Monday, June 14, 2010

How the Welfare State Oppresses the Poor

During the 195s and 1960s the poverty rate in the US was declining, but for some reason, in 1968 the rate leveled off at 13% and has never gone lower in the years since 1968. Although it has risen and fallen since that point, it has never gone below 13%. Why has poverty not declined since then? Why was it declining prior to 1968? And what could be done to reduce it even lower in the future? The answers to these questions will explain why the social democratic state is unjust and bad news for the poor. Jonathan Leaf in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties explains:
". . . President Johnson in January 1964 declared a "War on Poverty," which would become the centerpiece of his "Great Society" program. Poverty rates were already falling then, coinciding with the economic boom of the early-to-mid 1960s, but by the time Johnson relinquished the presidency five years later, poverty rates were rebounding strongly. What's more, the War on Poverty quickly ushered in dramatic increases in a wide range of social pathologies - crime, illegitimacy, drug abuse, and welfare dependency, to name a few. A generation of young, urban minorities began acting in harmful ways that had not been predicted by the statisticians and sociologists whose work had justified the War on Poverty programs." (p. 163)
As Leaf points out, human behavior is complex and difficult to predict. Obviously, however, the War on Poverty was won decisively by poverty, not by the US Federal Government. So the question is, why is the Left fifty years later still pursuing the same failed policies of high taxation, increased government spending on welfare, and creating dependency on the government instead of returning to the policies of lower taxation, limited government and encouraging free enterprise and self-reliance? The answer is that the Left is driven, not by results oriented, pragmatic goals, but by ideology.

Here are some of the government welfare schemes started or greatly expanded in the War on Poverty: food stamps, job training courses, community redevelopment block grants, urban redevelopment and regional development schemes, medicaid, aid to families with dependent children, social security disability income, section 8 housing grants, emergency assistance to needy families with children, college scholarship aid, free and reduced price school lunches, child care programs, construction of housing projects, head start. (p. 164)

These programs, which were especially targeted at urban blacks, caused young black men to drop out of the labor force because the government paid them not to work. Furthermore, the government provided financial incentives to young women to have babies without getting married. This basically destroyed the urban black family unit; black illegitimacy rates today approach 70%. Urban black people are no longer organized in families, but are strictly individuals totally dependent on the State. It is really a new form of slavery and just as pernicious.

Some would see this as the unintended consequences of well-meaning people and programs, which did not work out as planned. Some would create rationalizations for why it did not work, such as racism. Yet, poverty among blacks was declining prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so if racism is the problem, that should not have been happening. Others would see the rise of the welfare state as an accomplishment of the real goals of socialist social engineers who seek above all else to destroy the market, the family and all other social institutions that interfere with the complete dependency of the individual on the State.

1 comment:

WunderBunk said...

Thats also how they got the natives. I always say that the government is a codependent leech. Trust Big Brother.