The Public Interest

Liberalism’s last stand?

John J. DiIulio, Jr.

Winter 1996

SO far as many conservative thinkers and Republican law- makers are concerned, the underclass consists of inner-city residents who are socially deviant, voluntarily jobless, sexually promiscuous, and criminally incorrigible. Federal antipoverty policies, they contend, have done everything to cause, and nothing to cure, the behavioral pathologies that define America’s underclass. The perverse, if unintended, consequences of these policies, they insist, are most evident with respect to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and related welfare programs.

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