Members have made 36 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Meanwhile, the war on prosperity is going quite well.

    • #1
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:21 am
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  2. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    I’m not surprised that poverty numbers are rising, but I’m also curious: which definition of poverty are they using? The article didn’t seem to say (only it seemed to suppose that the definition was the same one the census uses).

    • #2
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:22 am
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  3. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator
    Aaron Miller: Meanwhile, the war on prosperity is going quite well. · Sep 13 at 5:21p

    Yep. When I read Obama “stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status”, I thought to myself, well the easiest way to do that is to impoverish the middle classes.

    • #3
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:25 am
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  4. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Where do these #s come from ? If they’re hiding employment #s , then why inflate or be honest about this. Fall back position is a whiny community organizer network ? The radio call letters would be WCON.

    • #4
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:25 am
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  5. Profile photo of Pat Sajak Contributor
    Pat Sajak Post author
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I’m not surprised that poverty numbers are rising, but I’m also curious: which definition of poverty are they using? The article didn’t seem to say (only it seemed to suppose that the definition was the same one the census uses). · Sep 13 at 5:22pm

    This link is a couple of years old, but it might help

    • #5
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:27 am
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  6. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator
    Pat Sajak
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I’m not surprised that poverty numbers are rising, but I’m also curious: which definition of poverty are they using? The article didn’t seem to say (only it seemed to suppose that the definition was the same one the census uses). · Sep 13 at 5:22pm
    This link is a couple of years old, but it might help · Sep 13 at 5:27pm

    Thanks. It answered my first, rough question, that they use income (rather than inventory of goods owned, child mortality, etc) as their poverty measure.

    Thing is, if we hadn’t had the War on Poverty in the first place, I bet the poor would be far more prosperous than they are today.

    The War on Poverty has been a cruel joke at the poor’s expense, relatively punishing the poor who try to develop the habits that make leaving poverty behind a reality.

    • #6
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:38 am
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  7. Profile photo of mesquito Inactive

    Well, not quite back where we started. When we started African-American families were largely intact.

    • #7
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:40 am
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  8. Profile photo of G.A. Dean Inactive
    Pat Sajak: So, after a 45-year war and trillions of dollars spent, we’re back where we started. That’s what you get for entering a conflict without an exit strategy. ·

    Why bother with an exit strategy when you haven’t got an opening strategy nor any kind of strategy at all. The “strategy” is throw money at it and win votes. In that respect it did just fine, and in retrospect, that was probably the real goal of these programs anyway.

    This “War on Poverty” was based on a false theory of poverty, that, like the Keynsian economic policies that Peter has been writing about, has never been shown effective. But it’s a good way to shovel taxpayer dollars to certain people, again like the Keynsian stimulus programs.

    Remember that the War on Poverty was brought to you buy the same people as the War on Vietnam. “Exit Strategy” was not their strong suit.

    • #8
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:42 am
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  9. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive

    Do these numbers include our undocumented friends?

    • #9
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:43 am
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  10. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I’m not surprised that poverty numbers are rising, but I’m also curious: which definition of poverty are they using? The article didn’t seem to say (only it seemed to suppose that the definition was the same one the census uses). · Sep 13 at 5:22pm

    A household with fewer than two flat-screen televisions, only basic cable, and less than one cell phone per capita.

    • #10
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:47 am
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  11. Profile photo of Pat Sajak Contributor
    Pat Sajak Post author

    It would be interesting to see what would have happened had we been able to take all the money spent on that “war” in just the first decade and simply give it to those below the poverty level.

    • #11
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:54 am
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  12. Profile photo of G.A. Dean Inactive
    mesquito: Well, not quite back where we started. When we started African-American families were largely intact. · Sep 13 at 5:40pm

    Excellent point. This War on Poverty has ended up as a “War on the Poor”. This is exactly the sort of example to illustrate the falseness of the stereotyped depiction of liberal policies as “caring” and conservative policies as “hardhearted”. Paul Rahe has addressed this on Ricochet this week, and Pat lampooned this attitude earlier today. It’s time to push back.

    M.F.R. is entirely correct that without this misguided “war”, many of those not in poverty would be doing much better. A more conservative policy would have been the more compassionate approach.

    • #12
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:55 am
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  13. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive
    Pat Sajak: It would be interesting to see what would have happened had we been able to take all the money spent on that “war” in just the first decade and simply give it to those below the poverty level. · Sep 13 at 5:54pm

    Or more to the point, if we had simply left that money in the hands of people who earned it.

