Thanks to progressivism, we’ve lost the “War on Poverty”

August 1, 2014
"Defeat"

“Defeat”

The War on Poverty was launched in 1964 under Lyndon Johnson with the best of intentions: through massive spending and extensive welfare programs, the government would eradicate poverty in America and make people self-sufficient. Like I said, a worthy goal.

It has also been an utter failure. In 1964 we declared war on poverty, and poverty won.

As the chart above shows, poverty was in deep, rapid decline in America after World War II without any government help, just the natural processes of a growing, prosperous economy. It looked well on its way to elimination, perhaps. Then, in the mid to late-60s, it leveled off and, save for an occasional bump up, has stayed right around fifteen percent.What happened?

In 1964, with the start of the War on Poverty, progressives and other economically illiterate do-gooders wound up trapping people in poverty, rather than helping them out of it. As Robert Rector at The Signal writes:

Johnson did not intend to put more Americans on the dole (1). Instead, he explicitly sought to reduce the future need for welfare by making lower-income Americans productive and self-sufficient.

By this standard, the War on Poverty has been a catastrophic failure. After spending more than $20 trillion on Johnson’s war, many Americans are less capable of self-support than when the war began. This lack of progress is, in a major part, due to the welfare system itself. Welfare breaks down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work. It thereby generates a pattern of increasing inter-generational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future. Reforms should focus on these programs’ incentive structure to point the way toward self-sufficiency. One step is communicating that the poverty rate is better understood as self-sufficiency rate—that is, we should measure how many Americans can take care of themselves and their families.

Emphasis added.

What was it Ronald Reagan said?

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

One would think that, faced with all the mounds of evidence that government programs don’t lift people out of poverty, Progressives, who claim to be devoted to “progress,” would see the war on poverty has been a failure and that the programs should be reformed or discontinued and something else tried, something like less government intervention.

But, no. Few ever will be that honest, because to say government failed to reorder society as desired would be to admit that the central tenet of progressivism, a faith in the power of technocrats to manage a vastly complex society, was wrong.

Meanwhile, that core 15% remains trapped in poverty, addicted to government “crack” and walking a road paved with good intentions.

PS: Note the sharp climb back up to 15% at the end of that chart. It starts soon after the Democrats take over Congress in 2006 and undo the 1990s Clinton-Gingrich welfare reform, then accelerates under Obama. Coincidence? I think not.

RELATED: Cato economist Dan Mitchell has often written on the same topic. Here’s a post he wrote on the failures of the War on Poverty and another on the “redistribution trap.” That latter is must-reading.

Footnote:
(1) Many criticize that assertion, with some justification. See for example Kevin Williamson’s “The Dependency Agenda.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare success! New Medicaid enrollee turned down by 96 doctors

April 9, 2014
"Train wreck"

“Train wreck”

One of the oft-stated goals of the Affordable Care Act was insuring the uninsured. For those who couldn’t afford insurance even with the new subsidies, states could expand their Medicaid offerings with (temporary) help from the federal government (i.e., taxation and borrowing). Great, right? Even if you don’t make enough to afford private insurance, you still get medical care, right?

Not if the doctor refuses to take Medicare:

“I’m sorry, we are no longer accepting that kind of insurance. I apologize for the confusion; Dr. [insert name] is only willing to see existing patients at this time.”

As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the “I’m so sorry” line before curtly hanging up. You see, when the rush of the formerly uninsured came knocking, doctors in my New Jersey town began closing their doors and promptly telling insurance companies that they had no room for new patients.

My shiny, never used Horizon health card is as effective as a dollar bill during the Great Depression. In fact, an expert tells CNN, “I think of (Obamacare) as giving everyone an ATM card in a town where there are no ATM machines.” According to a study 33% of doctors are NOT accepting Medicaid. Here in Jersey, one has a dismal 40 percent chance of finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid – the lowest in the country.

