Q&A: Charles Murray; Of Babies And Stick

Robert Pear, New York Times, April 11, 1986.


One of the Reagan Administration’s main sources of inspiration on social welfare policy is a book by Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist.

In “Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980,” published in late 1984, Mr. Murray argues that antipoverty programs actually increased the number of poor people, and he suggests scrapping many of the programs. His work has been attacked by a number of scholars and politicians, but it has nevertheless shaped much of the current debate on welfare policy. For example, in his State of the Union Message this year, President Reagan echoed a Murray theme when he said his Administration would search for new ways to help poor people “escape the spider’s web of dependency” on Government programs.

New York Times