The professoriate has been chastised for its biased teaching about the Cold War and its willful denial of the extent of the atrocities committed by Communist regimes.

Similarly, academics seem loath to admit their decades-long error of espousing a socialist approach to combating poverty and rejecting incentives-oriented welfare reform.

For example, common sense and facts have long demonstrated that many families, enticed by higher benefits, migrated from state to state. Yet, as the Claremont Institute’s Eloise Anderson notes, “The academic community denied that was a motive to move from one state to another.”

Moreover, adds Anderson, academics latched on to the concept “that white America owed black America something.” The result, until the welfare reforms of 1996, was that the government doled out money to adolescents to leave home and start families.

According to National Review editor Kate O’Beirne, “At any given time, [nationally, until 1996] half of the welfare caseload had been on welfare for 10 years.”

Heritage Foundation policy analyst Robert Rector observes: “With welfare, we said to single mothers, ‘You can’t work and you can’t get married.'” This “incentive system from Hell” was put to rest in 1996 as a result of the Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

Ten years hence, as Rector reported to a congressional committee last month:

  • Child poverty has fallen.
  • Decreases in poverty have been greatest among black children.
  • Unprecedented declines in poverty also occurred among children of single mothers.
  • Welfare caseloads were cut in half
  • Employment of single mothers has surged.
  • The explosive growth of out-of-wedlock childbearing has come to a near standstill.

WORA is not without problems, writes Mal Kline of Accuracy in Academia. Yet campus academics and officials are not eager for government overseers to examine its warts.

This is yet another illustration of the screaming need for intellectual diversity on campuses. Then at least logic, evidence and objectivity in the interest of more humane public policies would have a fighting chance.