… is from page 76 of the great Shelby Steele’s 1998 essay “Wrestling with Stigma,” as this essay appears in the 2002 volume edited by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, Beyond the Color Line :
Nowhere in the ancient or modern world – except in the most banal utopian writing – is there the idea that people will become self-sufficient if they are given a lifetime income that is slightly better than subsistence with no requirement either to work or to educate themselves. Nowhere is there the idea that young girls should be subsidized for having children out of wedlock, with more money for more children. And yet this is precisely the form of welfare that came out of the sixties – welfare as a license not to develop. Out of deference this policy literally set up incentives that all but mandated inner-city inertia, that destroyed the normal human relationship to work and family, and that turned the values of hard work, sacrifice, and delayed gratification into a fool’s game.