Demythologizing the 'Welfare Queen'

There certainly are heartwarming cases of dedicated welfare workers, as well as heartbreaking cases of recipients struggling unsuccessfully to get on their feet. But the system produces backward incentives to the poor recipient and to the dispensing bureaucrat. This may be the aggravation that makes people verbally lash out at the easiest target: the welfare recipients.But the author of this article does little to help us rethink our grave welfare issues by calling the complaints of coerced taxpayers "looney-tune" stories and painting welfare recipients as well-deserving people who only get a pittance. J. B. Gardner, Bethany, Conn. Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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