    • #13
    • September 14, 2010 at 5:58 am
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  14. Profile photo of Pilgrim Thatcher
    mesquito: Well, not quite back where we started. When we started African-American families were largely intact. · Sep 13 at 5:40pm

    Exactly mesquito. We can’t post images, so please look at the chart on this link — Census data reflecting African-American family structure from the 1950’s on-ward. It makes me want to cry that public policy could so damage people and enraged at the smug liberals that created and profit from this dysfunctionality.

    • #14
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:00 am
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  15. Profile photo of Kennedy Smith Inactive

    One of Churchill’s worst broadcasts. Must’ve been drunk.:

    “Even though large tracts of flyover country and many old and coastal States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Rethuglikkkan Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Tea Party Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

    We shall go on to the end, we shall fight to be like France, we shall fight to lower the seas and oceans, we shall fight with sagging confidence and dwindling strength on the air, we shall pay off our campaign supporters, whatever the cost may be,we shall fight with constant speeches, we shall fight on shaky ground, we shall fightwith ACORN field offices and riot in the streets, we shall fight with massive bills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this majority or a large part of it were subjugated and out of work, then our Financier beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Media Elite, would carry on the struggle.

    Green eggs and ham.”

    • #15
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:02 am
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  16. Profile photo of Mel Foil Inactive

    Never underestimate the creativity of Americans. We’ve created something absolutely new in human history–the waddling poor.

    • #16
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:13 am
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  17. Profile photo of Mark Woodworth Member
    Pat Sajak: It would be interesting to see what would have happened had we been able to take all the money spent on that “war” in just the first decade and simply give it to those below the poverty level. · Sep 13 at 5:54pm

    Didn’t P. J O’Rourke calculate in Eat the Rich that if you took the amount of money spent on poverty programs by the Federal Government, and divided it by a generous estimate of the number of the poor, it came out to an annual salary for each over the poverty line? Problem solved!

    • #17
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:19 am
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  18. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Kenneth
    Pat Sajak: It would be interesting to see what would have happened had we been able to take all the money spent on that “war” in just the first decade and simply give it to those below the poverty level. · Sep 13 at 5:54pm
    Or more to the point, if we had simply left that money in the hands of people who earned it. · Sep 13 at 5:58pm

    This was, essentially, Milton Friedman’s point — that if you want to give people money, give them money. Don’t create a ludicrous “war” on something that’s existed for thousands of years. Don’t create a federal behemoth that won’t actually help anyone — but will only make the do-gooders feel better about themselves. His idea of a guaranteed minimum income still strikes me as a zany, but intellectually honest (and maybe even effective) way to give people at the bottom rung a hand.

    • #18
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:21 am
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  19. Profile photo of Pat Sajak Contributor
    Pat Sajak Post author
    Rob Long

    This was, essentially, Milton Friedman’s point — that if you want to give people money, give them money. His idea of a guaranteed minimum income still strikes me as a zany, but intellectually honest (and maybe even effective) way to give people at the bottom rung a hand. · Sep 13 at 6:21pm

    I’ve always thought of Friedman more as wacky than zany.

    • #19
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:25 am
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  20. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive

    The War on Poverty is probably the biggest jobs program ever devised.

    We have social workers, administrators, housing bureaucrats, squadrons of academics and on and on.

    I would bet that for each ten people “living in poverty” there is at least one government worker or academic living quite nicely off of poverty.

    And they all vote. As do their hapless wards.

    • #20
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:30 am
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  21. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive
    Pat Sajak

    Rob Long

    This was, essentially, Milton Friedman’s point — that if you want to give people money, give them money. His idea of a guaranteed minimum income still strikes me as a zany, but intellectually honest (and maybe even effective) way to give people at the bottom rung a hand. · Sep 13 at 6:21pm

    I’ve always thought of Friedman more as wacky than zany. · Sep 13 at 6:25pm

    That’s an interesting insight, Pat.

    You’re such a nuanced guy.

    • #21
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:32 am
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  22. Profile photo of Patrick Shanahan Inactive

    I worry that we are enabling the liberal vocabulary here. Yes, the “poverty rate” is about the same as it was 40 years ago. But most of the “poor” aren’t materially poor in any historical use of the term. Many of these these poor people have Flat Screen TVs and PCs and even I-Phones. They do not starve, they do not beg, they live fairly comfortable lives. The categorical definition is just plain wrong.

