Skip to content

A Road Paved With Good Intentions – John Reed

A Road Paved With Good Intentions
Regular readers will note that I’ve been rather harsh on the economic model supported by Democrats, or the Left, or liberals, however you want to label them. Turns out I’m not alone. In a recent USA Today article, they listed the top 20 American cities where “extreme poverty” has increased the most since 2010. USA Today is no friend of conservatives, so I found it ironic that the vast majority of the cities listed were run by Democrats.
Just as many well-intentioned people agreed with Karl Marx when he laid out the foundations of communism, I’m certain there are plenty of intelligent, moral folks who truly believe in the Welfare State model. The problem is that charts and models don’t take into consideration human instincts. As long as the goal is to simply hand out goods and services, the behaviors and mind-sets that lead to permanent poverty will remain.
The Right has at times been too harsh in their attempts to break the poor’s addiction to handouts. George H. W. Bush “compassionate conservatism” has given way to various “work-for-alms” programs, which has indeed reduced food stamp and Welfare rolls in some states, often at the cost of actually increasing childhood hunger rates.
That said, Republicans seem to be on the right track on the economy. Things are humming along right now, and even Latinos and African-Americans are seeing the lowest unemployment rates in decades, if not ever. This from a supposedly racist, bigoted president…
The path to economic independence has to have many components: useful, relevant education and training for a start…A growing economy that creates more jobs for those needing them…Social services to support those moving from broke to poor to better off. In other words, we need to search out the best practices, and pragmatically employ what works, and not worry so much which side of the political divide they come from.
Toughest of all is the need to shift the social discussion away from an “us versus them” deadlock. As long as the Left brands efforts by the Right to improve poverty as “racist,” it just poisons the atmosphere. Ignoring for a moment there are more whites below the poverty line than any other demographic, there’s plenty of bigots on both sides.
But there are plenty of people with good intentions, too. Let’s see that their road doesn’t lead where the cliché implies it might.

Leave a Comment