Over the years progressives Democrats, aided by the drive-by media and far-left special interest activists, have cast themselves as the party of compassion using envy to promulgate class warfare in the name of fairness. They throw out the race card, corporate greed, religious intolerance and social justice to put conservatives on the defensive and to convince Americans that government is the universal solver of all that ails us.
Solutions they propose to solve society’s social “ills” have been anything but solutions. Their never-ending attempts at social engineering by government fiat not only fails to solve America’s social and economic problems, they prolong and perpetuate them. Government does not solve problems – government creates the problem and then makes it worse!
President Lydon Johnson began the government’s “war on poverty” in the 1960s. Since its inception, the problems of poverty and homelessness have only gotten worse. The government now has more than 120 anti-poverty programs and, according to the Cato Institute, spends more than one trillion a year on these failed programs. As government programs expanded, the number of people living in government defined poverty increased. While the government’s efforts may provide short-term relief, they actually hurt recipients over the long run by ensuring that they remain poor, that they remain dependent upon government subsidies. By perpetuating the cycle of poverty, government programs have the effect of passing it from generation to generation until living in poverty becomes a way of life.
To eliminate poverty you must solve its root causes and you cannot eliminate the root causes by rewarding it with government handouts. Rather than freeing the poor from dependency – government transfers that dependency to themselves leaving the less politically connected people at the mercy of the political process.
Activists, the government, and the drive-by media often distort the living standards of the poor and project the image of dire deprivation for their own political agenda. For decades the Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in poverty but the bureau’s definition of poverty is different from what you might expect. The overwhelming majority of the government’s “poverty” households have air conditioning, cable or satellite TV, a game system for their children, full kitchen appliances including dishwashers, microwave, washer/dryer, cordless phones, computer and printer, Internet, a DVD player, ceiling fans and coffee makers. Most live in homes that are in good repair with more living space than the average European. That 30 million figure is a means to an end – a way for the government to amass power through enslavement of its “subjects”.
While the average poor family does not represent every poor family, Liberal exaggeration and misinformation about poverty in America obscures the nature, extent and the cause of real material deprivation hampering the development of effective programs to reduce the problem for those in real need.
The best solution to poverty is jobs and improving the job skills of the poor. Businesses create jobs – government creates dependency. Only when businesses can anticipate sustained growth will they add jobs and hire people to do them. The Obama administration has done nothing to create an atmosphere of job creation. In fact, Obama has gone out of his way to kill any incentive to create jobs through the use of Obamacare, executive orders, his “green” agenda, a global warming scam, and oppressive EPA regulations.
If politicians were honest about wanting to help the poor they would remove the barriers they use to block the poor from climbing out of poverty.
The way to lessen poverty is to create a favorable environment for investment and wealth creation. High incomes and profits, the incentives to invest and produce, are put to work, provided they are not confiscated by government. The market process is the source of new wealth. It is through the division of labor, peaceful cooperation, and free exchange—the market process—that wealth is created….It does not redistribute wealth to the powerful at the expense of others, such as in a collectivized [Socialist] economy; rather, it enables new goods and services to come into the marketplace. A free market system is a positive sum system.
We all seek a society where everyone can reach his or her potential, where as few people as possible live in poverty. But shouldn’t we judge the success of our efforts not by how much charity we provide but by how few people need such charity? By that measure the progressive’s war on poverty is a big failure.