What President Nixon is talking about here in 1969 became what is now known as Welfare to Work. The bipartisan law that Congress passed in 1996 that was signed by President Bill Clinton. The old Welfare system was based on subsidizing low-skilled adults who didn’t have the skills needed to get a good job and support themselves and their families. But essentially left them in poverty without much of an ability to move up and get off of Welfare and move to the middle class.
What President Nixon is talking about here is to continue to subsidize people in poverty. But to empower them to be able to move out of poverty with things like education and job training. But also design a system where working regardless of the job pays more than not working. I believe in that as well which is why I support increasing the minimum wage to 10-12 dollars an hour and index it for inflation so it keeps up with cost of living. And then tie today’s Welfare cash payments to today’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage for a forty hour a week fifty-two weeks a year job.
You want people in poverty to stay in poverty than you encourage people not to work and pay them more not to work than they could make working with their current skills. But if you want people to actually get out of poverty, than you have to empower people on Welfare to get themselves the skills that they need to move up the economic ladder and get off of Welfare all together. Which is my approach and President Nixon covered some of that in this speech.