Saturday, September 15, 2007

The World's Wealthiest "Poor"

"When you look at the people who John Edwards insists are poor,
what you find is that the overwhelming majority of them have cable
television, have air conditioning, have microwaves, have two color TVs;
45 percent of them own their own homes, which are typically three-bedroom
homes with 1.5 baths in very good recondition. On average, poor people who
live in either apartments or in houses are not crowded and actually have more
living space than the average person living in European countries, such as
France, Italy or England."
As is so typical, the Democratic mantra, and especially John "Two Americas" Edwards are lying with statistics to make you feel guilty about "the poor".  Yes there are probably a few truly poor people who need help, but they need a hand up not a hand out.  The best way to get on your feet it to get off your ass. But there are not nearly as many as the Democrats are telling us. It just ain't so.
Fascinating Robert Rector Interview on Poverty

RUSH: I've asked often: "If you run an important business, is there anybody in government, in the bureaucracy, that you would hire to run it for you?" And the answer is "no." So then why is it that people just assume that when Democrats come out and say they can fix health care, that the health care professionals are screwing up, why does anybody believe 'em? When they come out and say, they know better about what to do in Iraq and the war on terror than four-star generals, why does anybody believe 'em? Now, it's one thing to ask the question. But I, in addition to asking it, provide answers that also provide the reason for the question being asked. Front Page Magazine on Wednesday of this week published an interview with Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, who has been doing all of the expert work analyzing the latest census data on poverty. There are a couple of key questions and answers here that I think will illustrate just how government does not work and, therefore, why anybody should turn over the important workings of the private sector in this country to anybody, particularly Democrats, is just ridiculous.

"Question: So it is true that the official poverty rate is stuck at about 12 or 13 percent? Rector: It hasn't varied terribly much since the beginning of the War on Poverty. Question: Despite how many trillions being spent? Rector: Since the beginning of the War on Poverty we have now spent over 11 trillion dollars," to eradicate it. Can I put that another way? That's $11 trillion of the redistribution of wealth. That's $11 trillion in transfer payments. Eleven trillion of your dollars have been spent in the war on poverty, and it hasn't changed in, well, 42 years. "Question: Where did that money go -- and who got it? Rector: Basically, we have spent a lot of money but we spent money in such a way that we displaced the work effort of the poor, so that we did not get very much net increase in income. Rather than bringing people's incomes up, what we've done is supplanted work with welfare. What you need to do in order to truly get improvements is to create a welfare system that requires work and encourages marriage so that the recipient is moving toward self-sufficiency while receiving aid, rather than receiving aid in lieu of his own work efforts."

Now, some of you might think this is cynicism, but it's not. That's precisely the purpose of the War on Poverty! It was precisely the purpose of the Raw Deal. That is, to create the situation where recipients receive aid and don't have to work. Now, we've had welfare reform in the latter part of the nineties and there have been some significant changes there. But, for the longest time, that was the point of it. That's what liberals want to do with virtually every human being they can in this country. "Question: We've known for a long time about these problems with the welfare system. Is there any progress being made to fix them? Rector: In 1996, we reformed one small welfare program -- Aid to Families with Dependent Children -- by requiring the recipients, or part of the recipients, to perform work in exchange for the benefits. As a result of that, we got a huge decline in welfare rolls, a huge surge in employment and record drops in black child poverty. Unfortunately, the rest of the welfare system -- the remaining 69 programs -- remained unreformed. Until we reform those programs in a similar way, we will make no further progress against poverty."

Now, let me search for one more answer. Oh, here we go: "Rector: The second major reason that children are poor is single parenthood in the absence of marriage. Close to two-thirds of all poor children live in single-parent families. What we find is that if a never-married mother married the father of her children, again, about 70 percent of them would immediately be raised out of poverty," if the father worked. "Most of these men who are fathers without being married, in fact, have jobs and have a fairly good capacity to support a family. Question: How many of those 37 million are children -- and why do they count them as poor people? Rector: They are counted as part of the household -- what they judge is the whole household's income. Part of the reason the Census Bureau is telling us that we have 37 million poor people is that it judges families to be poor if they have incomes roughly less than $20,000 a year. But it doesn't count virtually any welfare income as income. So food stamps, public housing, Medicaid --" get this figure "all of the $600 billion that we spend assisting poor people (per year) is not counted as income when they go to determine whether a family is poor." That's the reason I wanted to read that answer to you: $600 billion a year. That's more than the defense budget, my friends in the left, and we've got nothing to show for it. So my point is, this is clearly an illustration of the ineffectiveness of these kinds of liberal-oriented programs to solve problems. So why, then, give them any more? Why give them the military? Why give them health care? Why give them the retail industry? There is no reasonable answer to that question.

One more question and answer from Robert Rector. This is also fascinating in trying to illustrate here how the government does not work. "Question: I've read that the national poverty rate declined steadily until it hit about 13% in 1965, it's been stuck there since? Is this true, and why? Rector: Yes. Poverty was declining rapidly before the war on poverty was created in the mid-1960s, but since that time, the poverty rate has basically stagnated and there are two reasons for it. One is that none of the poverty spending is counted as income, so that it can't have an anti-poverty effect." That's profound, folks. I have known this, but that is really profound. If you have a family making less than 20 grand and you give them 20 grand worth of benefits every year for whatever reasons, but you don't count what you give them as income, you're able to count them in poverty, and really the rate ought to be much lower than it is. The second most important reason, though, is all these programs discourage work and marriage so that they, in fact, are pushing people deeper into poverty at the same time that they are giving them aid.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home