(If you’re just joining this series, please read the previous installments.)
Welfare — Has it Helped the Poor? (Part 1)
Or, as Dr. Phil Would Say, “How’s That Working For You?”
Back in the early 1960’s, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to wage a war on poverty. It was called just that; “The War on Poverty.” He claimed that, within two years, poverty, as we know it, would be wiped out. This would happen by government forcibly taking money from those above a certain income level and redistributing that money to people who were below a certain income level.
The intent was to give the poor a helping hand, leading them out of poverty, and onto a life of liberty, responsibility, and abundance.
Since most of us, as human beings, care about the plight of the poor and genuinely wish to help them, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
Yep, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Imagine; just two years … and poverty, as we knew it, would be all but wiped out in our country. Gone. History, No more. Vanquished.
Turn the clock ahead 50 years and what has the result been?
Let’s put it this way; the “War on Poverty” has been just about as successful as the “War on Drugs” … meaning it hasn’t been successful at all and — for all practical purposes — has only made things worse.
Yes, just $9 trillion dollars (that would be $9,000,000,000,000) later, we have just as many people in poverty per capita as we had back then, third and fourth generations of welfare recipients have grown up never seeing their parents bring home a paycheck, their self-esteem is all but shot, and many see no way out. No way out at all. In fact, they are all but trapped within the Welfare System.
Government bureaucrats, as I’m sure well-intentioned as most of them truly are, have a vested personal interest in keeping welfare alive and well. After all, that’s how they make their living. And, government’s rules and regulations on how private charity groups can operate (please understand, these groups are perceived by government to be their competition) have put many of these groups right out of business despite their excellent track records, and have discouraged many other similar groups from even trying. Not to mention, with so much of people’s hard-earned money going to Welfare via taxation, many people who would otherwise give abundantly to the poor will not do so, figuring that they’ve already “done their part.”
Quite simply, government needs to get out of the welfare business.
Does this mean we shouldn’t help the poor? Of course not! If you know anything about me, then you know the answer to that is, “We should definitely help the poor!” We should absolutely make and continue to make a concerted effort to help the poor, both in immediate and long-term assistance. However, the key is that “We” should; we the People, “we” as in individual citizens, groups, charities, etc. NOT government.
After all, we want to actually help the poor; not just “pay lip service” to helping the poor. And government — as is the case with most things they do — has done a terribly bad job at it.
Over the next several installments, we’ll look at how — by getting government out of a job for which they’ve proved to be unqualified (notice we haven’t even brought up that it is not within their legitimate Constitutional functions), and putting this extremely worthy task back into the hands of those who are much more qualified — we can truly make a difference in the “War on Poverty.”