Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Letter to the Ed.

I wrote my first letter to the editor that was inspired by the 2% Solution.

It's in response to the
Chicago Tribune editorial from Sunday, "Will Congress kill welfare reform?"

Here it is:

Your editorial on welfare reform on Sunday ("Will Congress kill welfare reform?" 7/11/04) has a funny definition of success.

You tout the 1996 welfare reform law as "the most impressive domestic policy reform in a generation." Why? Because "the number of families relying on public aid has plunged by 54 percent."

While that sounds pretty impressive, you write just a little further down that although "welfare caseloads have shrunk, [those] who managed to work themselves off of public aid haven't necessarily escaped poverty."

Dear editorial board, please read that again, use some logic, and then tell us what a great success our welfare program is, if people who work full-time are still living in poverty. If success of welfare reform is measured by how many children and families move from the ranks of non-working poor to working poor, haven't we missed the point?

It is time to take the issue of the working poor seriously. The fact is, no matter how many job training programs we create, there will always be low-paying, unskilled jobs out there, and we will always need people to work them. I believe the question compassionate conservatives and liberals alike should be asking is: In a country as rich as ours, can we find the money to guarantee that parents working full-time earn enough wages for their family to live on?

1 comment:

Dad K said...