The Public Interest

How the Great Society “destroyed the American family”

Daniel P. Moynihan

Summer 1992

THIS ELECTION YEAR will be the first in American history in which the issue of welfare dependency has been raised to the level of presidential politics. Not, that is, the issue of persons who are out of work, but rather of persons who, typically, are not in the work force. At the outset of the year there were 4,719,000 AFDC cases with a total of thirteen million recipients. By contrast, in January there were some eight million persons unemployed.

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