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We hear so much about how government programs like temporary assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, etc., benefit poor and low-income Americans. But is it really true? Does the welfare state really make life better for those who have little? The painful yet honest answer is: no. The welfare state has trapped the poor in poverty. But even worse: the welfare state is not even designed to help the poor. It is there for totally different reasons - reasons that we never hear about in the public debate.