Brookings Institution: Video: Ron Haskins: America’s Welfare Transformation

Ron Haskins
Brookings Institution: Video: Ron Haskins: America’s Welfare Transformation

In 1996, a Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton made Welfare to Work the law of the country. Requiring people who are collecting Welfare Insurance to prepare themselves to go to work, go to school, go back to school, get job training. Get help with job placement and in return would be subsidized for these activities. With child care and continue support that they were getting on public assistance. But the idea was that they would go to work and not collect public assistance indefinitely. And that states would get some flexibility in how they run their Welfare program. So we could see what’s working and not working. And as a result as well as with the economic boom of the 1990s, we saw millions of people get off of public assistance and out of poverty. And into the workforce.

When you subsidize success, work and self-sufficiency, you get more of it. When you subsidize dependency, which is what we did with the old Welfare system pre-1997, you get more of that. Which is what we saw where nothing was expected in the old Welfare system. And people could literally sit at home and collect public assistance checks indefinitely and not be expected to be working. You get more of that and what we did with Welfare Insurance, is exactly what we should be doing with Unemployment Insurance as well.

About Ederik Schneider

Blogger on a whole host of subjects.
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