Welfare Dependency Breeds More Welfare Dependency

Even Vikings get hooked on welfare.
Even Vikings get hooked on welfare.

A new study explores the phenomenon of inter-generational welfare and finds that children of parents on welfare increase their participation over the next five years by 6% and over the next 2 years by 12%. “We find strong evidence of a welfare culture, where welfare use in one generation causes welfare use in the next generation,” write the authors of “Family Welfare Cultures,” published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Exploring the mechanism by which the welfare culture is transmitted, they argue that children raised in welfare households learn from their parents’ experience.

What makes this study especially interesting is that it does not draw from the experience of inner-city blacks or Appalachian whites. It draws from Norwegians on disability insurance. It points to a dynamic that arguably applies across all races, religions and cultures.

If anything, the study understates the extent to which culture affects welfare dependency in the United States. In Norway, if I’m not mistaken, welfare dependence is less concentrated geographically. Norwegians on disability are less likely to be packed into inner cities or mountain hollows. In the United States, welfare dependency is so extensive and so concentrated that many children don’t take their cues just from their parents, but their peers and the culture all around them.


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5 responses to “Welfare Dependency Breeds More Welfare Dependency”

  1. larryg Avatar

    NBIR is a more honest broker of issues than AEI or Heritage, etc… and it pains me to say this but I believe they are probably correct.

    and a child learns pretty quick that Mom gets tax breaks, MedicAid, food stamps, free/reduced lunches, etc…

    what I’d like to see is welfare for people without kids vs welfare for people with kids.

    I’m not anti-kid… love kids and think they are innocents across the board

    but our welfare system (dunno about Norway) is basically predicated on making sure kids are taken care of – and people who decide to have kids – do so with that assurance even if they themselves are not sure they are able to take care of their kids.

    73% of black kids are born into one parent circumstances. it’s not a race thing even though racists try their best to portray it that way.

    it’s a culture thing and it’s fostering people having kids – who ought not to be having kids to start with in many respects.

    society busts it’s humps to try to educate these kids – they are twice as hard to educate as kids with parents directly involved in their education.

    It drives the price of education higher and higher and it, in turn, fosters the current environment where people want to leave the public schools and go to voucher/charter/non-public schools – because the hard-to-educate kids put huge pressure on teachers to get them educated… at the expense of the kids who are ready and willing to learn.

    we have to deal with this. it’s going to split the country, if we do not.

  2. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Boy the way Glen Miller played
    Songs that made the hit parade.
    Guys like us we had it made,
    Those were the days.

    And you knew who you were then,
    Girls were girls and men were men,
    Mister we could use a man
    Like Herbert Hoover again.

    Didn’t need no welfare state,
    Everybody pulled his weight.
    Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
    Those were the days.

  3. Darrell Avatar

    Actually I think the thinking has been going both ways. The older generation is beginning to learn from their kids that working your ass off for nothing is not a good strategy. So many are applying for VA benefits they never would have bothered with, and combining that with SSDI, and basically telling their AH boss to stuff it.

  4. Welfare itself is not the problem… it’s not that big a slice of the total budget.

    it’s our entitlement mentality that extends from Medicare to SSDI to the military paying full pensions for 20 years of service to include health care.

    it extends to student loans and mortgage interest and even tax-free employer-provided health insurance…

    everyone wants “their” perk.. and everyone wants to blame others “perks” for the problems.

  5. […] Or call it dependency breeds dependency: […]

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