We need the government…
…to protect the poor. Or so my friends have argued.
But, time and time again, I see government intervention perverting many means out of poverty. While ineffective foreign aid and protectionism hurt those in the developing world the most, many Americans have had their economic aspirations atrophied by laws all over the country which target small businesses. John Stossel wrote beautifully about this recently:
Street vending has been a path out of poverty for Americans. And like other such paths (say, driving a taxi), this one is increasingly difficult to navigate. Why? Because entrenched interests don’t like competition. So they lobby their powerful friends to erect high hurdles to upstarts. It’s an old story.
Now, growing local governments are crushing street vendors.
The city of Atlanta, for example, has turned all street vending over to a monopoly contractor. In feudalist fashion, all existing vendors were told they must work for the monopoly or not vend at all.
“Vendors who used to paying $250 a year for their vending site must now hand over $500 to $1,600 every month for the privilege of working for the monopoly,” wrote Bob Ewing in The Freeman. Ewing works for the Institute for Justice, the libertarian public-interest law firm that defends victims of anticompetitive regulation.
I’ve heard similar stories of money-soaking regulations from taxi drivers (to the delight of my gypsie cab drivers), bar owners, etc. etc. (Bill McGurn wrote a great op-ed in the WSJ about a private soup kitchen which is being taxed out of existence.)
The more I read, the more I believe that the government is protecting the poor … from prosperity.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
If the poor stopped being poor, then bleeding hearts would be out of work.
If the poor stopped being poor, all that money for all those programs would dry up- as would all the attendant opportunities for graft and self-dealing.
Truth is, no one has more motive to keep the lower class poor that the people whose job it is to lift them out of poverty. How’s that for misguided incentive?
What they really mean to say is : “We need the poor to protect the government”
“Three not-at-all recondite rules for avoiding poverty: Graduate from high school, don’t have a baby until you are married, don’t marry while you are a teenager. Among people who obey those rules, poverty is minimal.”
Funny how this might as well be rocket science.
You can easily win a joust with an armchair big-gov’t altruists by exposing how little they know or truly care about the gov’t’s intervention ‘poor’. The following usually works for me :
“If you care so much about the poor…”
1. “… tell me in dollar and cents (name your state)’s current medicaid expenditure”.
2. “… what’s the section 8 allowance in your city?”
3. “…what is the household allowance for SNAP (food stamps)”?
4. “…what is the state’s graduation rate from gov’t ass’t programs”?
Obama may not have executive experience, but he seems to understand the role of unions and politicians in controlling private enterprise. He knows gang warfare, and those outside ACORN and the unions need their wealth spread around … to his gang.
Rodney teaches the professor a couple things … in “Back to School” … at two minutes in, he covers the bribes and kickbacks.
“Progressives” are regressive, and modern liberals completely wrecked classic usage of the word “liberal”. The Tea Party represents real change, and the tearing down of walls that are keeping the “serfs” out of the castle grounds.
Ignoring entrenched fraud, collusion and graft does not make it legal. The Tea Party must have a prosecutorial plank, to pry some bad characters out of the government bed. Currently DC is largely a greased up orgy of power players.
George Will is right, but getting beyond employee level and into supposedly free enterprise is not so easy. Cronyism and obstruction of outsiders is hard to prove, but is prevalent. Those winks and nods don’t come easy.
Will Atlanta be going after little girls and their lemonade stands?
If you’re concerned about this sort of thing, and you have any spare money lying around, turn it into a tax deduction with the Institute for Justice. It’s litigating the Atlanta case, and has been litigating cases like that for the past 20 years.