That insurance or Medicaid card does one a whole lot of good when no one will accept it, doesn’t it?

This is one aspect of a broader access problem that’s going to get more and more attention as we get deeper into the Obamacare morass. In addition to a growing doctor shortage (something that Obamacare may make worse), and shrinking provider networks, the limited number of doctors who accept Medicaid will only get smaller, because the system underpays for their services, and yet under Obamacare is greatly increasing the number of patients. Noble sentiments aside, a medical practice is a business, and a physician or hospital can only afford to see so many money-losing patients before it’s no longer worth staying in business.

Call it another of Obamacare’s broken promises: the government promises you medical care, but what if the care-provider refuses to play?

Of course, one would-be Democratic lawmaker in Virginia has a solution for that: serfdom.

Via Jim Geraghty, who notes it’s even harder to find specialists who take Obamacare.

RELATED: Bobby Jindal has a better idea.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Jonah Goldberg on the real meaning of “social justice”

March 25, 2014
Justice is individual, not social

Justice is individual, not social

“Social justice” is one of those phrases the left loves: stripped of all precision, it means whatever progressives want it to mean — raising the minimum wage, economic redistribution, “rights” for this or that group, etc. It forms a hot mess of unrelated issues, until you see he common thread behind it: “social justice” means doing whatever progressives think is good, and this good is accomplished through the State, with progressives in charge. And, if you disagree, you must be a racist, fascist, misogynistic, reactionary, greedy capitalistic homophobe. (Did I miss anything?)

Anyway, the invaluable Prager University has published a new video that features Jonah Goldberg explaining the real meaning of “social justice:”

Try some of these arguments on liberals you know. Then have fun watching their heads explode.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Aborted babies incinerated to heat British hospitals

March 24, 2014
"The new god of medicine?"

“The new god of medicine?”

Just horrifying:

The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.

Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’

At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.

The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.

It didn’t happen in every UK hospital –one was appalled to learn another had been shipping its fetal remains to the first hospital to be burned– but that something like this could happen at all is nauseating. And not just for the callous treatment of human remains, like a fiery version of Soylent Green, but the miserable treatment of the parents, too. Remember, an abortion may be performed for medical necessity, not just to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. Shouldn’t the parents in at least these cases be treated with more respect and empathy?

There have been a number of horror stories coming out of the UK National Health Service involving poor care or downright abusive treatment of patients and their families, almost all of them traceable in their origin to the dynamics of a government-run healthcare system. Oxford bioethicists have even argued in favor of post-natal abortion (1), on the grounds that a newborn isn’t capable yet of attributing value to its own existence, and thus can’t feel the loss of it.

And now this, the new fires of Moloch.

Footnote:
(1) What most of us in the real world would call “infanticide” and “murder.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood marketing BDSM to teens?

February 27, 2014
Teach the children

Teach the children

I’m pretty open-minded, but this is a bit much, even for me:

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)–which received more than $2.75 million in government funding in 2012–has produced and posted online a video specifically aimed at teenagers that promotes bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) and proposes “rules” to follow when engaging in these activities.

“People sometimes think that those who practice BDSM are emotionally scarred or were once abused—not true, it’s a total myth,” the host of the video, Laci Green, informs its intended audience of teens.

“BDSM relies upon and creates trust,” she says.

Lifestyle choices are, of course, within broad boundaries an adult’s private affair. But through the age of 18, teens are the legal responsibility of their parents; I have to wonder how many would be happy to discover Planned Parenthood encouraging their teens to explore “alternative lifestyles” under the guise of “sexual health.” And why is my (hypothetical) child’s sex life, which I should hope he or she didn’t yet have, the business of an abortion mill, anyway?

The other question I have, one that’s not hypothetical at all, is why my tax money is going to support this?

Video at the first link.

RELATED: This isn’t the first time the Left has been caught showing teens how to have safe, alternative sex. Warning, it’s pretty graphic.

via Doug Powers

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Instead of a Government-Guaranteed Income, How About a Practical Plan to End the Washington Welfare State?

