Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Poor No Longer Matter

The increasing focus on inequality pits the one-percenters against the bureaucratically comfortable.  No one seems to care about poor people anymore.  What about those in poverty?

Condemned to attend public schools that are little more than a breeding ground for crime and violence and forbidden by law to work at jobs that can improve their skill set, the truly poor are forced to depend upon the largesse of big government with various handouts and subsidies.  Instead of real health care, the poor fight their way through the medicaid labyrinth.  Large numbers of poor people never availing themselves of this nightmarish program.  (One-third of the so-called uninsured trumpeted by the Obama Administration in their political drive for Obamacare were already eligible for medicaid, but simply could not figure out how to sign up).

Current US policy seems designed to perpetuate poverty, encourage teenage pregnancy combined with active abortion provision, and keep those in poverty from having any hopes of escape.  Why else fight against vouchers, charter schools, and earned income credits?  Instead the poor are treated to ever-increasing minimum wage legislation that forbids, by law, the poor obtaining the job skills to move out of poverty.  Nearly half of all minimum wage employees are single and under the age of 25, desperately seeking to gain skills.  Increasing the minimum wage is a legislative guarantee that these young folks will have virtually no shot of ever escaping the plight they find themselves in.

Various state and local laws requiring licensing and business permits to operate the simplest of businesses seem purposely designed to damage the future prospects of poor people.  There is simply no reason for these regulations.  In any event, the truly poor have no hope of ever complying with these absurd regulations, which serve only to prop up the monopoly status of the more well-to-do.

No wonder the left has shifted its focus to inequality and no longer cares about the poor.  The poor are of interest as a potential source of votes, so, one supposes, there is no reason for the left to try to reduce their numbers.

Instead, the new strategy is to drive a wedge between the most successful Americans and the middle class.  If this succeeds in taking hold, it should reduce incentives for innovation and entrepreneurship and encourage more monopolistic rent-seeking behavior as Americans fight over shares of a stagnant economic pie.

Lets get back to focusing on how to lift people out of poverty instead of abandoning the fight and putting roadblocks in the way of poor folks who wish to improve their lives.

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