Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 30, 2017
One of my Progressive friends and I recently discussed the pros and cons of Liberal socio-economic policies. During that discussion my friend questioned my empathy for the less fortunate stating: “”There are a lot of arguments as to why we are short and where the jobs are but the fact remains we have people who cannot survive. I simply don’t understand how making people’s lives miserable somehow makes my life better. Their plan (conservatives) is akin to just yelling ‘Get a Job.’”
It is disappointing that liberals believe, or at least profess to believe, that those with different policy opinions are somehow less empathetic than they are. Inherent in their view is the belief that government and governmental programs improve the lives of the less fortunate. This decades old view had the potential for being correct during the 1960s when the great experiments were initiated. But history has since made its judgment and it concludes the programs have been a failure.
Posted is a graph of the US poverty rate since 1960, but prior to Obama and Trump. Going back a few years helps remove the current partisan political rancor. These numbers and the trajectory of this graph indicate that the poor have fared worse under Progressive policies initiated in the 1960s through the Great Society programs. Many these programs continue to this today.
While this graph does not answer the question of cause and effect, it at least raises a red light. At best, these unacceptable results emanated from bad socio-economic policy. The alternative is that things have turned out just as the political-elites designed. Conclusion; those who promoted the feel-good economic policies of the past five decades, both Democrats and Republicans, own the results. Continuing these Progressive policies will offer the same trends, which will also give the political class the ability to grab more power through offering economic solutions for problems their policies created.
It is time for society use object results instead of feel good talking points to determine public policies. However, this logical approach would usurp power from the ruling political class, which they will not give up easily.
Posted in economics | Tagged: Government, Great Society, Policies, Political Elites, Poverty, Program | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 7, 2017
Since the early 1960s liberals have promoted the narrative that people on the Left are more compassionate than those on the Right. This proposition was based on a motion, not empirical evidence. It emotionally seems right that the government should give to those in need. Conversely, those who would withhold government’s largess from the less fortunate lack compassion.
While a governmental safety net has been a part of American society since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration, it advanced significantly under President Lyndon Johnson. Given we are now a half-century into Johnson’s Great Society, it is reasonable to determine efficacy of the programs.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley recently published some important statistics since the initiation of the Great Society:
- In 1962 the percentage of the Americans receiving government assistance in the form of cash transfers was about 12%. Today this has nearly doubled to 21%.
- In 2012 over 48% of Americans resided in households receiving some form of government benefits. This number was only 30% in 1983.
- By 2011 the US published property rate remained flat compared to 1965. During the same period, US governmental expenditures on poverty rose by 900% per receiving person (after inflation adjustments).
- The Heritage Foundation marks 2014 as the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s Great Society. They calculated that federal government spending increased by 16 times, adjusted for inflation, for means tested welfare during this period.
Cause and effect are often difficult to prove. However, in the case of the Great Society Programs and their offspring, the evidence seems convincing that at the very least, much of the spending was wasteful and have not benefited those most in need over the long-term. At the same time, these programs significantly benefited certain industries that serve the programs and distributed their benefits. Those industries offer significant resistance to fundamentally changing governmental spending habits.
Posted in Progressives | Tagged: Entitlements, Great Society, Johnson, Poverty, Welfare | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 26, 2015
Victor Davis Hanson published a piece in the nationalreview.com titled “Can California be Saved?”. This article offers a clear indication that California is a canary in the mine for the social and economic decay in America. Hanson shares the following facts for the State:
- Los Angeles’s violent crime is up nearly 21% for the first half of 2015 with an 11% increase in property crimes. One cause is California’s Proposition 47 passed in 2014 that released thousands of prisoners. Proposition 47 was an attempt by California to its costs for the prison system. Costs may be down, but crime is skyrocketing.
- California is in the fifth year of a significant drought. This could be alleviated had the State followed through with a new reservoir system approved under California Water Project. Lack of funding caused projects to be unfinished.
- California’s traffic accidents have increased by 13% during in last three years. A significant cause is deteriorating roads that are not properly maintained. It is hard to imagine why a state that includes some of the highest taxes in the country cannot repair its own roads.
