Chapter

Mr. Murray on Maggie

Dale Maharidge

in Someplace Like America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262478
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948792 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262478.003.0013
Mr. Murray on Maggie

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Back in the 1980s, Dale Maharidge read Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980, by Charles Murray, who was later dubbed America's “most dangerous conservative” by the New York Times Magazine. His 1984 book argued that the government social service network, which he deemed a failure, had to be abolished in order to save the poor. The book was embraced by the Reagan administration and congressional Republicans. When President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law in 1996, co-opting the issue, he was in fact embracing Murray's argument. On Murray's web page at the American Enterprise Institute, Losing Ground is called the “intellectual foundation” for that legislation. Murray got just about everything he dreamed of in that book. By 2000, welfare was no longer the issue. Murray wanted Michael S. Williamson to describe a specific intact family and Dale was befuddled by his sharp dismissal of Maggie Segura.

Keywords: Dale Maharidge; Losing Ground; Charles Murray; America; government; social service network; Bill Clinton; welfare; Maggie Segura; Michael S. Williamson

Chapter.  797 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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