Matthew Yglesias argues that contrary to popular opinion, new research shows that there are tangible benefits to welfare programs, particularly those targeted to alleviate poverty in children.
“A team of research assistants took a detailed look at kids who grew up in Mothers’ Pension households and drew some conclusions about the long-term benefits of modest cash transfers.”
“One key to the research is that Mothers’ Pension programs did not have the kind of bright-line eligibility criteria that we usually see in a more modest social assistance undertaking … there was no sharp income cutoff.”
“The success of cash transfers in promoting long-term well-being for children is another suggestive piece of evidence that simply giving money to poor people may be the best way to fight poverty.”
The bottom line: “It is clear, however, that government spending programs have in fact substantially reduced the number of poor people over the decades.”