In Search of New Approaches

Democrats grapple with how to best help the underclass

The soul-searching among the Democrats in a New York City hotel last week was painful. They had gathered to discuss new approaches that the party should take toward one of America's most intractable social problems: the self- destructive cycle of unemployment, family disintegration and crime that has created what former Virginia Governor Charles Robb called a "permanent caste of destitute young men and women" in the nation's ghettos. One of the hosts was New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who was cast into the role of liberal standard-bearer by his stirring "shining city on a hill" speech at the 1984 convention; he...

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