Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Wasteful: Marriage Promotion Funds for Welfare

The marriage promotion debate linked with welfare reform continues, with the Bush administration seeking $300 million per year for the endeavor.

Marriage clearly has benefits for children, especially black children. Research widely touts the particular importance of fathers to children's life chances. However, the best way to encourage marriage is to eliminate social welfare or, more realistically for now, tighten the restrictions. When people are forced to experience the full repercussions of their actions, they're far likelier to be cautious with their actions. Why should Person A, who lives a moral life, pay for the piss-poor choices of Person B? There's a reason why marriage rates were far higher before the "Great Society" programs in the 1960s. Social welfare isn't an enumerated duty of the federal government, per our U.S. Constitution anyway. Welfare and marriage promotion are areas best left up to the private sector, where non-profit groups do a much better job because they are freer to experiment with innovative strategies and they're closer to the people.


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