    Most of us have been broke (money poor) in our lives. The difference between being poor and being broke is that a poor man has no confidence that he will ever be prosperous. Liberalism has sought to “solve” the problem of material poverty by stifling hope, by stifling the urge to be productive. That is the crime of the War on Poverty.

    Focus on that, not on ridiculous statistics.

    • #22
    • September 14, 2010 at 6:59 am
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  23. Profile photo of Jim Chase Member

    A long time ago, I had the chance to walk through the favellas north of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and have also spent some time deep in the hollows of the Appalachians. The one thing impressed upon me was that the only sure way out of those areas of deep poverty was to somehow maximize earning potential. Charity and handouts might get you through a rough patch, but to truly escape meant the ability to work and to earn.

    Some manage to break the cycle. But not everyone gets that chance. To the extent that government has made it worse, that’s to its shame and ours. I can only consider myself fortunate to be so blessed, because the distance between “middle class” and the poverty line can be as short as the length of a pink slip.

    • #23
    • September 14, 2010 at 7:02 am
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  24. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    I just want to know the ROE in this war. Can we shoot ’em or not?

    • #24
    • September 14, 2010 at 7:06 am
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  25. Profile photo of John H. Member

    I wonder if, in the year 2065, it will be commonly imagined that the War on Poverty was a government plot to destroy black people. I myself do not believe that – I am certain all the programs were well-intentioned – but hey, this theory fits the facts. Or, as is always the case with ugly ideas, fits enough facts.

    • #25
    • September 14, 2010 at 7:07 am
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  26. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator
    Kenneth: The War on Poverty is probably the biggest jobs program ever devised.

    We have social workers, administrators, housing bureaucrats, squadrons of academics and on and on.

    I would bet that for each ten people “living in poverty” there is at least one government worker or academic living quite nicely off of poverty.

    And they all vote. As do their hapless wards.

    Too true.

    I’ve tutored inner-city kids, very bright (my program cherry-picked the bright ones), and charming in their way, but many surely doomed to a life of failure because of simple inability to behave. And why should they know how to behave, given the utterly twisted incentives surrounding them, where the worst actors usually get the kindest treatment? If I’d been raised that way, I probably would have turned out no better myself.

    These kids already start life with fewer options because of poverty, and then on top of that, the compassionate classes so contort their social world that only the bravest and luckiest manage to escape that twisted jungle.

    If anyone profits by keeping the poor man down, it’s the vampires of the compassion racket.

    Now excuse me while I kick something.

    • #26
    • September 14, 2010 at 7:22 am
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  27. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    I’ve passed through the wards and ghettos of many cities. I often didn’t realize I was in one until later, because most of them could only be called poor by American standards. In America, poverty cannot be detected so easily by clothing or size of residence as by litter and loitering.

    And they are not the only ones who are mislabeled. Americans making over $100,000 per year will say they’re not rich because they worry about their bills. So what? I’ve lived around rich and poor alike — they all live up to their means. If you only have to worry about paying for food and shelter because you bought a spacious house and stuffed it full with furniture and HD-TVs and what not, that’s luxury, my friends. Financial security is a luxury.

    I don’t say this to criticize lifestyles. I just think most Americans don’t realize how good we have it. Real poverty does exist in this nation, but it’s as rare as Steyn having a speechless moment.

    • #27
    • September 14, 2010 at 7:51 am
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  28. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    K judging from the subtle clues we are wagering five civil servants for each poor person @ $165,000 per

    • #28
    • September 14, 2010 at 8:04 am
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  29. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Patrick Shanahan Liberalism has sought to “solve” the problem of material poverty by stifling hope, by stifling the urge to be productive. That is the crime of the War on Poverty.
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    If anyone profits by keeping the poor man down, it’s the vampires of the compassion racket.

    When do you think that’s going to be clear to the people on the receiving end of all of this…help? Will it ever?

    • #29
    • September 14, 2010 at 8:43 am
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  30. Profile photo of Bret Hoskins Inactive

    Sure, the poverty level has increased slightly. But can you imagine how much higher it would have been if President Obama and the Democratic Congress did not sign into law the stimulus, son-of-stimulus, porkulus, grandson-of-stimulus, cash-for-clunkers, cash-for-unions, cash-for-teachers, and all of the other wonderful programs, bills, laws, and regulations that would have otherwise moved the poverty level to 50%.

    • #30
    • September 14, 2010 at 8:51 am
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