The law of conservation of mass dates from Antoine Lavoisier’s 1789 discovery that mass is neither created nor destroyed in chemical reactions. Evidence of the past three decades leads Marvin Olasky to suggest a parallel Law of Conservation of Welfare regarding political reactions. In 1995-1996 the first GOP-majority House of Representatives in four decades changed AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) into TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) but left alone dozens of other programs. As work requirements and time limits reduced the number of AFDC/TANF recipients, programs such as SNAP, SSI, and SSDI expanded. The conservation of welfare is not good for many recipients who would be much better off with challenging, personal, and spiritual help, but changing the law requires a charge from outside current chemical configurations.

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