December 20, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Hmmm… Block-granting the entire welfare state to the states to allocate as they need, then gradually eliminating it — a federalist approach. I like it.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

The welfare state is a nightmare.

Programs such as Medicaid are fiscal catastrophes. The food stamp program is riddled with waste. The EITC is easily defrauded, even sending checks to prisoners. And housing subsidies are a recipe for the worst forms of social engineering.

The entire system should be tossed in the trash.

But what’s the alternative? Some libertarians argue that we should eliminate the dozens of Washington programs and replace them with a government-guaranteed minimum income. I address this issue in an essay for Libertarianism.org.

Some libertarians argue that the state should provide a minimum basic income, mainly because this approach would be preferable to the costly and bureaucratic amalgamation of redistribution programs that currently exist. It’s hard to disagree with the notion that the current system is a failure. The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner has produced a searing indictment of the modern welfare…

View original 702 more words


#Obamacare: at last, CNN finds someone thrilled with it!

November 2, 2013

At long last, we’ve found people genuinely excited by our new, state-run healthcare system: strippers, escorts, dominatrices and other sex-workers!

Only in California, my friends, and only in San Francisco:

A burlesque dancer dressed as a nurse taunts her co-performer with a toy syringe, dangling the medicine seductively in an act that’s meant to reflect the cat-and-mouse game of U.S. healthcare. They shimmy and eventually end up topless.

The risqué performance was part of an Obamacare registration drive last week in San Francisco, dubbed the “Healthy Ho’s Party.”

Organized by “Siouxsie Q,” a Bay Area sex worker, the event was meant to encourage other sex workers to enroll in the new insurance exchanges. It was a rousing success: Nearly 40 men and women attended and almost all of them filed enrollment paperwork.

In the all-cash, off-the-books sex industry, workers can be particularly high risk and insurance is often out of reach. Many sex workers — a broad term that can refer to a number of services, including sexual massage, prostitution, and escort and dominatrix work — consider themselves self-employed entrepreneurs who can’t afford to purchase healthcare. But that could all change with the Affordable Care Act.

The article then continues with the usual pro-Obamacare tale: insurance for “Siouxsie” and her partner was too big a chunk of their income, plus, given the risks of their “professions,” coverage was more expensive or often unobtainable altogether. With guaranteed coverage and publicly funded subsidies, plans become affordable. Yay!

Well, not so fast. First, as the article notes, subsidies kick in for incomes under $46,000. Many of these women have “regular jobs” — the sex trade is extra income. The article strongly implies that this latter income isn’t being reported. So, there’s a strong possibility of one degree or another of fraud here. But, hey, Obama doesn’t care; they’re not verifying income, anyway.

Second, before jumping with joy, these ladies and gentlemen would be well-advised to check into co-pays, deductibles, and just who is included in their new network, since all of these are already being recognized as problems. (And, to be clear, Obamacare critics have been warning of this for years.) It’s not for nothing that one person described the low-cost plans as “garbage.”

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Finally, I need to deal with one truly egregious statement that’s indicative of much that’s wrong these days:

“I really do think access to healthcare should be a human right, and I’ve been so brainwashed to think it’s such a privilege,” a sex worker and activist known as “Maxine Holloway” said.

Sorry, Maxine, but healthcare is neither a right nor a privilege: it is a commodity, the fruits of the labor of other people (doctors who have to pay to attend medical school, companies that make the medical instruments, &c.) that is traded for the fruits of still other people’s labor — the money they earn.

Nothing you pay money for is an inherent, natural right. To declare health care a “right” everyone is entitled to, you have to take from someone else, if need be by force, their property, whether it is their time and labor, or the products they produce. Force them to sell something for less than what it is worth or to provide it “free,” and you are effectively stealing from them, even enslaving them. For the government to demand that taxpayers pay far more than they need to for insurance in order to subsidize your medical procedures is no different than a medieval lord taking a farmer’s grain crop and giving it to his favorites.

