Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Opinion: The Undeserving Poor?

Americans have long debated whether the poor are worthy of our help. Most people don’t put it that way, of course, because it seems cruel or, at very the least, inappropriate. But the question flows through the public discourse whenever proposals for reforming public welfare come before Congress, or an extension of housing benefits is on the legislative agenda. Do the recipients of such aid deserve it? Is it worth the cost to taxpayers? Does the safety net help those who truly are in need, or does it shackle them to the kind of government assistance that stifles motivation and derails self-sufficiency?

We’re used to hearing that argument play out with regard to racial and ethnic minorities — the so-called Welfare Queens, the undeserving poor. Now it’s time for the Jewish community to engage in this delicate, complicated debate. -- Forward

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