From across the political and ideological spectrum, there is now almost universal acknowledgement that the American social welfare system has been a failure. Since the start of the War on Poverty in 1965, the United States has spent trillions trying to ease the plight of the poor. What we have received for that massive investment is—primarily— more poverty.

Our welfare system is unfair to everyone: to taxpayers, who must pick up the bill for failed programs; to society, whose mediating institutions of community, church, and family are increasingly pushed aside; and most of all to the poor themselves, who are trapped in a system that destroys opportunity for them and hope for their children.

More on Welfare

Commentary

Still Needed: Stronger Welfare Reform

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). July 23, 2015.

Generous with Someone Else’s Money

By Doug Bandow. Foundation for Economic Education. June 29, 2015.

The Welfare State Needs Abolition, Not “Reform”

By Doug Bandow. Foundation for Economic Education. May 5, 2015.

Cato Studies

The Pros and Cons of a Guaranteed National Income

By Michael D. Tanner. Policy Analysis No. 773. May 12, 2015.

War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet?

By Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes. Policy Analysis No. 761. October 20, 2014.

The ACA: Some Unpleasant Welfare Arithmetic

By Casey B. Mulligan. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 3. June 4, 2014.

Articles

Liberty, Responsibility, and Philanthropy: Individual Responsibility in a Free Society

Roger Pilon. Contemporary Philosophy. Vol. 27. No. 5. 1995.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The War on Poverty after Fifty Years

Policy Report. May/June 2015.

Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis

Policy Report. May/June 2015.

Running Out of Other People’s Money

Michael D. Tanner. Policy Report. May/June 2015.

Events

Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis

Featuring Michael D. Tanner. June 16, 2015. Book Forum.

Can We End Poverty?

Featuring John A. Allison and Michael D. Tanner. March 26, 2015. Conference.

Rising Costs of Social Security Disability

Featuring Tad DeHaven, Jagadeesh Gokhale, and Chris Edwards. August 20, 2013. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Employment and Training Programs: Ineffective and Unneeded

By Chris Edwards and Daniel Murphy. June 2011.

Failures of the Unemployment Insurance System

By Chris Edwards and George C. Leef. June 2011.

Trade Adjustment Assistance

By Sallie James. May 2011.