Thomas Sowell: The left's twisted agenda to help the poor
Leaders of the left in many countries have promoted policies that enable the poor to be more comfortable in their poverty. But that raises a fundamental question: Just who are "the poor"?
Even when they have the potential to become productive members of society, the loss of welfare state benefits if they try to do so is an implicit "tax" on what they would earn that often exceeds the explicit tax on a millionaire.
In short, the political left's welfare state makes poverty more comfortable, while penalizing attempts to rise out of poverty. Unless we believe that some people are predestined to be poor, the left's agenda is a disservice to them, as well as to society. The vast amounts of money wasted are by no means the worst of it.
Millions of "overseas Chinese" emigrated from China destitute and often illiterate in centuries past. Whether they settled in Southeast Asian countries or in the United States, they began at the bottom, taking hard, dirty and sometimes dangerous jobs.
Variations on this social pattern can be found in the histories of Jewish, Armenian, Lebanese and other emigrants who settled in many countries around the world — initially poor, but rising over the generations to prosperity. Seldom did they rely on government, and they usually avoided politics on their way up.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
READER COMMENTS: 12
- Another View -- Cass R. Sunstein: The hidden tax you pay when you wait - 1
- John Stossel: Incumbents almost always win - 0
- George Will: In Georgia, a capitalist struggles - 2
- Jonah Goldberg -- Cure for gridlock: Take hard votes - 1
- Another View -- Marco Rubio: Brown will stop the Obama agenda, put us on a better course - 6
- Another View - Sean O'Kane: Jeanne Shaheen is a friend of NH's tourism industry - 7
- Charles Arlinghaus: How the cult of celebrity destroys our political culture - 3
- Pat Buchanan: How do terror networks win their Western recruits? - 0
- Another View -- Marilinda Garcia: Rep. Ann Kuster has not been a help to NH senior citizens - 8
READER COMMENTS: 0
- John Habib's City Sports: St. Thomas coach: I owe Central - 0
- Armed burglar from Derry sentenced to prison - 0
- 'Bingo hunting' police use random license plate checks to make arrest - 0
- Bedford police investigating burglary at Verizon Wireless store - 0
- Police: Manchester man charged with endangering child after going 101 mph - 0
- FairPoint customer concerned about blocked emails - 0
- Plaistow narrows field in search for its new police chief - 0
- Man faces robbery, assault charges after extradition from NY - 0
- Hershey Bears shut out Monarchs - 0
NH Audubon's Rare Bird Alert
Dartmouth women skaters beat Union
Hockey brought them together; Hooksett ice rink will serve as NH couple's 'church' for wedding
Armed burglar from Derry sentenced to prison
Hershey Bears shut out Monarchs