COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Changes in federal welfare programs will provide a boon to the child care and drug rehabilitation industries, making them wise stock investments in 1997, a University of Maryland professor said Thursday.
“If you have money, invest in child care,” said Douglas J. Besharov, visiting professor at Maryland’s School of Public Affairs and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.
Congress revamped welfare last year to get more recipients into the work force. To accomplish that, states will be forced to invest heavily in child care for the new workers, Besharov said. More than three-quarters of single mothers end up on welfare within five years.
States also will have to invest in more drug rehabilitation programs to prepare welfare recipients for jobs, he said, adding that 5 percent to 15 percent of welfare recipients are heavy drug users.
Besharov and three other University of Maryland professors, speaking at a briefing on the 1997 economy, agreed that Maryland’s economy will remain the same this year: slow to no growth.
The state economy is “stuck in a very slow growth mode,” said Mahlon Straszheim, chairman of the university’s economics department.
Straszheim also predicted the Maryland Legislature will pass Gov. Parris Glendening’s tax cut proposal.