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Unraveling the Damage Done by Our Welfare System

Education, employment, and family formation are “the building blocks for a flourishing life,” says the leader of the Georgia Center for Opportunity. 

But, unfortunately, America’s welfare system includes penalties for both work and family formation, Randy Hicks says. 

Although the safety net may not intend to punish work or the family, Hicks says, it does that through policies that reward Americans with financial benefits for earning less or remaining single


Among all the states, Utah has created a model for a strong welfare system, he says. Utah integrated its workforce services with welfare services in the 1990s, so when an individual seeks government assistance, the first step is to help him re-enter the workforce, if he is able, before providing monetary benefits.


But around the year 2000, the federal government passed a law that made it almost impossible for states to integrate workforce and welfare services as Utah did. 


To change this situation, Hicks says, the Georgia Center for Opportunity and the Alliance for Opportunity advocate congressional legislation to “give states the flexibility to do what Utah did: integrate workforce and welfare so that we’re not compartmentalizing someone’s life but viewing it holistically and viewing it all as simply a means to a flourishing life that includes work.”


Hicks joins this episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the path to restoring the value of education, work, and family in America.

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