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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Originally at American Thinker


By exaggerating the severity of poverty in America, progressives attempt to justify higher levels of wealth redistribution. By over-classifying people as “poor,” progressive politicians further enable the dependency which got those politicians elected in the first place. Worst of all, encouraging dependency yields more dependency.


A new study by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield of the conservative Heritage Foundation finds that:

In discussions about poverty… misunderstanding and exaggeration are commonplace. Over the long term, exaggeration has the potential to promote a substantial misallocation of limited resources for a government that is facing massive future deficits. In addition, exaggeration and misinformation obscure the nature, extent, and causes of real material deprivation, thereby hampering the development of well-targeted, effective programs to reduce the problem.

Rector and Sheffield point out the need for an accurate portrayal of poverty in order to craft “public policy.”

It is disturbing to observe the ease with which some conservatives fall in line with the progressive notion that government should engage in “crafting public policy.” Governmental public policy ends up being dogma-pushing by the elitists who happen to be in control at the time when said “public policy” is enacted. The Heritage Foundation and other conservatives should not fall for progressive nonsense.

Poor people’s best hope is for America to return to its libertarian roots. The best “help” for the poor comes from private enterprise. And private enterprise thrives when government gets out of its way.

Millions of “poor” people will never work at the U.S. Forest Service or the CIA. Those same millions will never have more money and services than the nanny-state can fund by confiscating wealth from the non-poor unless those millions stop accepting the ill-gotten “help.” Millions could and would work for the Burger Kings, Taco Bells, Brake Masters, KinderCares, and Walmarts of America if government regulation was stripped back, taxes reduced, and minimum wages eliminated to stimulate the economic growth that would demand more Burger Kings, Taco Bells, Brake Masters, KinderCares, and Walmarts.

The most inspired “public policy” in the world will not lift the poor from poverty. Private enterprise provides just enough “help” to set people on the path to helping themselves.


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