Welfare reform was designed to put poor people to work, but it has not ended what's called "the culture of poverty," handed down through generations. In rural Mexico, mothers from five million of the poorest families are getting cash grants from the government, but only if their kids stay in school, if parents and children get regular medical checkups and if the mothers attend workshops to learn what it takes to stay healthy. The poverty rate has dropped so much that the Oportunidades program is being adopted in 30 other countries. There's even a pilot project in New York City. There's much debate over the causes of poverty, but if this form of tough love helps end it, who cares?
Will the 'Nanny State' Be Replaced by the 'Daddy State?'
Tina Rosenberg - freelance journalist, Santiago Levy - former official, Mexico's Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Susan Parker - Associate Professor of Economics, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, Jim Riccio - Director of Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy, MDRC