The Public Interest

A Basis for Welfare Reform

Edwin Kuh

Spring 1969

CONTROVERSY outrage, and bitterness pervade most discussions of the welfare system. Existing conditions border on paralysis.  Welfare payments have recently been rising at 25 percent a year with disturbing indications that the system has gotten out of control.  Chaos, with more to come, makes major change essential. Drastic reforms of the existing system or its replacement by a negative income tax plan or childrens allowances have been proposed, but so far politicians and voters have rejected the more basic propositions and the minor amendments as well. I wish to review the foundations of welfare policy and, at the same time, offer a proposal that could not only remove most of the deficiencies of the present system, but also, it seems, have a better chance of political success than other recent suggestions.

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