Look at it from another point of view: assume that one day sex is declared a human right, and that you, as a sex-worker are required to provide it at less than what you think your services are worth, which is analogous to what happens to a doctor under Medicare. (1) Would you be happy with that, Maxine? Would you think it right? Or would you feel oppressed and used?

Put it this way: What the government gives you, it can easily take. Or force you to provide.

PS: For the record, I have nothing against the “sex trade,” as long as all participants are adults engaging in it of their own free will. I suppose this is one place where the “libertarian” part of my self-description as a “conservative with libertarian leanings” comes into play — individualism, liberty of contract, free enterprise and entrepreneurialism, &c. Or, put another way, within broad bounds, it’s none of government’s (or my) business. In fact, I suspect that Siouxsie and Maxine and their friends are far more honest about what they do than the Obama and his team have ever been about their intentions. Given my choice of people to hang around with…

via ST

Footnote:
(1) This is a mistaken analogy on my part, for practices aren’t required to take Medicare and Medicaid patients. Doing so is voluntary on their part, much like pro bono work by attorneys. For a Democrat proposal that would change this, though, see this…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Liberal racism in action: The Black NRA

September 16, 2013

Like AlfonZo Rachel and his friends say in the video below, comedienne Sarah Silverman and her friends may have had good intentions in mind with their “Funny or Die!” piece, but the message, when you think about it, is pretty danged racist.

In that patronizing, condescending way that progressives do so well.

Watch, and see if you agree:

Pretty amazing, no? And I bet none of those “enlightened, socially aware” people in Silverman’s video will ever get why.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Detroit goes to the dogs. Literally.

August 22, 2013

Is this how it was for Constantinople in the 15th century, just before the fall? A once-great city rotting behind its walls, large swathes abandoned, shrunken in on itself? A place where dog packs now rule?

As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit, replacing residents, menacing humans who remain and overwhelming the city’s ability to find them homes or peaceful deaths.

Dens of as many as 20 canines have been found in boarded-up homes in the community of about 700,000 that once pulsed with 1.8 million people. One officer in the Police Department’s skeleton animal-control unit recalled a pack splashing away in a basement that flooded when thieves ripped out water pipes.

“The dogs were having a pool party,” said Lapez Moore, 30. “We went in and fished them out.”

Poverty roils the Motor City and many dogs have been left to fend for themselves, abandoned by owners who are financially stressed or unaware of proper care. Strays have killed pets, bitten mail carriers and clogged the animal shelter, where more than 70 percent are euthanized.

“With these large open expanses with vacant homes, it’s as if you designed a situation that causes dog problems,” said Harry Ward, head of animal control.

The number of strays signals a humanitarian crisis, said Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington. She heads a program that donated $50,000 each to organizations in Detroit and nine other U.S cities to get pets vaccinated, fed, spayed and neutered.

Arrington said when she visited Detroit in October, “It was almost post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around.”

“The suffering of animals goes hand in hand with the suffering of people.”

Except I feel more sorry for the dogs than I do for most of the people; the people largely brought this on themselves through their shortsightedness and their tolerance for the corruption of their leaders. The dogs… Well, they’re just doing what they do instinctively, to survive.

The city can no longer afford a decent animal control service, and so some residents actually live in fear of dog packs roaming their neighborhoods. Of course. There are union dues to be paid, after all, and someone has to maintain the UAW’s private golf course.

Welcome to the liberal post-Apocalypse.

via ST’s Hot Headlines

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


QotD: In which I urge Democrats to cling bitterly to the Nancy Pelosi – Wendy Davis line

August 5, 2013

A little background: a few days ago, when pressed about late term abortion restrictions in the wake of Gosnell clinic horrors, Nancy Pelosi refused to consider any changes  in abortion law, calling it “sacred ground.” The irony of this supposedly devout Catholic grandmother calling for the unrestricted right to kill unborn humans was lost on her. But, I digress.

