European Unemployment: Lessons for the United States

Europe is a great place to visit - but don't try to find a job there. Unemployment averaged 8.8 percent in Europe last year, compared to 6.1 percent in the United States. [See Figure I.] Americans hav…

Welfare Reform: Finishing the Job

Recently, for the fifth time, Congress temporarily extended the 1996 welfare reform law that established Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the federal program that provides cash assistanc…

Ending Welfare as We Know It: Lessons From Canada

Welfare rolls in both Canada and the United States reached all-time highs in the 1990s. One province and a few states introduced reforms to slow the rate of increase or reduce the escalating cost. How…

Is Workers' Compensation a Model for Unemployment Insurance?

In the early 20th century, state governments and the District of Columbia set up Workers' Compensation (WC) systems to pay employees' lost income and medical expenses due to job-related accidents.

Is There a Child Care Crisis?
Access to safe and affordable child care has been a major issue in the congressional debate on reauthorization of the 1996 welfare reform law.
How Not to Be Poor
About 31 million Americans live in households with incomes below the poverty level, according to the latest U.S. Census data. Poverty is more than a lack of income. It is also the consequence of speci…
Is Extending Unemployment Benefits A Good Idea?
A desire to relieve suffering can sometimes hurt. Moving an accident victim can worsen his injuries, despite our good intentions. Similarly, a desire to help the unemployed can actually delay their re…
Chile Leads the Way with Individual Unemployment Accounts
Chile was the first country in the western hemisphere to set up a social security system, and the first country in the world to reform it using individual investment accounts.