Liberals Go Back
The Snipe-O-Meter Returns!
Posted Friday, August 13, 1999
The Snipe-O-meter has been called in to handle a particularly annoying paragraph in the 8/16 Time magazine's lead story on welfare reform. Time's article notes that welfare rolls have fallen almost 50%, and then speculates that those who remain on the rolls form "an entrenched group of welfare recipients who show no sign of heading anywhere near the work force." Author Adam Cohen sets up a somewhat ersatz debate between liberals, who are said to want "greater investment in job training, substance-abuse counseling and other programs to help [recipients] overcome their various obstacles," and conservatives who say those still on welfare are "underachievers at best and shirkers at worst."
Soon Time has settled into the familiar 'conservatives say/liberals say' rhythm of contemporary journalism. The conservatives are ever so slightly ahead on points when you get to the inevitable "balance" paragraph. Time's text appears in boldface, followed by context and perspective from the kausfiles.com staff:
"Liberals point out that
the system is not creating the
right incentives. Most jobs taken
by former welfare recipients, according
to the National Governors' Association,
pay less than $7 an hour, not enough to
bring a three-person family above
"Often welfare recipients who get
jobs make less in salary and benefits
than they received on welfare." ...
"Staying on welfare in that case is not
poor motivation -- it's common sense." ...
"Wendell Primus, director of income
security at the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities, says the answer is to
use tax credits for low-paid workers
to tilt the balance in favor of work." ...
The architects of the paradigm-shattering kausfiles.com business model want shorter postings, and more frequent postings. "Think New Republic 'Notebook' item," they helpfully suggest. Over the next few weeks, you may or may not notice this change occurring.
Copyright 1999 Mickey Kaus.