The Public Interest

Does welfare bring more babies?

Charles Murray

Spring 1994

LAST OCTOBER, I published a long piece on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Coming White Underclass.” Its thesis was that white illegitimacy--22 percent of all live births as of the latest (1991) figures—is now moving into the same dangerous range that prompted the young Daniel Patrick Moynihan to write about the breakdown of the black family in 1964, and that the ensuing social deterioration in lower-class communities may be as devastating for whites in the 1990s as it was for blacks in the 1960s. The centerpiece of my solution was to abolish all federal support for single women with children.

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