Brian Balfour of the Civitas Institute, details how policies meant to ‘Help’ the poor trap them in a never-ending cycle of poverty.
There was a time before many Leftist policy items had been tried that one could argue that they had ‘good intentions’. Several centuries ago, the precepts of wealth redistribution and collectivism were relatively new ideas to most untested in the harsh crucible of reality. So perhaps back in the 17th century would be valid to give them the benefit of the doubt, even though most learned people would say they made no logical sense.
The ‘Good Intentions’ excuse is no longer valid, along with every other pretence for socialism.
But that time is long since passed, centuries of horrific results should make it clear that the ‘Good Intentions’ excuse has long since worn out it’s welcome. The experiments in collectivism started with failure in the new American colonies of Jamestown in 1607 then Plymouth in 1620. These were not a very auspicious beginning with the results being starvation and death, aspects of which that have always plagued this ideology. These ideas also failed in the first experiment in socialism [As in the first use of the word] in New Harmony, Indiana in 1825 Continuing to the present with the same consistently horrific results. Of course, the good intentions excuse has fallen out in favour of some variation of ‘That wasn’t really socialism’ or the ‘socialism works in Scandinavia’ red herring. The latter being disproved here, here and here. The ‘That wasn’t really socialism’ dodge amounts to plain denial of historic fact, but that is all the Socialist-Left has in deflecting the results of their base ideology.
In addressing the ‘good intentions’ angle, Brian Balfour of the Civitas Institute wrote an excellent piece for The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) detailing how policies that are supposed to help with the poverty stricken actually have the opposite effect:
1: An Expanding Welfare State
For starters, I would advocate for a robust and ever-expanding welfare state—programs like Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.
I would recognize that an effective recipe for keeping poor people poor is to create incentives that push them into decisions that prevent them from climbing out of poverty.
Rather than help individuals, the perverse economic incentives created by the “social safety net” trap aid recipients on welfare.
Moreover, there is the impact the welfare state has on the family unit. Welfare programs break up families by replacing a father’s paycheck with a government check and benefits. Nationally, since LBJ’s Great Society ratcheted up government welfare programs in the mid-1960s, the rate of unmarried births has tripled.
2: Progressive Taxation Policy
High marginal taxes on profitable companies and small businesses alike discourage capital investment.
If I wanted to keep poor people poor, I also would finance the welfare state poverty trap through punitive taxes on the job and wealth creators of society.
3: Increase the Minimum Wage
Higher minimum wages will price more and more low-skilled people out of the labor market.
4: Support Restrictive “Green Energy” Policies
5: Increase the Business Regulatory Burden
If I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would see to it that government imposes many costly regulations on businesses. Such tight restrictions discourage businesses from starting or expanding, Such tight restrictions discourage businesses from starting or expanding.
6: Inflate the Money Supply
7: Impose High Tariffs
The price increases passed along to consumers disproportionately harm low-income households.
Finally, if I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would most definitely not support a competitive, free market economy. As Milton Friedman once famously schooled Phil Donahue:
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.
Judge by results and not by intentions or word mutations.
Policies that supposedly help the poor clearly do the exact opposite. As seen in these examples or in every time socialism [or one of it’s 40 synonyms] is tried. So, even if one assumes that ‘good intentions’ are the basis these policies or that the Socialist-Left is lacking in the intellectual depth to understand what they are doing. The practical results of their socialist national agenda show that they are the opposite of what their supposed purpose. This is why it must be rejected once and for all.
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