Meanwhile, just yesterday, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D), who came to national fame for her filibuster in opposition to any reasonable reform of Texas’ abortion laws, decided to plant her flag next to La Pelosi’s. Via Hot Air:

During a speech and press conference today, pro-abortion Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis said she would consider running for governor. The abortion activist also pulled a page from Nancy Pelosi’s playbook by calling defending late-term abortions “sacred ground.”

“I’ll seek common ground – we all must – but sometimes you have to take a stand on sacred ground,” Davis said during her press conference — referring to her filibuster to stop a bill to ban abortions after five months.

Reporters asked Davis if she supported any limits on abortions and she responded that she did not — saying she supports current federal law.

Memo to Democrats: Do it!! Follow Nancy, stand with Wendy. Between now and November, you should be out, loud, and proud in your determination to defend sacred ground: the unquestioned right to terminate at any unborn boy or girl at any point before birth. Remember, this is sacred ground. SACRED. GROUND. And I want you out there proclaiming this to the American people, with all its implications of sanctity and holiness. Let them know that the killing of an unborn child on demand is so important to you that, yes, it is like a religious sacrament. I guarantee that, if you screw your courage to the sticking place and hew to the Pelosi-Davis strategy, you will make a strong impression on the rest of America.

And I also guarantee that you will have an election night to remember.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The “corruption and irrelevance” of the civil rights establishment

July 22, 2013

There’s a great article by Shelby Steele in the Wall St. Journal on the decline and decay of the American civil rights movement, a fall made almost inevitable by its very success.  And, on the so-called leaders of today’s movement, Steele nails the real reasons they went after George Zimmerman: to pretend they’re still relevant and to keep their power over society.

The civil-rights leadership rallied to Trayvon’s cause (and not to the cause of those hundreds of black kids slain in America’s inner cities this very year) to keep alive a certain cultural “truth” that is the sole source of the leadership’s dwindling power. Put bluntly, this leadership rather easily tolerates black kids killing other black kids. But it cannot abide a white person (and Mr. Zimmerman, with his Hispanic background, was pushed into a white identity by the media over his objections) getting away with killing a black person without undermining the leadership’s very reason for being.

The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism. This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a “poetic truth.” Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth—one that, of course, serves one’s cause. Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: “America is a racist nation”; “the immigration debate is driven by racism”; “Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon.” And we say, “Yes, of course,” lest we seem to be racist. Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

If these “leaders” truly cared about the condition of Blacks in America more than they do about their next appearance in front of the cameras, they’d start doing something about the devastation of the Black family, in which, as Steele points out, 73% of all Black children are born without fathers married to their mothers.

But they don’t. They’re wedded to an outdated vision of America and the power exploiting that vision gives them.

PS: Steel expounds on this theme of the decay of the civil rights movement and the exploitation of victimization in his “White Guilt,” which I highly recommend.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And yet these people claim to be our intellectual and moral betters?

July 12, 2013

Like I said on Twitter: I’ve tried, I really have, but I fail to understand how bringing used tampons and jars filled with urine and feces to your state legislature can be considered a winning argument when you want to influence pending legislation.

Guess I’m just not as smart and politically sophisticated as I thought.


(Video) Afterburner: civility

June 22, 2013

There’s an old saying that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” That is, people are more likely to do what you want (or at least not do what you don’t want) when you use kind words, rather than cross ones.

