Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-NY)

NYT columnist, Nicholas Kristoff comes to Pat Moynihan‘s conclusion (endorsing “benign neglect“) regarding harmful social welfare policies. Belated column but coming liberal pundit, Kristoff, it’s better 40 years late than never.
Nicholas Kristoff writes:
This is painful for a liberal to admit,but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people,but other times they backfire.
Some young people here don’t join the military (a traditional escape route for poor,rural Americans) because it’s easier to rely on food stamps and disability payments.
Antipoverty programs also discourage marriage: In a means-tested program like S.S.I., a woman raising a child may receive a bigger check if she refrains from marrying that hard-working guy she likes. Yet marriage is one of the best forces to blunt poverty. In married couple households only one child in 10 grows up in poverty,while almost half do in single-mother households.
Michael Benjamin