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Tag Archives: Incentives


Why get off welfare?

food-stamps1 welfareBy Michael D. Tanner

Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of welfare recipients consistently show their desire for a job. But there is also evidence that many are reluctant to accept available employment opportunities. Despite work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says less than 42% of adult welfare recipients participate in work activities nationwide. Why the contradiction?

Perhaps it’s because, while poor people are not lazy, they are not stupid either. If you pay people more not to work than they can earn at a job, many won’t work.

A new study by the Cato Institute found that in many states, it does indeed pay better to be on welfare than it does to work. Continue reading


When welfare pays better than work

Food Stamps Welfareby Michael Turner

Here’s an offer for you: $38,004 per year, tax free. No work required. Apply at your local welfare office.

The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs. Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time. Continue reading