Skip to content

Reasons for Reform: Ensuring All Americans Have an Equal Chance at Success

October 22, 2015

The American idea: the notion that the condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life. The notion that—with hard work, determination, and initiative—every American should have an equal chance at independence and success.

Unfortunately, our current welfare system is painting a drastically different picture for many Americans. As it currently stands, our system spends billions of dollars each year on programs that, quite frankly, just aren’t working.

Today, the poverty rate is higher than it was right after the recession.

Poverty among working-age women is higher than ever.

And one out of five children are living in poverty.

In other words, our current welfare system is leaving too many Americans stuck in poverty, and it’s time we do something about it. We need to reform our welfare system to actually help people escape poverty, instead of creating roadblocks for those trying to secure a better future. Our system should send the message, loud and clear, that the American idea is available for anyone who wants it.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. Without further ado, here are five more reasons for reforming our welfare system.

11. In 2014, median incomes remained lower than they were before the last recession.


12. A record 26.5 million working-age adults were in poverty in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


13. In the fifth year of the disappointing “Obama Recovery,” more and more people aren’t working at all.


14. The U.S. Census Bureau revealed that native-born households fared among the worst in 2014.


15. According to the Urban Institute, black children are nine times more likely to be persistently poor than white children.