To the Editor:
In “What To Do About Welfare” [December 1994], Charles Murray alludes to one of the road blocks in the way of welfare reform, but he does not elaborate upon it: more tax dollars are used to pay for the administration of welfare programs than are distributed to welfare recipients. . . .
Directly, or indirectly but in obvious ways, millions of Americans owe all, or a significant part, of their livelihoods to the existence of social-welfare programs at various levels of government. Consider the case of the typical social-welfare worker and her (or, less often, his) role in contemporary society. She typically has two university degrees and has passed a stiff civil-service written examination (those who doubt that it is stiff need only consult the “Arco” series to be found in many bookstores) plus an oral examination and a job interview rounded off by a one-year probationary period. She either belongs to the “cognitive elite” or is at least at or near the fringe of it. She has about the same job security as a tenured professor and, after a few years, is likely to command a decent salary (especially at the federal level).
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