Okay, Maybe Our Government Can Help the Underprivileged

You know, the whole take from the rich and give to the poor thing? What is it they call that these days, leveling the playing field? Or is it Class Warfare? Or perhaps simply stealing? And the genuine question arises: Are these efforts producing the expected/promised results?

Here John Stossel and Walter E. Williams discuss whether big government
“poverty measures” helped or hindered Blacks?

Professor Milton Friedman answers the question of government
programs solving poverty problems.


Thomas Sowell explains how the government incidentally reduces freedom
through it’s processes – concluding that whatever the purported social
goals, liberty suffers.


Milton Friedman Freedom VS Fairness


Sharing the wealth? A comedic way to understand socialism from
Abbott and Costello. Socialism – taking from the haves to give
to the have nots whether they earn it or not.

There has been a great deal of “water under the bridge” since 1978. And yet some lessons hard learned back then might possibly offer us all some insights now. On January 27, 1978 Ronald Reagan broadcast the following message as his daily radio spot.

“Welfare needs reform. It is getting like the weather – everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it. I’ll be right back.”

“Back in 1971 when California started it’s highly successful welfare reforms the weeping & wailing was enough to make your blood run cold. But most of came from those who had no need of welfare themselves. They delight in bleeding for others. And a goodly share came from the professionals & organizers who saw a career threat in what we were trying to do.

One such was the head of an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of those on welfare. Testifying before a Congressional committee she said, “Everyone in this country has a right to share the wealth. The money has gone to the middle class, and if we don’t get our share we’re going to disrupt this country & this Capitol.”

We found in California that tens of thousands of able bodied welfare recipients would like nothing better than to become self supporting. We found also that the welfare system doesn’t encourage this. Many of these people fall into a lifestyle which after a while renders them virtually incapable of entering the competitive job market. Treating only the material needs of man will not endow him with nobility of spirit, creativity and the unselfish desire to become productive.

One day, after our reforms had been in effect for a while, I received a letter that began – “Dear Sir – I am one of those people that left California & it’s welfare rolls when you started your reform program.” Right there I wanted to stop reading. I thought the letter would accuse me of being heartless and cruel & that I had brought hunger and unhappiness to the writer. I was wrong. The letter went on to say; “I’d like to thank you. My life is much brighter now. I lived for years in public housing with my 2 sons, drawing a welfare check because it was so easy. And the longer I did it the easier it got and the lazier I became. I wouldn’t even get married and lose the security of that check. When you started cleaning up the welfare mess the government was creating, I figured it was only a matter of time before I was told to find a job. So I decided to do something. I had $520 I’d saved out of that poverty I was supposed to be living in. I came to Alaska where my family lived. I found that working was fun and a lot better than daytime TV. I’ve got a lot more self respect and pride now.” And then she thanked me again.

Welfare is really not the complex problem that government pretends it is. All we have to do is think of it as a temporary helping hand until we can assist someone to become self supporting. And that means we recognize it for what it is – charity, and charity is a noble word. We should judge our success by how much we decrease the need for welfare. The failure of the present programs is indicated by the vast increase in the number of recipients. Welfare is a dangerous drug, destroying the spirit of people once proudly independent. Our mission should be to help people kick that particular drug habit.

This is Ronald Reagan – Thanks for listening.”

Truth is truth no matter when or where it is exposed.


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