Monday, October 30, 2006

Birth, Fertility, welfare

Yes. The teenage birth and fertility rates are way down, particularly among unmarried, out-of-wedlock mothers are way down. Euphemism: The pheonomenon was once called "bastardy."

In the good old days (ubi sunt) welfare families ran 4-6-8 children. In too many cases, "children were having children" to get a larger welfare payment. (I have a tape segment of an interview we did for a Think Tank special in Kansas City MO, where some welfare moms, mostly African Americans but with some whites --- relate and condemn the practice.

You can cjeck it out at

Now, thanks to long-overdue welfare reform --- a counter-productive program if ever there was one --- those rate are are down to below two children per woman.

It took many years to change AFDC (Aid to Families withe Dependent Children) fighting some sky-is-falling gloom-mongering.

But the result --- surprise ! --- is better than could have been expected. It costs more, not less. But people who really need a helping hand are getting one. And the cheats, crooks and swindlers are getting way less.

It usually takes government a long time to change a program with a constitueny. There is always the lurking danger of the Neo-Con mantra "The Law of Unintended Side Effects.")

But in this case it seems to have worked out just fine.



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