How are the poor best aided? After a thirty year governmental "War on Poverty" failed to reduce poverty in America, a consensus developed that the centralized entitlement approach of the federal government created more problems than it solved. Consequently, in 1996 welfare reform and its "Charitable Choice" provision paved the way for more involvement by the private sector, especially by faith-based institutions, in helping the poor make the transition from welfare to work. The welfare reform law of 1996 was a first step away from direct federal control of help to the poor and toward private sector solutions-but it was only a first step. The Acton Institute envisions a revivified civil society that is energetically involved in transforming the lives of the poor with a minimum of government intervention.
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