The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than financial disruption. As families stay home, businesses close and kids learn from screens, one of America’s most painful preexisting conditions — lonely lives without purpose — has been aggravated.
Policymakers don’t usually have the power to solve such problems. But in this case, they can implement a return to a tool that cuts to the heart of our economic downturn and social atomization: work. As President Ronald Reagan said, “the best social program is a job.”
Americans have long understood and overwhelmingly supported work requirements in welfare. Yet, most work requirements for able-bodied adults enrolled in welfare programs are suspended due to COVID-19. These requirements should be reinstated and expanded, now more than ever.