googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The War on Poverty? It's a War on the Poor!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The War on Poverty? It's a War on the Poor!

In 1964, President Johnson declared a War on Poverty.  In a special message to congress, he said,for the first time in our history, it is possible to conquer poverty.” It sounds well intentioned but how has it worked out?  When he spoke those words, 10.5% of Americans between 18-64 lived in poverty. After 50 years and $15 trillion spent in the war on poverty, we've driven the number of impoverished Americans in that same demographic down to... 10.1%.

Wow! All that time and money wasted and it barely made a dent.

If that doesn't demonstrate the utter failure of the war on poverty, here's an even more alarming statistic: according to the Senate Budget Committee, "If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011" (source).

Why is it that we're spending all this money yet still not ending poverty? There's a very simple reason that liberals just can't grasp. Here it is: you don't help poor people by just giving them things! It's really that simple.

Just recently, a tourist snapped photo of a police officer giving socks and boots to a homeless man then posted it on Facebook. It quickly turned into an icon of charitable giving and the well meaning police officer became an instant celebrity. For the last couple of days, I've hardly been able to turn on the news or surf the net without hearing liberals gushing over what they consider to be a heroic act of kindness.

Of course, we've since learned this particular “homeless” person might not be a good example of the typical poor person. The ultimate cause of his poverty is more likely mental illness rather than a lack of means. But never mind that for a moment. Let's say that everything we had assumed about the poor fellow when we saw him barefoot on the street, turned out to be true. How exactly would the friendly police officer's kind gesture have helped him? He still would have been homeless. He still would have had to beg. At best, he would have simply been a little more comfortable as he lived on the streets, begging.  It sounds about as charitable as giving him a new cardboard box to live in.

There's an old Chinese saying: If you give a man a fish, you've fed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you've fed him for his lifetime. There's not usually a lot I would recommend we learn from the Chinese but, in this case, I think they're on to something. Giving somebody a bite to eat doesn't solve their lack of food problem; it merely sustains them until they're hungry again.

The liberal solution to poverty is to give every poor person a fish each day. Such a solution doesn't do anything to eliminate poverty - it only perpetuates poverty. Giving able bodied people food stamps doesn't make them able to provide for themselves – it only makes them dependent on the food stamps. What's worst is that it robs people of their dignity. We are treating grown men and women like infants who must be cared for – and many of them learn to expect it! Some people actually think they deserve charity.  It's known as the "entitlement" mentality.

The way to help the poor is to stop perpetuating their poverty. Stop treating people like infants by giving them everything. Good parents teach their kids to feed themselves. They teach their kids to poop in the toilet. They teach their kids to tie their own shoes and dress themselves. When children learn these lessons, they can stop wearing diapers and start learning how to become adults themselves someday. Only cruel parents do everything for their kids. As a result, they raise brats.

The ultimate cure for poverty is work. Duh! Proverbs 6:6 says, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” If a person is able-bodied, he should work. If he works, he can provide for himself. He can feed himself. He can shelter himself. If a person can take care of himself, he doesn't need to be taken care of. He will no longer need welfare, or food stamps, or section 8 housing, or government assistance of any kind. He can stop being infantile and start having dignity.

Jesus said we would always have poor people among us (Matthew 26:11) so we can never completely eliminate poverty but if we want to reduce poverty, we need to get people to work. We need to stop punishing employers with higher taxes and more regulations, and create an environment that encourages industry. We need to start giving people the skills that make them attractive to employers. And above everything else, we need to stop subsidizing poverty.

The war on poverty is actually a war on the poor and the recipients of government subsidies are victims. I know why liberals have declared war on poor people. It's because they're despots and can only stay in power by oppressing the masses. They want to bring back the caste system so they can reign over a society of peasants. Liberals don't really care for the poor. There's no way. They hate poor people so much that they make them beg!


Carvin said...

This shows a basic misunderstanding of economics and how looking at 50 years is not a fair assessment. The condition for the poor has degraded every year since 1978. Our median income is now worse than Canada. Countries that have liberal policies do far better. Look at all the socialist countries. The poor are better off in Finland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, as well as less socialist countries.

You clearly have never been poor, you've never had to live off of the bleak benefits of the US Government. And this isn't just about that- we live in a system where people can be payed less than what they need in order to live for a 40 hour week. That's wrong. That is stealing from workers, and that is not justice. When you can't survive on working, why would people want to work?

Don't be deceived by the policies of greed.

RKBentley said...


Many, more social countries are going broke. You cannot sustain an economy that takes more and more money from the producers and gives it to non producers. The poor might be better off for a while, but eventually the whole country becomes poor.

Your comments are a little off the subject of my post, anyway. My point is that the best way to help a poor person is to put him to work. Giving a homeless person a new box to live in might make him a little more comfortable, but it's hardly compassionate. It merely helps sustain him in his poverty.

People can't ever overcome poverty by receiving food stamps. It merely sustains him a little until he gets his next government benefit. This kind of “compassion” also dehumanizes a person. We feed babies because they can't take care of themselves. When you take care of a person who is able to take care of himself, then you're treating him like a baby.

If you really want to help someone, get him to become independent of government benefits.

God bless!!


Carvin said...

Again, this is the problem of never having to have to live on government benefits. But then again, corporations, and in consequence, the rich, cost tax payers thousands time more than the poor.

Corporations are the largest recipients of welfare, with billions spent each year to subsidize the oil, industrial food, auto and other huge conglomerates. Unless that money has been carefully monitored and audited, and it rarely is, that money goes right into the richest Americans pockets. It happened after 9/11 with the airline industry. It happened even worse with banking after the housing burst. The rich are rich because they are the biggest welfare queens.

So, I ask... why don't we teach big corporations how to fish? Wouldn't they feel better if they learned to make money on their own? We are dehumanizing the CEOs. We are treating them like babies.

Till then, I will support giving food stamps to people because our economy is so bad that people can't get jobs that allow them to afford both food and shelter.