Bill Whittle takes two examples –being stopped for speeding by LAPD and his recent experience at  local Chick-fil-A–  to make a larger point about being treated civilly and with respect by the government:

And he’s right, though I think his opening about civility in daily life stands on its own, too. It’s simple common courtesy, the kinds that makes the treadmill of life a bit easier for everyone involved: when you cut through a line, say “pardon me,” don’t just barrel through. When you’re on a cell call in the grocery line and your turn comes at the register, tell the person on the other end you’ll get back to them, hang up, and pay attention to the human in front of you. You don’t have to be fawning ; just treat the other person with a little respect and consideration, and you may be surprised at how much easier and better your day is.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


January 25, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

And if you don’t believe it can happen here, click the link, read, and get angry.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

The welfare state creates some amazingly pathetic and disgusting individuals.

But I’ve never found a match for Olga, a Greek woman who thinks it is government’s job to take care of her from cradle to grave.

At least not until now. I’m excited to announce that Olga has a soulmate named Natalija. She’s from Lithuania, but she now lives in England, and she doubtlessly will inspire Olga on how to live off the state.

UK Welfare Horror StoryHere’s some of what The Sun reported about this very successful moocher.

Natalija Belova…

View original 859 more words


Another reason to like Tim Scott

December 18, 2012

Aside from the fact that the current representative and senator-designate from South Carolina has a good character, the right politics, and a clear-eyed view of our real problem, he worries all the right people:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People isn’t too excited about the appointment of Rep. Tim Scott to South Carolina’s soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Senate seat.

(…)

Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy and policy at the NAACP, told The Daily Caller Monday afternoon that the group welcomed diversity in the Senate, but expects the new senator to work against the NAACP’s agenda.

“It is important that we have more integration in the U.S. Senate,” said Shelton in a phone interview. “It’s good to see that diversity.”

“Mr. Scott certainly comes from a modest background, experience, and so forth, and should be sensitive to those issues,” he said, referring to Scott’s impoverished single-parent upbringing in Charleston, SC.

“Unfortunately, his voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives raises major concerns,” Shelton said.

Shelton explained that the NAACP platform is crafted through an annual voting process which engages grassroots-level delegates who vote on the group’s national agenda. That agenda calls for an expansive role for federal government spending in black communities.

Because federal intervention has done such a bang-up job for Blacks. Just ask any beneficiary of the Great Society’s urban policies. And that War on Poverty? We fought it, and poverty won.

While Ms. Shelton does have some nice things to say about Congressman Scott, it’s clear her views are trapped within the statist, dependent, and identity-group paradigm that dominates the Democratic party. And yet Blacks are far worse off under Obama, who is pursuing those very policies the way an alcoholic chases a beer wagon.  But, to be honest, the NAACP stopped being an organization seeking the best interests of African Americans at the same time they entered into a monogamous relationship with the Democratic party. (Helpful tip: if you’re an interest group and you give yourself wholly and forever to one political party — they no longer have to take you seriously, because they know they have your votes no matter what they do.)

Meanwhile, here’s hoping that Mr. Scott has a long and fruitful career in the Senate and that, rather than coming round to the NAACP line, he encourages NAACP members to realize there’s another, better way to help Black Americans prosper.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In Obama’s America, you’re better off on welfare

November 29, 2012

Oh, I know. I know. I’m RAAAAACIST!!! for even suggesting that. But numbers, while subject to interpretation, don’t lie. And in this case, they’re pretty hard to read any other way. From Zero Hedge:

Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.

And here’s the chart that illustrates the point:

(Click for a larger view)

Talk about perverse incentives. As structured now, a rational individual would look at this and conclude that he’s better off collecting rents from the rest of us, than working to better himself.

Be sure to read the rest. There’s much more — and it’s scary.

Not that we’ll have to worry for long, though, since the economy will simply shut down in 2027.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dissolve Detroit?

November 29, 2012

The city that’s been the butt of “urban wasteland” jokes for as long as I can recall may finally be reaching the end, as a state senator proposes disincorporation:

It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city.

Thus we see the fruits of 50-60 years of unrestrained liberal governance –Walter Mead’s “Blue Model”– and the failure to adapt to changing economic environments: collapsing essential services and abandonment.

