Category Archives: Welfare

Are Baby Boomers Bankrupting Their Grandchildren?

That was the proposition being debated on the BBC’s Moral Maze last week.  Although this debate centers on the situation in the United Kingdom, this a debate is relevant to United States.  

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July 1, 2013 · 10:07 am

Edith: Welfare Queen or Government Success Story

NPR’s Planet Money team recently explored the economic implications of government assistance. 

Here is a description of the story: 

On today’s Planet Money, we meet a single mother who makes $16,000 a year — and who managed to fund a vacation at a Caribbean resort with an interest-free loan from one of the world’s largest banks.

Edith Calzado gets credit cards with teaser zero-percent interest rates — then transfers her balance before the rate ticks up. She signs up for store cards to get discounts — then pays off her bill on time. She gets food stamps and lives in subsidized housing. Her son is doing well in school.

She may be the single most successful and productive beneficiary of government assistance you’ll ever meet.

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May 27, 2013 · 11:17 am

Abolish the Minimum Wage?

That was the proposition being debated on the most recent Intelligence Squared debate.  The debater included James A. Dorn (Cato Institute) and Russell Roberts (Hoover Institution) arguing in favor of the motion and Jared Bernstein (Former Chief Economist to Vice President Joe Biden) and Karen Kornbluh (Former US Ambassador, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). 

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April 11, 2013 · 9:25 am

The Disability Boom: America’s De Facto Welfare System

After a half of year of investigation, Planet Money’s Chana Joffe-Walt reports a disturbing trend in the American economy-the constantly increasing number of of Americans receiving federal disability payments. The number Americans on disability has doubled in the last fifteen years. Currently, there are fourteen million people receiving disability payments, nearly a quarter of all adults in some towns and counties. The Planet Money team argues that the disability system has become a de facto welfare system and an economically inefficient one at that. The causes of this startling trend include the changing economy, lawyers, and, surprisingly, kids.
The results of Joffe-Walt’s findings will be on NPR all week this week. The full story was the focus of This American Life (59:17 minutes). A preview of the story is available on the Planet Money Podcast (13:38 minutes). The Planet Money website includes some fairly startling graphs about the problem. Finally, parts of the story will also be featured on All Things Considered.

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March 26, 2013 · 3:33 pm

High School Football Star Exonerated After 5 Years in Prison

Last night on 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent James Brown reported the story of Brian Banks, a former high school football star who was falsely convicted of rape and kidnapping.   Banks went from recieving a call from Pete Carroll and being recruited play football for USC to Chino State Penitentiary.  After five years in prison, Bank’s accuser, Wanetta Gibson, admitted to fabricating the accusations. 


March 25, 2013 · 10:15 am