Editorial Notes


J.R. Smith


In August 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act was signed into law with the promise to "end welfare as we know it." Whether the end has arrived or is stuck in traffic on Washington D.C.'s beltway is the subject of much debate if not intense coffee table discussion. Amidst the political jousting that gave rise to welfare reform, however, live the millions of Americans who struggle to put food on their tables and maintain roofs over their heads. More than any legislation in recent memory, this new act profoundly touches those millions who skirt the poverty line. Perspectives hopes to capture part of the debate surrounding welfare reform and acknowledge some of the problems with the new Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Perspectives also notes that welfare reform is more than just changing laws and talking about the changes. Welfare reform needs to begin on an individual level because, at its essence, welfare reform involves people helping other people.

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