The Public Interest

Beyond income maintenance—a note on welfare in New York City

Nathan Glazer

Summer 1969

IN NEW YORK, we are in the position of having glimpsed the future, and of being able to report that it doesn’t work. While the rest of the country and the federal government struggle to replace what is broadly felt to be an outmoded welfare system with some new system of income maintenance (Family Allowance? Negative Income Tax? Extension of Social Security?, etc. ), New York City uniquely knows, at least to some extent, what a system of income maintenance would look like. For, by now, its welfare system has been in large measure transformed into an income maintenance system. And what it demonstrates is that there are problems in moving from welfare to income maintenance that we have not yet dreamed of.

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