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Earlier I mentioned part I of Daniel Patrick Maloney’s series at Public Discourse on reducing poverty by reducing the number of poor children. In part II, Maloney, a former FT associate editor, looks at transcripts from Senate Finance Committee hearings in the 1970s and argues

that the committee enacted these policies out of racist, eugenicist motives. While the motives behind the American welfare system were originally idealistic—providing temporary assistance to needy families while they climbed out of poverty—the committee hearings show that the senators believed that the mostly black welfare population was incurably lazy, promiscuous, intellectually substandard, and a burden on public schools, and, moreover, that they probably would remain so indefinitely. Birth control, therefore, was in their eyes a way to reduce the number of these undesirable people.

Read the rest of part II and look for the final part in the coming days.

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