Lifting Up the People, by Robert Rector

February 7, 2005

How we address poverty is shaped by our sense of its causes and the public's role in possible solutions. In the November 29, 2004, issue of the National Review, Robert Rector—senior research fellow in welfare at the Heritage Foundation—reviewed Jason DeParle’s new book, American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare, offering a conservative perspective on welfare reform and its aftermath. What role do public services and supports play? Connecting single parents with work is not enough to “catapult families out of the underclass.” Writes Rector, “At heart, American Dream shows that the problems of the underclass are not economic but moral and behavioral … emanating from individual behavior.”