- California is awash with natural resources, yet its gasoline and electricity costs are amongst the highest in the country. Progressive policies inflicted by wealthy liberals who can bear these expenses are the cause. However, these high costs devastate lower income brackets, a typical unintended consequence of Progressive policies.
- Approximately 33% of America’s welfare recipients reside in California with nearly 25% of the State’s residents falling below the poverty line. This is unconscionable considering where that state was economically just a few decades ago.
Who is responsible for this sad state of California’s economics? It is politically expedient to blame the wealthy or nasty conservatives. However, given that many of the wealthy in California are liberals and all major government offices in the State are controlled by Democrats, this dog just doesn’t hunt.
California can be considered one of the great experiments for American Progressives. Liberal politicians promised to fix societal ills with all sorts of interventions. The fact that these ills are larger today than when the liberals started their experimentation and have spent trillions implementing the policies is proof they failed. In addition, a significant portion of these poorly spent funds were but a form of crony capitalism, benefiting the social services, education and other industries
Adding insult to injury, Progressive policies distorted the economic diversity of the State. Those considering starting businesses are likely to leave California in search of more business friendly environments. Those wanting to build wealth for their families moved to states with less aggressive tax policies. In addition, immigrants found California’s easy to obtain social benefits and naturally matriculated to this environment. The result; California is top-heavy with those who being pulled in the cart then those pulling it. The cart is now being bogged down in a quagmire.
California needs to change its political and economic ways if it is to remain solvent. Before a plan can be created to implement change, it is necessary that the State become introspective and ask why and how California has deteriorated so much over the past five decades. The answer will be painful for many.
Posted in Debt, Deficits | Tagged: California, insolvent, Liberals, Poverty, Progressives, proposition 47, Welfare | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 4, 2015
MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes interviewed former Maryland Congressman and past NAACP president Kweisi Mfume concerning recent events in Baltimore, Maryland. As an unapologetic Leftist, Hayes proffered questions to Mfume in an veiled attempt to obtain the canned Progressive responses. However, Mfume response also strongly condemned the Democrat Party for its past related inactions:
“I see where Harry Reid today, said he was directing his staff to come back with some ideas about what to do with this issue. I’m trying to figure out where was that kind of thinking back, 7 years ago, when my party, the Democratic Party, controlled the White House, controlled the Senate, controlled the House of Representatives, and you could have gotten anything through because you controlled the vote. So Harry Reid? Please, give me a break.”
While this Blog may differ as to problem resolution, we agree with Mfume as to a major source of the problem, poverty. At the same time, it needs to be asked why with trillions spent on anti-poverty programs in the United States since the mid-1960s are the inner cities in the sad state they are today. Also, since Democrats control nearly all major large cities’ governments, it is reasonable to ask why their policies have not improved the poverty situation in the cities. Finally, it is reasonable to conclude that should we continue following the same failed policies, we should expect the same failed results.
Posted in Democrats | Tagged: Congressman, criticize, Democratic, Kweisi Mfume, Maryland, minorities, NAACP, Poverty | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 1, 2012
The “welfare state” is more than a state of mind. It is a philosophy by which the state makes citizens wards, dependent on it for all manner of things relating to subsistence.
Feudal England had its castles whose lords offered the peasantry food and protection in return for subservient behavior. While this system was rejected generations ago, is has been replaced by one just as repressive to the masses, the welfare state. In the welfare system, the political elites who are modern-day lords, drill into the less fortunate their inability to progress in society without the assistance of their new lords. Initially, the political elites implement programs that sound humanitarian, but in reality increase the power of the elites by making more citizens dependent on their handouts.
While it is staggering to consider the trillions spent on antipoverty programs since President Johnson’ Great Society its own, it becomes criminal given the fact that the same Progressives claim that the current American poverty rate has never been higher in. Where did all these funds go? Who actually benefited from them? These are questions that the proponents of the programs never ask.
Shortly after President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the growth of the intrusive government began, there were those in the United States who feared the outcome of the welfare state. Their fear’s have been proven correct. The poem below, initially published in 1949, was sent in by Blog reader Carl. We had certainly traveled down the slippery slope in the last six decades.
Posted in Welfare | Tagged: Fuedal, Great Society, New Deal, Poverty, Proressives, Welfare, Welfare-state | Leave a Comment »