One wonders if, on hearing the news, someone in the Wayne County government asked “What did we ever do to you??”

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And if that last chart didn’t convince you…

October 17, 2012

Here’s another, this time of the growth in food-stamp recipients under Barack Obama:

(Click the image for a larger version)

There are now nearly 20 million more Americans on food stamps now that there were when Obama took office. Gee, do you think it could have anything to do with the fact that, since Obama’s inauguration, ten times as many people gave up looking for work as those who found jobs?

This is disgraceful, and yet the Obama administration’s Department of Agriculture celebrates and encourages people to get on food stamps, and rewards states for signing up more. I have no problem with a small welfare state that helps the truly needy; it’s a mark of our compassion as a society. But I have a big problem with government policies that a) have the net effect of encouraging people not to look for work; b) encourages them to become long term dependents on welfare (no matter how they brand it, the dole is what it is); and c) acts as if this is a good thing.

It isn’t. In fact, it’s a record the Democrats should be ashamed of (rather than suggesting people hold parties), and it is an outstanding reason to vote Obama out of office. Depending on welfare is nothing that should ever be praised — it should be a mark of shame and embarrassment for those on it; shame is a healthy emotion that pushes us to correct what’s wrong, such as by looking for work as much as one is able to do, trying to be productive and a net contributor.

But the biggest shame is the government’s, for encouraging freeborn, productive citizens to become infantilized, dependent clients — and then acting as if that’s a good thing.

Come to think of it, to the Progressives it is a good thing.

This chart, and the one in the preceding post, represent an assault and danger to the character of the American people by Leftists obsessed with redistribution. On Election Day, we need to redistribute them out of power.

via Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Video proof: What really happened yesterday at Chick-fil-A

August 2, 2012

Yesterday was a “national day of appreciation”  for Chick-fil-A, a national chicken sandwich (and other stuff) chain, which had come under fire from the reactionary, ignorant, and nigh-Fascist Left, which had called for boycotts and even threatened to deny business licenses, all because President and COO Dan Cathy said in an interview that he held to the Biblical definition of marriage, that it is between one man and one woman. The company in no way discriminates in their service or employment, but, well, that wasn’t good enough for the Defenders of True Tolerance. Chick-fil-A had to be punished for one man’s Wrong Thought.

Boy did they get a surprise, yesterday.

But pictures don’t tell the whole story, so intrepid reporters Ben Howe and Bruce Carroll made a videolog of their trip to a local Chick-fil-A.

What they found was shocking:

Now, that’s what I call “Gaydar!”

Seriously, the reaction of the Left and of Liberal Fascists such as Mayors Rahm Emanuel, Tom Menino, and Ed Lee has been beyond all reason. Don’t like the owner’s personal opinion? Don’t shop at his store. Tell your friends. But don’t invoke the power of the State to destroy his business, his employee’s jobs, and the businesses of his franchisees, who may not even share his opinion. If guys like Dan Cathy get punished for a private opinion, if they don’t have freedom of conscience, none of us do.

And the proper way to deal with the reactionary Left is what we saw yesterday and in the above video: support and mockery. Show your support by buying some of the attacked person’s products and make fun of the Left. They can’t handle being mocked, and their reactions are amusing.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And speaking of “freedom of conscience”

August 1, 2012

ObamaCare’s contraceptive and abortifacient mandates took effect today:

As of July 31, 2012 a business owner who objects to abortion had the freedom of conscience to make sure that her company’s insurance policies did not pay to facilitate the practice. But as of today, August 1, she no longer has that freedom. The ObamaCare contraceptive and abortifacient mandates take effect today, hailed by the Obama regime as a great and wonderful thing.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “President Obama is moving our country forward by giving women control over their health care. This law puts women and their doctors, not insurance companies or the government, in charge of health care decisions.”

What about pro-life women? Do they not exist?

Not in the eyes of Barack Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, or the Left, they don’t.

Be sure to read the rest.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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