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Have we lost the war on Poverty?
In case you didn't know, the government offers low income people food stamps. It appears that at least the government doesn't think you know. They are waging an ad campaign focused on seniors. Have we lost the war on poverty? Why aren't all of the government programs, (food stamps, welfare, medicaid, extended unemployment benefits, etc) helping? Why has the divide between rich and poor widened? Would it be better to throw more government money at the problem or less?
Big question. I've never been convinced that we're really fighting a war on poverty since the neediest members of our society continue to be more or less invisible.
I don't approve of "throwing" government money under any circumstances. Expenditures need to be carefully planned and targeted.
Redistribution of income would help, but nothing seems to get people's hackles up quicker than merely suggesting such a thing. Certainly the stagnation and/or diminishing of middle class incomes requires action, but what? Unregulated capitalism has long been known to lead to income disparity, as well as the disruption of the middle class's means for regaining parity, such as unions.
There should ALWAYS be an aggressive war on poverty. There's financial poverty, educational poverty, moral poverty; someone is alway lacking something though no fault of their own.
But, rather than give them money or a home, we ought to provide the tools to teach people to get out of their OWN KIND OF POVERTY.
However, in no way, shape or form do I believe that "Redistribution of income would help" There is something that has led to income disparity, but I don't believe it is unregulated capitalism. Unions were a good attempt to equal that disparity in the early 20th century during the industrial revolution, but I don't see that unions are doing much good now. The bosses are getting wealthy off of the union worker who spend a good chunk of his paycheck and all the unions deliver is mediocrity and guaranteed benefits for mediocrity! Not what they were intended for.
Redistribution of income doesn't have to mean confiscatory policies. Unions were instrumental in creating income equity after WWII, and capitalism's contribution to disparities is virtually a truism among economists from Bartlett to Krugman.
The war has not been lost. If it was lost, then it would be much worse. The fact that they are doing something changes the situation to be a little better.
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