War on Poverty or War on the Poor?

The Washington Post and other mainstream media are livid about the Trump administration proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“President Trump and congressional Republicans want Americans to think that their proposed tax legislation is all about increasing economic growth. That’s their stated goal. But the stealth goal of GOP tax cuts is to start down the path toward gutting the New Deal and the Great Society — and if tax cuts pass, they might get away with it.”

”The stage is being set for an all-out attack on the welfare state the minute a tax cut is signed into law.”

One could garner from the Washington Post that the administration is poised to commit the unforgivable deed of tampering with a highly successful agenda. Or one could take a contrarian view and point to the actual results of the New Deal, the Great Society, and The War on Poverty.

The War on Poverty in hindsight

homess vet
Homeless vets are a national shame – evidence of failure of the welfare state.

Half a century after Lyndon B. Johnson launched The War on Poverty, urban streets serve as beds for the homeless, children have no roof over their heads but that of an unsafe and unclean shelter, tents under freeway overpasses are called home, jails house poor and dispossessed youth by the thousands, and the working poor depend on food stamps and Medicaid.

All this while the Ruling Elite declares the welfare state brought about by The War on Poverty a success, but in need of even more growth in order to take care of those who fall into the cracks.

What does it take to declare The War on Poverty a success?

* Changing the description of poverty:

Prior to the 1960s, poverty meant inability to take care of one’s needs for food and shelter. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society changed that description to inability to receive enough public assistance. A 2015 study of the country’s “safety net” is described in Center on Budget and Polity Priorities,

“Previous analysis of Census data showed that safety net programs cut the poverty rate nearly in half. Data released recently by the Urban Institute, which correct for underreporting of key government benefits in the Census survey, reveal an even stronger impact: the safety net reduced the poverty rate from 29.1 percent to 13.8 percent in 2012 and lifted 48 million people above the poverty line, including 12 million children. Correcting for underreporting reveals that the safety net also did more to reduce deep poverty than previously shown, although 11.2 million Americans remained below half the poverty line.”

It should be obvious that if someone receives a free gift of $1,000, that person’s poverty will immediately decrease by $1,000!  Do we need a study to figure that? It should be equally obvious that when the $1,000 is consumed, that person will be just as poor as before the gift, unless another gift is forthcoming, or he/she finds a way to get out of poverty by becoming self sufficient.  We do not need a study for that either; we just need to look around us.

* Encouraging adaptation to dependency:

Survival depends on adaptation to external events. Short-term adaptation might mean trimming our budget if someone in our household loses a job, but we are confident another job is just around the corner. Longer-term adaptation might mean giving up a physically demanding job if we hurt out back. Long-term adaptation might mean cultural acceptance of raising children outside a traditional two-parent family in order to obtain public assistance. In more progressive regions of the country such as California, cultural adaptation includes middle-income families feeling comfortable receiving government subsidies for purchasing a home.

Although it is important to distinguish correlation from causation, the statistics are clear that so much of our precious youth is lost to inner-city violence or languishes in jails, our families are trapped in welfare-dependent neighborhoods, our children go to school hungry and depend on some slop gifted to them at some run-down government school. All this is culturally accepted and superficially monitored.

What does it take to fight back?

The first step to getting out of poverty might be to realize a good many folks have been screwed over by the Ruling Elite. In the Old South, power and the economic well being of the then Ruling Elite depended on slaves. Today’s Ruling Elite depends for its power and economic well being on a vast network of governmental bureaucracies doling out rules and make-believe benefits.

The next step is to truly wish to produce goods and services, rather than only consume them.  This is where the Just Vote No comes in:  threaten to run out of office anyone who makes it difficult for you to earn some cash braiding hair, selling tacos, typing, or selling your own apps on-line.

By the way, Forever 21 founder Do Won Chang started out as a janitor.  Ralph Lauren worked as a clerk at Brooks Brothers before building his fashion empire.  Read all about it on 15 Billionaires Who Were Once Dirt Poor.