John McWhorter, New Republic, 4/16:
As such, the refashioning of AFDC in 1996 into a five-year program with required job training was the most important event in black American history between the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the election of Barack Obama. ... By 2004 the welfare rolls had gone down by two-thirds, and contrary to fears that people off the rolls would starve or languish in squalor ... black childhood poverty went down to 30 percent from 41 percent, and ex-recipients have regularly reported greater self-esteem and are thankful for the new regime. Welfare reform has made little impact on single motherhood so far, and most ex-recipients are still poor–but their children watch them go to work every day.Hat tip: Newmark, who gave me the title too. This quote is at the bottom of a lengthy discussion of a biography of the furor over the Moynihan report and what it said about the prevalence of black families with only one parent.