The CNN headline is, “Mostly ignored, shifts emerge in the politics of poverty.” The reason they are ignored is because they don’t exist. CNN’s “reporting” is almost exclusively advocacy. The story is trying to create “shifts” under the guise of reporting on them.
The first thing we need to get clear is that Congress is almost half made up of millionaires, many of them multi-millionaires. Both Republicans and Democrats are among the super rich—though there is evidence that the Democrats possess more collective wealth. I’m not pointing that out to make some kind of case against the Democrats except to point out how the media gives us a false impression about them.
According to CNN, poverty is increasing and Obama promised to do something about it, but hasn’t yet.
But that is a whitewash. Obama has continued the Bush Federal Reserve policies that degrade the economy for the poor while pumping money into the coffers of the rich. CNN claims:
Democrats tend to support policies that involve more government and equitable wealth distribution while Republicans tend to back a “trickle-down” approach in which stronger upper and middle class economies benefit the poor.
“Trickle down” was a liberal attack on the free market. Republicans want to allow businesses to flourish and provide jobs, rather than kill businesses, kill the middle class with taxes, and make up for the poverty by a few anemic government-provided benefits that make people dependent.
The “trickle down” criticism of Republicans by Democrats was recently critiqued by George Will:
Obama’s speech denounced “trickle-down ideology” and deplored growth that “has flowed to a fortunate few.” But the monetary policy he favors — very low interest rates, driving money into equities in search of higher yields — is a powerful engine of inequality. Since the Dow closed at 7,949 on Inauguration Day 2009, it has doubled , benefiting the 10 percent who hold 80 percent of directly owned stocks. The hope is that some of this wealth will trickle down.
There is also a startling admission in the CNN story, one that the writer glosses over without consideration:
Medicare and Social Security receive widespread attention on the campaign trail. While both serve poor people, they are available to all seniors. Politicians covet senior voters.
Welfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps – government programs intended to benefit those most in need – are spread throughout the population and don’t get as much political exposure.
What needs to be said here is that most of our budget and debt are devoted to schemes where everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else. They are entitlements that don’t have much to do with helping the poor. If you wanted room in the budget to help the truly needy, the first thing you need to do is get rid of these entitlements. Of course, no one will consider such a thing.
The story claims that Paul Ryan is going to be involved in this new direction in dealing with income inequality. The “expert” engaged in educating Ryan presents the parameters of allowable discussion and the final conclusion of the CNN story:
“That’s the kind of dialogue that I’m trying to get going,” he said. “I’m trying to get both conservatives and liberals to debate which interventions improve the lives of poor people.”
Notice the conclusion that the government must intervene is slipped in as a precondition for “dialogue.”
Sorry, the only thing any real conservative can say is obvious. “Which interventions?” None.
And stop the interventions we have now. Stop the taxes or at least dramatically lower them. Stop the regulations. Most importantly, get rid of legal tender laws so that people can use competing currencies until we can develop a commodity-based money system as opposed to fiat money. In other words, end the Federal Reserve.
And end minimum wage laws and other means of institutionalized unemployment. Stop forcing poor children to go to bad schools. Let kids get jobs and work if they want to. Stop propping up food prices. Stop putting ethanol in gasoline. Legalize cars that cost less than $10,000.
We have had a century of increasing interventions and have only increased the poverty in the United States. It is time to stop the “war on poverty” and give peace a chance. Stop stripping society or resources and allow people to prosper.