How The Deal Went Down

In September, 1939, just as the Second World War was beginning, a left-wing Italian shoe salesman named Bruno Rizzi published a book, in Paris, called “The Bureaucratization of the World.” Rizzi brought the book out at his own expense; he couldn’t find a publisher. In early 1940, he was charged by French authorities with racial […]

News flash: government spending reduces poverty

In 2014, 14.8 percent of Americans were in poverty. That’s the headline figure the Census Bureau released today as part of its annual report on income, poverty, and access to health insurance in the US. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. For one thing, the official poverty measure, taken without context, is woefully incomplete. More […]

Why the Very Poor Have Become Poorer

According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living in poverty is higher today than it was in the late 1960s. Last year I argued in these pages that these “official” poverty statistics are extremely misleading.1 When the United States first explicitly defined an official poverty line in 1969, it was supposed to be […]

The Myth of Welfare’s Corrupting Influence on the Poor

Does welfare corrupt the poor? Few ideas are so deeply ingrained in the American popular imagination as the belief that government aid for poor people will just encourage bad behavior. The proposition is particularly cherished on the conservative end of the spectrum, articulated with verve by Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, who blamed […]