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The Collapse of Marriage and the Rise of Welfare Dependence: Forty Years in the Wilderness Since the Moynihan Report

Recorded on May 22, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan's prophetic warning about family dissolution as a cause of increasing welfare dependence and social pathology was shrilly denounced. For several decades, the Moynihan Report's findings were largely ignored in policy circles, until the 1990s debate over unwed childbearing and the importance of marriage in the context of welfare reform. Even then, the 1996 reform gave more rhetorical than substantive policy attention to the significance of marriage, and it was not until the 2006 reauthorization of welfare reform that concrete policy steps were made to address the breakdown of marriage as a root cause of poverty and welfare dependence. Join these experts for a discussion on the significance of marriage and family for the welfare of America.