Welfare Reform’s Silver Lining

The Huffington Post • Aug. 22, 2006

You can generally count me out in heralding welfare reform as an unmitigated success. When President Clinton signed the bill into law ten years ago today, on August 22, 1996, he struck a dicey bargain, based on a premise that only a rich man would find credible: To end poverty, people had merely to go to work.

That’s true if you’ve got minimum wages starting around $20 an hour, public health care, free child care and housing subsidies for anyone who needs it. Unless I’ve somehow missing something in five years on the poverty beat, none of that describes contemporary America.

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Foodies in da ‘Hood?

The Huffington Post • Aug. 15, 2006

Forget organics. Stop worrying about local. Just get some fresh food into the ‘hood. That’s a pretty basic summary of the latest brainstorm in the “How do we stop being so fat?” conundrum: Use bodegas–the cheap corner stores found in poor urban neighborhoods–as beacons of health. If it sounds unlikely that the local one-stop ice cream/malt liquor shop could be a promoter of sound nutrition, you’d best pause a moment and really take a look at the Bodegas as Catalysts for Healthy Living Act, introduced into the House in late July by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).

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