Welfare dependency. It's always a hoot when a liberal has an epiphany on something conservatives have been howling about for decades. Of course, Kristoff believes this is only true now that he's recognized it as true. Here's Kristof's big discovery:
Writing from Jackson, Kentucky, Mr. Kristof reported that numerous poor parents in Appalachian hill country are yanking their kids out of literacy classes in order to bag a $689 monthly Supplemental Security Income (S.S.I.) check per kid. The checks continue until the child reaches 18 years of age.
“The kids get taken out of the program because the parents are going to lose the check,” said Billie Oaks, who runs a literacy program here in Breathitt County, a poor part of Kentucky. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Cornell University Economics Professor Richard V. Burkhauser says parents are inducing illiteracy to keep the taxpayer-funded welfare checks rolling in. “One of the ways you get on this program is having problems in school. If you do better in school, you threaten the income of the parents. It’s a terrible incentive,” said Professor Burkhauser.
Bottom line: Kristof has discovered parents will act in their children's disinterest if there's a government check in it for them. What a scoop. He should be so proud.