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Posts Tagged ‘Welfare’

Liberalism Fails Society and Those Most in Need

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.



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California Taxing and Regulating Itself into Bankruptcy

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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Over 46 Million Americans Receive Food Stamps for 35th Straight Month

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 15, 2014

Most Americans realize the economy is not heading in the right direction, even though we are years into the so-called recovery.  One objective indicator of the ongoing economic is the number of people receiving food stamps, a measure of Americans in poverty.

According to the Department of Agricultural, in July 2014 nearly 46.5 million Americans received benefits under the SNAP program.  More telling, July was the 35th consecutive month that over 46 million Americans received food stamps.  In addition, according to CNSNews.com, over 35% Americans now receive some sort of welfare.

Given the trillions America has spent on anti-poverty programs since Pres. Johnson’s Great Society programs, as well as the hundreds of billions of stimulus spending by the government since the 2008 economic meltdown, these poverty figures are staggering.  They not only indicate that these programs failed, but also raise questions as to whether the programs themselves actually have damaged those Americans they were supposed to aid.

It is time to reevaluate which programs work, as well as those that do not.  Programs that not lead to objectively determined positive results should be canceled.  It is no longer reasonable for Progressives to claim that programs that wasted hundreds of billions of dollars over years of time can be repaired by still more spending.

Is no longer a choice between policies promoted by either the Left or Right.  With more than one third of Americans receiving some form of welfare, the trajectory is simply unsustainable.  Without repair to wasteful spending and inefficient programs, the Country will in the not-too-distant future will be unable to pay for those truly in need.  That will be a real tragedy

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Dr. Ben Carson Shines on the View

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 21, 2014

This week retired and famed neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, appeared on daytime television’s “The View”. While The View is typically a feel-good type show with a liberal bent, Carson did not back down from his principles, as shown in the video below. In one exchange, Carson explained his views on the debilitating effects of welfare on recipients and inferred a racist bent to this program stating:

When you rob someone of their incentive to go out there and improve themselves, you are not doing them any favors. When you take somebody and pat them on the head and say, ‘There there, you poor little thing … Let me give you housing subsidies, let me give you free health care because you can’t do that,’” and further stated “What would be much more empowering is to use our intellect and our resources to give those people a way up and out.

While The View’s audience was very receptive to Dr. Carson’s opinion, cohost Whoopi Goldberg seem to take offense going on minor rant revealing that she was at once a “welfare mother”. However, in that emotional presentation, Goldberg seemed to turn 180 degrees raising serious issues about welfare stating: “I don’t feel bad about being a welfare mother because I contribute as an American. Because the welfare system is so bizarre, you can’t work, they don’t allow you to work because they take the money from you. So if we fix the system so that it doesn’t hurt the people, maybe they’ll get better.”

Dr. Ben Carson is a remarkable human being. With the assistance of his nurturing single mother, Carson came from poverty to become wildly successful and respected. His intellect and ability to share a coherent understanding of human nature and the limits of government is refreshing.

One network commentator this evening couched his positive comments concerning Dr. Carson with the caveat that the good doctor has no political experience. To those of us that have watched with disdain one crisis after another coming out of Washington, that is not caveat but a attribute.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Government Thugs Invade Private House Over Child Photo With Gun

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 27, 2013

FOXNews reported on a troubling story of a home invasion by the New Jersey Welfare Agency.  On March 14 state welfare workers and police in SWAT gear arrived at the house of Shawn Moore in Carney Point, New Jersey.  The raid was reported to be the result of an anonymous contact made to the agency relating to a photograph of Shawn’s 10-year-old son, Josh, holding a 22 caliber rifle made to look like an assault rifle that he had received for his birthday.

Josh Moore & RifleThe raid on Moore’s home is troubling on various fronts.  To start with, the Government thugs did not have a search warrant that is required before they are legally allowed to enter a private citizen’s home.  Moore correctly refused to allow the search.  In addition, some of the local police that took part of the raid were aware that Moore as a member of a legal gun club.  Finally, it is possible that the anonymous call was initiated by an individual who used the current anti-gun climate to pursue a personal or political agenda.

Not surprisingly, no charges were filed against Moore since he broke no laws.  Still, this act is another demonstration of creeping governmental encroachment into private individual rights.

New Jersey governors Chris Christie has asked for an inquiry into the matter stating: “The public reports of this matter raise troubling questions concerning the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation, the manner in which the investigation was conducted, and the procedures followed by law enforcement and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency.”

During more normal times the Left would be hollering about the government’s encroachment and home invasion that occurred in Carney Point, New Jersey.  However, with the political narrative favoring the Left they remain eerily quiet as individual rights are trampled, whether that be in a small town in New Jersey, or in foreign country at the wrong end of a drone attack.  This is a shortsighted approach.  It is hard to put that genie back in the bottle when the political winds shift.

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Welfare State’s Destruction Powers

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.

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Obamacare’s Big Lie

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 1, 2010

President Obama and his Democrat compatriots in the Congress attempted to create the narrative that their healthcare “reform” was about compassion and care for those in need.  While these issues may have played a role for some in this debate, the “reform” from the beginning was always about the government taking more control over our  economy.

On May 17 that great intellect from the Left, Nancy Pelosi, gave a speech at the Capital that exposed the Progressives’ real intent with for the healthcare reform bill.

We see it as a entrepreneurial bill a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.” (See the incredible video clip below.)

