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             America: land of the free, and home of the brave. Everyday, millions risk their lives entering the United States all in hopes of one day achieving the "American dream." You come here, work hard, and one day it all pays off. Then, suddenly there you are, sitting in the home you own, paying bills with the money you earned, looking back proudly knowing that everything you have, you rightfully deserved by working hard and not by the pity of others. No one ever thought that the American dream would be to have a baby before being ready, then living off the sweat of other people's hard earn money. Yet that is exactly what America has become; a welfare state, where people (or at least the poor) are no longer required to take responsibility for their actions, only hardworking citizens who pay millions of dollars in taxes because of the mistakes of others. "In 1993, welfare programs cost each family more than $3,000 in income tax" (Rector, Lauber, 6). Now instead of working for a living, the welfare state has begun to cause more damage than repair, leading millions down an endless cycle of poverty, dependence, and a belief that one cannot succeed without the money of others.
             In 1962 the Great Depression led to the establishment of welfare as a temporary solution to a tremendous crisis; back then no one could have predicted the damage welfare was going to have on society. With the welfare system we are simply waving a white flag giving up our fight against poverty. Instead of attacking poverty at its core, we have basically decided that people are going to be poor regardless, so why not just make it easier for them to do so? There are many ways to prevent poverty, and one of which is not having a baby out of wedlock, or before being ready. "The child poverty rate among female-headed families is four or five times that of married families" (Haskins, 2). If we wanted to decrease poverty, it would seem obvious to discourage illegitimacy, yet welfare does just the opposite.

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