have a lower-than-average birthrate than non-welfare women! In fact, their birthrates were lower than the national average. Perhaps the greatest problem with "incentive" theories is that welfare payments are too small to provide any meaningful incentive.

One factor that would relieve the number of mothers on welfare would be the greater financial support of fathers. In 1989, only three-fourths of the women who were awarded child support received payments of any kind, and only half received full payments. The mean child support payment was $2,995; for women whose incomes were below the poverty level, the mean was only $1,889.12 Obviously, even full payments are inadequate amounts for raising a child; before a society should condemn welfare moms, it should consider rousting out deadbeat dads.

The "feminization of poverty" has been especially hard on the nation's children. America has the greatest level of child poverty anywhere in the industrialized world:
madmex2000 Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2006 06:33PM