Now we know why Pelosi said that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it …”.  I guess she is finally starting to tell us.  It is designed to get more people on the government dole.

Healthcare reform is but another European-style welfare program.  Heck, the Europeans are doing so well, let’s just follow them to the edge of the cliff.

Posted in Governmental Intervention, healthcare reform, Progressives, Welfare | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Progressives and Socialist Aristocrats

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 10, 2010

This Blog has posted various articles relating to Progressives and their agenda for this country that often portrays them as do-gooders without a clue.  Today we post an article from guest writer Jack M. Bethards whose take on Progressives and their motivations is from a different direction and a worthy read.

Jack refers to Progressives as “Socialist Aristocrats” whose real agenda is to better their own well-being over those in society that they purport to be concerned with.  While one can question Jack’s conclusion, it cannot be argued that the Progressives’ programs have indeed resulted in the outcomes discussed in Jack’s thesis.  That raises the rhetorical question; If it quacks like a duck …….

The Socialist Aristocrat. by Jack M. Bethards

Who could really LIKE Socialism?  It depends on when the question is asked.  As long as it is still a Utopian dream, there are several groups who seem delighted with the idea.  First, there is the true poverty stricken underclass.  They quite rightly see that it would improve their lot somewhat.  This, however, is a very small group in the advanced countries, particularly the USA.  Then there are the limousine liberals who out of guilt over their “unearned” privileged circumstances profess that it’s a great idea, but it’s doubtful they’ve ever contemplated the proposition any more deeply than in cocktail party conversation.  Another group is the genuine, committed Utopians.  These are people who really do like the idea of everyone being equal.  They have talked themselves into believing that equal in Utopia means a pretty nice lifestyle, probably not much different from what they enjoy now.  It’s easy to understand why all of these groups promote socialist (or, if you prefer, collectivist, or even communist) forms of political organization.

Now let’s look at who likes it AFTER the fact.  Once the dust settles after the revolution, nobody seems to be too happy except those at the top. And that leads us to the group of socialism’s promoters, who, until recently, I had a very tough time figuring out.  I’ve often wondered why people, who are doing quite well and benefitting immensely from our free enterprise system, can advocate Socialism.  This includes politicians, members of the media, academics, professionals, and even business people.

Well, it finally dawned on me.  They want more!  And they want it without effort, without real work.  They want to create a modern feudal system, a modern aristocracy.  The history of civilization has been dominated by various two-class systems of peasants and aristocrats.  The whole purpose of such societies was to support the aristocrats.  That’s exactly what socialism is all about – a modern aristocracy supported by the proletariat.  The benefits to the aristocracy are two.  First of all, they command all of the wealth and second, they do little, if any, of the work.  True aristocrats abhor commercial activity and abhor productive activity.  Note how our present leadership is encouraging people not to go into the commercial world, but to use their talents in the non-profit sector.  Look at the drive for volunteerism.  The elite promoters of socialism don’t believe in enterprise, at least for themselves.

We see the development of this aristocracy right now.  Look at the wealth that our politicians and former politicians are amassing.  This is true also of non-elected government officials.  There is a class of fellow travelers as well that have joined this aristocratic group – big labor and big business who feed on government favors.

From the point of view of the aristocrat, there are only two dangers in the system:  rebellion and invasion.  The modern promoters of socialism have figured a way to solve these problems to create a permanent aristocracy.  First, the risk of invasion can be reduced and possibly nullified through world government.  This is the aim of the Green movement and of all the other one-world advocacy groups.  We are well on the way to a domination of the globe by socialist and proto-socialist regimes.  The next step is unification.  The unified one-world government idea is being executed quite cleverly.  Its proponents know that eliminating nationalism will never work.  They simply want to de-nature nationalism, creating organizations like the European Union that preserve a shell of nationalism while maintaining centralized control over the important aspects of government.

The other threat, rebellion, obviously comes from the lower classes.  Here is the strategy on that front.  First of all, the underclass will be supported in a more enlightened way than in millennia past.  They will be kept at a subsistence level adequate to keep them quiet.  In other words, aristocratic greed will be tempered by practical common sense.

The other danger from rebellion is the middle class and the answer there, of course, is to eliminate the middle class.  Right now, just about every policy of the modern socialist and proto-socialist societies is to reduce or eliminate the middle class.  One important way to de-nature the middle class by breaking it into small units that can be content to fight with each other.  The nonsensical drive toward diversity is obviously part of this plan.  The de-valuing of religion also splits people into ever smaller groups.  The same is true of the constant war on organizations such as the Boy Scouts.  Worst of all are policies that break up the family unit.  Welfare, easy divorce, promotion of promiscuity, etc. all reduce the effectiveness of family units.  Unregulated immigration, which de-emphasizes assimilation, further cracks apart societal unity.  The lack of enforcement at the border and a poorly thought out immigration policy are tearing apart the fabric of this country and further splitting us into small, more manageable groups.  It also has the effect of growing the under class that benefits most from Socialism.  When this is complete, the final model will be an aristocracy not quite as greedy and flamboyant as those of years past, and a lower class not quite as poverty stricken as before, thus maintaining a balance of relatively happy drones and quite happy “leaders”.

Don’t let anyone tell you that the promoters of socialism are just misguided Utopians.  The real motivations for socialism among the leadership class are simply greed and sloth.  So there is nothing new under the sun.

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